Which Testosterone Booster is Best for Erectile Dysfunction?
by Benjamin Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert
Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.
As men age, it's not uncommon for them to experience a decrease in testosterone levels.
This can lead to a range of physical and emotional changes, including erectile dysfunction.
While there are plenty of products on the market that claim to boost testosterone levels and treat ED, not all of them are created equal.
In fact, some may even be ineffective or dangerous. So, how can you separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to testosterone boosters?
In this article, we'll take a look at some of the most effective and scientifically-proven supplements and treatments for ED.
Whether you're looking to improve your sexual performance or simply boost your overall health and wellbeing, we've got you covered with the latest research and expert insights.
So, let's dive in and discover how you can maximize your manhood and regain control of your sexual health.
Understanding erectile dysfunction and testosterone levels
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common condition that affects millions of men worldwide. It's defined as the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse.
While ED can be caused by a variety of factors, including psychological issues, physical health problems, and lifestyle factors, low testosterone levels are a common contributing factor.
Testosterone is a hormone that plays a crucial role in male sexual health. It's responsible for the development of male sex organs, the growth of facial and body hair, and the deepening of the voice during puberty.
Testosterone also plays a key role in libido, or sexual desire, and is necessary for the production of sperm.
While testosterone levels naturally decline with age, there are a variety of factors that can accelerate this decline.
These include obesity, diabetes, and certain medications, such as antidepressants and opioids.
Lifestyle factors, such as lack of exercise and poor nutrition, can also contribute to low testosterone levels.
Erectile dysfunction can have devastating emotional repercussions for both the sufferer and their partner.
Many men feel embarrassed discussing erectile dysfunction with their doctor and this often delays diagnosis and treatment.
It's important to remember that it doesn't just relate to sexual desire but often indicates underlying medical conditions that require treatment.
Low testosterone and erectile dysfunction share an intricate relationship.
Testosterone plays a pivotal role in sexual drive, sperm production, muscle building and bone strength.
Research indicates that low levels leading to decreased sexual drive, libido decrease and an increase in cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and obesity which increase a man's risk for impotence.
Studies show a correlation between low testosterone levels and erectile dysfunction; however, it's not direct.
Instead, both conditions are common among men with lower than average levels.
Low testosterone has been linked with chronic medical issues which restrict blood flow to the penis and negatively impact erectile function such as heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, among others.
As soon as a man feels aroused during sexual activity, nerves in their brain and around his penis send signals for muscle relaxation to occur, allowing blood to rush to pairs of erectile tissue in his corpora cavernosa, leading to an erection.
To keep it going, tension must be applied on tunica albuginea tightening which in turn tightens tunica albuginea which tightens further leading to the penis becoming firm.
An erection dissipation occurs upon sexual intercourse or ejaculation which causes blood flow back into his body and returns him back into his normal state.
Eventually an erection dissipation occurs and blood flows back into his system and brings him back down again to its original state.
Low testosterone levels may reduce libido, leading to decreased sexual desire that could contribute to erectile dysfunction.
Furthermore, low levels of the hormone can produce other symptoms which make getting and maintaining an erection more challenging, including difficulty with sexual intimacy, decreased semen volume, fatigue depression anxiety.
Erectile dysfunction and testosterone levels appear to have an inverse relationship, which suggests that low levels will not help an otherwise healthy man achieve an erection.
On the other hand, some men can still achieve strong erections despite testosterone levels well below what would normally be considered "healthy". Nonetheless, many have healthy erections despite having testosterone levels far lower than normal range.
Common causes of erectile dysfunction
Many men experience difficulty with attaining or maintaining an erection from time to time; this becomes an issue when the issue becomes persistent, impacting sexual activity or quality of life.
Many men find it uncomfortable to discuss sexual problems with their doctors, yet it is crucial if you're having difficulty getting or keeping an erection for sexual activities. There may be an underlying cause that needs treatment.
Medication for high blood pressure, cholesterol or other medical issues may also have an impact on sexual drive; always consult your physician before changing any medication you're currently taking.
Anything that reduces testosterone can make it more difficult to attain and sustain an erection, including surgery and radiation treatments for prostate cancer, as well as hormone therapy treatments for other conditions.
Although these effects may be temporary, depending on the type of surgery performed and duration of hormone therapy therapy.
Neurological conditions can contribute to erectile dysfunction as the nerves responsible for an erection lie near the prostate and may become injured during surgery or from trauma, including Parkinson's, Alzheimer's or spinal cord injuries.
Furthermore, medication used to treat mental illness or depression may reduce libido.
- Psychological issues, such as stress, anxiety, and depression.
