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Asian J Androl. 2015 Jan-Feb;17(1):5-10. doi: 10.4103/1008-682X.137687.

Lifestyle modifications and erectile dysfunction: what can be expected?

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Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Second University of Naples, via Pansini n° 5, Naples, Italy.


Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common medical disorder whose prevalence is increasing worldwide. Modifiable risk factors for ED include smoking, lack of physical activity, wrong diets, overweight or obesity, metabolic syndrome, and excessive alcohol consumption. Quite interestingly, all these metabolic conditions are strongly associated with a pro-inflammatory state that results in endothelial dysfunction by decreasing the availability of nitric oxide (NO), which is the driving force of the blood genital flow. Lifestyle and nutrition have been recognized as central factors influencing both vascular NO production, testosterone levels, and erectile function. Moreover, it has also been suggested that lifestyle habits that decrease low-grade clinical inflammation may have a role in the improvement of erectile function. In clinical trials, lifestyle modifications were effective in ameliorating ED or restoring absent ED in people with obesity or metabolic syndrome. Therefore, promotion of healthful lifestyles would yield great benefits in reducing the burden of sexual dysfunction. Efforts, in order to implement educative strategies for healthy lifestyle, should be addressed.

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