Research suggests that drinking a few cups of coffee each day could lower a man’s risk for erectile dysfunction. Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston found that men who drank at least two cups of coffee each day had a 42 percent reduction in erectile dysfunction problems.
About 18.4 percent of men in the United States 20 years old and older, suffer from erectile dysfunction. This suggests that more than 18 million men are affected by the condition. Additionally, more than 85 percent of adults consume caffeinated beverages.
The study involved 3,724 men over the age of 20. They all took part in a survey called the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and were questioned about their consumption of caffeine as well as whether they suffered from erectile dysfunction. The researchers collected data regarding the amount of tea, coffee, and other highly caffeinated beverages such as soda and sports drinks, that the men drank on average per day.
The results showed that men who drank 85 to 170 milligrams of caffeine a day were 42 percent less likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction problems. In addition, men who drank 171 to 303 milligrams of caffeine each day were 39 percent less likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction problems. This was in comparison to men who drank 0 to 7 milligrams of caffeine per day.
The study also found that erectile dysfunction was reduced in men who were overweight, obese, or had high blood pressure. However, erectile dysfunction was not reduced for men with diabetes, which is a strong risk factor for the condition.
The study suggests that caffeine triggers a series of internal effects that increase blood flow to the penis.
“The suggested biological mechanism is that caffeine triggers a series of pharmacological effects that lead to the relaxation of the penile helicine arteries [arteries in the erectile tissue] and the cavernous smooth muscle that lines cavernosal spaces [two columns that contain sponge-like erectile tissue], thus increasing penile blood flow,” according to the researchers.
In other words, the caffeine helps relax the arteries in the penis, arteries that increase the blood flow.
Erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence, occurs when men are unable to keep their erection firm enough to engage in sexual intercourse with their partner. Men often experience erectile dysfunction as they get older because with age, a man’s level of testosterone decreases. This causes changes in sexual function such as impotence or lower libido.
While erectile dysfunction most commonly affects middle-aged men, it can affect younger men too. It is common for men to occasionally experience erectile dysfunction, especially when they are under a lot of stress, consume too much alcohol, or are fatigued.
However, if men suffer from erectile dysfunction often or on a regular basis, it can be a sign of other underlying health conditions that need treatment. It may also be an indicator for mental or emotional issues.
The majority of erectile dysfunction cases are caused by a combination of psychological and medical conditions. About 70 percent of cases are caused by medical conditions, and about 30 percent of cases are caused by psychological conditions.
One of the most common causes of erectile dysfunction is atherosclerosis (hardening or narrowing of the arteries), which occurs most often in middle-aged and older men. Atherosclerosis is caused by damage to the small blood vessels. This condition is linked to erectile dysfunction because the small blood vessels are responsible for supplying blood flow to the penis.
Other physical causes of erectile dysfunction include kidney issues, thyroid problems, smoking, pelvic trauma, high blood pressure, nerve damage, blood vessel damage, and diabetes.
Dr. David Samadi is the chairman of the urology department and chief of robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital. He is a medical correspondent for the Fox News Channel’s Medical A-Team. Learn more at RoboticOncology.com and visit Dr. Samadi’s blog: SamadiMD.com. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.