The results of a small Australian clinical study showed that sexual function improved significantly and rapidly in obese men with type 2 diabetes after losing weight on a low-calorie diet.
The study looked at 31 men who lost 5% to 10% of their weight within eight weeks, and found that erectile function, sexual desire and urinary symptoms had benefited greatly.
In addition, blood glucose levels and insulin sensitivity were positively combined with a low-calorie diet or a low-protein or high-protein diet, according to an article published online in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
These improvements were maintained within one year of follow-up.
“We conclude that rapid weight loss with diet improves sexual, urinary and abdominal function, and reduces systemic inflammation in a society composed exclusively of obese diabetics,” Joan Khu, MRCP, Changi General Hospital of Singapore and Australian company Authors.
“Other improvements during weight maintenance, using a diet low in fat and low in fat, indicate that both the quality of the food and the reduction of calories contribute to these benefits.”
The favorable effect of weight loss on sexual function is not new. However, this study may be the first to show an effect on libido, says Colle Carson, MD, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to MedPage Today. Carson, who was not involved in the study, said the effect of weight loss, which appears to be proinflammatory, is also a remarkable result.
Obesity and type 2 diabetes increase the risk of erectile dysfunction and decreased urinary tract symptoms, which are often associated with each other and with systemic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction (which can result from or contribute to diabetes, hypertension and other diseases).
The researchers said in their initial comments that rapid weight loss from food can improve erection problems and decrease urinary tract symptoms. Studies have also shown an improvement in vascular endothelial function and reduction of inflammation after weight loss, especially in people who lose at least 10% of body weight.
The scarce data have linked diet with weight loss, vascular endothelial function, systemic inflammation, sexual function and decreased urinary tract symptoms in obese men. To address this problem, Kho and the co-authors conducted a randomized study of 31 men.
All participants in the study had type 2 diabetes, were obese and the waist circumference was greater than 102 cm. They were randomized to two diets:
The replacement of liquid meals twice a day and a small nutritionally balanced meal consumes approximately 900 calories per day (a low-calorie diet)
A high-protein, low-fat, low-carbohydrate diet designed to reduce energy consumption by approximately 600 calories per day
The researchers had an extensive list of outcome measures, which included weight, waist circumference, international erectile function index (IIEF), desired sexual dose (SDI), international scale of prostate symptoms (IPSS), glucose and fat in fasting, testosterone, homogenization of sex hormones (SHBG) and a battery of inflammatory markers.
The baseline evaluation was performed eight weeks later and continued for an additional 44 weeks. All participants who chose to remain in the study for long-term follow-up consumed the high-protein diet during follow-up. Almost half of the men stayed in school for a total of 52 weeks. Of those who did, improvements were maintained or increased.
Men who were randomly assigned to a low-calorie diet had a 10 percent reduction in body weight and waist circumference at eight weeks, compared to about 5 percent among men on the high-calorie diet in proteins. The average weight at eight weeks was 21 pounds with a low-calorie diet and 12 pounds with a high-protein diet.