In-Depth Guide To Niacin Erection

Erectile dysfunction (ED), also called impotence, is a common condition that typically affects men over 40. While older men are more susceptible to the condition, the reality is that most men will experience it at some point during their life. 

The good news is that researchers are continually looking at new ways to improve this area of men’s health. For example, it has been suggested that niacin, a type of vitamin B, could ease impotence for some men. However, this would appear to depend on which other factors are present. 

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We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for Erectile dysfunction, and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available - and be a part of finding a cure.

What is niacin?

Niacin¹ is an organic molecule that is commonly referred to as vitamin B3. It’s an essential nutrient in the human diet and is present in several foods, including poultry, beef, pork, fish, and some nuts, legumes, and grains. 

In addition, other foods such as bread and cereal are fortified with niacin, which means they have added niacin to boost the nutritional value. 

Niacin is also known as nicotinic acid. Some compounds, such as nicotinamide or nicotinamide riboside, are also called niacin. 

It’s important not to confuse niacin with other compounds like nicotinamide. While some claim that these two are the same, scientists say they are not because niacin and nicotinamide have different molecular structures and chemical functions. 

Like all vitamins, niacin has several roles in the body and could offer health benefits, especially for those experiencing ED. 

What are the benefits of using niacin for erection?

Niacin is a beneficial nutrient and antioxidant; everyone requires it regardless of age or gender. In addition, many biological processes in the body depend on niacin to work correctly; a niacin deficiency² can lead to a condition known as pellagra. 

Symptoms of pellagra include: 

  • Itchy and dry skin

  • Rough skin that goes a reddish-brown color from the sun

  • Bright red tongue

  • Dementia

  • Poor judgment or confusion

  • Paranoia

  • Diarrhea

  • Constipation

  • Vomiting

  • Fatigue

  • Headaches

  • Mouth lesions

Pellagra is quite rare in the United States due to improved nutrition. However, being only slightly deficient in niacin may still present some issues. For example, there could be a connection between low niacin levels and ED because research³ has shown that niacin can improve erectile function. 

Unfortunately, for some men, the body can have difficulty absorbing niacin from food due to other underlying health conditions. Health conditions that lead to niacin malabsorption include:

  • AIDS

  • Alcohol use disorder

  • Anorexia

  • Inflammatory bowel disease

  • Liver cirrhosis

  • Hartnup disease (an extremely rare genetic disorder)

  • Carcinoid syndrome (slow-growing tumors located in the digestive tract) 

If you have one of the conditions above and experience ED, consult your doctor. Since niacin offers many benefits to your health, it’s essential to stay on top of your niacin levels if required. 

Niacin is beneficial for your body because it helps cellular metabolism, enabling cells to produce energy. Your body requires niacin for this process because it converts it into an enzyme known as NAD. Without this enzyme, cells will lack energy and struggle to perform their biological functions.

Research⁴ has looked into the benefits of large niacin doses. These are doses more significant than the typical amount of niacin obtained through diet alone. 

Studies have shown that niacin can boost high-density lipoproteins (HDL). HDL is a type of cholesterol protein called good cholesterol since it helps the body by removing bad cholesterol, known as low-density lipoproteins (LDL). 

How niacin works to improve ED symptoms

Niacin is a potential treatment that may help patients with moderate to severe ED. However, it may not benefit those who have mild ED. 

Before discussing how niacin improves erections, it’s essential to know that ED is a multifactorial condition. Hence, there is often more than one reason why ED occurs. 

Factors that affect ED include:

  • Vascular conditions that reduce blood flow to the penis

  • Endocrine disorders

  • Nervous system disorders

  • Certain medications like heart disease medicines or antidepressants

  • Psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, or stress

  • Obesity

  • Smoking

  • Drinking too much alcohol

  • Lack of exercise 

While niacin is one potential treatment, it’s also essential to address other factors. Addressing these issues may be part of a treatment plan alongside a niacin supplement if required. 

The mechanism behind why niacin may help improve ED is quite complex. In short, niacin may slow the progression of atherosclerosis when used in combination with other treatments. ED is a common symptom of this condition, so treating atherosclerosis could improve erections. 

Atherosclerosis⁵ is a condition where fatty plaques of LDL cholesterol build up in arteries. Hence when LDL cholesterol rises, more plaques can form on the artery walls, blocking blood flow to certain areas of the body, including the penis. 

