Statins, the cholesterol lowering medications used by millions of Americans, may do more than just decrease the risk of stroke and heart attack; they may also improve sexual health in older men, Medical News Today reported.
Statins work to improve heart function by blocking the production of cholesterol in the liver, as well as help reabsorb cholesterol that has built up as plaques in the artery walls. But since erectile dysfunction has long been linked with poor cardiovascular health and diabetes, researchers have suspected that statins may do more than just lower cholesterol.
In a new study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers reviewed data from 11 randomized controlled trials regarding erectile dysfunction and statins. They found that among the men included in their analysis, statins significantly improved erectile function.
While the researchers do not recommend prescribing statins to treat erectile dysfunction, they noted that statin therapy may have multiple-term benefits apart from treating cardiovascular disease.
"Ultimately, a healthy lifestyle is the best method to prevent disease, including erectile dysfunction. But statin therapy has been proven to provide long-term benefits in reducing cardiovascular disease and the detrimental consequences associated with it. Offering statin therapy to improve erectile function may extend these benefits further."