Dietary factors in erectile dysfunction

Int J Impot Res. 2006 Jul-Aug;18(4):370-4. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijir.3901438. Epub 2006 Jan 5.


The role of dietary factors in erectile dysfunction (ED) has never been addressed. In the present case-control study, we investigated the relation of the Mediterranean diet with ED. A total of 100 men with ED were compared with 100 age-matched men without ED. A scale indicating the degree of adherence to the Mediterranean diet was constructed: the total Mediterranean diet score ranged from 0 (minimal adherence to the Mediterranean diet) to 9 (maximal adherence). The percentage of physical inactivity was greater in the ED group (35 vs 19%, P=0.04), whereas the diet score was lower (4.7+/-0.5 vs 5.4+/-0.5, P<0.01), indicating a reduced adherence to the Mediterranean diet. In analyses adjusted for the prevalence of associated risk factors (hypertension, hypercholesterolemia), body mass index, waist, physical inactivity and total energy intake, the intake of fruits and nuts, and the ratio of monounsaturated lipids to saturated lipids remained the only individual measures associated with ED. In conclusion, the results of the present study show that dietary factors may be important in the development of ED: adoption of healthy diets would hopefully help preventing ED.

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diet*
  • Energy Intake
  • Erectile Dysfunction / etiology*
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking