Health

Is a Plant-Based Diet the Secret to Improved Erectile Function?

Businesses in the plant-based food industry may soon have a new target market: men looking to improve their sexual health.

Recent research, carried out by Dr. Stacy Loeb, a urologist at New York University in the Manhattan Veteran Affairs and board-certified in lifestyle medicine, has shown that men who consume more plant-based and less animal-based foods have better scores for erectile function, even patients with prostate cancer.

The findings suggest that transitioning to a plant-based diet could potentially improve sexual function in men. Dr. Loeb emphasizes that even small dietary changes can make a difference, from incorporating Meatless Monday to switching some animal products for plant-based alternatives.

But more importantly, men who follow more plant-based diets increase their overall sexual health and have a lower risk for fatal prostate cancer, said Loeb in a recent interview.

plant man
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Challenging traditional diets

The “must-watch” (for men) 2018 Netflix documentary “The Game Changers” challenges misconceptions about the need for meat in a sports diet and explores the benefits of a plant-based diet for athletes.

To prove the authors’ point, Dr Aaron Spitz, lead delegate of the American Urological Association, conducted an erection study on three college athletes. They were monitored overnight wearing two rings — one around the base of the penis and the other around the tip — to measure the strength, duration, and frequency of their erections throughout two nights.

On the first night, the men were served a burrito filled with either beef, chicken, or pork before being measured. The second night, they were given a plant-based burrito made with vegan meat. After only one plant-based meal, the participants experienced significant improvements in erection strength, the average penile hardness increased by 10.26%, and the average duration of an erection was increased by an impressive 364%.

Recent research has shown that men who consume more plant-based and less animal-based foods have better scores for erectile function, even patients with prostate cancer.
© rawpixel-adobe

In the documentary, Arnold Schwarzenegger discusses his transition to a vegetarian diet and its positive effects on his health. Former UFC fighter and elite instructor James Wilks (who launched a plant-based protein powder after the documentary) and the Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton also discuss the impact of meat consumption on physical health and performance and share their health experiences after switching to a plant-based diet.

Wilks explained to Ladbible, “In the film, the lead delegate of urology at the American Urological Association, Dr Aaron Spitz, talks about virility and added energy […]  And we know that meat has been implicated in not only causing erectile dysfunction, but also sperm quality, sperm mobility, energy and this type of thing. So we know in the long term it could be having the opposite effect of what people actually think.”

He added: “I thought that way myself to be honest, until I started reading into the research. A couple of things I used to believe, I used to think you needed to eat meat and other animal products for protein, and we know that’s not true – all protein originates in plants and animals are just the middleman. And the second thing is, I thought somehow milk and dairy and that sort of thing would give you more testosterone, and that’s not true as well – completely plant-based eaters and people who eat meat have equivalent testosterone levels.”

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