January 15 2016. The February 2016 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition unveiled the finding of researchers at the University of East Anglia and Harvard of an association between greater intake of flavonoids and a lower risk of erectile dysfunction (ED).
"We already knew that intake of certain foods high in flavonoids may reduce the risk of conditions including diabetes and cardiovascular disease," commented lead researcher Aedín Cassidy. "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."
For the current investigation, Dr Cassidy and colleagues utilized data from 25,096 men who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. Dietary questionnaire responses collected every four years beginning in 1986 were analyzed to determine the intake of flavanones, anthocyanins, flavan-3-ols, flavonols, flavones, and polymers/oligomers (including proanthocyanidins, theaflavins, and thearubigins). Erectile function was rated by participants during 2000, 2004 and 2008.
Over ten years of follow-up, erectile dysfunction was reported by 35.6% of subjects. Having an intake of flavones that was among the top 20% of participants was associated with a 9% lower adjusted risk of ED in comparison with the lowest 20%, and for those among the top 20% of flavanones and anthocyanins intake, the risk was 10% and 9% lower.
"Flavonoids are present in many plant-based foods and drinks including fruits, vegetables, tea, herbs and wine," Dr Cassidy observed. "We examined six main types of commonly consumed flavonoids and found that three in particular - anthocyanins, flavanones and flavones - are beneficial. Men who regularly consumed foods high in these flavonoids were 10 per cent less likely to suffer erectile dysfunction. In terms of quantities, we're talking just a few portions a week."