Low levels of vitamin D seem to be associated with several disorders: intestinal, mood, osteoporosis. Some believe that even in erectile dysfunction, vitamin D may play a role. True or false? Replies Dr. Alessandro Pizzocaro, andrologist at Humanitas Research Hospital.
“True. According to the latest research on the relationship between vitamin D and the health of the sexual system in men, it seems that having normal levels of vitamin D in the blood can help prevent erectile dysfunction, a problem that affects not only the elderly but, increasingly, also young people – explains the expert -. An adequate level of vitamin D, in fact, is essential to maintain the health of the cardiovascular system, also bringing direct benefits on the health and sexual activity of man. The report would be due to the fact that cardiovascular disease and erectile dysfunction share many risk factors, such as diabetes, high levels of cholesterol, smoking habits, hypertension, overweight, depression. In particular, vitamin D has a positive role in the production of nitric oxide, which is the most important factor that promotes the dilation of arterial vessels not only of the heart and different vascular districts but also of the penis, promoting an erection. For this reason, if there is a deficiency of vitamin D is higher the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases that, as a result, potentially endanger the health of the male sexual system. If, on the other hand, vitamin D levels are adequate, the likelihood of developing both cardiovascular disease and erectile dysfunction should be reduced, although studies on an adequate number of patients are still necessary.
Controlling and maintaining an adequate intake of vitamin D, therefore, would also become protective for erectile dysfunction, obviously without neglecting the treatment of other risk factors related to incorrect lifestyles. Vitamin D is produced by the body mainly through direct exposure to sunlight, or it can be taken through supplements or added to certain foods such as breakfast cereals or vegetable milk, since it is not found in many foods. Foods that contain vitamin D, albeit in small amounts, are: fatty fish, milk and dairy products, eggs, liver, green vegetables and, above all, cod liver oil. The testicle is also an important site of activation of vitamin D, testifying to the fact that vitamin D has a close functional connection with the reproductive system. However, although vitamin D supplementation is important for overall and bone health, further studies are still needed to document the beneficial effects of vitamin D on reproductive and sexual function.