A collaborative study by Harvard University and the UK’s University of East Anglia has found that four in 10 men (40 percent) over 40 years are unable to “get it up.”
The study also revealed that poor diet, lack of exercise, obesity, high cholesterol levels and other lifestyle problems can result in erectile dysfunction.
Tumi Motsei, spokesperson for pharmaceutical company Pharma Dynamics, said erectile dysfunction was relatively common.
“According to a study we did, four in 10 men over the age of 40 suffer from erectile dysfunction, and this is in line with what we see internationally. The international average is around five in 10 men over the age of 40,” she said.
She added that because there is a huge stigma attached to erectile dysfunction, many men hide out from seeking medical help to save their lives.
“Only 20% of men who have erectile dysfunction actually go to their doctors to seek advice, which is a big problem because there are cardiovascular diseases that are very closely linked to erectile dysfunction.
“Studies have shown that about two to three years after a man has presented with erectile dysfunction, he tends to present coronary artery disease, and three to five years after this, he will have an actual event.”
Motsei revealed that since poor diets are among the causes of erectile dysfunction, a certain type of diet rich in flavonoids can help reduce the risk of having it.
The Harvard and University of East Anglia study found that a diet full of flavonoid-rich foods – mainly red wine, red, blue and purple berries, cranberries and red grapes can reduce the risk.
After conducting a study with over 50,000 middle aged men, researchers found those whose diets were rich in flavonoids had less of a chance of experiencing erectile dysfunction than those whose diets weren’t.
Three flavonoids were found to be particularly effective. These included anthocyanins which are most commonly found in blueberries and cherries, and flavones and flavanones, which are most commonly found in citrus fruit. These three together are found in red wine, strawberries, apples, pears and citrus fruit.

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