Mediterranean diet improves testosterone levels and erectile performance: Study
Sophia Antipolis, France: A Mediterranean diet is associated with improvements in erectile dysfunction, finds a new study . According to researchers Mediterranean diet is linked with better exercise capacity, healthier arteries and blood flow, higher testosterone levels, and better erectile performance. The research has been presented at ESC Congress 2021.Mediterranean diet comprises...
Sophia Antipolis, France: A Mediterranean diet is associated with improvements in erectile dysfunction, finds a new study . According to researchers Mediterranean diet is linked with better exercise capacity, healthier arteries and blood flow, higher testosterone levels, and better erectile performance. The research has been presented at ESC Congress 2021.
Mediterranean diet comprises of Plant-based foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. Fish, seafood, dairy and poultry are included in moderation.Olive oil is the main source of added fat.
It is a way of eating that's based on the traditional cuisines of Greece, Italy and other countries that border the Mediterranean Sea and thus it's name.
Erectile dysfunction is primarily considered a disorder of the small arteries, which lose the ability to dilate and augment flow. Declining testosterone levels in middle age contribute to its onset.Men with hypertension are twice as likely to have erectile dysfunction as their peers with normal blood pressure.
Previous research has shown that Mediterranean diet lowers blood pressure and prevents heart attacks and strokes5 in individuals at high cardiovascular risk.
This study assessed adherence to the Mediterranean diet in middle aged men with high blood pressure and erectile dysfunction. This dietary pattern emphasises fruit, vegetables, whole grains and olive oil, modest consumption of dairy products, and limiting red meat. The researchers then examined whether dietary habits were linked with fitness, testosterone levels, blood flow, arterial stiffness, and erectile performance.
The study included 250 men with high blood pressure and erectile dysfunction. The average age was 56 years. Mediterranean diet consumption was assessed by questionnaire and participants received a score of 0 to 55, with higher values indicating greater adherence.6 Exercise capacity was assessed with a treadmill test and testosterone was measured in blood samples taken before 09:00 am.
Regarding vascular health, echocardiography was performed to assess coronary flow reserve, which indicates the ability to increase blood flow when needed. Values of 2 or higher are considered normal and point to better vascular function. The researchers examined arterial stiffness using two measures: augmentation index and central pulse pressure. Higher values indicate stiffer arteries, which are associated with a higher risk of adverse heart events in men with erectile dysfunction.
Severity of erectile dysfunction was assessed using the Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM) which uses five questions about erectile ability to allocate a score of 0 to 25, with higher values correlating to better erectile performance.
The researchers found that men with a higher Mediterranean diet score (above 29) also had higher coronary flow reserve and testosterone, better erectile performance (SHIM score above 14), and lower arterial stiffness.
When the relationships were analysed according to fitness, the researchers found that patients with greater exercise capacity (above 10 METs)9 had higher coronary flow reserve, testosterone, Mediterranean diet score (above 25) and SHIM score (above 12), and lower arterial stiffness.
Study author Dr. Athanasios Angelis of the University of Athens, Greece said: "In our study, consuming a Mediterranean diet was linked with better exercise capacity, healthier arteries and blood flow, higher testosterone levels, and better erectile performance. While we did not examine mechanisms, it seems plausible that this dietary pattern may improve fitness and erectile performance by enhancing function of the blood vessels and limiting the fall in testosterone that occurs in midlife."
He concluded: "The findings suggest that the Mediterranean diet could play a role in maintaining several parameters of vascular health and quality of life and in middle aged men with hypertension and erectile dysfunction."
Dr Kartikeya Kohli is an Internal Medicine Consultant at Sitaram Bhartia Hospital in Delhi with super speciality training in Nephrology. He has worked with various eminent hospitals like Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Sir Gangaram Hospital. He holds an MBBS from Kasturba Medical College Manipal, DNB Internal Medicine, Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Research and Business Development, Fellow DNB Nephrology, MRCP and ECFMG Certification. He has been closely associated with India Medical Association South Delhi Branch and Delhi Medical Association and has been organising continuing medical education programs on their behalf from time to time. Further he has been contributing medical articles for their newsletters as well. He is also associated with electronic media and TV for conduction and presentation of health programs. He has been associated with Medical Dialogues for last 3 years and contributing articles on regular basis.