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Erectile dysfunction is a problem of modern society as is obesity. Is there a potential link between bad cholesterol levels and the ultimate development of erectile dysfunction? Perhaps a medication like Niacin can improve both lipids levels and your ED.

When it comes to erectile dysfunction, there is a growing concern in modern society as the disease is expected to become more popular in the next decades due to improvements in medicine and prolonged life expectancy. Erectile dysfunction is not a disease exclusive seen in the elderly. Current data suggests that 2 percent of patients aged 40 to 49, 6 percent of men aged 50 to 59, 17 percent of those aged 60 to 69 and 39 percent of men older than 70 suffer from the disease at this time. [1]. This dysfunction is often secondary to other chronic disorders like hypertension, diabetes and stress disorders [2]. Pharmacological treatments are available and typically consist of nitric oxide (NO) producing agent like Viagra to dilate the penis and increase erection potential [3]. Unfortunately, there is a panel of side effects that can make Viagra impractical for all patients. Most cases are limited to flushing, headaches and nasal congestion, but in a few cases, this can lead to a dangerous cross-reactivity with other medications that can make it life-threatening to the patient [4]. Many natural treatments for erectile dysfunction provide an alternative to ED therapy. In previous articles, I have covered some of the vitamins and dietary supplements for ED like how DHEA increases libido, and L-arginine offers help for erectile dysfunction, and they can be used to help improve erections, but they are not entirely reliable. In this article, we will focus on a popular vitamin that has been linked to improving erectile dysfunction: Vitamin B3. The question is, though, can vitamin B3 treat erectile dysfunction?

What is Vitamin B3? 

If you are unfamiliar with what vitamin B3 is, you may have heard of it by another common name that is used to describe it: Niacin.  

Niacin is a compound designed primarily as an agent for alleviating cholesterol problems. Studies show that patients with low levels of HDL cholesterol (the good one) are predisposed to have cardiovascular anomalies and increase their chances of developing heart attacks. Niacin is a compound believed to increase HDL levels, and studies show it can increase it as high as 25 percent [5]. Not only can it help improve cholesterol levels, but Niacin can also prevent oxidative damage to the tissues. Studies show that it is a potent anti-oxidant and can protect tissue from radical oxygen damage. [6]

Some of the more pronounced side effects of this medication include

  • liver damage,
  • rhabdomyolysis (severe muscle cramping and destruction)
  • and high blood sugar levels,

so it is important to consider these side effects and discuss them with a physician to determine if this medication is the right option for you. [7]

Will it Help Your Erectile Dysfunction? 

Now that we know this medication may help alleviate cholesterol damage and improve blood flow, let's determine if we should include this as one of the vitamins and dietary supplements for EDIn one study, 160 men with erectile dysfunction and dyslipidemia were given 1,500 milligrams of oral niacin daily for 12 weeks. At the conclusion of the study, it researchers determined that the erectile function of the patients suffering from ED dramatically improved in the niacin-treated groups only in patients with moderate to severe erectile dysfunction. Those with mild to moderate ED had no significant difference between the treated group and the control cases. [8]

In another ambitious study, niacin was part of a treatment cocktail that also included supplements L-arginine and L-carnitine that treat premature ejaculation. Both were supplements we had already covered in previous articles, and they had some impact on erectile dysfunction. In this particular study, 54 patients aged 35-75 were treated with this drug cocktail for three months, and researchers observed the response to their erections. Scientists determined that at the conclusion of the study, there was a significant improvement in 40 percent of those enrolled in the study while 77 percent noted at least a partial response from these medications. [9]

All in all, there may be some merit to include niacin as an agent to improve erectile dysfunction. Due to the vast number of potentially dangerous side effects, I would recommend using a safer option like Viagra if you are going with a pharmaceutical option instead of one of the natural treatments for erectile dysfunction that we covered in previous articles. We know without a doubt that vitamin B3 can treat erectile dysfunction as long as it is a severe case or can be useful as an agent along with other natural supplements for erectile dysfunction but other agents as well without the same risks. Although complications are rare, why risk it just for an erection? Choose something safer. 

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