- Physical health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
- Lifestyle habits, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and drug use.
- Medications, such as antidepressants and blood pressure medications.
If you're experiencing ED, it's important to speak with your healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
In some cases, addressing lifestyle factors, such as quitting smoking or losing weight, may be enough to improve erectile function.
In other cases, medication or therapy may be necessary.
Natural testosterone boosters for erectile dysfunction
Diet and exercise are effective ways of combatting ED symptoms, but the foods we eat may have even greater influence over how easily we get and keep an erection.
Foods which increase blood flow to your penis make sustaining an erection more straightforward - many common items you likely already have in your kitchen could do just the trick!
Leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach and Swiss chard contain naturally occurring nitrates which the body converts into nitric oxide for improved blood flow.
Viagra utilizes this same chemical, helping relax blood vessels to increase flow. Other dietary sources of nitrates include beet juice and certain citrus fruits.
Tuna and other oily fish provide rich sources of magnesium that is said to promote sperm production and circulation.
Leafy greens like asparagus, bok choy, spinach and edamame beans contain high concentrations of folic acid - associated with lower risks of ED.
While bananas, raisins and prunes provide plenty of potassium which helps avoid muscle cramps.
While many herbal products claim to be "herbal Viagra," research remains mixed.
Some contain hidden ingredients that could cause serious side effects.
If low testosterone levels are contributing to your ED, natural testosterone boosters may be able to help.
Vitamin D is important for overall health and wellbeing, and it also plays a role in testosterone production. Studies have shown that men with low vitamin D levels are more likely to have low testosterone levels and experience ED.
While natural testosterone boosters can be effective, it's important to remember that they may not work for everyone.
Vitamin A can aid with erectile dysfunction by improving blood flow and increasing nitric oxide production.
One study discovered that taking both folic acid and vitamin A together significantly outperformed taking either separately in terms of improving erectile function.
Vitamin K is an essential nutrient required to activate blood-clotting proteins and protect arteries from calcification, while also helping sperm production.
Furthermore, vitamin K acts as an anti-inflammatory which keeps the penis vessels healthy. A study on mice that were given Warfarin (a blood thinner which prevents Vitamin K recycling) showed that their arterial calcification decreased substantially when given Vitamin K instead.
Erectile dysfunction is caused by narrowing of the arteries, beginning in small blood vessels leading into the penis.
Over time this leads to plaque build-up which clogs these vessels, restricting blood flow. This may cause chest pain after exertion as well as heart attacks, strokes and pain while walking (claudication).
Studies have indicated that vitamin K deficiency could contribute to erectile dysfunction.
Iron is an essential mineral that is needed for red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the body, including to the penis.
Men who suffer from anemic symptoms can find it hard to have erections due to fatigue. Furthermore, iron deficiency increases one's risk for other chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
With projections that erectile dysfunction will affect 320 million men by 2025, there has been an intense search for natural and herbal solutions to combat it. Stinging nettle has come under increased scrutiny due to potential safe and effective solutions for treating this condition.
Stinging nettle extracts have been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory activity and help prevent edema by blocking activation of NF-kB, an important gene transcription factor involved in inflammation response.
Stinging nettle root contains three phenolic compounds: urticacin, rutin and hesperidin. Hesperidin and rutin polyphenols have been demonstrated to possess powerful antioxidant properties which can be assessed via superoxide anion scavenging or 2,2-diphenylpicryhydrazyl methods.
Furthermore, studies suggest it reduces inflammation which may contribute to such issues in some men.
One study demonstrated how Mucuna Pruriens can alleviate sexual dysfunction caused by long-term metabolic diseases like diabetes.
Participants of the study, comprising male patients diagnosed with diabetes who took Mucuna Pruriens for three months, experienced reduced psychological stress levels, improved semen quality and motility as well as an increase in natural antioxidant production.
Mucuna pruriens was demonstrated to improve sperm motility, count, and testosterone levels through two main mechanisms.
First it reduced free radical levels while activating NO production via upregulating expression of NO synthase genes such as eNOS and nNOS which in turn lead to restoration of intracellular cGMP levels necessary for an erection - leading researchers to conclude it as an effective treatment option for diabetic men experiencing ED.
As well as being an adaptogen, ashwagandha may help increase testosterone levels and strengthen memory. Ashwagandha may be beneficial in treating low testosterone, anxiety, fatigue and sexual problems as well as helping enhance sleep quality and increase virility.
Ashwagandha may help relieve erectile dysfunction due to its ability to stimulate nitric oxide production in the body, thereby inducing natural dilation of blood vessels ensuring all areas, including the penis, receive sufficient amounts of blood flow - helping alleviate one of the main causes of ED - restricted blood supply to its source.
