Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Erectile Dysfunction?

There are many medications available for erectile dysfunction, but most have the potential to cause side effects. Because of this, some people are turning to natural alternatives like apple cider vinegar.

In this article, we’ll cover whether apple cider vinegar is good for erectile dysfunction, the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, and potential side effects.

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What is apple cider vinegar, and how can it help erectile dysfunction?

Apple cider vinegar, often abbreviated to ACV, is amber or dark-brown liquid made from apple juice. To make apple cider vinegar, apples are first pulverized to collect the juice.

This juice is then added to a bacteria-and-yeast mixture which triggers the sugars in the apple juice to ferment. This first fermentation causes alcohol to form. The alcohol is then further fermented to form acetic acid or vinegar. The acetic acid gives apple cider vinegar its distinctively sharp taste and scent.

Apple cider vinegar's unique flavor makes it a popular ingredient in vinaigrettes, preserves, marinades, and salad dressings.

Aside from its popularity in cooking, apple cider vinegar’s possible therapeutic benefits are beginning to be widely recognized. One such benefit is its possible role in treating erectile dysfunction.

While there are currently no studies directly investigating the link between the reduction of erectile dysfunction symptoms and ACV, some suggest its effects on weight loss, diabetes, and cardiovascular function may play a role.

When used for its therapeutic benefits, apple cider vinegar is often taken orally in pill form or diluted liquid form. Consult with your physician before consumption and check the product for allergens.

How does apple cider vinegar help erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) occurs when a person cannot attain or sustain an erection. This condition is also called impotence and prevents people from having satisfactory and healthy sex.

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by several variables, including:

  • Chronic illness

  • Psychological strain

  • Some medications

  • Illegal drugs

  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

It is a fairly common condition and often requires a doctor's diagnosis and professional treatment to improve.

Despite the growing body of interest in what some call a ‘miracle food’, and the common nature of erectile dysfunction, there are currently no studies on how apple cider vinegar directly affects ED.

There are, however, a plethora of studies indicating apple cider vinegar's positive effect on many chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes,¹ high cholesterol,², and obesity.³ These conditions can cause or be comorbid with (exist alongside) erectile dysfunction.

Apple cider vinegar may have an indirect positive effect in reducing erectile dysfunction through the following mechanisms.

Type 2 diabetes management

The familiar symptoms of type 2 diabetes are weight changes, thirst, irritability, and increased urination frequency.

However, a lesser known effect is the frequency of sexual dysfunction,⁴ the most prominent being erectile dysfunction. Males with diabetes are three and half times more likely to experience erectile dysfunction.

These people are also more likely to experience more severe ED that is significantly harder to treat. This increased frequency may be due to prolonged elevated blood sugar damaging the nerves and blood vessels that facilitate erection.

Fortunately, apple cider vinegar may help improve some of the symptoms and complications of diabetes.

Research indicates that adding apple cider vinegar to the drinking water of diabetic mice significantly reduced their blood glucose after 7, 14, and 21 days of treatment.

This can help to reduce the damaging effect of high blood sugar⁵ on the blood vessels and nerves and, in turn, potentially help with diabetes-related erectile dysfunction.

Several additional studies,² including one systematic review, have also demonstrated ACV's effective reduction of fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and blood lipid levels. These are prominent risk factors for developing erectile dysfunction, and improving these parameters could subsequently help reduce erectile dysfunction.

ACV may be a cheap and easily accessible complementary treatment for diabetes management.

While apple cider vinegar is not recommended to replace other diabetes treatments, it may help improve the blood glucose level⁶ and reduce some associated complications such as erectile dysfunction.

Weight loss

Instances of sexual dysfunction have been well documented in males who are overweight.

In fact, obesity and excessive weight gain⁷ are commonly considered to be the main risk factors for erectile dysfunction. Obese people with erectile dysfunction often find these issues extremely hard to manage.

