FRIDAY, Aug. 5, 2011 (HealthDay News) -- Weight loss improves the sexual health of obese men with type 2 diabetes, a new study finds.
Australian researchers placed 31 obese men with type 2 diabetes on either a meal replacement-based low-calorie diet or a low-fat, high-protein, reduced-carbohydrate diet meant to decrease calorie intake by 600 calories a day.
A modest weight loss of 5 percent led to an easing of erectile dysfunction and improved sexual desire within eight weeks, and these improvements continued for 12 months, according to the study published Aug. 5 in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Problems with urinary tract function also improved, the team added.
"Our findings are consistent with the evidence that not only erectile function, but also lower urinary tract symptoms are a marker of cardio-metabolic risk," noted Gary Wittert, of the University of Adelaide, in a journal news release.
The findings support previous research showing that lifestyle changes can have a positive effect on sexual function, according to journal editor-in-chief Irwin Goldstein.
"At a time when oral drugs are very popular, it can now be shown that weight loss is an important non-pharmacologic therapeutic intervention in restoring erectile and urinary function and cardiovascular health," he said in the news release.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about erectile dysfunction.