Studies Show That Flavonoids May Help To Improve Erectile Function
“The consumption of flavonoids lowered the risk for ED by 32%”
Flavonoids are phytonutrients which plants produced in order to fight disease, oxidative stress and inflammation. These phytonutrients are also known as polyphenols, and thousands of studies have shown that these nutrients are anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-aging, anti-hypertensive, anti-bacterial, anti-mutagenic, anti-viral and anti-carcinogenic.
Because of all these properties, flavonoids the studies have demonstrated a wide variety of health benefits in flavonoids, ranging from improvement in cardiovascular health, bone pain, and other degenerative diseases...including erectile dysfunction.
Fortunately for us palo azul tea lovers, a 2021 study mentions that several types of flavonoids have been identified in palo azul including "flavones, isoflavones, flavanones, chalcones, dihydrochalcones and polyphenols."
1. Erectile dysfunction
A 2018 study mentions that "low flavonoid intake is associated with ED (erectile dysfunction) in young adult men" and "men with erectile dysfunction reported a lower monthly average of total flavonoid intake."
Moreover, the researchers found that “flavonoid consumption 50 mg/day reduced the risk of erectile dysfunction by 32%.” Therefore, they concluded that “Increased intake of fruits, vegetables, and flavonoids decreases the risk of ED in young men.”
A 2016 study which supports the previous findings, found that "flavonoid-rich foods are associated with a reduced incidence of erectile dysfunction.”
The researchers in this study surveyed 25,096 men over a 10-year period. One of their key findings was that men who consumed more flavonoids and were physically active "had a 21% lower risk of erectile dysfunction.”
Moreover, "men who consumed more flavonoids showed a reduced incidence of erectile dysfunction which "equates to approximately 2-5 hours of brisk walking per week."
Interestingly, the researchers concluded that "higher intake of flavanones, anthocyanins, and flavones was significantly associated with a reduction in risk of Erectile Dysfunction ED.”
No studies have found anthocyanins in palo azul tea...but the previously cited 2021 study mentions that both flavones and flavanones have been found in palo azul.
2. Inhibit oxidative stress
In addition, a 2011 study mentioned that "oxidative stress is shown to be involved in the pathophysiological mechanism of erectile dysfunction (ED).”
The researchers suggest that flavonoids "may ameliorate erectile dysfunction by inhibiting oxidative stress."
Fortunately for us, a 2021 study found that palo azul tea "can reduce the oxidative stress caused by the imbalance between reactive oxygen species (ROS) because of its free radical scavenging activity."
What is oxidative stress?
Oxidative stress is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body. Free radicals are atoms with a single valence electron that cause damage to the body associated with diabetes, cancer, aging, atherosclerosis, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and many other diseases.
This happens because electrons like to be in pairs... and for this reason, free radicals look for "free" electrons in the body. This causes damage to cells, proteins, DNA and these damaged molecules can mutate, grow tumors, and damage the DNA code. Eventually, this cellular damage causes new cells to grow with defects and it will lead to aging and degenerative diseases.
A 2017 study also mentions that there are "empirical studies exhibiting an association between AGEs (advanced glycation end products) and a variety of conditions such as decline in memory with age, cardiovascular complications, bone health, periodontitis, erectile dysfunction, peripheral artery disease, obstructive sleep apnea, cancer, elevated cellular oxidative and inflammatory state, Alzheimer’s disease, and risk for metabolic syndrome."
A 2014 study which supports the previous 2021 study on palo azul found that "Eysenhardtia polystachya (palo azul) possesses considerable antioxidant activity with reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging activity and demonstrated an anti-AGEs and inhibits oxidative stress."
What are AGEs?
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are proteins or lipids that become glycated as a result of exposure to sugars.
Glycation is the covalent attachment of a sugar to a protein or lipid. This process is responsible for many complications in diabetes mellitus, some diseases and in aging.
A 2022 study explains that oxidative stress "leads to the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) which facilitate further disease progression.
In other words...too much sugar leads to excessive AGEs, which are linked to oxidative stress that can cause erectile dysfunction. Which is why flavonoids' anti-AGEs activity is beneficial for erectile function.
Finally, the researchers from the 2016 study concluded the following: "Improvement in erectile function in men should therefore be added to the growing list of clinical benefits brought about by a healthy lifestyle, including increased intake of flavonoids."
Flavonoid-rich foods: apples, pears, onions, strawberries, blueberries, celery, peppers, and teas such as palo azul
Flavonoid rich foods and teas may help to improve erectile function because of their antioxidant activity. Oxidative stress causes damage in our DNA which can lead to erectile dysfunction, therefore, it's important to consume antioxidant rich foods which inhibit oxidative stress and scavenge free radicals.
* Palo azul is commonly referred to by its scientific name: Eysenhardtia polystachya / E. polystachya / E.P - Cyclolepis genistoides / C. genistoides - kidney wood - palo dulce