Daily consumption of apple cider vinegar has been shown to be effective in reducing weight, therefore possibly indirectly helping erectile dysfunction.

Subjects consuming 15ml or 30ml of apple cider vinegar (diluted in water) each day demonstrated healthy reductions in BMI, body weight, visceral fat area, and waist circumference after just 12 weeks of treatment.

It was concluded that, as a result of these improvements, metabolic syndrome is less likely to occur with daily drinking of ACV. Where less probability of obesity exists, the probability of developing erectile dysfunction is also diminished.

Apple cider vinegar has also been shown to reduce oxidative stress and obesity risk in rats who were previously fed very high-fat diets.

A recent clinical trial on humans reported that co-administration of ACV with a restricted calorie diet was found to decrease appetite, body weight, BMI, and hip circumference.

ACV may be an effective obesity-reducing agent in conjunction with other healthy lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise. This may indirectly help the management of erectile dysfunction.

Improved cardiovascular health

It is important to note that erectile dysfunction may be primarily caused by underlying vascular issues, such as impaired blood flow to the penis.

Changes in blood flow can reduce your erections or prevent them from occurring at all.

Cardiovascular disease and erectile dysfunction are closely associated. This is not only in the sense that cardiovascular issues can cause ED, but having ED with no history of cardiovascular disease, particularly in younger men, could be a marker for a significantly increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Apple cider vinegar can have a significant positive effect on blood lipids.⁸ It has been extensively documented that high levels of blood lipids are associated with cardiovascular disease.

Apple cider vinegar can reduce the blood concentration of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, consequently potentially reducing the likelihood of cardiovascular disease developing or improving already-existing issues. This may be effective in erectile dysfunction management as it can facilitate optimal blood flow to the penis.

Is apple cider vinegar effective in treating ED?

There are currently no scientific studies indicating the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar in directly treating erectile dysfunction.

However, due to the reasons we've already looked at, ACV may help people with certain chronic illnesses that prevent them from gaining and sustaining an erection.

There is no evidence to indicate that the use of apple cider vinegar in otherwise healthy individuals will affect erectile dysfunction. ACV is often well tolerated when consumed orally.

This is not to say it is ineffective, only that there is no evidence yet to prove its effectiveness or ineffectiveness.

What are the health benefits of apple cider vinegar?

Aside from the previously mentioned therapeutic benefits possibly related to ED, apple cider vinegar has many other proven health benefits, including:

  • Its ability to act as an antioxidant

  • Reduction of cholesterol⁹

  • Effective antibacterial¹⁰ agent

There is much anecdotal evidence of apple cider vinegar helping people with other issues such as acne, hair growth, and more, but scientific studies have yet to prove many of these claims.

How do you use apple cider vinegar to treat erectile dysfunction?

ACV supplements can be purchased from most supermarkets and health food stores. Apple cider vinegar is often recommended in oral form and can be consumed safely in many different ways, including:

  • Over-the-counter pills/supplements (made from dehydrated ACV)

  • Mixed into salad dressings, marinades, or fermented foods

  • One or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted in water, juice, or tea

It is important to note here that while apple cider vinegar might have some benefits in treating erectile dysfunction, it should not be directly applied to the penis. 

ACV is an acid, so it may irritate or burn the sensitive skin on and around your penis. This may be very painful and should be avoided, as there is absolutely no benefit to applying it locally.

Risks of using apple cider vinegar for erectile dysfunction

While apple cider vinegar may be effective, alongside medication and lifestyle changes, in managing some chronic illnesses that commonly have comorbid erectile dysfunction, ACV is not yet an approved treatment for erectile dysfunction.

Thus, one risk of using apple cider vinegar for ED is that it might not work. It is important to seek medical help if you suffer from erectile dysfunction and not to pin all your hopes on apple cider vinegar. It is not a miracle cure, and you may be left feeling disappointed.

Improper use of ACV, such as putting it directly on the penis, can cause serious health implications such as severe pain and irritation.

