SINGAPORE: A local study has found that weight loss in obese men improves erectile function and testosterone levels.
Preliminary findings were revealed after a 24-week study was conducted by Changi General Hospital between June 2010 and July 2011.
According to the preliminary results of the study, all it takes is a five per cent weight loss in obese men to improve their sexual function, as well as reduce urinary tract symptoms.
45 Singaporean obese men took part in the study and they had an average weight loss of five kilogrammes (kg).
The optimal level of exercise for respondents to lose weight was about 250 minutes a week, which works out to about five to seven sessions of moderate to intense exercise.
Sports trainers also customised the exercise programme for respondents according to their preferences.
Participants were also given pedometers with the target of covering 5,000 to 10,000 steps a day.
At the halfway mark, the researchers found that participants' testosterone levels rose by 20 per cent and they scored an average 16 per cent higher in a questionnaire International Index of Erectile Function that measured sexual confidence, performance and satisfaction.
One of the participants, Mohammad Pauzi, lost 18kg in two months after dieting and exercising.
"In terms of sex life, it's also improving because I used to have only once or twice or less than that a week. But now the drive is there, the fitness is there, it's better," he said.
Doctors said they hope the study will help men understand that obesity can cause erectile dysfunction.
Director of the Diabetes Centre at Changi General Hospital Dr Joan Khoo said: "Many men, instead of lifestyle modifications or weight loss, the first solution is to take medications and some of these medications are dangerous and are not actually licensed."
Doctors also said obese people have a higher risk of suffering from a range of serious illnesses, such as heart attack, stroke and even cancer.