Low levels of nitric oxide in addition to other factors, may contribute to erectile dysfuction. Nitric oxide helps the muscles of the penis relax, improving blood flow to the penis, and thereby helping produce an erection. Phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE-5) inhibitors such as Viagra, stimulate production of nitric oxide. But not everyone wants to take prescription drugs. So, can you combat erectile dysfunction by supplementing with vitamins?
While no single supplement or vitamin is known to treat erectile dysfunction as successfully as PDE-5 inhibitors, certain supplements and food sources have been shown to be beneficial for overall health and blood flow.
Studies have demonstrated that vitamin D is important for various bodily functions and counteracts conditions known to contribute to erectile dysfunction such as hypertension, heart failure, metabolic syndrome and coronary artery disease. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and erectile dysfunction.
Not only does vitamin D help with erectile function, but it also helps maintain adequate levels of testosterone - the male sexual hormone needed for a healthy libido.
According to the Endocrine Society, adults should take up to 4,000 IU of vitamin D per day. Foods that are high in vitamin D include fatty fish, cheese and egg yolks.
Zinc is not only useful in boosting immune function, but it may also promote hormonal balance in men, and help maintain endothelial function (the cells which line the inside of blood vessels). Zinc deficiency may hamper sperm production. A study of 100 male patients demonstrated that testosterone and luteinizing hormone (which triggers the production of testosterone in the male testicles) increased with zinc sulfate supplementation at 250mg/day over six weeks. Foods containing zinc include shellfish, legumes, nuts, dairy and eggs.
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a steroid hormone. Levels of the hormone drop by up to 20% by the age of 70 years. The age-related decline in DHEA correlates with physiological functions and conditions such as obesity and diabetes, which elevate the risk of erecile dysfunction. Supplementation with DHEA is known to increase nitric oxide levels. The Massachusetts Male Aging Study found that an increase in DHEA levels had a positive effect on men with erectile dysfunction.
However, DHEA is not available as a food source. It can only be purchased as a supplement, and there are serious side effects associated with DHEA supplementation. These including a rise in androgen levels, which can increase the risk of diabetes and certain hormone-based cancers. Consult your doctor before supplementing with DHEA.
There is some evidence to suggest that niacin (vitamin B3) can improve erectile function. When 160 men were randomized to supplementation with niacin (1,500 mg daily for 12 weeks) or a placebo, researchers noticed a significant improvement in their erectile dysfunction scores. Food sources that are high in niacin include avocado, peanuts, whole grains, green peas, and mushrooms.
Also known as cobalamin, vitamin B12 is important for maintaining many bodily functions. B12 deficiency is associated with erectile dysfunction as low levels are associated with an increase in an amino acid known as homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine in turn, are associated with cardiovascular disease and ED. Beware as B12 deficincy can be a serious condition and most over-the-counter supplements are not effective.
This essential amino acid has been shown to boost nitric oxide production and could promote blood flow in patients with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction. In a paper in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, scientists determined that supplementation with L-arginine in dose ranges of 1,500 to 5,000 mg per day improved erectile dysfunction. Nuts, seeds, oats, and dairy products are known to contain l-arginine.
Evidence suggests that vitamin supplementation could be beneficial for men with weak or moderate erectile dysfunction, but it may not work for those with more severe sexual disorders.
Find out more about the treatments mentioned in this article below:
Answer some simple questions about your health with our free 2 minute consultation
A U.S. licensed physician will review your answers and issue a prescription if suitable
Our pharmacy will pack your FDA approved medicine in anonymous packaging, and ship it for free
Prescription fees are for our U.S. qualified doctors to evaluate your request and issue a prescription if that is the appropriate outcome for your case. We want to make healthcare pricing transparent and affordable that's why we set the doctor's fee at a flat rate of $20 for all services which is lower than most copays. The $20 medical fee does not include the cost of the medicine. We issue a 100% refund if we cannot help you including the doctor’s fee.
Message Sent We will get back to you as soon as possible
To get fast delivery and the best prices,
choose your location below:
Delivery to Germany only
Delivery to the US only
Delivery to UK only
You’ve successfully logged in.
If you’re not sure what to choose, our qualified GPs can help.
A doctor will review your consultation and message you with a suggestion within 1-2 working days.
Thanks, a doctor will be in touch soonLook out for the doctor’s response in your email inbox or patient account. View messages
Your account has been permanently suspended. Our providers have determined that you visit an in-person doctor to receive treatment. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.