As many as 30 million American men currently suffer from erectile dysfunction, but just a few cups of coffee a day can reduce the chances of it developing in certain types of men.
Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston performed a study to determine the connection between caffeine and ED in men who are either overweight, obese, hypersensitive or diabetic.
The data consisted of participants' answers to questions in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey regarding erectile dysfunction and the drinks they consumed.
The team found that with the exception of the diabetic men, men who drank the equivalent of two to three cups of coffee a day were significantly less likely to report they had ED than those who drank little if any caffeine a day.
The assistant professor and author of the study, Dr. David Lopez, said:
Men who consumed 85 to 170 milligrams of caffeine a day were 42 percent less likely to report experiencing ED.
Those who drank 171 to 303 milligrams of caffeine a day (at least two cups of coffee) were 39 percent less likely to report the condition than those men who consumed 7 milligrams or less.
Although coffee seems to have been the most popular source of caffeine for those who took the survey, others got their caffeine from tea, soda and energy drinks.
The researchers believe caffeine causes the arteries within the penis to relax and smooths out its muscles.
This increases blood flow to the penis, which can stave off ED since the condition is caused by the opposite effect.
Lopez and his team noted these findings only apply to men with the four conditions they studied.