(Medically reviewed by Dr. Zac Hyde M.D)
I decided to update this magnesium for erectile dysfunction page after experiencing some pretty incredible results from a specific form of magnesium I’ve been using lately.
It’s called magnesium glycinate, a highly absorbable form of the mineral that promotes sleep, which may explain it’s erection boosting properties….
Because high quality sleep is mandatory if you want to rack up impressive wood.
I’ve found that taking 400 mg just before going to bed usually results in 7-8 hours of very high quality sleep that night.
And when a man sleeps this long and this well, high testosterone the next morning is pretty much a given.
And I can tell it’s a given because nocturnal and early morning erections are funded by testosterone and I’ve been seeing them like clockwork lately.
Glycinate is a chelated form of magnesium, where the mineral is bound to the amino acid glycine.
And this particular form of magnesium does several things very well, which also contribute to it’s erection boosting benefits.
For example, magnesium glycinate:
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Regulates Blood Sugar
- Speeds Up Digestion
- Lowers Cortisol
- Balances Brain Neurotransmitters
- Increases Nitric Oxide Production
This boost in nitric oxide was actually discovered when scientists noticed that magnesium decreased the severity of asthma attacks in humans.
When the lab coats investigated why this was happening, they found magnesium glycinate boosted nitric oxide levels in subjects who were given the mineral.
This lead to a relaxation of the smooth muscles of the airways leading to the lungs, resulting better breathing in the asthmatics.
And here’s the key point to remember…
This relaxation of the smooth muscles also occurs with the blood vessels that deliver nutrient rich blood to the penis when it’s time to fire up an erection.
And once you combine these two benefits…
You’re looking at more nocturnal testosterone production and more nitric oxide, two things that will help any man dealing with erectile dysfunction.
Magnesium Glycinate and Brain Neurotransmitters
Before we move on to part 2, I want to discuss the balanced brain neurotransmitters mentioned just above.
Low quality sleep often happens when a man can’t shut his mind off, especially when he wakes up in the middle of the night.
This is usually caused by elevated excitatory neurotransmitters, including glutamate, epinephrine, histamine and norepinephrine.
If you’ve ever woken up and you couldn’t stop your mind from spinning like a top, you’re already very familiar with these.
And the fatigue that comes on after a night battling with these insomnia chemicals almost guarantees you’re going to have low-t and ED the following day.
Now here’s the punchline…
Glycine, the amino acid that magnesium glycinate is made from, actually works in the human body as an inhibitory neurotransmitter (source).
And it’s the inhibitory neurotransmitters that keep the excitatory neurotransmitters at bay while you sleep.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid, otherwise know as GABA, is the primary inhibitor…
And GABA has been proven to slow down brain function and promote deep sleep in humans in numerous studies.
One in particular found that insomniacs have GABA levels a whopping one third lower than people who have no problems sleeping.
Magnesium glycinate actually binds to GABA receptors in the brain and stimulates them to produce more of this essential brain chemical.
If you decide to test this protocol, I recommend Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium Glycinate Lysinate, which can be found on amazon for about 20 bucks.
Four caps just before bed has worked well for me.
Now here’s part 2…
Magnesium for Erectile Dysfunction Part 2:
The good news for men with ED is, there are a ton of supplements out there that will supposedly help fix your ED.
The bad news for men with ED is, there are so many options it’s hard to decide which supplements actually work.
The worse news for men with erectile dysfunction is, that it’s hard to tell what’s real, what’s rumor and what’s intentional snake oil.
Which is what this blog is all about!
Today let’s look at magnesium. Word around the block is, magnesium can cure your ED ills. But what does the research have to say?
Magnesium is an Arterial Relaxant
You may have read about how important vasodilators are to erectile function. That’s because healthy blood flow to your penis and the surrounding tissue is the core process behind erections.
If your blood vessels are too narrow or tight, that healthy blood flow can’t happen.
Age-related arterial stiffness is a common complaint of growing older, and a contributing factor to age-related erectile dysfunction.
In 2011, Dr. Van Laecke and his team at the Ghent University Hospital in Belgium examined the impact of low magnesium on age-related arterial stiffness in a study of 512 men (source).
Over the course of six years, the team examined over 10 factors that could impact arterial stiffness.
