Erectile dysfunction is a common condition that affects men of all ages. It occurs when you can’t develop or maintain an erection firm enough for satisfying penetrative intimacy. Erection issues tend to be defined as ED when:
What Is Erectile Dysfunction?
- You can get an erection, but it isn’t firm enough or doesn’t last long enough to have satisfactory intimacy.
- If you can get an erection on some occasions, but not every time you want to have intimacy.
- You can’t get an erection at any time.
Although ED is more common in older men, it can affect young men too. An estimated 30 million men of all ages, races, and backgrounds in the United States are affected by erectile dysfunction to some degree.
Variety Of Factors
ED is caused by a variety of factors. Some of these are physical, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Others are psychological, such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, or guilt about having intimacy.
Sometimes, ED can develop as a side effect of medication. Certain health and lifestyle factors, such as your weight, use of tobacco products, or physical activity level, may also affect your erectile health and intimacy performance.
Can Vitamins Treat ED?
Vitamins and minerals are essential for the proper functioning of your body. Vitamins play major roles in the development of your bones and organs. They also power vital biological processes that keep you alive, from your metabolism to the operation of your brain.
Because vitamins play such important roles in your health and survival, vitamin deficiencies can seriously affect your well-being. For some vitamins, these effects could include erectile dysfunction.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Vitamin B3, or niacin, is an important vitamin for metabolic function. It’s also linked to a lower risk of certain types of cardiovascular disease thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects.
Niacin & ED
Some research shows that niacin may help treat erectile dysfunction. For example, a study published in the Journal of Intimacyual Medicine in 2011 found that men affected by ED and dyslipidemia experienced improvements in erectile function after taking niacin for 12 weeks.
Niacin is widely available as a health supplement. It’s also found in a wide range of foods. You can find niacin in:
- Red meat, poultry, and fish
- Bran, yeast, and whole-grain cereals
- Peanuts, legumes, and, seeds
Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)
Vitamin B9, or folic acid, is another important vitamin. It plays a key role in the synthesis of DNA and RNA essential molecules for storing and reading genetic information. It’s also important for the production of healthy red blood cells. Some research has found that men who are deficient in folic acid may be more likely to develop erectile dysfunction.
For example, a study published in the Asian Journal of Andrology analyzed the folic acid levels of men with ED. The researchers found that men with erectile dysfunction typically had lower levels of folic acid than healthy, unaffected men.
Folic acid and ED
Interestingly, low levels of folic acid were also associated with premature ejaculation another common male intimacy performance issue.
Other studies have also found links between folic acid and ED.
A newer study from 2020 noted a more direct link between folic acid and erectile health. In this study, men with ED showed measurable improvements in erectile health after taking a folic acid supplement daily for three months.
However, that’s not enough research to say that folic acid should be prescribed instead of science-backed FDA-approved ED medications, but rather in conjunction with them.
Folic acid is available as a health supplement. It’s also found in a wide range of foods, including the following:
- Leafy green vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, asparagus, and lettuce
- Meats, including liver
- Peanuts, sunflower seeds, and, beans
- Milk and other dairy products
It is also commonly added to many pieces of bread, cereals, pasta, and other grain products to prevent deficiencies.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is one of the most well-known, popular vitamins. It’s also one of the most important. It plays a key role in the biosynthesis of several vital neurotransmitters, as well as important structural proteins such as collagen.
It’s also essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums, absorbing iron, and promoting proper wound healing.to maintain healthy teeth and gums, absorb iron, and promote Although there are no studies on vitamin C’s effects on erectile health, research has found that vitamin C may play a role in some biological processes related to erections.
For example, a review published in Fertility and Sterility noted that vitamin C is one of several vitamins and minerals that supports the biochemical pathway that leads to the release of nitric oxide.
- Nitric oxide, or NO, is generally viewed as the principal agent responsible for relaxing the soft tissue inside your penis, allowing blood to flow in and create an erection.
- Vitamin C is easy to add to your diet. You can purchase vitamin C supplements from most health food stores and drugstores.
Many fruits and vegetables are also rich in vitamin C, including the following:
- Citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, and pomelos
- Tomatoes and tomato juice
- Red and green peppers
- Broccoli, spinach, and, other leafy greens
- Strawberries and other berries
Vitamin D intimacy
- Vitamin D is an important vitamin that your body absorbs through UV radiation from the sun and from certain foods. Although research into the effects of vitamin D on intimacy performance is limited, some studies have found that vitamin D deficiency is linked to erectile dysfunction.
- The most readily available source of vitamin D is the sun. Researchers suggest spending about five to 30 minutes in the sun between 10 am and 4 pm daily or at least twice weekly to ensure you take sufficient amounts of vitamin D.
- If you live in an area with limited sunlight or prefer not to spend too much time outdoors, you can also take in vitamin D from supplements or food.
Foods that contain vitamin D include:
- Fish, including salmon, trout, tuna, sardines, and many fish oils
- Cheese, milk, and other dairy products
- Red meat and poultry
- Soy, almond, and oat milk
- Apples, bananas, and other fruits
- Rice, lentils, sunflower seeds, and almonds
- Broccoli, carrots, and other vegetables