Caffeine is the only thing that gets many people out of bed in the morning. Turns out caffeine could help some men when they're in bed, too.
A new study found that men who consumed about as much caffeine as what's in a couple of cups of coffee each day had a reduced risk of erectile dysfunction (ED).
Even in those at high risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) — those who have high blood pressure (hypertension) or are overweight or obese, specifically — caffeine intake appeared to cut ED risk.
“Even though we saw a reduction in the prevalence of ED with men who were obese, overweight and hypertensive, that was not true of men with diabetes," said lead study author David S. Lopez, assistant professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston, in a press release. "Diabetes is one of the strongest risk factors for ED, so this was not surprising."
So these findings don't likely apply to men with diabetes. For men without diabetes, between 85 and 170 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day may cut ED risk by 42 percent compared to those who get 0 to 7 mg a day.
One cup of coffee usually contains just under 100 mg of caffeine.
For those who hit the joe a little harder, benefits may decrease slightly. In this study of more than 3,700 men older than 20, those who got between 171 and 303 mg of caffeine a day had a 39 percent reduced risk of ED compared to those who got 0 to 7 mg, Dr. Lopez and team found.
ED occurs when a man is unable to maintain or get an erection sufficient for satisfying sex.
While these findings are promising — and exciting for java lovers — they come with some caveats. Dr. Lopez and team called for further research on the subject. Men in this study self-reported whether they had ED, which could have affected accuracy. Dr. Lopez and team also calculated daily caffeine intake based on what patients recalled having consumed in the past 24 hours.
This study was published online May 20 in the journal PLOS One.
Dr. Lopez received support from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. The authors disclosed no conflicts of interest.