Vitamin D, Erectile Dysfunction and COVID-19
Since COVID-19 struck, a lot of research has been done to understand this disease better. It will certainly take some time to have a deeper comprehension of this viral infection but currently there is quite a lot of data thanks to all the scientific work around it. One of the interesting findings was the link between vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19. Several studies found that people with vitamin D deficiency are more susceptible to COVID-19 and, as you would expect, many people who got this info went on a shopping spree for Vitamin D supplements.
Unbeknownst to many, apart from COVID-19, Vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with erectile dysfunction. Many related studies have been published in Europe and America, most postulating a direct tie between low vitamin D levels and ED. The exact mode of causation has not been established but it is known that vitamin D acts as an anti-inflammatory and when its levels are low, endothelial damage is likely to occur. This can potentially result in compromised sexual performance.
You must be wondering then if the supplements to prevent COVID-19 may be of help to fight erectile dysfunction. Let us get some deeper understanding of vitamin D to answer this question.
What Is the Role of Vitamin D?
Vitamin D plays an important role in the absorption of calcium and consequently helps in strengthening bones and teeth. Furthermore, vitamin D regulates the levels of phosphorus in the body and maintains optimal cardiovascular function. Recent research shows that vitamin D may also play a role in the synthesis of nitric oxide – one of the most important compounds directly involved in the mechanism of penile erection.
Sources of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is produced when our skin is exposed to sunlight. The liver and the kidney take part in the subsequent stages of this process.
Some of the foods rich in vitamin D include:
- Fortified grains
- Egg yolk
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
If you are suffering from vitamin D deficiency, you are likely to experience backache, fatigue, low mood, muscle pain and recurring infections.
Who’s at Risk of Vitamin D Deficiency?
The following groups of people are more likely to have vitamin D deficiency.
- People with dark skin: Dark skin significantly reduces the absorption of ultraviolet light required in the synthesis of vitamin D in the body.
- People using sunscreen: When you apply sunscreen, you impair the body’s ability to absorb sunlight and this leads to low vitamin D levels in the long run.
- Overweight people: Vitamin D is fat soluble and is therefore stored in fat tissue. Obese people have more of their vitamin D in stored form and not readily bioavailable, which requires supplementation.
Vitamin D Dosage
Vitamin D supplementation should be administered observing correct dosage to achieve the optimum outcome. The recommended daily dose for adults is 600 international units.
Children should not exceed 400 IU per day.
Your doctor may advise a few adjustments to the dosages depending on their assessment of your condition. Make sure to take just the right amounts. Too much vitamin D causes headaches, kidney stones, bone pain and hardening of blood vessels.
Does Vitamin D Taken for COVID-19 Help to Reverse Erectile Dysfunction?
Back to the big question. Is the vitamin D you are taking to keep yourself safe from the COVID-19 going to help in boosting your erections?
Well, though a lot of research has been done in this field, some gaps still remain. For example, some experts have suggested that erectile dysfunction can actually turn out to be one of the long-term effects of COVID-19.
The association between vitamin D deficiency and erectile dysfunction is one that doesn’t have a definitive link yet, however. Clearly, more research needs to be done before we can draw conclusions.
If you feel any of the symptoms described above, see your doctor and have some tests done. If you need supplementation, the doctor will duly prescribe the meds. Avoid the temptation to overuse vitamin D supplements because this is potentially harmful to your health.