Life Extension Magazine®

In The News: Increase in Erectile Function with Vitamin D and ED Drug

Vitamin D boosts benefits of erectile dysfunction drug; nutrients inhibit HPV infection; vegetable compound may improve diabetic kidney disease; garlic combats metabolic syndrome; higher omega-3 linked to lower cancer incidence.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in May 2022. Written by: Life Extension Editorial Staff.

Erectile Function with Vitamin D and ED Drug

Vitamin D capsules used in study on erectile function link

A study reported in Urologia Internationalis revealed an increase in erectile function and desire in men who took a vitamin D supplement together with the erectile dysfunction (ED) drug tadalafil, compared to those taking tadalafil alone.*

The retrospective investigation included 111 men with ED and deficient vitamin D levels. Fifty-three men received 5 mg of tadalafil plus 4,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day, and 58 men received 5 mg of tadalafil alone.

After three months, vitamin D levels and erectile function and sexual desire scores were higher among men who received vitamin D supplements in addition to the drug, compared to those who received only tadalafil.

Editor’s Note: “We found that adding vitamin D to 5 mg oral daily tadalafil treatment may have an additional positive effect on erectile function and sexual desire in ED patients with VDD [vitamin D deficiency],” the authors concluded.

* Urol Int. 2021;105(5-6):514-519.

Nutrients Help Protect Against HPV

Woman laughing taking dietay antioxidents against infection

Dietary antioxidants can help protect women against infection with high-risk strains of human papillomavirus (HPV), a leading cause of cervical cancer, the Journal of Infectious Diseases reported.*

The study included 11,070 women who had participated in the 2003-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Higher serum levels of albumin and vitamins A, B2, E, and folate were associated with a reduced chance of having high-risk HPV.

Women who scored among the lowest 25% on a nutritional antioxidant rating scale had a 30% greater chance of infection with high-risk HPV and a 40% greater chance of low-risk HPV than women whose scores were among the top 25%.

Editor’s Note: “Our findings provide valuable insights into understanding antioxidants’ impact on HPV carcinogenesis,” the authors concluded.

* J Infect Dis. 2021 Mar 18.

Vegetable Compound Shows Promise Against Diabetic Kidney Disease

Resaercher seperating watercress PEITC compound for kidney disease

A compound that occurs in watercress and other vegetables, phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), has shown a potential benefit against diabetic nephropathy, according to research on rodents presented at the American Association for Anatomy annual meeting, held during Experimental Biology 2021.*

Diabetic nephropathy is a chronic kidney disease that develops in approximately one fourth of people with diabetes.

The researchers evaluated the effects of PEITC in a rat model of diabetic nephropathy. The compound was associated with improved kidney function, inflammation, and protein glycation.

Higher doses were associated with greater results. Kidney structure was also better preserved in association with PEITC.

Editor’s Note: PEITC is naturally present in many dietary sources, including watercress, broccoli, turnips, and radish.

* American Association for Anatomy Annual Meeting. 2021 Apr 29.

Garlic Supplementation Improves Metabolic Syndrome

Woman running using garlic powder for HDL cholesterol

A randomized, clinical trial reported in Phytotherapy Research found an association between supplementation with garlic and improvement in several components of metabolic syndrome—a cluster of factors that increase the risk of developing diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease.*

The trial included 90 men and women with metabolic syndrome who received tablets containing 1,600 mg of garlic powder daily for three months, or a placebo.

In the garlic-supplemented group, levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol were significantly higher than at the beginning of the study, and they were also higher compared to the placebo group.

Systolic and diastolic blood pressure, triglyceride levels, waist circumference, insulin and insulin resistance, fatty liver index, and appetite were reduced, compared to the placebo group.

Editor’s Note: Metabolic syndrome is defined as the presence of three of the following five disorders: abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, elevated blood sugar, and low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

* Phytother Res. 2021 May 11.

Omega-3s Can Reduce Some Cancer Risk

Woman holding omega-3 capsul associated with lowered cancer risks

Fish intake and other dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids have been associated with lower risk of some cancers, according to a study published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention.*

Researchers looked at a group from North Carolina heavily adjusted for head and neck cancer risk factors.

They found that higher intake of fish and shellfish was associated with a non-statistically significant 20% decrease in head and neck cancers, compared to lower intake.

Editor’s Note: The authors commented that higher vegetable and fruit intake had already been shown to reduce head and neck cancers incidence, but more research is needed to corroborate the protective role conferred by omega-3 ingestion.

* Eur J Cancer Prev. 2019 Mar;28(2):102-108.