Sexual dysfunction affects millions of men all over the world. It can have a lot of consequences for the health of the men. Psychological ramifications are great in this ordeal as well; many suffer from complexes and avoid intimacy. They might also become reclusive.
Erectile dysfunction is one of the more common forms of sexual dysfunction. It is a condition marked by not getting an erection, and difficulty maintaining it to have satisfactory sexual intercourse.
It can be caused by various lifestyle factors. Drinking too much alcohol, being obese, taking too much stress, smoking, having no physical activity and having an unhealthy diet all contribute towards ED. Diseases like diabetes and heart diseases can also lead to erectile dysfunction. However, making the respective lifestyle changes can mitigate the situation. Dietary changes have found to be promising thus far.
Latest Research Findings:
In the latest research conducted by invigilators of Spain, 83 healthy men between the ages of 18 and 35 were monitored for 14 weeks. Half of the men consumed the typical Western diet which consisted of high-fat content, fewer nutrients and more processed food. The rest were given the same western diet which was supplemented by 60 grams of nuts; hazelnuts, almonds and walnuts.
The participants of the research were made to answer questions at the start and the end of the research to gauge their sexual function to note the progress. Various factors like the strength of their libido, quality of the orgasm, nitric oxide levels and E-selectin levels were measured. The chemicals NO and E-selectin act as biomarkers to help measure the erectile endothelial function.
The endothelium in the walls of the blood vessels helps maintain the dilation and contraction of the vessels. This, in turn, impacts the quality of the blood flow to the penis which causes an erection.
The group of people who had nuts in their diet reported an improvement in two measures of sexual and erectile functioning. They experienced improved sexual desire and orgasmic function.
However, the levels of Nitric oxide and E-selectin did not vary across the two groups. Also, there was not much difference in the erectile function, intercourse satisfaction and the overall satisfaction. So, whilst the men felt that they were experiencing better sexual functioning, there was no chemical evidence to support this. Therefore, the researchers called for more comprehensive and conclusive research to substantiate the findings of this one.
Previous Research Findings:
Similar researches have been conducted in the past regarding the impact of nuts and good diet on sexual functioning. The same group previously conducted research in 2018 which showed that daily consumption of walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds improved sperm count.
Moreover, the sperm’s total motility, progressive motility and morphology also increased. Another study showed a positive impact of pistachio consumption. The research showed consuming around 100 grams of pistachio daily for 12 months improved the erectile function. This improvement can be attributed to the presence of antioxidant and chemical called arginine in pistachios (and other nuts as well).
Arginine is a precursor of Nitric oxide, which is important to the erectile endothelial functioning- which eventually leads to erection through maintaining vasodilation and constriction. Another form of diet that has shown to improve sexual functioning is the Mediterranean diet.
This diet involves high consumption of vegetables and olive oil, alongside fruits, nuts and fish. A study has shown adding more walnuts to the Mediterranean diet improves the endothelial functioning in patients with high cholesterol levels. With this improved blood flow comes the benefit of having improved sexual functioning.
Furthermore, a clinical trial was conducted to gauge the benefits of Mediterranean diet on the sexual functioning of the patients recently diagnosed with type-II diabetes. It was concluded in the trial that the diet indeed helped reduce the deterioration of the sexual functioning for men (and women).
What can be concluded from these researches?
The latest Spanish research offers very little quantifiable data that relates improved sexual functioning with nuts. The biomarkers did not show improvement with nuts consumption. Therefore, the improvement in the improved sexual desire and orgasm can be chalked to something akin to a placebo effect.
Or perhaps other factors like the physical health of the people, sexual activity, the desire of the partner etc. could have impacted the findings. Since the sample size was not very large, therefore the findings were not very conclusive.
Moreover, it is important to note that both groups consumed a Western diet, which is not ideal for healthy living. The research on the Mediterranean diet seems more promising. However, since nuts are a component of the Mediterranean diet, the results cannot be attributed to nuts in entirety. It may be that the combination of fish, fruits, vegetables, olive oil and nuts is responsible for the improved sexual functioning.
Moreover, the diet improves the overall blood circulation, the consequence of which is improved sexual functioning. Also, the diet helps with weight loss, and obesity is one of the causes of erectile dysfunction. Therefore, in a way, the diet helps tackle the causes of ED in a more indirect fashion. It is then more viable to say that healthy eating is responsible for improved sexual functioning, as opposed to consuming nuts alone.
Proper sexual functioning is vital for living a wholesome life. Any problems associated should be dealt with urgently to avoid the psychological and physical difficulties. Since the cause for dysfunction and ED might be physical or psychological or due to lifestyle, therefore it is important to consult a professional to find out the exact reason.