Our male readers—and the women who love them—sometimes find themselves faced with the challenge of erectile dysfunction and would like some natural ways to manage it. According to recent research, one way for men to work on this problem naturally is with olive oil.
One of the benefits of olive oil for erectile dysfunction versus medications such as Viagra (sildenafil) or Cialis (tadalafil) is the lack of side effects. These and other erectile dysfunction medications have been associated with vision problems, headache, diarrhea, heartburn, nosebleeds, flushing, and prolonged erections (priapism). If you're having trouble getting it up, you certainly don't want to be bothered by these symptoms at the same time!
Olive oil for erectile dysfunction treatment
Enter olive oil, which receives culinary accolades as well as those related to health and nutrition. In fact, many studies have reported that a diet rich in olive oil can reduce your risk of stroke and heart attack. But what role can olive oil have in treating erectile dysfunction?
No, treating erectile dysfunction with olive oil doesn't involve the topical application of the oil. It does, however, require men to make it a regular part of their diet, according to a recent study from the University of Athens School of Medicine in Greece. Specifically, the authors said that adding at least nine tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to the diet every week could be as effective as or even better than Viagra in treating erectile dysfunction.
Here's how the study was conducted. The diet of 660 men (average age, 67) was evaluated. Some of the men followed a Mediterranean diet, which includes lots of fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and olive oil and has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases. The rest of the men consumed a regular diet. Among the men who followed the Mediterranean diet, the incidence of erectile dysfunction declined by up to 40 percent.
What's special about olive oil? The authors noted that the use of olive oil:
- Was associated with higher testosterone levels, which can improve the ability to get and maintain an erection
- Has been shown to improve cardiovascular health. More specifically, the olive oil helped improve blood flow in the penis and surrounding tissues, which in turn helped initiate an erection
- Is more of a long-term solution than a short-term one, like Viagra is. According to cardiologist Christina Chrysohoou, who headed the study, olive oil is "a long-term answer to protecting a man's ability to perform in the bedroom," while "Viagra does not improve something long-term, it can only give some short effect in order to have sexual capacity."
Erectile dysfunction and heart disease
Researchers have uncovered a relationship between erectile dysfunction and heart disease, as both have many of the same predictors, such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and smoking. Therefore, it seems to follow that steps taken to reduce the risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular conditions would also be helpful in treating erectile dysfunction. That's where olive oil and the Mediterranean diet come in.
As Chrysohoou noted, "Consuming olive oil and sticking to a [Mediterranean] diet keeps a man's bedroom chances high."
How can you add more extra virgin olive oil to your diet? Try these tasty tips:
- Drizzle on air-popped corn instead of butter
- Use on corn on the cob instead of butter
- Make a dipping sauce for bread or veggies from olive oil, minced garlic, balsamic vinegar, and fresh herbs
- Use olive oil and garlic and/or fresh herbs on pasta
- Blend into homemade guacamole
- Use to saute greens and then drizzle more on top
- Add to mashed potatoes instead of butter
- Use in a marinade for fish or vegetables
- Create your own salad dressing
- Drizzle on your favorite pizza
Should you try olive oil for erectile dysfunction? Would you? What do you think? Given its multitude of reported health benefits, it seems you have nothing to lose.
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