Vitamin D for Erections (New Update)
A new review paper on vitamin D and erections was published after this blog post was uploaded.
And the data is important enough that I decided to update this page again.
The paper is titled Vitamin D and Male Erectile Function: An Updated Review (source).
It was recently published in the World Journal of Mens Health and here are some of the key findings:
- Dozens of studies have found that vitamin D is essential for healthy erections.
- There is a very strong relationship between ED and vitamin D deficiency in humans and other mammals.
- All men have vitamin D receptors inside their penile tissues that must be activated in order to achieve an erection.
- Vitamin D deficient men lack the D needed for optimal receptor binding.
- The human Genome Project found that human DNA has roughly 23,000 genes and more than 3,000 of these genes respond to vitamin D.
- The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in older men is approximately 50%.
- Low serum vitamin D levels are associated with higher prevalence of peripheral arterial disease.
- Vitamin D levels lower than 20 ng/mL are associated with increased erectile dysfunction risk.
- Vitamin D levels higher than 35 ng/mL is associated with reduced erectile dysfunction risk.
- 12 separate cross-sectional studies have found a strong relationship between vitamin D deficiency and endothelial dysfunction.
If you’re not dialed in on what endothelial dysfunction is…
It’s where the blood vessels leading to the penis narrow instead of dilating when it’s time to fire up an erection.
And obviously, this is no good when you’re tying to get it up.
The good news is, once you get your vitamin D levels back up near 35 ng/mL, endothelial function rapidly improves.
But there’s more…
Vitamin D and Nitric Oxide Production
Nitric oxide is the gas produced by your body that tells your vessels to relax so blood can flow freely.
And this is obviously a good thing when you’re attempting to rack up an erection.
And this paper also had plenty of things to say about this vital erection gas.
One of the primary actions of Vitamin D is to synthase a family of enzymes that that convert L-arginine into nitric oxide.
Now, many men use the amino acid arginine to boost erectile function.
But if they’re lacking the enzymes that converts the amino acid into nitric oxide, the supplement is doing them no good.
Fortunately, you can get all of the enzymes you need by simply increasing blood levels of vitamin D.
Vitamin D Rodent Studies
In one trial discussed in the paper, scientists studied mutant mice with impaired vitamin D receptors.
And these rodents developed endothelial dysfunction, arterial stiffness and decreased aortic artery signaling…
Along with impaired systolic and diastolic heart function that as they advanced in age.
Which explains another rodent study mentioned…
Where nitric oxide evoked dilation in the arteries of D deficient rats was reduced by a massive 50 percent.
And I can tell you without a doubt…
That an older individual who already produces much less nitric oxide than a younger man under ideal circumstances…
Is going to have a very hard time getting hard if nitric oxide levels drop by an additional 50 percent.
Combine everything we just discussed…
With this quote from the paper and it becomes very clear why vitamin D is so essential…
“Unfortunately, D deficiency is also associated with diabetes mellitus and reduced serum testosterone”.
So we can add diabetes and low testosterone to the list, two things that will further reduce your ability to rack up a usable erection.
Fortunately, this deficiency is a fairly easy fix.
Read on to learn why sunlight is the best way to get your levels back up into the safety zone.
Foods and supplements that will also help.
Along with the benefits in mood, dopamine production, mental health, hormones, cardiovascular health and more.
Vitamin D for Erections (why natural sunlight is best)
We’ve had a warm week here in California as I write this and after spending a day at the beach yesterday, I figured it was time to update this page.
Because the spectacular morning wood, the euphoria and the antidepressant vibe I’ve been getting all summer long from my regular trips outside needs to be talked about.
And I can tell you right now…
There’s not happy drug on the market that can compete with the feel good hormones I’ve been getting consistently, as long as I consistently get outside in the sunlight.
As we discuss in detail below, this can partially be explained by the fact that vitamin D is actually a pro-hormone, not just a vitamin.
As a matter of fact…
In a paper published back in April 2014 in the journal Nutrients, scientists wrote that this pro-hormone improved depressive symptoms equally as well as any antidepressant medication on the market.
This can partially be explained by the fact…
That scientists have proven that regardless of the time of year, serotonin levels in the brain are directly impacted by the amount of sunlight exposure on any given day.
