While not being able to perform sexually can be hugely frustrating and embarrassing, erection problems aren’t as uncommon as you think. According to a study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, around 20 to 30 million American men are affected by erectile dysfunction, with 25% being under the age of 40.
While prescription drugs such as Viagra and Adcirca are easily available, they’re not your only options when it comes to effective ED treatments.
There are numerous general health and psychological conditions that can cause or contribute to erectile dysfunction. However, one thing is for certain: a healthy supply of the neurotransmitter nitric oxide is essential to achieve and maintain strong erections.
Produced in the nerve tissues, nitric oxide improves blood flow to the penile tissues by relaxing the smooth muscles in the penis. After this initial NO secretion, a myriad of chemicals is released by your body which helps you maintain the reception.
Erection problems occur when your body is unable to produce a sufficient amount of nitric oxide. While drugs such as Viagra can certainly help in this regard, they’re just a temporary fix to the problem.
Moreover, there is a wide variety of adverse side-effects associated with synthetic ED drugs which range from mild to severe. Thankfully, there are other solutions.
All-natural supplements such as amino acids, herbs, and vitamins have been used to cure erectile dysfunction long before the magic blue pill came along – and to great effect as well. This blog post will serve as a comprehensive guide to vitamins that can be beneficial for treating ED.
Ideally, everyone should be getting all the nutrients, minerals and vitamins from the food they eat. However, with the unhealthy amounts of unhealthy processed foods we eat, that’s more or less just wishful thinking at this point.
When we don’t eat sufficient amounts of vegetables and fruits, we miss out on essential nutrients that are essential to keeping us healthy.
In addition to helping prevent sexual dysfunction problems, vitamins also help in keeping a myriad of other health conditions at bay. These include cardiovascular disease, cancer, and stroke. Here are some key benefits of vitamins for men:
Essential for a Healthy Heart
Numerous clinical studies have supported the important role vitamins play in keeping the heart healthy. Heart diseases are the leading cause of death in the US, in both men and women, and vitamins K1, B1, B2, B3 (niacin), and B6 supplements can help improve cardiovascular health.
Can Help Prevent Cancer
The role vitamins play in reducing the risk of cancer is also well-documented. A recent clinical study discovered that taking multivitamin supplements on a daily basis significantly reduced the risk of cancer in men aged 50 and older.
Vitamins C, D, and E are strong antioxidants that are known for boosting the body’s immune system. Furthermore, these vitamins are also effective in alleviating allergy symptoms.
While there isn’t much scientific data and evidence to support the efficacy of vitamins for erectile dysfunction, there is certainly a link between sexual health and vitamins.
The process of male sexual arousal is complex. It involves the brain; the nervous system, blood vessels and hormones, and an issue with any one of these critical components can hinder your sexual drive and performance. We know for a fact that a sufficient amount of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients is essential for your general health.
If there’s a deficiency in even just a single area, such as having low levels of Vitamin D, it can have a negative impact on the reproductive system. Taking supplements ensures that your body gets a sufficient amount of vitamins it needs.
However, it’s important to consult with your doctor before you take any vitamin supplements, particularly if you’re taking certain medications. Large doses of anything, even healthy vitamins, can lead to health problems.
Now that we’ve established the link between vitamin deficiencies and erectile dysfunction, let’s go over the best vitamins for erectile dysfunction.
A medical study published in the journal Atherosclerosis examined the link between erectile dysfunction and vitamin D deficiency. The research involved collecting data from nearly 3400 men aged between 20 and 85.
The vitamin D levels in all the men were below 20ng/ml, which is considered as vitamin D deficient. Almost 25% of men had erectile dysfunction.
The researchers also discovered that the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was 29% for men without erectile dysfunction and 36% for men who were affected by the condition. Also, most men who had EED were also older, in poorer health and less physically active.
Exactly how a vitamin D deficiency is still unclear. However, researchers think the most probable cause is damaged blood vessels in the penis caused by low vitamin D levels.
Such damage can cause arteries in the penis to harden (atherosclerosis), which hinders blood flow to the penis and makes it harder to achieve and maintain an erection.
A vitamin D deficiency can also hinder the production of nitric oxide in the body, and as we’ve mentioned above, sufficient production of NO is essential for achieving and maintain erections. Taking vitamin D supplements can help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.
