Imagining the new Folgers commercial? The best part of waking up… New research is linking caffeine intake to reduced risks of erectile dysfunction.
How much caffeine are we talking? The equivalent of two to three cups of coffee per day to ward off erectile dysfunction or ED. It also gives your barista artist a whole new area for latte art.
Why caffeine? The stimulant is known to affect blood vessel function, and the authors think it’s the likely mechanism for in combatting ED. The authors, published in the journal PLOS ONE, write that the “suggested biological mechanism is that caffeine triggers a series of pharmacological effects that lead to the relaxation of the penile helicine arteries, and the cavernous smooth muscle that lines cavernosal spaces, thus increasing penile blood flow.”
Translation? Everything down there relaxes, and blood flows more easily. The result? It’s easier to get an erection.
Researchers used data compiled from 3,700 men who filled out questionnaires about their diets, alcohol consumption, lifestyle factors and exercise habits. The men also answered if they were currently suffering from erectile dysfunction.
The results were men who drank 85-170 mg of caffeine daily were 42 percent less likely to have ED. Men drinking 171-300 mg per day were 39 percent less likely to have dealt with erectile dysfunction. Totaling up the mg, you get the two to three cups of coffee per day.
In the study, the results held for men suffering from high blood pressure, or those who were overweight or obese. Men with diabetes saw zero benefit from caffeine consumption relating to ED.
Study author David Lopez explained diabetes is one of the biggest risk factors for ED. The disease also has its own set of vascular problems, possibly explaining why caffeine had no effect.
Erectile Dysfunction Statistics
ED affects more men the older they get. In the United States, approximately 18 million men over the age of 20 have ED. As men hit middle-age, the impact grows. 44 percent of men over the age of 40 suffer from erectile dysfunction. Over 70? The number climbs to 70 percent of men.
Battling ED With Caffeine
Before you start grabbing energy drinks and soda, the source of your caffeine matters. Coffee already has documented health benefits, and if you’re already a drinker, add another to the list.
Those that don’t drink caffeine? If you are looking for a way to lower your risk of erectile dysfunction, this study doesn’t say camp out at Starbucks. Instead, if you’ve gone your life without it, your doctor isn’t about to recommend you tack on an addictive substance to your daily routine.
Ask your doctor the best course of action. Sexual health is an important subject that we often leave to incessant pharmaceutical commercials and anonymous forum discussions. If you and your doctor think coffee can help, go for it. The health benefits are there, and damn does it smell good when it’s brewing.
Waking up and getting you up? Hard to complain about that.