And unlike antidepressants, the sun delivers these goods without the low libido, the inability to ejaculate and the erectile dysfunction.
That right there should be enough get you to dust off that swimsuit and head outside.
Vitamin D for Erections (an important question)
Now let me ask you a question to prove my point…
Have you ever racked up impressive wood after spending a depressing day indoors hiding from the sun while staring at an electronic screen?
How about your sex drive after one of these couch-locked netflix, instagram, youtube days?
Were you lit up, feeling happy, healthy and productive or did you feel an impending sense of depression and doom?
I know that in my case…
Too much time spent on passive leisure activities, away from natural sunlight always leads to reduced mood and reduced performance in the bedroom that night.
But if I get up and get outside into the sunlight and move my body in nature I not only sleep better but I can perform better in the sack as well.
And this magic works whether I’m swimming in the ocean, playing frisbee at the park or lounging at my local pool.
Now, you may be wondering if you can stay parked on the couch and just pop a vitamin D supplement or two to score these goodies.
And I can tell you right now, this won’t work because I’ve tried it many, many times.
Supplements may increase blood levels of vitamin D, but they don’t deliver any of these goods that natural sunlight does…
- Elevated Mood
- Stress Reduction
- Improved Sleep
- More Sex Drive
- Stronger Erections
- Consistent Morning Wood
I’m going to wrap this update with this…
We discuss dozens of erectile dysfunction protocols on this website, from ED supplements, to dealing with the mental side of the erection game.
And I can tell you right now, if I were to send myself back 20 years in a time machine to start this process all over again, here’s what I would do first.
I’d log off all those electronic screens and spend all that previously wasted time outside, moving my body underneath the life giving sun.
Walking, swimming, playing, frolicking outside in nature.
If I had of done that way back when, it’s very likely I wouldn’t have needed all those other protocols.
Because the sun, the body movement and the rejection of the mindless passive leisure would have been enough.
Vitamin D for Erections (Natures Pro-hormone)
You should use vitamin D for erections if you’re deficient in this important fat soluble vitamin, which most of us are.
And I use the term vitamin loosely, because D acts more like a pro-hormone than a vitamin in the body.
This may explain why Olympic athletes, going way back to the 1920’s and continuing until today, use sunlamps to boost D levels prior to competition.
But what about erections? How does vitamin D impact your ability achieve hard wood?
How about by elevating testosterone, clearing out blood vessels, reducing blood sugar and insulin, lowering blood pressure and boosting dopamine, to name a few.
Oh yea, and it also keeps your prostate healthy.
And remember, the more deficient you are, the more profound these effects will be.
If you’re dark skinned, live in a cold climate or rarely get out in the sun, chances are extremely high you’re deficient in D.
If so, you can use supplements to get your levels up, but natural sunlight is by far the best way to increase D in your body.
Because natural sunlight is much more effective at elevating the erection boosting neurotransmitter, dopamine.
Also, beta-endorphins are released when sunlight hits your skin, which does not happen when you get your D from supplements.
And these endorphins do good things for erections as well…
In a trial done back in 1989, scientists gave a group of men a drug called Naltrexone, which boosts beta-endorphins in humans.
At the end of the study, the authors wrote…
All the patients experienced a significant increase in morning and spontaneous full penile erections (source).
I believe it’s these endorphins, combined with the dopamine and testosterone elevation that makes you feel so good when you’re out in the sun.
And its no coincidence that these same chemicals also do very good things for your erections.
So do yourself a big favor, and get your D levels up into the optimal zone, which sits somewhere above 30 ng/ml.
And when deciding on your target, keep in mind…
When scientists tested Maasai Warriors, a group of bad ass dudes who spend their days outside in the sun, they tested out at a whopping 50 nanograms per milliliter.
Now here’s Jason with more…
Vitamin D For Erections – Part 2:
It’s summer time I write this, meaning for some that the days of vitamin D deficiency are over – at least until next fall. For others, it’s a year-round problem with multiple impacts on health.
These include increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment in elders, severe asthma in children, a number of cancers, various degrees of depression and anxiety…
…and erectile dysfunction.
Last fall, a group of researchers from Johns Hopkins University presented their most recent findings at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association.
Looking at the records of over 3,000 male subjects, they discovered that men with a vitamin D deficiency were 32 percent more likely to have trouble getting it up than people with normal levels of vitamin D in their blood.
