Natural vitamins and supplements for erectile dysfunction (ED)

Aside from medications, some natural vitamins and supplements, such as vitamins B3, C, and D, may help improve erectile dysfunction.

Vitamin supplements in pill form

Key takeaways:

  • Vitamins are important nutrients for healthy living as they help boost immunity; they can also help improve erectile dysfunction.
  • Some of the best vitamin supplements for erectile dysfunction include vitamin D, vitamin B9, and vitamin B3.
  • Natural home remedies, along with lifestyle changes like stress therapy, maintaining a healthy weight, and stress reduction, can significantly improve erectile dysfunction.

Vitamins are essential for maintaining a healthy life. Unsurprisingly, they also help to improve erectile dysfunction (ED). ED is the inability to maintain or achieve an erection. This usually has psychological effects and is a cause of stress for people who experience it.

ED can occur in people assigned male at birth who are of reproductive age and is more common in those aged 40 and above. Most people only become aware of their condition when they start noticing the early signs of erectile dysfunction. The causes of ED can be physical, psychological, or due to underlying health conditions.

Medications are available to treat erectile dysfunction, but the question is, can vitamin supplements also treat ED?

Medications are available to treat erectile dysfunction; however, the medications may cause side effects for some people. This is why researchers are constantly looking for natural ways to help treat erectile dysfunction. Some studies suggest that supplements like vitamins may help with treating erectile dysfunction.

Some vitamins and supplements for erectile dysfunction include the following:

1. Vitamin D

One of the best vitamins for erectile dysfunction is vitamin D. The body naturally produces vitamin D from exposure to sunlight, but it can also be obtained through foods and supplements.

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with severe erectile dysfunction. About 49.5% of participants in a 2014 study who had ED also had a vitamin D deficiency. This indicates that boosting the body's vitamin D supply may play a role in improving ED.

Another significant function of vitamin D is to maintain healthy bones by promoting intestinal calcium absorption. It may also play a major role in immune system defense.

About 80% of vitamin D is obtained from the conversion of cholesterol in the skin to vitamin D when you are exposed to sunlight, while about 20% is obtained through dietary intake.

To get enough vitamin D, opt for foods that contain a substantial amount of this vitamin, e.g., egg yolks, beef liver, fatty fish (mackerel, salmon, tuna), fortified milk, cheese, fortified cereals, and fruit juices.

2. Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9 is of two types—folate and folic acid. Folate is the natural form found in foods, while folic acid is the synthetic form, which is added to food products.

Folate performs many functions in the body, such as the formation of DNA and RNA, the breakdown of protein, the breakdown of homocysteine (an amino acid that causes harm in the body when present in high quantity), and the production of more red blood cells at times when there is a higher demand, such as during pregnancy.

Vitamin B9 may play a vital role in improving erectile function. In research carried out to ascertain the role of vitamin B9 in erectile dysfunction, people with erectile dysfunction showed improvement after taking vitamin B9 for a while.

Alternatively, the deficiency of folic acid may contribute to the onset of erectile dysfunction.

Because folic acid helps break down homocysteine, a deficiency of folic acid will lead to hyperhomocysteinemia (excess homocysteine). Hyperhomocysteine contributes to erectile dysfunction as it causes dysfunction of the endothelium that lines the walls of blood vessels.

Some sources of folic acid include greens, avocados, beef liver, eggs, citrus fruits, beans, peas, and legumes. Taking these foods rich in folate or folate supplements may help improve erectile dysfunction symptoms.

3. Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, is an important nutrient in the body. It is also another important vitamin that can help with ED. Because the body does not produce vitamin B3, it must be consumed through foods.

Niacin is found in two chemical forms in the body: nicotinic acid and niacinamide. The two chemical forms can be obtained from foods and supplements.

The main function of niacin (Vitamin B3) is the synthesis of the coenzymes nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP). These two coenzymes help in obtaining energy from food through some biological reactions.

Some studies suggest that niacin can improve erectile function in men with moderate-to-severe erectile dysfunction.

Also, niacin helps improve health, preventing disease conditions that can further lead to erectile dysfunction.

The body cannot produce or store niacin, so it must be obtained through foods like turkey, chicken breast, beef liver, peanuts, brown rice, salmon, and tuna.

4. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the vitamins that support the release of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide plays a vital role in male sexual function. Therefore, vitamin C is highly needed to improve male sexual function.

