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Vitamin D supplementation is something everyone should consider. It helps strengthen our bones, prevent various heart diseases and even can prevent diabetes but could it also have a role in helping patients suffering from erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is already a common disease in society with prevalence rates expected to only increase in the next decade. In 1995, there were approximately 152 million male patients worldwide suffering from erectile dysfunction. By 2025, projections indicate this number could be nearly 322 million males. In a mere 30 years, the number of erectile dysfunction cases is expected to more than double. [1] Some of the more apparent reasons for this increase in incidence are due to an increase in life expectancy worldwide and the increase in co-morbidities like hypertension, diabetes mellitus and stress-related disorders [2].

Pharmacological treatments are available and include medications that increase NO (nitric oxide) synthesis to help stimulate blood flow to the penis and sustain an erection. The most common drug on the market for this goes by the name of sildenafil, more popularly referred to as Viagra. [3] Unfortunately, side effects like cross-reactivity with hypertensive medications, headaches, and rashes can make Viagra useless in helping patients [4]. As a result, natural treatments for erectile dysfunction are gaining in popularity as an alternative treatment option for erectile dysfunction. We can now use different vitamins and dietary supplements for ED. In previous articles, I have talked about some of these 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 D. It is plentiful, easy to obtain and abundant if you live in the right climate but can vitamin D treat erectile dysfunction?

Mechanism of Action of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a potent analog in the human organism and tissues all around the body benefit from Vitamin D receptors. It has NO producing capability that you will typically need in medications like Viagra to promote erections but it targets something more substantial in improving the quality of life and even sex life in patients suffering from ED; it helps treat the chronic conditions that may have caused the erectile dysfunction in the first place. [5]

Vitamin D receptors are abundant in both cardiac and kidney tissues, and they can help improve chronic diseases associated with heart dysfunction. Long-term hypertension can lead to vascular changes that can make blood circulation sub-par. If your circulatory system is preserved instead as you age, the risk of long-term effects of hypertension such as erectile dysfunction would be reduced. Studies confirm that patients suffering from severe cardiac myopathies were more likely to have severe deficiencies of Vitamin D compared to those with milder forms of the disease. [6]

Can Vitamin D Really Help Your Erectile Dysfunction?  

Now that we have made a brief but direct connection to how Vitamin D can benefit chronic diseases, we need definitive tests to prove that vitamin D can treat erectile dysfunction. In an ambitious cohort study, almost 3,400 male patients older than 20 were followed to determine if vitamin D levels influenced their erectile function. At the conclusion of this 3-year investigation, researchers determined that vitamin D deficiencies made a significant impact on the number of cases of erectile dysfunction in this population. 

Results of the study indicate that you may be up to 57 percent more likely to have erectile dysfunction if you have a deficiency in Vitamin D. [7]  

Another study found that patients suffering from overt ED had adequate levels of vitamin D in only 20 percent of the cases while nearly 50 percent had severe vitamin D deficiencies [8].

To put "the nail in the coffin" of our investigation into whether vitamin D should be one of the vitamins and dietary supplements for ED to include in your treatment arsenal, we need one more link to show vitamin D supplement will help ED patients. In one study, 102 male patients between the ages of 35 and 65 enrolled in the investigation. All patients had low levels of serum vitamin D, and they were given vitamin D supplementation for 1 year to see if their erection frequency improved after the treatment. After consistent vitamin D supplementation [9]: 

  • Levels of the vitamin increased by nearly 3 times and patients no longer suffered from a vitamin D deficiency. 
  • Levels of testosterone increased by nearly 25 percent while levels of estradiol (an estrogen hormone that can prevent erections in males) nearly dropped by 20 percent.  
  • Most importantly, the frequency of erections in these patients increased by nearly 33 percent just with supplementation of vitamin D alone.

As this study demonstrates, vitamin D supplementation improves our sex hormones (testosterone being good for erection potential while estrogen suppresses our libido) and increase the frequency of our erections. With very few side effects, it is definitely a supplement that you should consider as the optimal solution to a natural treatment for erectile dysfunction [10]. When asked "can vitamin D treat erectile dysfunction?", at this point, it should be an obvious "Yes!"  

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