Within the early stages of atherosclerosis, there could be no symptoms present. Whether you experience any symptoms depends on how severely blood flow is blocked. Therefore, you are more likely to experience symptoms when the condition worsens. 

The symptoms of atherosclerosis include:

  • Chest pain (known as angina)

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Cold sweats

  • Dizziness or feeling faint

  • Fast and irregular heartbeat

  • Shortness of breath

  • Nausea

  • Muscle pain and cramps

  • Weakness

  • Erectile dysfunction (an early sign) 

As mentioned previously, studies have proven that niacin can boost HDL levels. HDL cholesterol helps the body by removing LDL cholesterol. Therefore, using niacin to treat LDL cholesterol could reduce atherosclerosis, easing ED. 

Here’s a summary of how niacin may work regarding atherosclerosis: 

  1. LDL cholesterol levels increase, contributing to atherosclerosis

  2. Fatty plaques containing LDL cholesterol build up in the arteries

  3. ED is a symptom of atherosclerosis because plaques can reduce blood flow to the penis

  4. A niacin supplement eases atherosclerosis by increasing HDL, which in turn lowers LDL cholesterol

  5. Fewer plaques block the arteries when LDL is lowered and blood flow to the penis increases 

Another way that niacin may help ED is by decreasing free radical production. Like most vitamins, niacin is an antioxidant, and this aspect of it fights free radicals that attack the vascular system. 

As a result, blood flow and vascular health can improve from this process. Therefore, if you do not have atherosclerosis, a niacin supplement could be worth considering for this reason alone. 

Side effects of niacin therapy for ED 

Niacin supplements are relatively safe. However, like most medicines, high doses or frequent use may cause some side effects.

Experts state that dietary supplements containing 30 mg per day of niacin could cause the following side effects:

  • Red skin on the face, arms, and chest

  • Itchy or burning skin

  • Skin rashes

  • Headaches

  • Dizziness 

When the dose reaches 1,000 mg per day, further complications can occur, including:

  • Low blood pressure

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Nausea

  • Heartburn

  • Abdominal pain

  • High blood sugar levels

  • Fluid buildup in the eyes

  • Vision impairment 

Some niacin supplements are long-term and have an extended-release formulation. These formulations slowly release niacin into the body, so there is a continuous supply. However, the risk of hepatitis and liver failure increases after some time. 

Another point to consider before starting a niacin supplement is whether it will interact with pre-existing medications you are using. For example, people with diabetes should avoid 1,500 mg doses of niacin because it can disrupt their blood sugar levels. It will make their treatment for diabetes ineffective. 

If you have any concerns about possible drug interactions, speak to your doctor before starting a niacin supplement. 

Dosage recommendations for niacin therapy

The daily recommendations for a regular niacin dose are:

  • 30 mg for teenagers (14–18 years old)

  • 35 mg for adults (18+ years) 

One study³ demonstrated that with a niacin dose of 1,500 mg daily for 12 weeks, erectile function improved. However, before proceeding with such a high dose, it would be best to talk to your doctor first. As mentioned above, higher doses of niacin tend to have more significant side effects. 

One source suggested that 3,000 mg per day doses can lead to severe nausea, vomiting, and liver damage. Therefore, it’s best to avoid extremely high doses. Starting with the daily recommendation would be best. 

When to see the results from taking niacin for erection

One study had promising results after 12 weeks. Therefore, it’s probably best to give this treatment a decent amount of time to work. 

When to see a doctor

Many men delay seeing a doctor because they feel embarrassed by their condition. There is no reason to because ED is far more common than many realize. Therefore, doctors have plenty of experience in treating ED. 

One study⁶ pointed out that ED is more like a symptom than a disease. In other words, you most likely have ED because it’s a consequence of a health condition. By addressing this concern early, you could potentially improve other areas of your health before they worsen. 

The lowdown

Niacin may improve erectile function by easing atherosclerosis or fighting free radicals that damage arteries. Either way, this will increase blood flow to the penis, facilitating erections. 

Niacin supplements are a simple treatment. However, see a doctor first to determine if you have an underlying health condition that needs attention.

Have you considered clinical trials for Erectile dysfunction?

We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for Erectile dysfunction, and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available - and be a part of finding a cure.

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