Top

Could Vitamin D Deficiency Contribute to Erectile Dysfunction?

Do you know the slang word for a strong erection? Hint: it contains the word “bone”. Funny enough, the use of this explicit name may have a perfectly legitimate explanation. It turns out vitamin D, the chemical substance responsible for strong bones, might also help prevent ED.

Vitamin D is important for our health because it supports calcium absorption. The result? Healthy and strong bones. On top of that, our bodies need this nutrient to maintain its vital functions such as immune or nervous response.

Vitamin D linked to erectile dysfunction

Vitamin D levels may also be linked to erectile dysfunction. According to the study published in “Dermato-Endocrinology”, men suffering from ED should have their vitamin D levels checked. If blood tests find a deficiency, supplementing and getting more exposure to sunlight are the best ways to get more vitamin D flowing.

A group of scientists wanted to see if there was a relation between vitamin D levels and erectile function in healthy men. They evaluated the sexual function in men aged 18 to 40. Those who were ill or took medication which could impair erectile functioning were excluded from the study.

Research showed that men with normal vitamin D levels had better sexual functioning than men with low vitamin D levels. Not only was the erectile capacity better. Men with good vitamin D levels had better orgasms and more desire too!

It’s all connected

Despite promising results, so far researchers have not been able to prove a clear link between ED and vitamin D. That’s because low levels of this nutrient have been linked to other physical conditions as well. Low vitamin D is connected to diabetes and heart disease, as well as mental problems such as depression.

For example, it’s possible that low vitamin D could lead to depressive moods, which in turn might result in erectile difficulties. More studies are needed to confirm or exclude a possible link between ED and vitamin D levels.

One thing we know for sure: maintaining a healthy level of vitamin D can improve your health and prevent certain serious diseases. If you’re in good physical and emotional shape, you have a greater chance of avoiding erectile problems.

Here are the best tips to increase your vitamin D levels:

1. Enjoy the sunshine.

Our bodies are amazing machines. They are able to produce some of the necessary nutrients if the conditions are right. That is definitely the case with vitamin D. 15 minutes out in the sunshine can help your body produce enough vitamin D for the day.

There are some things to consider to make sun exposure effective. First, you have to be outside. Looking at the sun through the window of your office or car won’t do because glass will block UVB rays.

Man outside looking up at the sun.

15 minutes of sunshine can boost your vitamin D levels

Second, you need to catch the sun at least with bare arms, forearms or calves and use the times of day with most sunshine in your area. Sunscreen-free. Yes, it is a bit counter-intuitive but a few minutes without sun cream should not be harmful to your skin.

It’s best to check the weather update on UV radiation levels. With UV index 3-4 fair-skinned people can safely stay in the sun for about 20 minutes. If you have many moles on your body, better consult with your doctor first.

Third, if you have a darker skin color, you may have to stay in the sun longer. Same applies to an older age. The older you are, the more difficult it is for your body to produce vitamin D3 from exposure to sunshine.

2. Get vitamin D from food

Diet is the next natural step to increase your vitamin D levels. Bad news for vegans: most vitamin D rich foods are of animal origin (egg yolk, anchovies, wild salmon). The only non-animal option is mushrooms.

If you don’t eat products of animal origin or hate fish, seafood and eggs, try including fortified food and drinks in your daily diet. You can easily get vitamin D enriched milk, plant-based milk alternatives or tofu.

Chalk board labeled vitamin D with fish, mushrooms, cheese and cream.

Most foods rich in vitamin D are of animal origin

3. Supplement vitamin D if needed

If you live far from the equator, chances are you need to supplement vitamin D, at least in the winter time. When the days are long (and we spend them at work or indoors) and we walk around covered head to toe, our bodies are not getting enough exposure to the sun’s rays.

Doctors and scientists are not unanimous on what the best dosage of vitamin D supplements is. Your best bet is to ask your physician. Always make sure you are getting reliable supplements that have undergone quality and safety testing.

If you are dealing with erectile dysfunction, you’re probably seeing your doctor on a regular basis to track your condition and renew your prescription for Viagra or similar medication. If you’re interested in learning about all your options, click here to see the online alternatives currently available for ED.

At the next checkup, don’t forget to ask your doctor to test your vitamin D levels. If they turn out to be insufficient, make some lifestyle changes to help your body produce more of the precious vitamin. Take supplements as needed. If used under a doctor’s supervision they won’t hurt and can bring some good to your bedroom life too!

Anka Grzywacz is a sexologist, reproductive health expert and Certified Sex Coach™. In her online practice she helps busy parents solve their intimate problems.