Man sitting on the bed worried about erectile dysfunction

Should Vitamin D Be Called the 'Bedroom Vitamin?'

Should Vitamin D Be Called the 'Bedroom Vitamin?'

Scientifically reviewed by: Michael A. Smith, MD

You might think of vitamin D as the nutrient that strengthens immunity and supports strong bones—but research suggests it also plays an important role in male sexual function. Most recently, findings published in the World Journal of Men's Health found that adequate levels of vitamin D are necessary for adequate erectile function. (So perhaps instead of calling it "the sunshine vitamin," a better name might be, "the bedroom vitamin.")

"Male erectile function depends on many factors and can be perceived as a health indicator of the body," noted the authors, adding that "Vitamin D is crucial for a better healthy body and sexual activity."

This recent study reinforces previous research suggesting that there is a connection between lack of vitamin D and erectile dysfunction. A 2015 Johns Hopkins University analysis of more than 34,000 American men had found that 35% of men with sexual performance concerns also had a vitamin D deficiency.

Up to 30 million men in the U.S. suffer from erectile dysfunction, and the condition is age-related, and closely linked to hormone levels and emotional well-being.

There are medications that treat erectile dysfunction, but you can reduce the chances of developing this condition by living a healthy lifestyle—that includes getting enough vitamin D and other key nutrients, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight.

Why both men and women need healthy vitamin D levels

Healthy sexual function is just one reason to ensure you have proper levels of vitamin D, which has been associated with a wide range of other positive health benefits—from better outcomes for coronary artery bypass patients to improved immunity in response to the hepatitis B vaccine.

Vitamin D is important to every cell and tissue throughout the body, and influences bone density, heart health, mood and more.

The body manufactures vitamin D in response to sunlight, and it's also available in fatty fish such as salmon and trout, egg yolks and fortified cereals and milks (both dairy and non-dairy). But vitamin D deficiencies are common—more than 40% of Americans don't get enough vitamin D—which is why many choose to take a vitamin D supplement.

A simple blood test called 25-hydroxyvitamin D will let you know if you're deficient.


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The Life Extension Health News team delivers accurate information about vitamins, nutrition and aging. Our stories rely on multiple, authoritative sources and experts. We keep our content accurate and trustworthy, by submitting it to a medical reviewer.