A new study from the University of Athens suggests that olive oil could be a good remedy for tackling erectile dysfunction — and no, we’re not talking about squirting some on your hand and using it to manually inspire a woody (although that’s totally okay, too).
So is this slippery foodstuff going to be a replacement for Viagra?
According to a report from Medical News Daily, more than 600 men were recruited for the study, which examined how a Mediterranean-style diet could impact sexual health. Along with encouraging greater consumption of fruits, vegetables and nuts, followers of the Mediterranean diet replaced the consumption of butter with olive oil. “Those who followed this diet were able to reduce their risk of erectile dysfunction by up to 40 percent, the research team found,” Medical News Daily reported. “Men who consumed at least nine tablespoons of olive oil every week were not only less likely to suffer from impotence but also had notably higher levels of testosterone.”
Frankly, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before Big Olive Oil starts pushing ads showing beautiful women rolling around in bed, trying to convince you to start using olive oil instead of butter. “Because nothing is sexier than a man with an oily disposition!”
But this isn’t even the first time that olive oil has been associated with men’s sexual health. Past research confirms that olive oil increases testosterone levels in men, and considering the fact that low testosterone has been associated with issues of erectile dysfunction, the subtext here is that if you want to bone all night long, you better start incorporating olive oil into your daily diet.
“Long-term lifestyle habits on diet and exercise seems to have a major impact on not only our arteries but our quality of life, including sexual capacity from middle-age to elderly population,” Dr. Christina Chrysohoou, lead researcher from the University of Athens told Medical News Daily. “Consuming olive oil and sticking to a [Mediterranean] diet keeps a man’s bedroom chances high.”
Considering the general health benefits of olive oil, this is also no surprise. Board-certified urologist Jamin Brahmbhatt previously told me that, when treating issues like erectile dysfunction and virility in men, he takes a holistic approach. “If we find the patient is morbidly obese or a pack a day smoker, we can suggest they make changes in their daily lifestyle and actually track their sperm count and motility with certain tests,” says Brahmbhatt.
Additionally, Chicago-based urologist Laurence Levine explains that erectile dysfunction is a vascular problem. “We all know that an olive oil-rich Mediterranean diet is healthier for our blood vessels. Since erectile function is most often related to the health of our blood vessels, the findings from the study make sense,” says Levine.
He also says that while the findings from the study are interesting, he wants it to be clear that olive oil can’t necessarily treat erectile dysfunction per se. “Your diet may further accelerate the aging process that leads to erectile dysfunction, but unless you’re young, the chance of spontaneously reversing ED is pretty low,” says Levine. “Olive oil is a preventative — it’s not a cure.” For that reason, he still thinks that if a man is having erectile issues and he’s eager to get back in the sack, Viagra is still the way to go. “Viagra helps the blood vessels instantly dilate, olive oil does not,” explains Levine.
And if you’re wondering whether it’s safe to use Viagra and olive oil to combat impotence, well, Levine sees no reason why you not. Just maybe not at the same time, okay?