Authors: Marc Sorenson and William B. GrantAbstract:
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a multifactorial disease, and its causes can be neurogenic, psychogenic, hormonal and vascular. ED is often an important indicator of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and a powerful early marker for asymptomatic CVD. Erection is a vascular event, and ED is often a vascular disease caused by endothelial damage and subsequent inhibition of vasodilation. We show here that risk factors associated with a higher CVD risk also associate with a higher ED risk. Such factors include diabetes mellitus, hypertension, arterial calcification and Inflammation in the vascular endothelium. Vitamin D deficiency is one of several dynamics that associates with increased CVD risk, but to our knowledge, it has not been studied as a possible contributor to ED. Here we examine research linking ED and CVD and discuss how vitamin D influences CVD and its classic risk factors—factors that also associate to increased ED risk. We also summarize research indicating that vitamin D associates with reduced risk of several nonvascular contributing factors for ED. We conclude that VDD contributes to ED. This hypothesis should be tested through observational and intervention studies.