Research suggests that eating a Mediterranean diet could give men the best chance of maintaining a sexual life until old age, and olive oil is the key.
Consuming nine tablespoons of oil each week, along with many vegetables, fruits, fish and beans reduces the risk of erectile dysfunction by 40 percent.
The study, presented at the conference of the European Society of Cardiology in Munich, suggests that a healthy diet in middle age could pave the way for an active drug-free love life well into the 60s and 70s.
Consuming plenty of olive oil, vegetables, fruits, fish and beans reduces the risk of erectile dysfunction by 40 percent, according to a study.
Researchers from the University of Athens studied 670 men with an average age of 67 on the Greek island of Ikaria.
In addition to nine tablespoons of olive oil, they discovered that men tended to be protected if their diet also contained 13 servings of vegetables a week, six pieces of fruit, three servings of fish and two servings of beans.
Scientists believe that this diet helps men maintain a healthy heart and clean blood vessels, which results in a good blood flow to the groin.
Cardiologists also found that men who followed this diet had higher levels of testosterone because they had lower levels of body fat, which can interfere with hormones.
Dr. Christina Chrysohoou, leader of the study, said: "Viagra does not improve something long term, it can only give a short effect to have sexual capacity.
& # 39; This is a drug-free solution that allows men to maintain their sexual function & # 39;
The experts studied 670 men with an average age of 67 on the Greek island of Ikaria. In addition to olive oil, they discovered that men tended to be protected if their diet also contained 13 servings of vegetables a week, six pieces of fruit, three servings of fish and two servings of beans.
EXPLAINED: THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET
Consuming more fruits and fish, and less sugary drinks and snacks, are the most important aspects of a Mediterranean diet.
- Whole grains
- Fish and meat
- Monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil
- Saturated fats, like butter
- Red meat
- Processed foods, such as juice and white bread
- A glass of red wine here and there is fine
How can you follow it:
- Eat more fish
- Squeeze more fruits and vegetables at each meal
- Change your sunflower oil or butter for extra virgin olive oil
- Snack on nuts
- Eat fruit for dessert
Only 20 percent of the men she studied had erectile dysfunction, well below the 52 percent expected in that age group.
The diet has a positive impact on the health of the aorta, a large artery that distributes blood from the heart to the rest of the body, he added.
But Professor Mike Wyllie, one of the scientists who developed Viagra, believes that men "just want to take a pill" and "can not be bothered changing their lifestyle."
Julie Ward, of the British Heart Foundation, said: "Not surprisingly, the Mediterranean diet, which we know is beneficial for cardiac and circulatory health, could also benefit blood vessels elsewhere and help men maintain a healthy diet. healthy sexual function ".
Erectile dysfunction affects 52 percent of men between 40 and 70 years old.
Medical companies have long sought ways to treat the problem, knowing that an effective treatment could generate a fortune.
Viagra sales soared earlier this year when restrictions were lifted to make them available over the counter, with a 60 percent increase in the first three months after the rule changed in March.
But not all men respond to the drug, and many others do not like having to take a pill in romantic moments.
Dr. Chrysohoou said that only 20 percent of the men she studied had erectile dysfunction, well below the 52 percent expected in that age group.
And those who had the diet closest to the Mediterranean ideal were protected even more.
She said the key lies in the health of the aorta, a large artery that distributes blood from the heart to the rest of the body.
"What we found here is that the Med diet has a positive effect on aortic dilation," he said.
Keeps blood vessels healthy and helps men maintain sexual functioning.
& # 39; And of all the components of the Med diet, it is olive oil that has a specific effect on aortic dilation and sexual function as well & # 39;