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Fruit Consumption reduces risk of Erectile Dysfunction, Study Says

Update Date: Jan 16, 2016 11:10 AM EST

Certain fruits can help men maintain a healthy sex life.

According to a new study, fruits that are rich in flavonoids are tied to a lower risk of erectile dysfunction. For this study conducted by researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and Harvard University, the team examined the responses of 50,000 middle-aged, healthy men that have been collected since 1986.

The data included men's ability to maintain erections, body weight, levels of physical activity, caffeine consumption and smoking patterns. More than one-third of the men reported experiencing new onset erectile dysfunction.

"We already knew that intake of certain foods high in flavonoids may reduce the risk of conditions including diabetes and cardiovascular disease," lead study author Aedin Cassidy, a nutrition professor at UEA, said in a press release reported by FOX News. "This is the first study to look at the association between flavonoids and erectile dysfunction, which affects up to half of all middle-aged and older men."

The team found that men who ate diets that were rich in flavonoids and fruits in general had a 14 percent lower risk of erectile dysfunction. The risk fell even more when the diets included higher levels of anthocyanins, flavanones and flavones, which can be found in berries and citrus fruits.

Younger men appeared to benefit from fruit consumption more so than older men. The group with the lowest risk of erectile dysfunction was composed of younger men who were very active and ate a diet rich in fruits.

"As well as improving sexual health for middle-aged men, there is another important benefit linked to heart health," senior author Dr. Eric Rimm, an epidemiology and nutrition professor at Harvard, said. "Erectile dysfunction is often an early barometer of poor vascular function and offers a critical opportunity to intervene and prevent cardiovascular disease, heart attack and even death."

He explained, "Men with erectile dysfunction are likely to be highly motivated to make healthier lifestyle choices, such as exercising more and eating the right foods- which would greatly benefit their long-term cardiovascular health as well

The study's findings were published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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