Erectile Dysfunction linked to Vitamin D deficiency

 

Vitamin D is a nutrient sometimes known as “the sunshine vitamin” because direct sunlight produces it naturally in our bodies. It is also known to play a key role in biochemical processes ranging from bone renewal to hormone balance.  So, how is erectile dysfunction linked to a vitamin D deficiency?

Researchers from Johns Hopkins university analyzed data from more than 3,400 American men. Erectile dysfunction linked to Vitamin D deficiency was present in 35 percent of men, compared to 29 without erectile dysfunction.  While the data was compelling, lead investigator Dr. Erin Michos acknowledges that their finding is observational and doesn’t attempt to prove cause and effect as it relates to the link between vitamin D and ED.

At most the 2015 study, which was presented at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting, suggests that if a correlation does exist between vitamin D deficiency and erectile dysfunction, that findings might lead to new treatment approaches.  The question remains.  Does erectile dysfunction lead to a vitamin D deficiency?  Does a vitamin D deficiency lead to erectile dysfunction?  Here are some things we do know.

 

Erectile Dysfunction linked to Vitamin D deficiency

 

Vitamin D and Diabetes

There is also growing evidence around vitamin D and Diabetes.   The American Diabetes Associates published a study that concluded that a vitamin D deficiency could be a contributing factor in the development of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.  According to researcher’s vitamin D treatment improves glucose tolerance and insulin resistance.

Some doctors believe that there is a link between vitamin D and type II diabetes as studies indicate young people who have the lowest level of vitamin D in their blood have a higher chance of developing type II diabetes as they age.  Diabetes is estimated to reach 322 million cases worldwide by 2025, and it just so happens the third most common complaint is, you guessed it, erectile dysfunction

 

Erectile Dysfunction linded to Vitamin D deficiency

 

The relationship between diabetes and hypertension

Further studies have found that at least 1 in 3 patients with type 1 diabetes also have hypertension.  Diabetes does three things that may increase blood pressure:

  • Decreasing the blood vessel’s ability to stretch
  • Increasing the amount of fluid in the body
  • Change the way the body manages insulin

 

Vitamin D and Hypertension

According to researchers at the Mayo Clinic, it’s too early to say whether too little vitamin D causes high blood pressure or whether vitamin D supplements may have a role in treatment of high blood pressure.  Regardless, vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of hardening of the arteries (hypertension).  Hypertension leads to High blood pressure and can block blood flow in blood vessels throughout the body. 

Erectile dysfunction linked to Vitamin D deficiency

 

The relationship between diabetes and hypertension

According to researchers at the Mayo Clinic, it’s too early to say whether too little vitamin D causes high blood pressure or whether vitamin D supplements may have a role in treatment of high blood pressure.  Regardless, vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of hardening of the arteries (hypertension).  Hypertension leads to High blood pressure and can block blood flow in blood vessels throughout the body. 

 

High blood pressure and erectile dysfunction

 

High blood and erectile dysfunction go hand in hand.  Men with erectile dysfunction who also have cardiovascular disease are incredibly common.  90% of men with ED have at least one major cardiovascular risk.  Usually high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or smoking are risk factors found in men with erectile dysfunction.

 

vitamin D and cardiovascular disease

 

The evidence for an association between vitamin D and cardiovascular disease is also strong. Poor vitamin D while linked to obesity, diabetes, and poor mental health, also plays a role in the inner lining of blood vessels. Known as endothelial dysfunction, an aspect of vascular disease, blood vessels in this state have a problem functioning properly without adequate levels of vitamin D.  Endothelial dysfunction is known to be highly correlated with poor vitamin D.  Endothelial dysfunction is a precursor to hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis also described as the loss of elasticity of artery walls.  We know that hardening of the arteries is a vascular disease that can contribute to, you guessed it, erectile dysfunction.

 

Erectile dysfunction linked to Vitamin D deficiency

 

Penile atherosclerosis

Penile atherosclerosis is medical term for hardening of the arteries in the penis. Healthy erectile function is not able to occur if the blood vessels are inflexible.  Hardened arteries, also known as being the by-product of endothelial dysfunction, prevents the expansion of penile tissues from a flaccid to erect state. Vitamin D3 deficiency seems to occur prior to, or as the result of, penile atherosclerosis.

Vitamin D and Nitric Oxide

Dr. Michos and her colleagues also noted in the 2015 John Hopkins study that men with ED have an increased frequency of endothelial dysfunction, and vitamin D may improve endothelial function. “One mechanism linking low vitamin D levels with ED may be via reduced synthesis of nitric oxide,” they wrote. “Secretion of nitric oxide is needed for relaxation of the smooth muscles of the corpora cavernosa and subsequent penile erection, and vitamin D may be a regulator of endothelial nitric oxide synthase.”

Erectile Function

Healthy erectile function is all about the health of blood vessels and blood flow to the penis.  Men with erectile dysfunction are unable to achieve or maintain adequate amounts of blood in penile tissues. Having established that vitamin D is essential to the health of blood vessels, it is not difficult to speculate that vitamin d deficiency can play a role in diminished blood flow due to endothelial dysfunction (hypertension).

It is clear in various clinical studies published on vitamin D and diabetes, heart disease, and erectile dysfunction, they all have one thing in common.  They are inconclusive around the exact cause and effect relationship between vitamin D and these three conditions. However, there is a relationship between a deficiency of the vitamin D, the health of the vascular system, and the mentioned disease states.

Erectile Dysfunction Pump in ED related Diabetes and Hypertension

An erectile dysfunction pump is the first line treatment of choice for men with either diabetes or hypertension.  However, the reasons this is true is different for both diabetes and hypertension.  Oral medications being very accessible, are often considered as the first line treatment for ED.

Men who take medications that treat hypertension often find that oral ED medications do not mix well with high blood pressure medications that contain nitrates. Possible side effects could include, headache, flushing, indigestion, nasal congestion, muscle aches, back pain, or vision distortion.

50% of men with diabetes type 1 who try oral ED medications report there is no improvement in the erections they achieve.  40% of men with diabetes type 2 who try oral ED medications report there is no improvement in the erections they achieve.

So many men who are taking hypertension medications cannot combine ED medications with certain blood pressure medications.  Men with diabetes type 1 or type 2 have a high probability that oral ED medications will not yield a positive response.

 

Erectile Dysfunction Pump for Erectile Dysfunction linked to vitamin D deficiency

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