From that, they concluded vitamin D testing should be an early protocol for treating erectile dysfunction, before diving into more serious drugs or invasive procedures.
That study only looked at the correlation between vitamin D deficiency and erectile dysfunction. Fortunately, other work has looked at why one might be related to the other. They found that:
D Deficiency Causes Low Testosterone.
Testosterone is not only your most important sex hormone.
It’s the hormone most responsible for you being male. It’s intimately linked with your desire to have sex, your ability to get it up and keep it up, and your ability to achieve a satisfying orgasm for yourself.
So low testosterone can impact your erectile health. Let’s look at why we think low vitamin D leads to low testosterone.
The World Trade Center CHEST Program (a highly-funded, longitudinal study of the health of people who worked in the rubble after the 9/11 bombings) analyzed numerous blood samples from numerous people.
The analysis found a one-to-one correlation between low vitamin D and low testosterone.
A 2015 study published in the Asian Journal of Andrology compared the vitamin D levels and testosterone levels of 652 Korean men.
They found the same direct correlation as that of the CHEST study, even after adjusting for potential confounding variables like drug use, activity level, age and illness (source).
On the flip side of the coin, a 2010 study found that men who took a vitamin D supplement…
For one year experienced increase in testosterone production as compared to subjects who did not take the supplement, and subjects given a placebo.
Again, we’re not sure why vitamin D is linked to testosterone production.
We are, however, quite sure it is linked. More vitamin D equals more testosterone. More testosterone equals better erectile health. It’s pretty simple math.
Vitamin D Deficiency Reduces Dopamine
Dopamine is one of the “feel good” chemicals your brain releases in response to things like hugging a friend, getting a really good workout, seeing a baby smile…and being in the sun.
The link between vitamin D and happiness is clearest in the case of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), where people who don’t get enough vitamin D from the sun experience medical depression during winter months.
This happens because it activates the processes responsible for releasing dopamine into your system.
Bottom line: without enough vitamin D, your body doesn’t produce enough dopamine. Dopamine is also a potent erection enhancer.
It plays almost as strong a role in sexual arousal and erection strength as testosterone and nitric oxide do.
There’s also a feedback loop when it comes to dopamine. It’s a feel-good chemical, released when you do something you enjoy – for example having sex.
Sufficient vitamin D means sufficient dopamine, which means sufficient sex (which you enjoy), which releases even more dopamine so your mental and sexual health stay up.
Without vitamin D, you not only release less dopamine – you have fewer reasons to be happy.
Lack of Sunlight Reduces Arterial Health
Remember earlier when we said too little vitamin D can lead to increased risk for heart disease?
A whole mess of studies have reported this link, so much so that the real work on the topic today are on how much vitamin D the body needs for heart health.
For example, a 2014 study from the Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake surprised many by reporting that vitamin D levels of 15 nanograms per milliliter were healthy enough (before, the presumed minimum was 30).
Without enough vitamin D, your circulatory system suffers.
Erectile health relies on a healthy circulatory system because erections rely on blood flow to engorge the tissue in and around your penis.
If that blood flow is weak (for example from low blood pressure, or clogged arteries reducing the flow – both of which can be caused by a vitamin D deficiency), then your erection will be weak.
If it’s strong and healthy, thus it shall be with your junk.
Vitamin D for Erections Conclusion:
This one’s pretty much a no-brainer.
Even if the link between vitamin D and erectile health wasn’t so strongly proven, there are enough mental and physical health reasons to get enough that you would want to take care of it anyway.
With that link, you should be getting as much vitamin D as you safely can.
For some lucky folks, the amount of time they spend outdoors is all they need to have all the vitamin D the body needs.
For the rest of us, here are a few other ways to get the good stuff:
- Eat more fresh fatty fish, like eel, mackerel, salmon, trout and tuna.
- Fix more canned tuna or canned sardines, if you’re not averse
- Drink vitamin-D fortified milk. It’s not cheating to dip your cookies in it.
- The same goes for vitamin-D fortified orange juice
- Put more egg yolks and beef liver into your diet
- Take on a few supplements like vitamin D or cod liver oil
No matter how many of those tricks you try, also just get outside for 20 minutes a day. Even if it’s not sunny, it’s good for you.