Vitamins and supplements — such as vitamins D, C, and B9, and ginseng — may help people with erectile dysfunction. However, stress management, exercise, and other lifestyle remedies may be more effective.
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Many health conditions can contribute to erectile dysfunction (ED), including hormonal disorders, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, depression, and certain medications.
Vitamins and minerals help the body function efficiently. Getting enough nutrients can improve general health. It can also benefit reproductive health. There is no firm evidence that specific vitamins can cure ED, but there may be a link between specific nutrient deficiencies and the condition.
Research had previously suggested that people with hypogonadism also had low levels of vitamin D. After receiving human chorionic gonadotropin treatment for hypogonadism, their vitamin D levels rose.
Hypogonadism develops when the body does not produce enough sex hormones. This can lead to low sexual desire and difficulty getting an erection.
Another study involving young males with low vitamin D status found that those with a vitamin D deficiency had lower scores for erectile function.
These results suggest a link between vitamin D deficiency and ED.
Vitamin D may reduce oxidative stress, regulate blood pressure, and stimulate nitric oxide production. All of these may contribute to erectile response.
The main source of vitamin D for humans is sunlight. However, prolonged exposure to sunlight without protection can increase the risk of skin cancer. People should seek shade, wear UV protective clothing, and wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Vitamin B3, or niacin, may also improve erectile function. One older study concludes that niacin alone could improve moderate to severe ED. However, more research is necessary to confirm these findings.
These are supplements that people may have to avoid, as there is limited research or they could be harmful.
The FDA advises against using products that claim to promote sexual enhacement. Manufacturers may refer to these as herbal Viagra.
The FDA states that these products may contain ingredients that are not listed on the label. They may cause serious side effects or interact with other medications or supplements that a person is taking.
In fact, back in 2019, the organisation issued a public notification to warn consumers that Herb Viagra, a sexual enhancement product, contains sildenafil, the active ingredient present in Viagra.
Viagra is an approved-prescription drug that helps address ED and may cause interactions in persons who take medications to control their blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
Horny goat weed
Horny goat weed is a traditional Chinese herb. According to recent research, it may show improvements in people with high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and sexual health problems. who have developed ED from nerve injury.
Companies may claim that it cures ED, but there is not enough research that discusses the beneficial uses of Horny goat weed for erectile problems.
Here are some questions people often ask about supplements for ED.
Can vitamins really help cure ED?
Vitamins can boost overall health, and some vitamins may help improve conditions that cause ED, but they cannot cure ED.
How much vitamin D should a person take if they have ED?
There are no specific dosage recommendations for vitamin D in the treatment of ED.
According to the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, males aged 19–70 years need 15 mcg, or 600 international units (IU), of vitamin D per day. This rises to 20 mcg (800 IU) after the age of 70 years.
People should not consume more than 100 mcg (4,000 IU) per day, but doctors may recommend higher doses if levels are low or deficient.
Can too much vitamin D cause ED?
There is no evidence that too much vitamin D increases the risk of ED.
Very high levels of vitamin D can lead to high calcium levels, or hypercalcemia. Possible symptoms include nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, and kidney stones.
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El-Hamd MA, et al. (2020). Comparison of the clinical efficacy of daily use of L-arginine, tadalafil and combined L-arginine with tadalafil in the treatment of elderly patients with erectile dysfunction. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32441833/
Elshahid ARM, et al. (2020). Folic acid supplementation improves erectile function in patients with idiopathic vasculogenic erectile dysfunction by lowering peripheral and penile homocysteine plasma levels: A case-control study [Abstract]. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31237081/