What are the side effects of apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is commonly considered a well-tolerated supplement or additive to food. However, as ACV is acidic, it can have side effects when taken in high doses or with improper methods. These can include but aren’t limited to:

  • Indigestion

  • Erosion of tooth enamel

  • Burning of the throat

  • Irritation, burning, or inflammation if applied to the skin

  • Bloating or delayed emptying of the stomach

  • Heartburn

  • Nausea

These effects aren’t particularly likely if apple cider vinegar is taken at the recommended dosage and method.

It is important to note that ACV can negatively interact with other prescription medications, such as those used to stimulate insulin, diuretics, and blood potassium-related medications.

You should check with your doctor before beginning apple cider vinegar treatments.

Alternative proven treatment options for erectile dysfunction

Apple cider vinegar may provide some help in the field of erectile dysfunction. However, for more certain treatments of this condition, tried and tested solutions are highly recommended.

There are many proven treatment options currently on the market. These can range from simple solutions such as lifestyle changes and oral pills to more complex solutions such as injections and hormone treatments. The following is a brief list of proven treatments.

  • Oral pills: These include medications such as sildenafil (e.g., Viagra), tadalafil, and vardenafil. These pills aim to stimulate blood flow to the penis when you are sexually aroused by relaxing the muscles and arteries in that area. These are effective for around four to eight hours after consumption.

  • Psychotherapy: Sometimes erectile dysfunction is caused by psychological reasons¹¹ rather than physiological ones. This can include sexual abuse or anxiety surrounding sex. Talking about how ED affects you may aid in treatment, even in cases where the underlying cause is physiological.

  • Lifestyle changes: This can include physical activity to prevent obesity and stopping smoking or drinking. Improving these factors may directly or indirectly reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction. The best results occur if these changes start as early in life as possible.

  • Penile self-injection: This is often considered a less desirable option and involves the injection of alprostadil¹² (e.g., Caverject) into the penis. This is recommended if previous treatments have proven ineffective, and it can allow erections to stay for a long time, even after ejaculation. This is because it is a vasodilator — it widens the blood vessels in the penis to allow higher blood flow. However, this treatment could carry some danger of prolonged and painful erection. If you ever experience an erection that lasts more than four hours, seek urgent medical attention immediately.

The lowdown

While the research investigating the effect of apple cider vinegar on erectile dysfunction is currently lacking, its effects on weight loss, diabetes, and cardiovascular health may make it an effective addition to other erectile dysfunction therapies. It is often well tolerated and easily accessible.

Apple cider vinegar should not replace any prescribed or over-the-counter medications you currently take.

Your general practitioner or other healthcare professional should be consulted before undertaking any form of apple cider vinegar treatment, as it has been shown to react negatively with some prescribed medications.

  1. Effect of apple cider vinegar on blood glucose level in diabetic mice (2015)

  2. The effect of apple cider vinegar on lipid profiles and glycemic parameters: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials (2021)

  3. Beneficial effects of apple cider vinegar on weight management, visceral adiposity index and lipid profile in overweight or obese subjects receiving restricted calorie diet: A randomized clinical trial (2018)

  4. Sexual dysfunction in diabetes | NIH: National Library of Medicine

  5. Vascular complications of diabetes: Mechanisms of injury and protective factors (2014)

  6. Beneficial effects of apple vinegar on hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia in hypercaloric-fed rats (2020)

  7. Obesity and erectile dysfunction: From bench to clinical implication (2019)

  8. The effect of apple cider vinegar on lipid profiles and glycemic parameters: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials (2021)

  9. Effects of apple cider vinegars produced with different techniques on blood lipids in high-cholesterol-fed rats (2011)

  10. Antibacterial activity of domestic apple cider vinegar (2019)

  11. Male erectile dysfunction: Integrating psychopharmacology and psychotherapy (2013)

  12. Alprostadil for erectile dysfunction | Patient

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