Erectile dysfunction

25 September 2017

The vitamin you need so your penis can perform

Low levels of this nutrient may cause your penis to let you down.

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Lacking enough of the sunshine vitamin might snuff out the lights on your bedroom game. New research from Italy suggests that low levels of vitamin D may increase your risk of erectile dysfunction.

When researchers tested 143 men with varying degrees of erectile dysfunction, they found that nearly half of them were coming up deficient in D, and only one in five had optimal levels of the nutrient. What’s more, men with severe cases of ED had vitamin D levels that were about 24% lower than those of men with mild forms of the condition.

Read more: Can I make my penis thicker

Insufficient levels of D may spur the production of free radicals called superoxide ions, according to study author Alessandra Barassi, M.D., and her research team.

These free radicals deplete your nitric oxide, a molecule that helps your blood vessels function properly.

The result: It makes it hard to, well, get hard.

Read more: Worried about erectile dysfunction? drink this!

“Nitric oxide causes the blood vessels to relax, which increases the blood flow and causes an erection under normal circumstances,” says Larry Lipshultz, M.D., a Men’s Health urology advisor. Without the necessary amounts of nitric acid, though, your blood vessels may not relax enough to allow for an erection.

If you suffer from ED, ask your doctor to check your vitamin D levels. For ED patients with low levels, the study recommends taking supplements to get back to the optimal level of 30 ng/mL or above.

This article originally appeared on www.mh.co.za

Image credit: iStock 

 

Ask the Expert

Erectile Dysfunction Expert

Dr Kenny du Toit is a urologist practicing in Rondebosch, Cape Town. He is also consultant at Tygerberg hospital, where he is a senior lecturer at Stellenbosch University. He is a member of the South African Urological Association, Colleges of Medicine South Africa and Société Internationale d’Urologie. Board registered with both the HPCSA (Health professions council of South Africa) and GMC (General medical council UK). He has a keen interest in oncology, kidney stones and erectile dysfunction.http://www.dutoiturology.co.za

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