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Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Linda

Diet may affect erectile function. In a case study featured in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a man following the low-carb, Atkins diet, lowered his weight, but also suffered chest pains and lost his ability to have an erection. Erectile dysfunction may be an early sign of vascular disease and cardiovascular risk. Pistachio nut intake may improve penial erectile function (as well as lower cholesterol). Watermelon, because it contains the amino acid citrulline, may also help with penile blood flow in mild erectile dysfunction cases, and eating antioxidant-rich plant foods may improve blood flow to all parts of the body, including penile arteries.

Diet during pregnancy can also be important for an infant’s penis health. A mother’s chicken consumption during pregnancy may affect the size and development of her son’s penis due to phthalate contamination of the meat. The risk of a birth defect of the penis called hypospadias was found to be doubled when the mother frequently consumed conventional (non-organic) high-fat dairy products. Endocrine-disrupting compounds sometimes found in fish may reduce eventual penis size in boys and adversely affect sexual functioning in men.

The information on this page has been compiled from the research presented in the videos listed. Sources for each video can be found by going to the video’s page and clicking on the Sources Cited tab.

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