D-aspartic acid, an amino acid found in both nervous and endocrine tissues, has long been used to treat erectile dysfunction among men with low testosterone or hypogonadism (low levels of sperm), as well as increase testosterone production and improve motility of sperm.
D-aspartic acid may work by activating nitric oxide production within the brain to increase blood flow to the penis and consequently facilitate an erection.
According to one study men given D-aspartic acid experienced twofold increases in concentration and 1.86 fold increases in motility leading to higher rates of pregnancies overall.
Fenugreek seeds offer an all-natural treatment with limited side effects that has been proven effective at increasing libido and testosterone levels.
A clinical trial conducted by the International Journal of Medical Sciences found that those taking fenugreek extract for 12 weeks saw an increase in bioavailable testosterone levels as well as increases in libido and sexual satisfaction, measured using the Derogatis Interview for Sexual Functioning- Self Report questionnaire.
In order to fully reap the benefits of fenugreek, incorporate it into your diet either through supplements or food as an ingredient.
As always, it's important to speak with your healthcare provider before beginning any new supplement regimen.
Testosterone replacement therapy for erectile dysfunction
If natural testosterone boosters aren't enough to improve your erectile function, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) may be an option.
TRT is a medical treatment that involves replacing testosterone in the body using injections, gels, patches, or pellets.
TRT has been shown to be effective in improving sexual function in men with low testosterone levels.
However, TRT is not without risks. It can cause a range of side effects, including acne, breast enlargement, and sleep apnea.
Additionally, TRT may increase the risk of certain health problems, such as heart disease and prostate cancer.
As such, it's important to speak with your healthcare provider to determine whether TRT is right for you and to carefully monitor your health while undergoing treatment.
The benefits and risks of TRT for erectile dysfunction
While TRT can be effective in improving erectile function, it is not without risks.
Some of the potential benefits and risks of TRT include:
- Improved sexual function
- Increased muscle mass and strength
- Improved bone density
- Increased energy and vitality
- Breast enlargement
- Sleep apnea
- Increased risk of heart disease and prostate cancer
- Mood changes, such as irritability and aggression
As with any medical treatment, it's important to weigh the potential benefits and risks before beginning testosterone therapy.
How to choose the right testosterone booster for you
If you're considering a testosterone booster, it's important to choose the right one for your needs. Some factors to consider when choosing a testosterone booster include:
The quality of the ingredients:
Look for supplements that are made with high-quality, clinically-proven ingredients such as those listed. Military Muscle contains each one in evidence informed doses.
Make sure the supplement contains an effective dose of the active ingredients.
The reputation of the manufacturer:
Choose a supplement from a reputable manufacturer with a track record of producing high-quality supplements. Check Trustpilot for customer reviews.
Your individual needs and health status:
Speak with your healthcare provider to determine which testosterone booster is right for you based on your individual needs and health status.
Frequently asked questions about testosterone and erectile dysfunction
Q: Can testosterone boosters cure erectile dysfunction?
A: While testosterone boosters can improve erectile function in men with low testosterone levels, they may not work for everyone. Additionally, they may not be effective in treating ED caused by psychological or other factors.
Q: Are testosterone boosters safe?
A: While many testosterone boosters are safe when used as directed, some may interact with medications or have side effects of their own. It's important to speak with your healthcare provider before beginning any new supplement regimen.
Q: What are the risks of testosterone replacement therapy?
A: TRT can cause a range of side effects, including acne, breast enlargement, and sleep apnea. Additionally, TRT may increase the risk of certain health problems, such as heart disease and prostate cancer.
Q: How can I improve my testosterone levels naturally?
A: Some natural ways to boost testosterone levels include exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress.
Some of these include:
Regular exercise can help improve testosterone levels and support overall health and wellbeing.
Maintaining a healthy weight:
Obesity is associated with low testosterone levels, so maintaining a healthy weight can help support healthy testosterone levels.
Getting enough sleep:
Sleep is essential for overall health and wellbeing, and it also plays a role in testosterone production.
Chronic stress can negatively impact testosterone levels, so finding ways to manage stress is important for overall health and wellbeing.
While erectile dysfunction can be a frustrating and embarrassing condition, there are a variety of treatments and therapies available to help improve sexual function.
If you're experiencing ED, it's important to speak with your healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
Whether you're considering natural testosterone boosters or TRT, it's important to weigh the potential benefits and risks before beginning any new supplement or treatment regimen.
With the right support and guidance, you can maximize your sexual function and regain control of your sexual health.