Could the Mediterranean Diet compete with Viagra in people with erectile dysfunction problems? It seems so, or at least that’s what a scientific study says, conducted at the Hippokration University Hospital ofAthens (Greece) by Dr Athanasios Angelis and his team, who have researched the relationship between the Mediterranean Diet and the risk of erectile dysfunction.
The study, conducted with 75 men with erectile dysfunction who averaged 56 years of age, included a questionnaire on eating habits, along with other tests such as cardiac ultrasound. The results showed that men with the lowest score (20 points or less, from a total of 55) in the questionnaire on dietary habits associated with the Mediterranean Diet had the highest risk factors, such as left ventricular hypertrophy, impaired diastolic function and aortic stiffness.
The problem not only affects the sexual life of these people. Recent studies also show that erectile dysfunction not only threatens the sexual life of sufferers but there is also a direct correlation between this problem and heart disease and premature death, even in men who have no history of cardiovascular problems. Dr Athanasios Angelis, head of research, said that “erectile dysfunction is not a symptom of aging; it is a bad sign from the body that something is wrong with the vasculature”. In 2013, a study by the National University of Australia stated that the higher the degree of erectile dysfunction, the higher the risk of heart problems. In fact, the younger the person with these problems, the sooner they could suffer a heart attack.
And, in the end, all these problems are associated with poor cardiovascular health, something for which the Mediterranean Diet has proven to be very beneficial, as has been shown by many studies. A diet rich in olive oil, fish, fruits and vegetables and whole grain products, and even with moderate wine consumption, greatly improves cardiovascular health.
“Some small changes in our diet can help a lot. For example, using olive oil as the principal oil, which containsmonounsaturated fats. Sometimes it is difficult to adopt something if you consider it to be part of a prescription but the Mediterranean Diet isn’t that, it is a lifestyle. It just involves being careful with foods that are unhealthy and choosing those that are”, added Dr Angelis.