Vitamin C is an important nutrient and antioxidant that helps form bones, skin, and blood vessels. Vitamin C functions include the production of collagen, L-carnitine, neurotransmitters, absorption of iron in the body, and wound healing. Vitamin C also helps improve the immune system and, as an antioxidant, helps eliminate unwanted substances in the body.

Vitamin C can be obtained from red and green peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, green peas, strawberries, oranges, orange juice, spinach, and other leafy green vegetables.

5. Arginine

L-arginine is an amino acid that is produced in the body. It is a body-building protein. Arginine supplements help improve erectile dysfunction in mild-to-moderate conditions.

L-arginine acts as a vasodilator (opening blood vessels), so taking it may help improve cardiovascular diseases and erectile dysfunction.

In addition to the body making L-arginine, you can always find it in protein-rich foods like fish, red meat, whole grains, soy, dairy products, and beans.

Other natural remedies that can help with ED

Some natural remedies may help with your erectile dysfunction. However, it may take time for them to work, and they often work best when combined with medication.

Some of the natural remedies that can help improve erectile dysfunction include:

1. Reducing stress and anxiety

Anxiety and stress are psychological causes of erectile dysfunction. If you're always worried, especially about your sexual life, it could affect how you perform in bed.

Avoid situations that always make you feel emotionally stressed.

2. Going for sex therapy and counseling

Sometimes erectile dysfunction may not be a result of underlying health conditions or physical causes like insufficient blood flow to the penis. It could be due to psychological conditions like depression and anxiety. In such cases, attending a counseling session might help.

Therapy sessions are often more effective when you attend with your partner because it helps them understand your condition better, which makes them more supportive.

3. Reducing the intake of alcohol

Alcohol intake is one of the factors that have been hugely linked to sexual dysfunction. Alcohol consumption is a common cause of hyperhomocysteinemia.

Also, men with alcohol dependence syndrome are easily prone to sexual dysfunction.

Reducing your excessive intake of alcohol is good for your sexual health and healthy living.

4. Ceasing smoking

Smoking has been associated with many health conditions, like lung diseases and cardiovascular diseases. It affects blood vessels and prevents proper circulation to different body parts, including the penis.

The risk of erectile dysfunction is always high for people who smoke.

Also, smoking affects the availability of nitric oxide in the body, and nitric oxide plays an important role in erection.

If you smoke, you may want to consider quitting, as it can affect your erection, sexual health, and overall health.

5. Maintaining a healthy weight

Obesity is one of the health conditions that can contribute to erectile dysfunction, and maintaining a healthy weight is good for your overall health.

If your erectile dysfunction is linked to obesity, consider exercising and changing your diet to include meals abundant in vegetables and low in junk. Losing some weight may eventually improve your erectile dysfunction.

6. Exercising

Exercise is good for general health and helps to improve health conditions, like cardiovascular diseases and obesity.

You can always run, take a brisk walk, visit the gym, skip, or swim. Rather than living a sedentary lifestyle, engage in any exercise that will help you stay fit.

7. Eating balanced diet

A balanced diet will help you maintain general body function and prevent diseases that can lead to erectile dysfunction.

There are foods that can help with erection, such as water melon, oysters, and nuts. Taking such foods may help improve your condition. Also, feel free to consult your dietician to get a meal plan tailored to your health needs.

Wrap up

There are medications available for erectile dysfunction. However, some may be associated with serious side effects, particularly in people with conditions like heart disease.

Taking the recommended vitamins and other natural remedies may help improve erectile dysfunction, depending on the underlying cause. However, if you are already taking a prescribed medication for ED, speak to your doctor before taking any vitamin or supplement.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best vitamin for erectile dysfunction?

Different vitamins are great for male sexual health; however, vitamin D, B3 and B9 are among the most studied vitamins for treating erectile dysfunction. These vitamins may be effective for managing ED and treating its symptoms.

Is there a natural herb for erectile dysfunction?

Different studies have suggested that natural herbs such as maca, Panax ginseng, and Mondia whitei may be effective for treating erectile dysfunction. However, before trying herbal remedies for ED, consider seeking the opinion of a healthcare professional, as some herbs may interact with medications or may be harmful when taken in high doses.

What are natural alternatives to Viagra?

Natural alternatives to Viagra include supplements like vitamin D and vitamin B9, herbs like maca and lifestyle modifications like quitting smoking and reducing stress, which may all benefit individuals with erectile issues.