Some of the other factors included age, diabetes and smoking status, body weight, blood pressure, and various hormone levels.
Van Laecke concluded that low magnesium levels correlated strongly with levels of arterial stiffness, enough to stand out from the crowd of other factors.
They declared low magnesium an “independent predictor” of arterial stiffness.
They also found this impact was strongest in patients over 55 years old.
Bottom line: there’s no guarantee that extra magnesium will fix your ED. But if you have low magnesium, getting it back to normal levels can fix this particular cause of erectile dysfunction.
Magnesium Regulates Blood Pressure
Like I said about arterial stiffness, problems with blood pressure can have a powerful impact on erectile health.
Dr. Yiqing Song of Indiana University’s Epidemiology department conducted a 2016 meta-analysis of 34 studies.
The studies Song look at examined over 2,000 patients total. All used double-blind, placebo-controlled methodology. They lasted 3 weeks to 6 months, and used varied dosages from 240 mg to 960 mg daily.
Song’s findings were conclusive. Universally, the studies found a “causative effect” between taking magnesium supplements and reducing symptoms of hypertension when taken in dosage of 300 mg per day or higher.
This study demonstrated magnesium supplements, or even a diet rich in magnesium, can replace expensive and risky hypertension medications as a cure for or preventer of high blood pressure.
This is a bigger deal than you might be thinking right now…
Remember: Viagra started out as a blood pressure medication.
If you can get some of the benefits of Viagra without the side effects and without shelling out big money to big pharma, that’s a huge win.
Magnesium Blocks Calcification of Arteries
As we age, microscopic amounts of plaque get left on the insides of our arteries.
This plaque accumulates and hardens as the decades go on and can cause circulatory problems from erectile dysfunction up to and including heart failure.
In 2014, a team of five doctors from Massachusetts General Hospital and Tufts University conducted a study on magnesium and arterial calcification.
They found that even 50 mg daily of magnesium intake was enough to reduce calcification by nearly 25 percent (source).
Their results were checked and adjusted for factors like age, gender, weight and smoking, and remained consistent across subjects.
Ultimately, the team identified magnesium as a protective agent against stroke and coronary heart disease.
It’s also worth noting that calcified arteries happen faster if you smoke, eat an unhealthy diet or develop diabetes.
Since all three of these also can cause or exacerbate erectile dysfunction, this is another reason to take better care of your body in general.
Magnesium Boosts Testosterone
Most of the factors I’ve discussed so far have to do with blood flow. This matters because blood is such a huge part of the physical process of having and maintaining a strong erection.
But one other function of magnesium addresses an entirely different cause of erectile dysfunction.
A wide range of studies have linked magnesium with increased testosterone. Here are a few of the more powerful examples:
A 2008 study in France found that magnesium freed testosterone bound by SHBG, allowing more produced testosterone to be used by the subjects’ bodies.
In Parma, Italy, a 2011 study of over 400 older men found a strong correlation between higher testosterone levels and higher levels of blood serum magnesium (source).
Research in 2011 in Karaman, Turkey tested a combination of magnesium supplementation and intense martial arts training. The result after six weeks was a 24% increase in free testosterone.
A 2012 study in Philadelphia studied boys with Gitelman’s syndrome. The syndrome causes problems with magnesium and calcium levels.
The study found that these problems caused delayed puberty, due to lower testosterone levels caused by the magnesium imbalance.
Bottom line: low magnesium equals low testosterone. As we all know, low testosterone often equals low sex drive and poor erectile function.
Magnesium for Erectile Dysfunction – Conclusion:
If your erectile dysfunction stems from any kind of circulatory problem, ranging from hardened arteries to high blood pressure, magnesium is very likely a win. .
If your ED is caused by low testosterone, magnesium can help address that as well.
In either case, I recommend 400mg per day of magnesium chloride if you’re under 30 and 420 mg daily if you’re older than that.
So does the University of Maryland. You can also just put magnesium-rich foods into heavy rotation.
A few of my favorites include:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Wild rice
Too much magnesium can cause diarrhea and fatigue, so monitor the effects once you start taking it and adjust your dosages accordingly.
Finally, in addition to magnesium, you can also cycle these erection supplements if ED is an ongoing problem for you.