Experts of the Center for Biomedical Research in Network for Pathophysiology of Obesity and Nutrition, belonging to the Human Nutrition Unit of the Rovira i Virgili University (URV), have shown that consuming 60 grams of nuts per day is associated with an improvement of sexual function.
The Spanish researchers carried out the first study of nutritional intervention in healthy men and in reproductive age with the aim of discovering whether there is an effect of regular consumption of nuts on sexual function. This analysis has been designed within the framework of the FERTINUTS project, created to assess the effects of these foods on semen quality.
The results underscore that a western diet supplemented with nuts, hazelnuts and almonds can help improve sexual desire and orgasmic function.
This study, published in the journal Nutrients, has been carried out by postdoctoral researcher Albert Salas-Huetos, currently working at the University of Utah (USA), and led by Jordi Salas-Salvadó.
Previously, the same research group had already described that some nuts (nuts, hazelnuts and almonds) caused an improvement in sperm quality, although there were still no studies that showed their role on sexual function.
The prevalence of erectile and sexual dysfunction has been established at 2% in men under 40 years, about 52% in men between 40 and 70 years and in more than 85% in men over 80. In addition, lifestyle-related risk factors that are associated with sexual and erectile dysfunction include smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of physical activity, stress and unhealthy diets.
Sample and results
The present work was developed on a total of 83 individuals following a western diet (poor in fruit and vegetables and rich in animal fats). The participating individuals were divided into two groups: one group maintained its usual diet for 14 weeks, while the other included 60 grams of a mixture of nuts, hazelnuts and almonds daily. Each individual filled out a questionnaire of 15 questions on sexual function, internationally validated – known as IIEF-15 – at the beginning and at the end of the intervention period.
The results obtained underline that the ascription to a western diet – unhealthy – supplemented with nuts, hazelnuts and almonds can help improve sexual desire and orgasmic function. The researchers also point out that studies with more participants are required to confirm these results and clarify the possible mechanisms involved in these benefits.