The 7 Best Vitamins & Supplements for ED

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If you’ve been googling “what is the best vitamin for ED” or “supplements for ED” and coming up short on answers, there’s a reason for it: the “natural male enhancement” pills that you find online and in gas stations are released by brands that make dubious claims about what their products can do, and often, those claims aren’t backed by a lot of research. In fact, many of them are dangerous.

That said, certain vitamins and supplements (not the stuff you see at the gas station) — like vitamins B3 and D, or supplements like L-arginine, to name a few — may offer some erectile function benefits that are backed up by some science. 

So, whether you came here in search of vitamins for erectile strength or supplements for ED, we’re happy to share what research shows about vitamins that help with ED…maybe. We’re going to go through all the vitamins you should look for, and the foods in which you can find them

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Vitamins for ED: Do They Work?

You’re probably aware of ED treatments like Viagra, which work by increasing blood flow to your privates when you’re in the mood for love-making. But what about the options available without a prescription?

Well, if you’ve been looking at the “natural male enhancement” stuff on gas station shelves, we have some bad news. As we’ve discussed in our guide to herbal supplements for ED, most non-prescription products for treating ED are, to put it lightly, lacking in scientific evidence (unless they are something specifically approved or authorized by the FDA for ED, like vacuum devices or the topical gel, Eroxon). 

That said, as we mentioned above, some research shows that deficiencies of certain vitamins might contribute to ED. If you’re deficient, adding these vitamins to your diet might improve your overall health, including your ability to get and stay so. 

To put things in perspective, here’s the current wisdom:

  • Numerous factors can play a role in ED, including your cardiovascular health, psychological well-being and your level of interest in love-making.

  • Currently, the most effective oral treatments for ED are PDE5 inhibitor medications, such as sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra).

  • Vitamins B3, B9, C and D have been linked with blood flow, ED or testosterone levels in scientific studies. However, there’s very limited research on the link between vitamins and ED, meaning our understanding of this potential link isn’t very strong right now.

  • To get reliable relief from ED, it’s best to talk to a licensed ED healthcare provider online to learn how you can improve blood flow to your privates and strengthen your erections. 

  • Depending on your medical history, they may check your blood pressure, cholesterol and other tests that can screen for health conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and other things that are a risk factor for ED.

Okay, now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s talk vitamins.

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The Best Vitamins for ED

Vitamins are critical for the proper functioning of your body. They play vital roles in the development of your bones and organs. They also power essential biological processes that keep you alive, from your metabolism to the operation and function of your brain.

Because vitamins play such important roles in your health and survival, vitamin deficiencies can have serious negative effects on your well-being. What vitamins are good for erectile dysfunction, then, are the ones you don’t have enough of.

Some potential vitamins for ED include:

  • Vitamin B3 (niacin)

  • Vitamin B9 (folic acid)

  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

  • Vitamin D

Let’s look into each one to learn more.

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Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Some scientific research suggests that vitamin B3, or niacin, may be helpful for managing ED. 

For example, a study in 2011 found that adult men with ED and dyslipidemia (abnormal amounts of lipids in the blood) experienced improvements in erectile function after taking niacin for 12 weeks.

Vitamin B3 is an important vitamin for metabolic function. It’s linked to a reduced risk of certain types of cardiovascular disease thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects.

Niacin is widely available as a health supplement. It’s also found in a variety of foods, including:

  • Red meat, poultry and fish

  • Bran, yeast and whole-grain cereals

  • Peanuts, legumes and seeds

  • Eggs

(RelatedThe Best ED Pills for Men: Pros & Cons of ED Medication)

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Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)

Another vitamin that may be linked with ED is vitamin B9, or folic acid.

study published in the Asian Journal of Andrology analyzed the folic acid levels of men with ED and found that men with ED typically had lower levels of folic acid than healthy, unaffected men.

Interestingly, low levels of vitamin B9 were also linked to PE — another common male performance issue.

A newer study from 2020 noted a more direct link between vitamin B9 and health. In this study, men with ED showed measurable improvements in erectile function after taking a vitamin B9 supplement on a daily basis for three months.

Vitamin B9 plays key roles in the synthesis of DNA and RNA — essential molecules for storing and reading genetic information. It’s also important for the production of healthy red blood cells.

You can purchase vitamin B9 as a health supplement, but it’s also found in a wide range of foods, like:

  • Leafy green vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, asparagus and lettuce

  • Meats, including liver

  • Fish and other seafood

  • Peanuts, sunflower seeds and beans

  • Milk and other dairy products

  • Eggs

Folic acid is also commonly added to many breads, cereals, pastas and other grain products in order to prevent nutritional deficiencies.

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Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins for our bodies. When it comes to erectile health, research suggests that it might play a role in certain biochemical pathways that allow you to get and stay hard during intimacy.

For example, a review published in the journal Fertility and Sterility noted that vitamin C is one of several vitamins and minerals that support the biochemical pathway that leads to the release of nitric oxide.

Nitric oxide, or NO, is generally viewed as the principal agent responsible for relaxing the tissues inside your privates and allowing blood to flow in and create arousal.

