Sunlight is the primary source of vitamin D. The ideal range for vitamin D intake is 1000-4000 IU daily, according to a reference published by the Institute of Medicine. This translates to about 30 minutes or more of sun exposure without sunscreen three times a week. But for people who are unable to get enough sunlight, there are vitamin D supplements available in the market as well as food that can supply their need. Some examples of foods rich in vitamin D are fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel, as well as eggs, cheese, and dairy products fortified with vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency can cause serious problems. If not addressed, it could lead to muscle weakness, delayed growth, and bone disease in adults. It is also linked to the development of Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, thyroid problems, and ED in men. (Related: Erectile dysfunction and heart disease share common treatment.)
Vitamin D is essential for the regulation of calcium and phosphorus in the body, as well as for maintaining proper bone structure. Vitamin D also regulates the activity of an enzyme called endothelial nitric oxide (NO) synthase which produces NO. In the presence of NO, blood vessels dilate, allowing blood to flow easily. When blood can flow through blood vessels with ease, erection is less likely to be hindered. Vitamin D also helps treat chronic conditions that may have caused ED in the first place.
In a study published in the journal atherosclerosis, researchers studied 3,400 males suffering from ED to determine whether or not vitamin D levels influenced their condition. After three years of investigating, they found that vitamin D deficiency had a great impact on the number of ED cases recorded in that sample population. Their finding also suggested that men with vitamin D deficiency have 57 percent more chance of developing ED. Another study reported that, in a sample of 143 patients with ED, a significant portion of them suffered from severe vitamin D deficiency.
On the other hand, taking vitamin D supplements for a year proved effective in improving the symptoms of ED in patients aged 35 to 65. It also raised their testosterone levels by almost 25 percent and lowered estradiol levels by nearly 20 percent. Testosterone is a male sex hormone that promotes erection while estradiol is a female hormone that suppresses it. The ability of vitamin D to influence their production in favorable quantities means that it can increase the frequency of erections in men with ED. Moreover, taking vitamin D does not have adverse effects that ED drugs like Viagra tend to have, such as cross-reactivity with hypertensive drugs, headaches, and rashes.
These findings indicate that taking vitamin D may benefit men who suffer from ED by regulating sex hormones and improving blood circulation.
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