Men who follow a vegan lifestyle are more likely to have better sex lives than those following another diet, researchers have said.

A new study from New York University Grossman School of Medicine and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has found that a vegan diet can treat erectile dysfunction, providing men with a better sex life.

During the experiment, a team of researchers analysed the health outcomes of 3,500 men, all of whom had prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer treatment can trigger erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence, according to the academics.

Latest evidence now shows that removing meat and dairy from your diet and eating more grains, nuts, fruit and vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of developing erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence.

Prior research on twins has discovered that women who are vegetarian are more likely to have a higher libido than their siblings who eat meat.

During the study, the participants were divided into five groups dependant on their plant and animal food intake.

Each participant filled in surveys to outline their food intake and if they struggled to maintain an erection.

The results reveal that predominately eating plant-based foods can boost a man’s sex life by up to 11%.

In addition, the findings show that the vegan participants had a 14% better score for urinary health, with fewer instances of obstruction, irritation and incontinence.

Eating plant-based foods was also associated with a lower risk of depression and feeling low, the study has reported.

First author Dr Stacy Loeb said: “Our findings offer hope for those looking for ways to improve their quality of life after undergoing surgery, radiation, and other common therapies for prostate cancer, which can cause significant side effects.

“Adding more fruits and vegetables to their diet, while reducing meat and dairy, is a simple step that patients can take.”

She added: “These results add to the long list of health and environmental benefits of eating more plants and fewer animal products.

“They also clearly challenge the historical misconception that eating meat boosts sexual function in men, when in fact the opposite seems to be the case.”

Prior research conducted by the same team has reported that following a plant-based diet can combat the development of prostate cancer.

“Dietary fibre, polyphenols and antioxidants found in plant-based foods have been shown to improve glucose metabolism, reduce inflammation and ultimately improve endothelial function – for example, facilitating blood flow to the penis that is fundamental for erectile function,” said Dr Loeb.

She continued: “By contrast, previous studies have found that eating meat is associated with worse erectile function, so possible mechanisms include a combination of direct benefits from the nutrients in plant-based foods as well as the reduction in animal-based foods.

“The findings definitely support future research into whether a fully plant-based dietary pattern, for example a vegan diet, is associated with better sexual function.”

The study was published in the journal Cancer.

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