Beyond its potential role in your health, vitamin C plays a key role in the biosynthesis of several neurotransmitters, as well as important structural proteins — like collagen, for example.

It’s also essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums, absorbing iron and promoting proper wound healing. 

Good sources of vitamin C include:

  • Citrus fruits, such as orange, grapefruit, lemon and lime

  • Other fresh fruits, including kiwifruit, guava and papaya

  • Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries

  • Red peppers, green peppers, broccoli and other vegetables

Many fruit and vegetable juices also contain plenty of vitamin C. You can also find it in most multivitamin supplements. 

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Vitamin D

Although research into the effects of vitamin D on performance is limited, some studies have found that vitamin D deficiency is linked to ED.

A small study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research found that men with vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency had lower levels of function than men with normal vitamin D levels.

However, it’s also worth noting that this study only investigated function and depression symptoms in young men with low vitamin D status.

meta-analysis from 2020 also found that vitamin D deficiency may be associated with severe forms of ED.

According to a review published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, around 24 percent of people in the United States have low vitamin D levels. Low vitamin D levels are even more common in Canada and Europe.

Your skin produces vitamin D when it’s exposed to sunlight, and it doesn’t take much to maintain healthy levels. Most people will be able to produce enough vitamin D to stay healthy with natural sun exposure from going for a daily walk or running errands. 

If you live in an area with limited sunlight or prefer not to spend too much time outdoors, you can also take in vitamin D from food or vitamin D supplementation. 

Foods that contain vitamin D include:

  • Fish, including salmon, trout, tuna, sardines and many fish oils

  • Cheese, milk and other dairy products

  • Red meat and poultry

  • Soy, almond and oat milks

  • Mushrooms

  • Apples, bananas and other fruits

  • Rice, lentils, sunflower seeds and almonds

  • Broccoli, carrots and other vegetables

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The Best Supplements for ED

Research on other supplements for ED is often inconsistent or not very strong. Some men might see an effect, many might not.

ED supplements that may produce improvements in function and health include: 

  • L-arginine. This amino acid plays a key role in the production of nitric oxide, which is a molecule that relaxes your blood vessels and promotes healthy blood flow.

  • Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). This hormone is a precursor to testosterone, which is important for regulating your drive.

  • Ginseng. This herbal supplement might produce improvements in function and satisfaction, but the quality of research is low.

Just like with vitamins, it’s important to keep in mind that supplements aren’t subject to clinical trials like medications. This means that there’s a lot that we don’t know about them, including the safety and effectiveness of using them as ED treatments.

(RelatedWhat Foods Help You Get Hard: 8 Foods For Erectile Dysfunction)

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Medications vs. Vitamins for ED

None of the “vitamins for erection health” listed above — or anything else you can find in a multivitamin — are proven, evidence-based treatments for ED.

Currently, among the most effective options for treating ED are FDA-approved medications called PDE5 inhibitors. These treatments work by dilating the arteries that supply your privates, allowing for better blood flow to your tissues.

Unlike vitamins and natural remedies, they’re subject to large-scale clinical trials before they go onto pharmacy shelves, meaning we know that they’re safe and effective for most men. 

If you find it difficult to get or maintain an erection, consider one of the following medications:

  • Sildenafil. The active ingredient in Viagra, sildenafil provides relief from ED for around four hours per dose.

  • Tadalafil. The active ingredient in Cialis, tadalafil is a long-lasting medication that can provide relief from ED for up to 36 hours.

  • Vardenafil. The active ingredient in Levitra, vardenafil provides relief from ED for four to five hours.

  • Avanafil. Sold as Stendra, avanafil is a newer treatment that provides relief from ED for up to six hours, with a lower risk of side effects than other oral ED medications.

  • Chewable ED medications. These fast-acting chewable mints include ingredients like sildenafil, tadalafil and vardenafil to help you get and stay hard during intimacy.

Image Credit: stefanamer/istockphoto.

Final Thoughts on Vitamins and Supplements for ED

Although research is limited, some studies have shown a link between ED and certain vitamin deficiencies. 

If you’re deficient in vitamins B3 (niacin), B9, C or D, increasing your consumption might improve your overall health, and maybe your ED symptoms. However, there are several things you’ll want to keep in mind before turning to vitamins as a “proven” ED treatment:

  • Vitamins like B3, B9, C and D are important for your overall health and health, and may help in the management of ED. More research is needed to determine whether natural supplements containing L-arginine, ginseng and others are as effective as supplement makers claim.

  • It isn’t clear if these vitamins help with function if you don’t have a vitamin deficiency. In other words, if you’re healthy, taking extra vitamin C may not have any impact on your performance in the bedroom.

  • More isn’t always better when it comes to vitamins. Certain vitamins are toxic when consumed in excess, meaning you shouldn’t exceed the recommended intake if you choose to use a vitamin supplement.

  • Vitamins aren’t a replacement for FDA-approved ED medication, or for healthy, natural habits and lifestyle changes that can make maintaining an arousal easier. 

This article originally appeared on Hims.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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