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3 Supplements that can Help Men Improve their Sexual Health and Performance

mpotence or more commonly known now as erectile dysfunction (ED) is the most common sexual dysfunction and is defined as the inability to achieve or sustain an erection for satisfactory sexual performance. It affects more than half of men between the ages

2021-04-08 21:50:51

fertilityerectile dysfunctionsexual health

Men’s sexual dysfunction encompasses a variety of disorders including libido concerns, impotence, and problems with ejaculation and ability to achieve orgasm. 

Impotence or more commonly known now as erectile dysfunction (ED) is the most common sexual dysfunction and is defined as the inability to achieve or sustain an erection for satisfactory sexual performance. It affects more than half of men between the ages of 40 and 70 and rates are continuing to rise. It is also becoming more common in younger men with 25- 30% of 20 – 30 year olds suffering(1). The most common cause of ED is abnormalities of the blood vessels and nerves of the penis which are affected due to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), diabetes and prostate issues. The drugs to treat certain conditions like cardiovascular disease; enlarged prostate and depression can also have a side effect of erectile dysfunction. With cardiovascular diseases and diabetes being among the most common chronic diseases in the world, you can see why erectile dysfunction is also becoming more common. 


Finally if a man is looking to conceive, the health of his sperm is vitally important and an important part of healthy sexual function and an indicator of overall health. Between 1973 and 2011, sperm counts in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand have declined almost 60% and rates of infertility in couples trying to conceive continue to grow. The cause of this drop is attributed mostly to environmental chemicals and poor lifestyle choices(2). 

There are some supplements that have shown to improve both sperm health and sexual dysfunction. Here are just 3 that have some good evidence for efficacy.



As mentioned earlier erectile dysfunction is more common in individuals suffering from diabetes and metabolic syndrome, and generally individuals with these conditions will have a worse erectile function compared to those without metabolic syndrome. ED may be one of the first complications associated with those diseases. Both ED and diabetes have common risk factors, which include dysfunction of the inner lining of the blood vessels, insulin resistance, and high cholesterol levels. Pycnogenol is an extract of maritime pine bark and its antioxidant effects have been known for years. While it has reported benefits for many conditions, studies have shown that pycnogenol not only improves erectile dysfunction across all patients, but it appears to have a greater effect on improving erectile dysfunction in patients with diabetes and metabolic syndrome. It is thought to do this as it targets common risk factors across all three conditions like improving the health of blood vessels, improving the body’s insulin response and improves cholesterol levels.


Tongkat Ali

Eurycoma longifolia, also known as Tongkat ali, is a tree found in the jungles of Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia and its root has been used traditionally for its aphrodisiac and testosterone enhancing effects. In a 1 month study where subjects were given 200mg of a standardized water extract of Tongkat ali, there was a significant increase in serum testosterone levels(3). Subjects who received Tongkat ali in a 12-week double blind study, had improved testosterone levels and several markers of sexual performance(4). No significant side effects have been reported so it appears that Tongkat ali could be a safe and natural way to help improve your sexual health.



N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) is an amino acid, which is known to have significant antioxidant action in the body. It is a precursor to glutathione, which is the body’s most powerful intracellular antioxidant. When men are struggling with fertility issues this can often be due to low and/or abnormal sperm. One of the greatest contributors to poor sperm health is thought to be due to increase reactive oxygen species, which are damaging to all cells in the body but especially to cells that are rich in fatty acids like sperm cells. Many studies have demonstrated improvements in sperm numbers, motility and morphology with supplementation with NAC and other antioxidants(5). NAC has also been reported to increase testosterone levels, which helps improve sperm health and overall sexual performance(6). 


1.         Erectile Dysfunction (ED) - Men’s Health Issues [Internet]. Merck Manuals Consumer Version. [cited 2021 Mar 15]. Available from: https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/men-s-health-issues/sexual-dysfunction-in-men/erectile-dysfunction-ed

2.         Levine H, Jørgensen N, Martino-Andrade A, Mendiola J, Weksler-Derri D, Mindlis I, et al. Temporal trends in sperm count: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis. Hum Reprod Update. 2017 Nov 1;23(6):646–59. 

3.         Tambi MIBM, Imran MK, Henkel RR. Standardised water-soluble extract of Eurycoma longifolia, Tongkat ali, as testosterone booster for managing men with late-onset hypogonadism?: Treatment of hypogonadism with Tongkat ali. Andrologia. 2012 May;44:226–30. 

4.         Udani JK, George AA, Musthapa M, Pakdaman MN, Abas A. Effects of a Proprietary Freeze-Dried Water Extract of Eurycoma longifolia (Physta) and Polygonum minus on Sexual Performance and Well-Being in Men: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:1–10. 

5.         Jannatifar R, Parivar K, Roodbari NH, Nasr-Esfahani MH. Effects of N-acetyl-cysteine supplementation on sperm quality, chromatin integrity and level of oxidative stress in infertile men. Reprod Biol Endocrinol RBE [Internet]. 2019 Feb 16 [cited 2021 Mar 16];17. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6377938/

6.         Safarinejad MR, Safarinejad S. Efficacy of Selenium and/or N-Acetyl-Cysteine for Improving Semen Parameters in Infertile Men: A Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled, Randomized Study. J Urol. 2009 Feb;181(2):741–51. 

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