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5 Fish Oil Benefits for Men: Does it Increase Testosterone?

Kristin Hall, FNP

Reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP

Written by Geoffrey Whittaker

Published 06/23/2023

Are there any science-backed fish oil benefits for men’s sexual health? Possibly. Here’s what you should know.

Most of us grew up with at least one relative who stocked a bottle full of fish oil pills, and most of us quietly, innocently wondered, What the heck is wrong with old people that they need to consume these things? Well, they might have been onto something.

These days, there are various reasons you might want or need fish oil and its infamous omega-3 fatty acids, from wanting to improve your sex life to simply striving to live longer. 

But while there are many claimed benefits of fish oil, it’s important to separate the proven from the speculated. Below, we’ll explain what fish oil is, why someone might want to use it as a supplement and what benefits it may provide for your sexual health.

We’ll also cover how to get more fish oil into your diet (like eating real fish!) and other things to keep in mind if your sex life seems like it’s currently sleeping with the fishes.

Fish oil is a dietary supplement derived from the tissues of fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and anchovies. It’s a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). 

You’ve probably heard about the importance of omega-3s before. Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential because the human body can’t produce them on its own, so we must obtain them from external sources like food or supplements.

The omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish play vital roles in various physiological processes essential for overall health, including:

  • Heart health

  • Brain function and development

  • Inflammation and joint health

  • Eye health

  • Mental health

  • General well-being

In short, fish oil intake has the potential to do a lot for your body. And as for your sex life, there are some potentially great benefits as well.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been studied for their potential sexual health benefits in recent years.

There’s reason to believe it can (or could) provide several of these benefits. However, we should note that the scientific research on these topics is ongoing, and individual results may vary.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that this research is relatively new, so further studies are needed to corroborate some of the findings.

Below are several potential benefits of fish oil supplements for sexual health, including:

Let’s explore each of these potential benefits in more detail.

Improved Erection Quality

Can fish oil give you a better erection? Maybe. Some studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil may improve blood flow, which is essential for healthy erectile function. 

Improved blood flow can enhance your ability to achieve and maintain erections. EPA and DHA omega-3s may also have a positive impact on blood vessel health while reducing inflammation, which could indirectly support erectile function.

Boosted Testosterone Levels

There’s a chance fish oil might have positive benefits for your testosterone production as well. 

Testosterone is a hormone that plays a crucial role in male sexual health, muscle development and overall well-being. While research on the direct effects of fish oil on testosterone levels is limited, some studies have shown that omega-3 supplementation may have a positive impact on testosterone production and regulation by improving the health of the testicle. 

Recent research has shown an association between long-term fish oil supplementation and testicle health in young men. However, further research is needed to fully understand the relationship between fish oil and testosterone levels.

Improved Fertility

What’s good for the fish tank is apparently also good for your little swimmers. Recent research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids are associated with improved fertility in men. A 2020 study found that omega-3 supplements may help enhance sperm quality, including sperm count, motility and morphology.

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Better Mental Health

Your erection, sperm count and testosterone levels aren’t the only things fish oil might keep up — they could also help your mood. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to be essential for brain health and may have beneficial effects on mental well-being.

Studies have suggested that omega-3 supplementation, such as fish oil pills, could potentially alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Additionally, omega-3s may contribute to improved cognitive function and help reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline like dementia. But again, further research is needed.

Other Sexual Health Benefits

Beyond the benefits mentioned above, fish oil’s omega-3 fatty acids may enhance overall sexual health by improving blood circulation, reducing inflammation and supporting cardiovascular health.

This means oily fish and omega-3 supplements may improve heart health by reducing your risk of heart disease or cardiovascular disease while contributing to lower blood pressure. These factors can contribute to healthy sexual function and satisfaction.

Also, omega-3 fats and fish oil have both been positively associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer in some studies, though others have shown no significant difference over a placebo.

In general, the benefits of fish oil seem to be very, well…general

Currently, fish oil hasn’t been approved as a treatment for any diseases, disorders or dysfunctions. But the volume of early research finding a general trend toward good results would at least suggest that working fish oil into your diet is good for you.

Choose your chew

While it’s possible to obtain enough omega-3 fatty acids through dietary sources like fish, some people may opt for fish oil supplements for several reasons. 

These include limited access to fresh fish, concerns about environmental contaminants in fish, vegetarian or vegan dietary preferences or the convenience and standardized dosages offered by supplements.

You can get omega-3s from:

  • Salmon

  • Mackerel 

  • Tuna

  • Herring

  • Sardines

  • Flaxseed

  • Chia seeds

  • Walnuts

  • Plant oils like flaxseed oil, canola oil and soybean oil

  • Fortified foods like  eggs, yogurt, juices or milk

Generally, men should be seeking 1.6 grams a day of fish oil for adequate omega-3 essential nutrients — though a deficient person may be advised otherwise.

For the record, most people in the U.S. get enough from their daily dietary consumption, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements.

But remember, fish oil supplements should be taken according to recommended dosages and guidelines. Consulting with a healthcare professional is always advisable, particularly for individuals with specific health concerns or those taking other medications.

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If you’re looking to get your sexual health back on track, adding some supplemental fish oil to your already-healthy diet may be worthwhile. Although the studies are new, there’s ample evidence of the general health benefits of fish oil — many of which can also improve your sexual health.

While fish oil may have potential benefits, it’s not a cure-all solution. Results can vary among individuals, and it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, a nutritious diet and regularly consulting with healthcare professionals for personalized advice.

As a takeaway, remember the following about fish oil:

  • It may improve elements of your mental health, cardiovascular health and fertility.

  • Studies are limited, so fish oil shouldn’t be considered a first treatment for ED or other ailments.

  • Other therapies, like medication for erectile dysfunction, are proven treatments for specific issues.

  • If you’re experiencing erectile dysfunction or another type of sexual dysfunction, seeking a healthcare professional’s input is vital.

If you’re tired of mackerel and ready to get started with some real treatments for what’s keeping you from living your best sex life, we can help. Our resources for medication and therapy for ED are great places to start. Explore your options today.

5 Sources

  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Office of dietary supplements - omega-3 fatty acids. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional/.
  2. Mohebi-Nejad, A., & Bikdeli, B. (2014). Omega-3 supplements and cardiovascular diseases. Tanaffos, 13(1), 6–14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4153275/.
  3. Jensen, T. K., Priskorn, L., Holmboe, S. A., Nassan, F. L., Andersson, A. M., Dalgård, C., Petersen, J. H., Chavarro, J. E., & Jørgensen, N. (2020). Associations of Fish Oil Supplement Use With Testicular Function in Young Men. JAMA network open, 3(1), e1919462. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31951274/.
  4. Gammone, M. A., Riccioni, G., Parrinello, G., & D’Orazio, N. (2018). Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: Benefits and Endpoints in Sport. Nutrients, 11(1), 46. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6357022/.
  5. A multifaceted approach to maximize erectile function and vascular ... (n.d.-a). https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(10)00647-3/fulltext.
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Kristin Hall, FNP

Kristin Hall is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with decades of experience in clinical practice and leadership. 

She has an extensive background in Family Medicine as both a front-line healthcare provider and clinical leader through her work as a primary care provider, retail health clinician and as Principal Investigator with the NIH

Certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center, she brings her expertise in Family Medicine into your home by helping people improve their health and actively participate in their own healthcare. 

Kristin is a St. Louis native and earned her master’s degree in Nursing from St. Louis University, and is also a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. You can find Kristin on LinkedIn for more information.

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