Regular intake of olive oil – as part of the Mediterranean diet – could help middle-aged and elderly men significantly improve their performance in the bedroom, a new study finds.

Research carried out by scientists from the University of Athens suggested that nine tablespoons a week of olive oil could not only improve blood vessel health and circulation, but also reduce impotence by 40%, wrote The Independent on 30 August.

During the study, 660 men with an average age of 67 adopted the Mediterranean diet, which – in addition to using plenty of olive oil instead of other fats – was rich in fruit, vegetables, legumes, fish and nuts.

The men were found to have much fewer problems when it came to amorous activities with some even seeing an improvement in their performance.

Christina Chrysohou, lead researcher of the study, said men who followed the Mediterranean diet and consumed plenty of olive oil in particular had their risk of impotence decrease by up to 40%.

According to the researchers, olive oil could boost testosterone levels, thus reducing the risk of erectile dysfunction.

Chrysohou noted that diet and exercise were both key to improving sexual capacity, but small lifestyle changes could prove more beneficial to those looking for long-term solutions than potency drugs such as Viagra.

“[The Mediterranean] diet keeps blood vessels healthy and lowers the risk of metabolic syndrome, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and central obesity. It offers men a long-term solution without taking any medication,” she said.