Exercise helps thwart diet-induced erectile dysfunction

Western diet is predominantly high in sugar, saturated fat and omega3 poly unsaturated fatty acids. Excessive indulgence in such diets is known to induce erectile dysfunction in men. But researchers have found a cure.

According to the findings of a new study, exercise can help prevent diet-induced erectile dysfunction (ED), a sexual dysfunction marked by the inability to develop or maintain an erection during sexual intercourse.

The study
Christopher Wingard and his colleagues at East Carolina University embarked a rat trial for the purpose of the study.

For 12 weeks, a group of rats was fed on a western diet, while the other group of rats was offered healthy standard diet.

In both groups, half the rats were made to exercise five day per week.

At the end of 12-weeks, to assess the effects of aerobic exercise on the animals’ erectile function the researchers anesthetized the rats before electrically stimulating the rats’ cavernosal nerve.

Stimulation of the cavernosal nerve increases blood flow to the penis, producing an erection.

The researchers also examined the rats’ coronary arteries to assess their heart health.

The rats that were fed on western diet and were not made to exercise had poorly relaxing coronary arteries as compared to those who ate but exercised.

Interestingly, rats that were fed on the healthy diet were largely able to avoid both erectile dysfunction and coronary artery dysfunction.

The study is published online in the American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology.

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