(HealthDay News) — Men who consume more caffeine each day may have a lower risk of erectile dysfunction, according to a new study published online in PLOS One.

David Lopez, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., assistant professor at the UTHealth School of Public Health in Houston, and colleagues looked at data on 3,724 men tracked by the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The men answered questionnaires asking them to recall their caffeine intake from the prior 24 hours.

The amount of caffeine that appeared to reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction was equal to 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day, the researchers said. Compared to men in the study who consumed 0 to 7 mg of caffeine a day, men who consumed 85 to 170 mg of caffeine a day were 42% less likely to report erectile dysfunction, and those who consumed 171 to 303 mg of caffeine a day were 39% less likely to report the condition. The results did not translate to men with diabetes, however. 

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The study authors believe that caffeine may help thwart erectile dysfunction because it relaxes penile helicine arteries and the cavernous smooth muscle that lines cavernosal spaces, thus improving blood flow.

“Even though we saw a reduction in the prevalence of erectile dysfunction with men who were obese, overweight, and hypertensive, that was not true of men with diabetes. Diabetes is one of the strongest risk factors for erectile dysfunction, so this was not surprising,” Lopez said in a university news release.


  1. Lopez, DS, et al. PLOS One; doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0123547.