Coffee drinkers are less likely to have erectile dysfunction, says study
Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have found that men who drink the equivalent caffeine level of two to three cups of coffee a day are less likely to have erectile dysfunction (ED). The findings showed that those who consumed between 85 and 170 milligrams of caffeine a day were about 42 percent less likely to report ED than those who drank between 171 and 303 milligrams of caffeine a day who were 39 percent less likely to report ED when compared to participants who drank zero to seven milligrams per day.
The findings held true even among men with known risk factors for ED — such as high blood pressure, and being overweight or obese. One exception, diabetic men with ED did not benefit from caffeine.
“Diabetes is one of the strongest risk factors for ED, so this was not surprising,” said Dr. David Lopez, lead author of the study and an assistant professor at the University of Texas Health and Science Center’s School of Public Health.
The researchers suggested caffeine may trigger a series of pharmacological effects that lead to the relaxation of arteries and increasing blood flow to the penis in ways that mirror the action of popular ED drugs like Viagra.
These speculations support previous research showing that caffeine improves blood flow throughout the body. A 2013 study, for example, found people who drank one cup of coffee experienced a 30 percent increase in blood flow over a 75-minute period when compared to people who drank decaffeinated coffee.
For the study, Lopez and his team looked at data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which included a question about ED, and also collected information on food and drinks consumed.
While coffee is popular, other sources of caffeine included soda, tea, and energy drinks. The researchers cautioned that although these drinks may improve ED in people with the aforementioned conditions, the study didn’t not prove causality, and thus further research was necessary.