Erectile dysfunction or impotence is a symptom, not a condition. There are several physiological as well as psychological factors responsible for causing erectile dysfunction. Its physiological causes may include health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, sleep disorders, heart disease, etc. Similarly, stress, depression, guilt, performance anxiety, trauma, etc. are some psychological factors responsible for aggravating the sexual disorders.
Let Us See What Is Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile Dysfunction usually happens due to the clogging and narrowing of the blood vessels that carry out the transmission of blood throughout the penile. A flaccid penile is a result of insufficient flow of blood to the penile. This poor blood flow degrades the quality of erections. It prevents men from attaining the natural erection for indulging in sexual activity even after ample sexual stimulation.
Most men occasionally fail to achieve or maintain an erection which can be a reason for lifestyle habits that are intentionally chosen by them. Excessive use and abuse of recreational drugs, alcohol, tobacco, cigarettes, etc. can damage the blood vessels of the penile and can harm the reproductive abilities. Facing erection troubles occasionally is common however if it happens regularly, needs medical attention as there might be an underlying health condition.
We cannot avert some causes of impotence, such as aging. However, research shows that a healthy lifestyle can lower the risk of erectile troubles. For instance, exercising regularly, inculcating healthy eating habits by including more fruits, veggies, or nuts in your diet, proper sleep, and maintaining overall hygiene, etc. These conscious practices can prove beneficial in the long run.
Vitamins For Erectile Dysfunction
Vitamins are organic compounds that are essential for the proper functioning of our bodies. Vitamins play crucial roles in the development of our bones and organs. They conduct vital biological processes that keep us alive. Different vitamins are known to perform the distinctive operation in the body, and an individual requires a certain amount of each vitamin to stay healthy.
As Vitamins are important for many daily bodily functions, their deficiencies can have serious consequences on our well-being. In some cases, deficiency of certain vitamins can also lead to erectile dysfunction.
In particular, you may wonder whether some supplements and vitamins are effective. Several studies conducted suggest that several vitamins for erectile dysfunction may help treat or alleviate its symptoms. These include vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin D, vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin C, and L-arginine.
Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) Supplements And Erectile Dysfunction
Vitamin B9 or folic acid is a nutrient in the vitamin B complex that the body needs in small amounts. Its deficiency can impair nitric oxide metabolism. Nitric oxide is a powerful substance that cues the smooth muscles in the penile to relax, and augments blood flow for promoting and sustaining an erection. Insufficient production of nitric oxide translates to erectile dysfunction condition.
Nitric oxide is produced in the endothelial cell layer that covers the smooth muscle. Vitamin B9 deficiency also contributes to endothelial dysfunction, which causes erectile dysfunction.
Some studies show that taking folic acid supplements can lower the Homocysteine level which is an amino acid known for inhibiting nitric oxide production. These supplements further increase nitric oxide, making it more likely to get an erection.
In addition, some researchers found that men with erectile dysfunction had lower levels of Vitamin B9 than healthy, unaffected men. It indicates a direct link between Vitamin B9 and erectile dysfunction. Plus, lower levels of folic acid were also associated with premature ejaculation.
Vitamin B9 are available as health supplements and are also found in a wide range of foods, such as:
- Beef liver
- Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, lettuce, asparagus, etc.
- Citrus fruits and bananas
- Beans, peas, lentils, and legumes.
- Milk and dairy products
Folic acid supplements are also commonly added to fortified foods, such as bread, cereals, pasta, and other grain products to prevent deficiencies.
Vitamin D Supplements And Erectile Dysfunction
According to some recent studies, Vitamin D deficiency causes severe degrees of erectile dysfunction. Normal levels of Vitamin D may reduce oxidative stress, regulate blood pressure, and stimulate nitric oxide production. All these factors contribute to erectile behavior. The main source of Vitamin D is sunlight and one can get more of it by exposing their skin to the sun as the body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight. It is also possible to get some vitamin D from foods such as:
- Red meat and beef liver
- Oily fish, including salmon and sardines
- Fortified milk, and dairy products
- Fortified cereal
- Egg yolk
- Apples, bananas and other fruits
- Rice, lentils, sunflower seeds and almonds
- Green leafy vegetables
You may need to take Vitamin D supplements in order to maintain optimal levels.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Supplements And Erectile Dysfunction
According to a research, men affected with erectile dysfunction experienced improvements in their erectile function after taking niacin for 12 weeks.
Vitamin B3 or niacin is available as a health supplement and it is also found in a wide range of foods, such as:
- Red meat, poultry and fish
- Peanuts (dry roasted)
- Fortified breakfast cereals
- Brown rice
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) Supplements And Erectile Dysfunction
Vitamin C is known for supporting the biochemical pathways that ultimately release nitric oxide, which is a principal-agent that aids in achieving erections by increasing the blood flow to the penile. Some studies have also found that Vitamin C increases testosterone levels and promotes proper blood flow.
Foods that are rich in Vitamin C include,
- Potatoes and tomatoes
- Citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, etc.
- Red and green peppers
- Strawberries and other berries
- Broccoli, spinach and other leafy greens
Although some research shows that these vitamins might be beneficial for alleviating the symptoms of erectile dysfunction, they generally do not cure or treat the problem as efficiently as prescription medications do. In case you are deficient in vitamins C, D, B3, or B9, increasing their consumption may help to improve the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. However, if your vitamin levels are normal, no evidence taking these supplements will have much effect on your sexual performance.
Hence, for relieving the erection struggles with the help of vitamin supplements, it is better to talk to a licensed healthcare professional that shall examine your condition and suggest appropriate action.