Erectile dysfunction (ED) can be a frustrating condition, particularly when standard treatments are not effective. However, there is little scientific evidence to support the use of apple cider vinegar as an alternative treatment option for ED.
Apple cider vinegar can, however, help a person manage aspects of some medical conditions that may lead to ED.
Anecdotal evidence and folk medical tradition both suggest that ED may improve with the use of apple cider vinegar.
Most males experience few or no side effects after taking apple cider vinegar. This may make it a possible alternative for males who want to improve the symptoms of ED but have concerns about the adverse effects of ED drugs.
In this article, we will explore the research into apple cider vinegar and its possible effects on ED.
For some males, ED means being completely unable to get an erection. In others, ED can mean that an erection does not last long enough or takes a lot of effort to maintain.
No studies have tested the direct effects of apple cider vinegar on ED. This means that a male should not use it as their only treatment for ED, particularly when the cause is unknown.
The most common factors that give rise to ED include:
- relationship issues
- kidney disease
- multiple sclerosis
- type 2 diabetes
- heart disease
- high blood pressure or high cholesterol
- injuries to the penis due to surgery or trauma
- bladder or prostate cancer
- bladder or prostate surgery
- Anecdotal evidence has suggested that apple cider vinegar can relieve the effects of some of the causes of ED.
However, scientific research into the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar has had mixed results for many of these conditions.
In the sections below, we cover some of this research. It is important to point out that some studies found a benefit but were small or poorly designed. Others revealed that apple cider vinegar provided no benefits at all.
Males with ED should always talk to their doctor before trying apple cider vinegar as a treatment.
Although apple cider vinegar may not directly treat ED, it may help ease some of its causes. For example:
Protecting heart health
Apple cider vinegar may help lower levels of blood lipids and cholesterol, which can improve heart health. This may theoretically reduce the severity of ED.
A 2014 study of female mice found that apple cider vinegar could reduce blood lipids.
A 2018 study of male rats found a link between apple cider vinegar and improved cardiovascular health. Even though the rats ate a high fat diet, apple cider vinegar reduced the risk of obesity, which has links to cardiovascular disease.
Rats who consumed apple cider vinegar were also less likely to have metabolic changes linked to obesity and worsening heart health.
Improving organ health
Oxidative stress can cause kidney and liver damage to develop over time. Research in mice has found that apple cider vinegar may slow signs of oxidative stress in the kidneys and liver.
Apple cider vinegar might also increase levels of antioxidants that can improve organ health.
Although no research has shown that it can prevent ED that develops due to kidney or liver damage, it does suggest that people with organ conditions may benefit from taking apple cider vinegar.
There is also no evidence to suggest that apple cider vinegar improves the symptoms of ED following recent organ surgery.
Diabetes can undermine heart health and circulation, potentially making it difficult to achieve and maintain an erection. Some research has found that apple cider vinegar may help treat diabetes.
For example, a 2015 study in mice with diabetes discovered that apple cider vinegar could significantly bring down blood glucose levels. Other studies have found that various vinegars can help with diabetes.
However, a 2016 review of previous research concluded that there is no definite evidence linking apple cider vinegar to an improvement in diabetes symptoms. More research is needed.
The review contends that other vinegars may be helpful, but the author does say that the risks of apple cider vinegar for people who have diabetes outweigh the benefits.
Apple cider is fermented apple juice. Manufacturers make apple cider vinegar from apple cider. Apple cider commonly contains alcohol, so apple cider vinegar may also have alcohol content.
People have long used apple cider vinegar as a remedy, and its proponents support its use to manage conditions including diabetes, psoriasis, and cardiovascular disease.
The specific concentrations of both alcohol and apples in apple cider vinegar may differ from one manufacturer to the next. Organic and unfiltered apple cider vinegar is the more healthful choice.
All vinegars must contain at least 4 grams per 100 milliliters of acetic acid to receive classification as such.
People allergic to apples or cider should not use apple cider vinegar.
Also, people with a history of acid reflux or other acid related stomach problems may wish to avoid using apple cider vinegar due to its acid content.
To avoid possible acidic burning of the throat, it is best for people with throat pain, mouth sores, or ulcers to avoid using apple cider vinegar unless a doctor advises otherwise.
There are safety concerns associated with using potent apple cider vinegar.
There are also concerns that it may erode tooth enamel.
Apple cider vinegar is a nutritional supplement, so there is no single recommended dosage.
It has a very strong flavor, which makes it useful as a pungent seasoning in some dishes.
People can buy apple cider vinegar clear or with the cloudy strands of proteins and healthful bacteria for the gut.
A few ways to use apple cider vinegar include:
- adding a small quantity, such as a teaspoon, to a smoothie
- replacing salad dressing or other vinegars
- swallowing a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar as a daily supplement
- mixing a teaspoon with sparkling water for a flavorful drink
Several treatments can help people with ED manage their condition. Prescription drugs may support a male in getting and sustaining an erection. Treating any underlying medical conditions can also be beneficial.
Males with depression or anxiety may find that their ED improves with therapy, medication, or both. Similarly, couples counseling can help couples overcome stress, sexual problems, or relationship related ED.
Apple cider vinegar may be an effective supplement alongside standard treatments for medical conditions that could be contributing to ED. However, when the cause of ED is unknown, males should not use apple cider vinegar as their first choice remedy.
Instead, they should seek medical consultation and testing to understand the underlying cause. Once the doctor has identified a cause, both standard and supplemental treatments, including apple cider vinegar, may help improve symptoms.
Which medications can help ED?
The most common medications prescribed for ED include:
· sildenafil (Viagra)
· tadalafil (Cialis, Adcirca)
· vardenafil (Staxyn, Levitra)
· avanafil (Stendra)
These medications work to increase blood flow to the penis to enhance an erection during sexual stimulation. Other options for treatment include alprostadil. Males can take this as an injection at the base of the penis, and they can learn to administer this at home. This is also available as a suppository. Oral testosterone may also help.
Talk to a doctor about safe medications. Those listed above are not suitable for people taking medication for chest pain or who have heart disease. Instead, penis implants or pumps might be an option.
People with ED can make lifestyle changes to improve symptoms, such as stopping smoking, losing weight, seeking counselling, getting regular exercise, and avoiding alcohol and drugs.
Answers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.