HealthDay News — Foods rich in flavonoids are associated with reduced risk of erectile dysfunction, according to research published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The study involved 25,096 middle-aged and older men who have filled out regular health surveys since 1986. The men were asked in 2000, 2004, and 2008 to rate their ability to have and maintain an erection sufficient for intercourse. Researchers compared their answers to the amount of flavonoid-rich foods the men reported eating in separate food questionnaires.
The researchers found that higher total fruit intake was associated with a 14% reduction in the risk of erectile dysfunction. Further, combining flavonoid-rich foods with exercise reduced the risk of erectile dysfunction by 21%. The benefits of flavonoids were found to be greatest in men younger than 70 years.
Flavonoids might boost a man’s ability to achieve and maintain an erection by helping preserve the health of his blood vessels, the researchers said in background notes. Prior studies have shown that flavonoids can improve blood vessel function and reduce blood pressure.