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Mediterranean Diet and Erectile Dysfunction: Can Diet Prevent ED?

Medically reviewed by Kristina Campos, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Alyan Cortes · Updated Jun 20, 2022

Mediterranean Diet and Erectile Dysfunction: Can Diet Prevent ED?

Erectile dysfunction is a problem most commonly experienced by men over the age of 70. Oral medications like Viagra are usually the prescribed treatment for this. However, a study from Greece found that the Mediterranean diet can help to improve the cardiovascular performance of patients diagnosed with erectile dysfunction. What is the connection between a Mediterranean diet and erectile dysfunction?

Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Erectile Dysfunction, or ED, is having trouble getting or keeping an erection that is firm enough to allow sexual intercourse.

ED can be caused by many reasons:

  • When blood flow in the penis is minimal
  • When nerves in the penis are harmed
  • Having stress, anxiety, depression
  • Serves as a warning sign of a more serious illness

How do erections work?

An erection is having an increased blood flow to your penis. When a man is aroused, chemicals are released that increase blood flow to the penis. This blood flow is usually from thinking sexual thoughts or having contact with your penis. With the steady and increased blood flow, the two chambers inside the penis will be filled making the penis grow firm and hard.

Conversely, the penis is flaccid if you are not sexually aroused.

Erectile dysfunction symptoms

If you experience these regularly, it is best to schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider:

  • Having trouble getting an erection
  • Can’t maintain an erection during sexual activities
  • Lessened interest in sex

Experiencing these for three or more months could be a sign of a more serious underlying illnesses.

Testing for erectile dysfunction

An array of tests are available to determine if you have ED. Your doctor will ask about your family medical history. You will also have to go through a physical examination. There are additional tests that can be taken depending on your symptoms.

  • Physical exam. Your doctor will check your vitals examine your penis and testicles. The doctor may also perform a rectal exam to check your prostate.
  • Medical history. Your doctor may personally ask about your past family medical history, health, and sexual history, or you may fill out a questionnaire. This will help your doctor determine how your ED came to be and how severe it might be.
  • Psychological exam. Your doctor might ask you questions regarding your mental health to screen for depression and other possible underlying causes of ED.
  • Blood tests. Doctors may check a small sample of your blood for any underlying symptoms of an illness.
    • Urine test. Doctors may use a urine test to check for signs of diabetes and other underlying conditions.
    • Ultrasound. This is done together with an injection into the penis to check if your blood flow can stimulate and produce an erection.

    Usual treatments for ED

    The treatment for ED depends on the severity and the cause. Your doctor may prescribe oral medications including:

    • Sildenafil
    • Tadalafil
    • Vardenafil
    • Avanafil

    Treatment of ED not only comprises of medications but it would also be addressing the underlying causes or risk factors which may include intake of certain drugs or cardiovascular diseases, DM, smoking, obesity, etc

    The Mediterranean diet for erectile dysfunction

    ED is closely related to vascular problems. Heart conditions may lead to a heart attack or stroke. Following this, the Mediterranean diet helps lower the risk for any cardiovascular diseases and may be used as a treatment for ED.

    The diet includes fruits, vegetables, oily fish, nuts, olive oil, and pulses. Incorporating this diet into your everyday routine can help in the prevention and treatment of ED.

    Key takeaway

    The Mediterranean diet may help in preventing erectile dysfunction due to its positive effects on your cardiovascular health. This diet does not need a prescription and is free from any sudden side effects that may arise from medications.

    A simple change in your diet will be of great help not only with your ED and cardiovascular health but your overall physical and mental health as well.

    Learn more about Erectile Dysfunction here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Kristina Campos, MD

    General Practitioner

    Written by Alyan Cortes · Updated Jun 20, 2022

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