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Recent scientific studies have provided strong evidence to prove a connection between obesity in men and erectile dysfunction. Although the correlation between obesity and male potency dates from the Byzanite Era, when it was thought that a large stomach impaired a man's ability to have sexual intercourse, scientists were yet to prove this scientifically.
In a new study, published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine - the official journal of the International Society for Sexual Medicine - scientists have observed that obese men with erectile dysfunction (ED) are shown to have low levels of hormones, such as testosterone. The findings also concluded that certain conditions associated with obesity, particularly hypertension, are the most important determinants of obesity-related ED.
Prevalence of obesity has more than doubled in the last 25 years and a large body of evidence has substantiated the possible negative effects of obesity on male sexual function. Excess abdominal fat, cardiovascular disease, high blood lipids and type-2 diabetes characterize a condition known as metabolic syndrome, which has recently been associated with erectile dysfunction.
Dr. Irwin Goldstein, Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, states, "This is a landmark study in that it shows that sexual health is clearly linked to overall health, and that improving one's general health provides a man the opportunity to improve his erectile function."
According to the journal the study conducted by scientists focused on 2,435 male patients who sought outpatient treatment at a clinic for sexual dysfunction between 2001 and 2007. The results showed that obesity was significantly associated with a higher physical contribution to ED, while there was no difference seen with relational or psychological determinants. As the severity level of obesity increased, levels of testosterone decreased (two out of three patients with morbid obesity had low testosterone). Obese patients were also more likely to have abnormalities in penile blood flow. The study also states that psychological disturbances related to obesity did not seem to play a major role in developing obesity-related ED.
"The link between obesity and ED might be a useful motivation for men to improve their health-related lifestyle choices," says Dr. Mario Maggi, co-author of the study.