Blueberry is not a common berry in India yet and though a small quantity is currently being produced and foreign growers like Canada have been trying to export the flavonoids-rich fruit to India, men in their middle and old age may have to depend on red wine and a few other ingredients described by the authors of the Study- namely cherries, blackberries, radishes, blackcurrants, citrus fruits and tea (already consumed in a big way and might be now linked somehow to be a major factor in the explosive population in India) and flavones found in citrus fruits.
The research was carried out jointly by Harvard University and University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, UK. Researchers had 25,096 men report their dietary patterns every four years: 2000, 2004 and 2008. During those follow-up periods, participants rated their own erectile dysfunction. There was a distinct pattern among men who had lower rates of erectile dysfunction; they ate more flavonoid-rich foods. Men who regularly ate foods richest in flavonoids reaped the most benefits.
Researchers calculated how many flavonoids were in each food source before scoring each person on their intake. Those who ate the most had a 14 percent lower risk of developing erectile dysfunction compared to those who ate the least amount of fortifying-food sources.
Flavonoids called anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant, give fruits their blue, purple, or deep red pigment, indicating their antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. This helps to relax blood vessels and support healthy blood flow, which is what the sex organ needs to become and stay erect during sexual engagement. Some studies have shown anthocyanins may help protect you from developing chronic conditions, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, thanks to its ability to produce healthy blood flow.
Another type of flavonoids, called flavonol, was measured in the study and has demonstrated antioxidant capacities similar to anthocyanins. They're particularly beneficial to those who need help lowering cholesterol and decreasing plaque in arteries. Nearly 90 percent of men with erectile dysfunction also have at least one risk factor for heart disease, which includes diabetes, hypertension, and poor cholesterol levels, according to the Report in Medical Daily.
While the Old World countries like France, Italy, Spain and Portugal, have seen wine as a part of food and without focusing much on its health effects, it was in 1991 when a TV programme ‘60 Minutes’ showed ‘evidence’ through various studies that people in South of France, despite their bad eating habits and smoking, had healthier hearts than Americans because of their daily consumption of red wine which had anthocyanins –full of flavonoids, with their food. It was reported that next day the red wines disappeared from the shelves in California!
It has to be seen whether the Article would have much impact in India where people already drink cups of tea and the population is increasing explosively. Already enamoured with the health benefits of red wine, the whisky guzzling and beer drinking males are likely to look at the Study in a more positive light. Curiously, the researchers’ objective was to study the effect of flavonoids in blueberries and not red wine. So, the emphasis should be on flavonoids-rich foods and not necessarily red wines which is one of the recommended components.
Study on Males only
The study has been done on males only and, as a 65-year old fully functional male commented in one of the media which reported the Study, wonders why the females were not included in the Study . Apparently, from his multiple- partner experience, females lose appetite for sex after 55 and wondered if red wine, blueberry and flavonoids-rich diet should not become a part of their diet too.
Perhaps the reader should have directed his query to Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer for UK who has been responsible to issue the new guidelines for wine and alcohol after 20 years, reducing the recommended consumption for the Brits . She is reported to have said that the belief that red wine has health benefits is an ‘old wives tale’.