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Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Erectile Dysfunction, Study Says

Update Date: Nov 14, 2015 10:12 AM EST
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Low vitamin D levels can affect your sex life, a new study found.

According to a research team headed by Dr. Erin Michos, who is an associate professor of medicine at John Hopkins University School of Medicine, vitamin D deficiency might be linked to erectile dysfunction.

For this study, the researchers examined data on more than 3,400 men living in the United States. The men were aged 20 and above and did not have heart disease. The researchers found that 30 percent of the participants were deficient in vitamin D, which was defined as having "sunshine vitamin" levels that were less than 20 nanograms per milliliter of blood. 16 percent of the sample dealt with erectile dysfunction.

When the researchers compared the men's rate of erectile dysfunction based on vitamin D levels, they found that 35 percent of men with erectile dysfunction had vitamin D deficiency. In the group of men without erectile dysfunction, 29 percent of them had low vitamin D levels. The researchers also found that men with low levels of vitamin D were 32 percent more likely to be impotent when compared to men with normal levels of vitamin D.

"Vitamin D deficiency is easy to screen for and simple to correct with lifestyle changes that include exercise, dietary changes, vitamin supplementation and modest sunlight exposure," Dr. Michos said in a university news release reported by MedicalXpress. "Checking vitamin D levels may turn out to be a useful tool to gauge ED risk. The most relevant clinical question then becomes whether correcting the deficiency could reduce risk and help restore erectile function."

The researchers accounted for several factors, such as smoking, drinking, blood pressure levels, inflammation, diabetes and medications. They noted that their findings, which were presented at the American Heart Association's meeting in Orlando, Florida, did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

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