Can apple cider vinegar treat erectile dysfunction?
Apple cider vinegar may, however, treat some of the medical conditions that can lead to erectile dysfunction (ED). Anecdotal evidence and folk medical tradition both suggest that ED may improve with apple cider vinegar.
Most men experience few or no side effects associated with apple cider vinegar, making it a possible alternative for men concerned about the health effects of ED drugs.
- Apple cider vinegar is a popular folk remedy.
- ED, sometimes called impotence, includes a range of symptoms.
- For most people, apple cider vinegar is reasonably safe and well tolerated.
- Apple cider vinegar is not a scientifically validated treatment for ED.
What is apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar has long been popular, as a natural treatment for a range of conditions.
Apple cider is fermented apple juice. Apple cider vinegar is made from apple cider. Apple cider commonly contains alcohol, so apple cider vinegar may, too.
The specific content and concentrations of alcohol and apples in apple cider vinegar vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Like all vinegar, apple cider vinegar must contain at least 4 grams (g) per 100 milliliters (ml) of acetic acid to be classified as vinegar.
Proponents say it can cure hiccups, sore throats, congestion, and stomach pain. It might also lower cholesterol, treat minor skin problems, such as dandruff and acne, help with leg cramps, and eliminate bad breath.
Apple cider vinegar for ED
For some men, ED means being completely unable to get an erection. In others, an erection does not last long enough or takes a lot of effort to sustain.
No studies have directly tested the effects of apple cider vinegar on ED. This means that a man should not use the vinegar as the only treatment for his ED, particularly when he does not know what is causing the problem.
The most common problems that lead to ED include:
- anxiety, depression, stress, and 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 cancer or bladder surgery
Apple cider vinegar can treat some, but not all, causes of ED. Moreover, research on the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar is mixed.
Some studies that found a benefit were small or poorly designed. In other cases, some studies found a benefit while others did not. So men should talk to their doctors before trying apple cider vinegar for ED.
Some research suggests that apple cider vinegar may help with:
Protecting heart health
Improving heart health may help to treat ED. Apple cider vinegar is thought to have several benefits fo heart health.
Apple cider vinegar may help lower blood lipids and cholesterol. This can improve heart health, theoretically reducing the severity of ED.
A 2014 study of female mice found that apple cider vinegar could lower blood lipids.
A 2017 study of male rats found a link between apple cider vinegar and better cardiovascular health. Even though the rats ate a high-fat diet, apple cider vinegar reduced the risk of obesity, which is linked to poor heart health.
Rats who consumed apple cider vinegar were also less likely to have metabolic changes linked to obesity and worse heart health.
Improving organ health
Oxidative stress is one way that the kidneys and liver can be damaged over time. Research on mice has found that apple cider vinegar may slow signs of oxidative stress in the kidneys and liver.
Apple cider vinegar may also increase levels of antioxidants that can improve organ health. While no research has shown that this can prevent ED due to kidney or liver damage, it does suggest that people with organ diseases may benefit from apple cider vinegar.
There is no evidence that apple cider vinegar can improve symptoms of ED related to recent organ surgery.
Diabetes can undermine heart health and circulation, making it hard to get an erection. Some research has found that apple cider vinegar may treat diabetes. For example, a 2015 study of diabetic mice found that the vinegar could significantly lower blood glucose. Other studies have found that various vinegars can help with diabetes.
However, a 2016 review of previous research argues that there is no definite evidence linking apple cider vinegar to an improvement in diabetes symptoms. The study contends that other vinegars may be helpful, but the study's authors say that the risks of apple cider vinegar outweigh the benefits.
Is apple cider vinegar safe?
Apple cider vinegar supplements can vary in potency and acidity, making it important to compare brands and choose supplements based on individual health needs.
People allergic to apples or cider should not use apple cider vinegar.
The products varied significantly and often differed in potency and acidity from the claims made on the label. That study followed reports of people whose throats were burned following the use of apple cider vinegar tablets.
People with a history of issues with acid reflux or other acid-related stomach problems may wish to avoid apple cider vinegar. Because of the reports about the vinegar burning people's throats, it is best for people with throat pain, mouth sores, or ulcers to avoid apple cider vinegar unless a doctor advises otherwise.
There are also concerns that it may erode tooth enamel.
How to use apple cider vinegar
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.
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 with apple cider vinegar.
- Swallowing a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar as a daily supplement.
- Mixing a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with sparkling water for a flavorful drink.
ED can be well managed with a number of treatments. Prescription drugs can help a man get and sustain an erection. Treatment for underlying medical conditions can also help. A man with depression or anxiety may find that his ED improves with therapy, medication, or both. Likewise, couples counseling can help couples overcome stress or relationship-related ED.
Apple cider vinegar may be an effective supplement to standard treatments for medical conditions linked to ED. However, when a man does not know the cause of his ED, he should not use apple cider vinegar as his first choice of remedy.
Instead, he should see his doctor for 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.