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Weight loss an easy intervention for boosting men's sexual health

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

Men who lose weight can get a big boost in sexual health for a variety of reasons, say researchers. In diabetic studies, men who shed excess pounds had improved blood flow that reversed vascular problems that lead to erectile dysfunction and urinary tract symptoms.

The study shows taking charge of your diet and shedding five percent of weight can go a long way when it comes to boosting sexual health, performance and desire.

Professor Gary Wittert, MBBch, MD, FRACP, FRCP, of the University of Adelaide studied 31 obese men with type 2 diabetes, whose average age was 59.7.

Over a period of 8 weeks, men who lost weight by cutting 600 calories a day, had a rapid reversal of sexual dysfunction and urinary tract symptoms. Researchers found losing weight increased sexual desire and improved erectile dysfunction.

"Our findings are consistent with the evidence that not only erectile function, but also lower urinary tract symptoms are a marker of cardio-metabolic risk," Wittert notes.

"The evidence that improvement can be achieved by modest weight loss, in particular when a diet is of high nutritional quality, is of public health significance in framing public health messages that resonate with men."

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For the study, the men were given either a meal replacement low calorie diet or low-fat, lower carbohydrate high protein meals. Both diets were found to improve blood vessel health, leading to improved sexual function.

Weight loss improved sexual health which lasted for one year in men given a high-protein, carbohydrate-reduced, low-fat diet. The researchers also found lower levels of systemic inflammation associated with the diet.

Weight loss improves cardiovascular health. Erectile dysfunction can be a marker for poor heart health. The finding that weight loss reverses sexual problems quickly is important for understanding how being just a little overweight affects overall health and sexual function

Rather than rely on erectile dysfunction drugs, try losing a few pounds, suggests Irwin Goldstein, Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

The study supports the notion that a simple change in lifestyle improves heart health and improves sexual health for men. Losing just five percent of weight quickly reversed erectile dysfunction in diabetic men studied.

"The Journal of Sexual Medicine"
Comparing Effects of a Low-energy Diet and a High-protein Low-fat Diet on Sexual and Endothelial Function, Urinary Tract Symptoms, and Inflammation in Obese Diabetic Men
DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02417.x
Joan Khoo MRC et al., August, 2011

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