Erectile dysfunction (ED) is often caused by a physical condition, such as diabetes, sleep disorders, or heart disease. You might think that health-boosting vitamins could help. Although healthier men tend to have healthier erections, there is little evidence to suggest that vitamin supplements can treat ED.
The lack of strong scientific proof that vitamin supplementation can improve erectile function doesn’t stop companies from selling vitamins, herbal supplements, and other products with the promise that they will do the job. ED is often treatable with prescription medications or medical procedures, so be careful not to get taken by a manufacturer’s empty promises.
With that said, getting enough vitamins, either in your diet or with the help of supplements, is a healthy goal. Improving your overall health is one step toward better sexual function.
Vitamin deficiency and ED
It hasn’t been clinically proven that taking vitamins can effectively treat ED. However, there are some connections between vitamins and sexual health.
Getting sufficient amounts of all vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in your diet is important for your general health. If you’re deficient in one area, such as having a low vitamin D level, then taking vitamin supplements may be a good idea.
Talk with your doctor first about taking vitamins and other supplements. If you take certain medications, you may need to be careful of taking large doses of vitamins. Too much of anything, even something healthy like a vitamin, can cause health problems.
A study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that a large percentage of men with ED also have low levels of vitamin D. If you’re experiencing ED, you may want to have your level of vitamin D checked. Other symptoms of a low vitamin D level may be too subtle to notice. However, if you have serious vitamin D deficiency, you may have bone pain or muscle weakness. Vitamin D levels can be checked with a simple blood test and for most people corrected with a supplement.
Vitamin C helps improve blood flow. Blood flow affects your erectile function, so vitamin C may help sexual function. Vitamin C can’t be stored in the body, so you need to eat enough foods rich in vitamin C every day. Good sources of vitamin C include:
- citrus fruits
You may be able to improve your sexual health by making certain lifestyle changes. These factors could be contributing to your ED:
Smoking damages blood vessels throughout the body. Since healthy blood flow to the penis is necessary for an erection, you want to do whatever you can to keep your blood vessels working optimally.
Obesity can affect your circulation. Regular exercise may be one of the best things you can do to treat ED. Not only does it help improve circulation, it can help you lose excess pounds and reduce stress.
Stress is actually a common factor that leads to ED. Worries about money, work, or other concerns can inhibit sexual performance. Your sexual response begins with signals from the brain, but stress and anxiety get in the way of your brain signaling the rest of your body that it’s time for sexual intercourse.
If ED continues to be a problem even after making certain lifestyle changes, talk with your doctor. ED is an uncomfortable subject for many men to discuss, but it’s treatable in most cases, so there’s no reason to avoid getting help. Doctors see patients every day about ED, so you’re simply one of millions of men dealing with this common condition.
ED could also be a symptom of other problems, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes. So it’s important to your overall health to tell your doctor about ED. Your doctor can make sure to check your cholesterol and blood sugar levels as well as other markers of health.