Organic food, intermittent fasting may protect against erectile dysfunction

11 Aug 2020
Organic food, intermittent fasting may protect against erectile dysfunction

Consuming organic foods exclusively as well as practicing intermittent fasting may help lower the risk erectile dysfunction (ED), a study suggests.

The analysis included 271 men who presented to a high-volume men’s health clinic. All participants were evaluated for their dietary habits and screened with the International Index of Erectile Function-5 (IIEF-5) and Androgen Deficiency in Aging Males (ADAM). 

Reasons for clinic visit were ED (n=110, 40.6 percent), hypogonadism (n=39, 14.4 percent), benign prostatic hyperplasia/lower urinary tract symptoms (n=80, 29.5 percent), and Peyronie’s disease (n=30, 11.1 percent).

Majority of the patients (n=176, 64.9 percent) followed no specific diet, while 11 (4.1 percent) ate whole foods only, 11 (4.1 percent) followed a low-carb/keto diet, eight (2.9 percent) stayed on a vegetarian/pescatarian diet, and 11 (4.1 percent) consumed a low-fat diet. Furthermore, 105 men (38.7 percent) reported organic foods consumption, 51 (18.8 percent) said they didn’t eat processed food, and 77 (28.4 percent) practiced intermittent fasting. Each category of these dietary patterns was not mutually exclusive.

Patients reporting ED were more likely to be older (aged >65 years), have higher body mass index, have more comorbidities, and were less likely to follow an organic diet or observe intermittent fasting. There were no associations between diet and ADAM score.

In adjusted logistic regression models, adherence to an organic diet was associated with a lower likelihood of ED (odds ratio [OR], 1.809, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.023–3.198; p=0.042), as was the practice of intermittent fasting (OR, 2.425, 95 percent CI, 1.132–4.725; p=0.023).

These results are hypothesis-generating and warrant further exploration, the researchers said.

Mechanistically, both organic diet and intermittent fasting share some similarities, they added. For the most part, they help improve overall health status and increase energy levels—factors that may also positively impact sex drive and libido.

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