Erectile dysfunction, male impotence may be due to vitamin D deficiency

By: Bel Marra Health | Men's Health | Monday, November 16, 2015 - 04:00 PM

Erectile dysfunction, male impotence may be due to vitamin D deficiencyErectile dysfunction (ED), male impotence, may be due to a vitamin D deficiency, according to a recent study. To achieve their findings, researchers analyzed data from over 3,400 American men over the age of 20. Thirty percent of the men were found to have low vitamin D – below 20 nanograms per millimeter of blood. Sixteen percent of them had erectile dysfunction.

A vitamin D deficiency was present in 35 percent of the men with erectile dysfunction, compared to 29 percent without. Lead investigator, Dr. Erin Michos, said, “Vitamin D deficiency is easy to screen for and simple to correct with lifestyle changes that include exercise, dietary changes, vitamin supplementation and modest sunlight exposure.”

The researchers suggest that men with low vitamin D levels have a 32 percent higher risk of developing erectile dysfunction compared to men without the deficiency. Even when other risk factors for erectile dysfunction were taken into account, the association still remained.

Although the findings are observational and do not prove cause and effect, additional research is required to better understand the association and determine the exact link. Dr. Michos added, “Checking vitamin D levels may turn out to be a useful tool to gauge ED risk. The most relevant clinical question then becomes whether correcting the deficiency could reduce risk and help restore erectile function.”

It’s estimated that 40 percent of men over the age of 40 and 70 percent of those over 70 have erectile dysfunction. Forty percent of Americans also have a vitamin D deficiency, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Erectile dysfunction, other physical and psychological causes

Aside from the observational association between low vitamin D and erectile dysfunction, there are other reasons – both physical and psychological – that can increase the risk of erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is a condition where a man cannot have or maintain an erection. Causes for erectile dysfunction include:

  • Erectile dysfunction, other physical and psychological causesHeart disease
  • Clogged blood vessels
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Scar tissue inside the penis
  • Certain prescription medications
  • Tobacco use
  • Alcoholism and substance abuse
  • Sleep disorders
  • Treatment for an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer
  • Surgeries in the pelvic region
  • Depression, anxiety or other mental disorders
  • Stress
  • Relationship problems due to stress, poor communication or other concerns

Lifestyle changes and natural treatments for ED

The common form of treatment for erectile dysfunction can present many unwanted side effects, including:

  • Lifestyle changes and natural treatments for EDNasal congestion
  • Headache
  • Upset stomach
  • Vision changes
  • Facial flushing
  • Dizziness

For these reasons, it’s a good idea to employ lifestyle changes in order to treat erectile dysfunction. Many lifestyle changes can help improve erectile dysfunction, including:

  • Exercising
  • Losing weight
  • Not smoking or quitting smoking
  • Reducing alcohol intake

Recommended dietary intake of vitamin D

Below is the recommended dietary intake of vitamin D, as suggested by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation
0–12 months* 400 IU
(10 mcg)
400 IU
(10 mcg)
1–13 years 600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
14–18 years 600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
19–50 years 600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
51–70 years 600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
>70 years 800 IU
(20 mcg)
800 IU
(20 mcg)

* Adequate Intake (AI)

Causes of vitamin D deficiency in men

Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin” because we get it from the sun; therefore, if you live in a place where the amount of sunlight is shortened or you don’t get out often to enjoy the sun, your vitamin D intake could be limited. Other causes of vitamin D deficiency in men include:

  • Having dark skin – having dark skin works as a skin protector and does not absorb the necessary rays to convert to vitamin D
  • Being overweight
  • Malabsorption syndrome
  • Aging – as we get older our ability to absorb vitamin D decreases
  • Medications and medical conditions – kidney disease, antifungal medication, hyperthyroidism

Related Reading:

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Is gout the cause of erectile dysfunction (ED)?

Have your bedroom sessions been a little lacklustre as you age? And no, we’re not talking about your ability to sleep. We’re referring to your ability to still get hot and heavy with your spouse or partner. Sex, at any age, is not only beneficial for relationships but it can offer many health benefits. So just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to slow down. This, of course, is if you don’t have erectile dysfunction (ED). Continue reading…


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