Vitamin C, Libido and Erections
I recently recevied a very interesting email from an ADHD reader who had done a
lot of research on supplements to help with his condition. What he found was that some of these significantly
helped with libido and/or erectile strength. The first of these was the
granddaddy of all supplements: Vitamin C. He also mentioned
phosphatidlyserine and fish oil as well.
As you can see below, his general comments were that all three increased libido
but phosphatidlyserine also improved his erectile strength:
"I haven't tried all three together so far, but definitely will later on. If I
have fish oil alone, libido goes quite noticeably - so far as erections go, I'll
have to let you know when I resume taking it (I'm testing other substances these
days and don't want any interference from other supplements). On fish oil, I
feel a little calmer, but don't really notice much from a mood perspective, but
libido does go up for sure. On PS, libido, mood, well-being and erectile
function all go up noticeably. This is the single best OTC substance I've found
to work for me so far - depends on your natural state as I mentioned in my
previous email. Other guys feel horrible on fish oil or PS."
CAUTION: Always talk to a physician first, especially if you are on
medications or have any kind of medical condition.
Why would these help so much with libido and/or erectile strength? I
believe - and thanks to the reader who pointed out the beneficial effect on the
HPA Axis/Cortisol of these three - that there are two primary reasons, which I
have listed below.
1. Acetylcholine. It turns out all three of these can boost or
restore acetylcholine (at least in some circumstances) and acetylcholine
actually helps dilate arteries.  Of course, nitric oxide is the big
gun, but acetylcholine plays a role as well. The research has concentrated on
the nitric oxide connection - can you say Viagra and Cialis? - but acetylcholine
can help relax those penile arteries and get blood flowing.
2. Cortisol Reduction. We have already discussed Vitamin C's
cortisol-reducing powers in my link on Why Take Vitamin C?
However, phosphatidylserine and fish oil also have studies showing similar
So is there any evidence that these three will improve help with erectile
dysfunction? Well, there certainly is and I outline these in my page on
Vitamin C and Erectile Dysfunction. As it turns out, Vitamin C is a pretty good
Blood Flow Increaser and is worth considering in your arsenal.
Phosphatidylserine, by the way, is a famed nootropic,
i.e. "brain booster". It is present in many foods. The reader took
100 mg/day, in order to keep it line with what you might get through diet.
It is a somewhat expensive supplement but you can get it through Amazon:
Natural Factors Phosphatidylserine 100mg 60-Count.
The reader also uses Ester-C
(500 mg), same as myself. The fish oil that I use is
Nutrasea Omega-3s, which comes to the health food supermarket where I buy it in
refrigerated trucks. I always bite open the first capsule in the container
and have never had a fishy or rancid taste. In fact, two of my children actually
take it by biting open the capsule since they are not too good on swallowing
pills whole yet.
CAUTION: You should also
read about Some Potential Risks of Vitamin C as
well. To play it safe, it should probably be consumed only when you eating
J. Nutr, Nov 1 2001, 131(11):2951-2956, "Oral Administration of Soybean Lecithin
Transphosphatidylated Phosphatidylserine Improves Memory Impairment in Aged
2) Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry, 1989;13 Suppl:S77-88, "Nootropic
drugs and brain cholinergic mechanisms"
3) Climacteric, 2003 Sep, 6(3):238-47, "Vitamin C improves endothelial function
in healthy estrogen-deficient postmenopausal women"
4) J. Nutr, Sep 1 2002, 132(9):2506-2513, "Dietary Fish Oil Increases
Acetylcholine- and Eicosanoid-Induced Contractility of Isolated Rat Ileum"
5) Diabetes Metab, 2003 Jun, 29(3):289-95, "Fish oil prevents the adrenal activation elicited by mental stress in healthy
6) J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 2008; 5:11, "The effects of phosphatidylserine on endocrine response to moderate intensity