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Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, is widely regarded as one of the best vitamins for ED. It’s known to improve erectile dysfunction in men who have high lipid and cholesterol levels.
Niacin decreases lipid and cholesterol and lipid levels in men who suffer from atherosclerosis. Therefore, the high efficacy of the vitamin as an ED treatment comes as no surprise. While atherosclerosis doesn’t directly cause erectile dysfunction, both the conditions have the same basic pathophysiology.
Cardiovascular diseases, stroke, atherosclerosis, and ED can all be caused by inflamed blood vessels. Inflammation in the penile arteries can lead to the occurrence of ED.
Vitamin B3 prevents and reduces inflammation in the arteries, which helps in improving the symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
Vitamin C is another effective vitamin for erections. Also called ascorbic acid, Vitamin C plays a number of important roles in our body, including maintaining good vascular health.
Vitamin C improves blood flow to the penis which makes it easier to get and maintain an erection. Moreover, vitamin C supplements can also boost the production of nitric oxide, which is an essential chemical for the development of erections.
Good sources of vitamin C include:
- Red and green peppers
This amino acid has two important functions in your body: it makes proteins and it can turn into nitric oxide. Both things help your erectile function and stimulate blood flow in your body and to your penis.
The B vitamin folic acid is good for cardiovascular health. Keeping your blood flowing smoothly is key to preventing and even treating erectile dysfunction (ED).
In some cases, erectile dysfunction can also be an early warning sign of cardiovascular problems. In particular, some men have high levels of homocysteine, which can contribute to heart problems.
Findings show that eating foods high in folate and taking folic acid supplements may help lower high homocysteine levels. Excessive homocysteine can also hinder endothelial and erectile function.
We all know how important a healthy lifestyle is. This is not just the case for erectile dysfunction, but it can definitely help improve it. Going for a run every now and then, laying down the cigarettes, holding off on beers, saying no to drugs.
All these factors will help keep your body healthy, and they will assist your erectile dysfunction problems as well.
First of all, regular exercise is essential. In particular, there are two types of exercises that can really help your ED. First of all, studies have shown that pelvic floor exercises are effective in strengthening your pelvic muscles, which in turn will help strengthen your erections.
Secondly, general exercises like aerobics will also be beneficial, as they stimulate healthy blood flow through your body; including to your penis.
Switching to a healthy diet and avoiding highly processes unhealthy foods can go a long way towards restoring normal erectile function.
Even though some foods can help your erectile dysfunction, the scientific evidence to support this isn’t that widespread are conclusive. Nevertheless, many people believe in the effectiveness of certain foods to help stimulate your downstairs department.
Of course, smoking is bad for you. It’s not just the risk of cancer, but also complications like decreasing blood circulation. The latter can affect your penis as well, because it can decrease blood flow towards your penis, thus making it difficult to get an erection.
Limiting Alcohol Intake
Just like with smoking, we all know that alcohol is not good for your body. But did you know it can also affect your erections? Too much alcohol can destroy your sex drive and work as a depressant, effectively making it much more difficult to get and maintain an erection.
Stress and anxiety can have a tremendous effect on your general wellbeing, but also on your erections. Being anxious, feeling stressed, or suffering from other mental health issues can all affect your ability to get it up, as your mind interrupts the communication between your brain and your penis.
Sleep is essential. Your body needs to recover from your day-to-day life and to do that it needs enough sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body will struggle to keep your testosterone levels up. And we all know what too little testosterone can do to your libido and sexual functions…
While prescription drugs such as Viagra and Levitra can be effective in alleviating the symptoms of erectile function, they don’t provide a permanent solution to the problem.
Also, there’s a myriad of side effects associated with synthetic prescription ED drugs. Furthermore, drugs like Viagra are also non-aphrodisiac, which means that they do not improve your sex drive.
On the other hand, natural treatments such as vitamins, healthy lifestyle adjustments and herbal supplements like Viasil offer a more holistic and permanent approach to curing erectile dysfunction.
As we’ve discussed at length, common vitamins such as vitamin B and C can help in creating the optimal biological conditions for harder and longer erections. Moreover, most natural ED supplements don’t have any adverse side effects associated with them.
However, while herbal therapies and medicines can certainly help in overcoming the condition, its best to consult with your doctor before embarking on any course of treatment.