What’s the Right Vitamin B12 Dosage for Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) or impotence in men can arise for various reasons. Lack of certain vitamins is merely one of the long list of reasons behind ED symptoms in men across the globe. A deficiency of Vitamin B12 is one such problem that might cause erection issues in men, especially those aged around 50 years.
What is Vitamin B12 & its role in our overall health?
Vitamin B12 is one of a range of vitamins in the B complex. This is particularly crucial for the proper functioning of the brain, producing red blood cells, creating and regulating DNA, and also in the production of nerves.
Severe side effects of vitamin B12 deficiency:
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Degeneration of the spinal cord
- Bowel incontinence and/or urinary incontinence
- Erectile dysfunction
- Paranoia and delusions
- Memory loss
How to identify Vitamin B12 deficiency? Is there any Lab test for Vit B 12 Deficiency?
It can be difficult to diagnose vitamin B12 deficiency because symptoms are not always present or the symptoms can be similar to other nutritional deficiencies. Healthcare providers will usually do routine blood tests to check for vitamin B12 deficiency in people who have a high risk of developing it.
The tests used to diagnose vitamin B12 deficiency are a complete blood count (CBC) and a vitamin B12 blood test level. A person is diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency if the amount of vitamin B12 in their blood is less than 150 per mL.
Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Common physical symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency:
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Experiencing nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea
- Not feeling as hungry as usual.
- Weight loss.
- Having a sore mouth or tongue.
- Having yellowish skin.
Neurological symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency:
- Numbness or tingling in your hands and feet.
- Vision problems.
- Having a hard time remembering things or getting confused easily.
- Having a difficult time walking or speaking like you usually do.
- If neurological problems develop from vitamin B12 deficiency, they may not be reversible.
Psychological symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency:
- Feeling depressed.
- Feeling irritable.
- Experiencing a change in the way you feel and behave.
Individuals who suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency may also experience sexual health issues, such as the inability to achieve or maintain an erection. Let us understand how this single vitamin deficiency can bring havoc in a man’s sex life.
Correlation Between Vit B12 and ED: How a lack of Vitamin B12 might cause erection problems?
Vitamin B12 has a much deeper impact on male health. Following are the various ways in which this crucial microelement affects a man’s sexual life.
- Studies have linked vitamin B12 deficiencies to an increase in the amino acid homocysteine. Although homocysteine helps build vital proteins within the body, it first needs B12 and other B vitamins to break it down into two separate substances like Methionine and Cysteine. Without B12, homocysteine doesn’t break down properly, and high levels of homocysteine can deplete a person’s ability to perform sexually.
- A deficiency of Vitamin B12 could develop neurological problems and blood diseases.
- Having improper levels of Vitamin B12 can cause hormonal imbalance balance. When a male body lacks sufficient Vitamin B12, the testosterone levels drop significantly and hence he would often feel fatigued and low on energy, and also there is a loss of concentration.
- Insufficient Vitamin B 12 also weakens muscles.
- Lack of Vitamin B12 also causes psychological problems, like anxiety, depression, etc.
- The deficiency of Vitamin B 12 might also affect one’s testicular health and sperm quality.
What is the right Vitamin B12 Dosage for Erectile Dysfunction?
- Men between 18 to 50 years of age would require about 2.4 micrograms of B12 each day to avoid erection problems.
- In cases of men over 50 years, the ideal daily dietary requirement is somewhere between 100 to 400 micrograms. (source)
The capacity to absorb Vitamin B12 decreases with age, especially on reaching 50s. Hence it is essential to consult a healthcare expert and adjust the daily intake of this crucial micronutrient accordingly.
Having said that, even some young men might have some biological lacking in absorbing Vitamin B12. Due to this, even though they take the required amount, they might have deficiency signs and would need a medical checkup to address this issue on an immediate basis.
How is Vitamin B12 deficiency treated?
Vitamin B12 deficiency is completely treatable. In most cases, it is treated with cyanocobalamin, an artificial vitamin B12. Options for vitamin B12 treatment include:
- Vitamin B12 oral medication
- Vitamin B12 intramuscular injections
- Vitamin B12 nasal gel
- Vitamin B12 nasal spray
The tenure of such treatments depends on the cause and level of the deficiency. The patients may either have to be treated until their vitamin B12 levels are back to normal or may also have to take the therapy for the rest of their life.
Foods that are Rich Sources of Vitamin B12
Some of the most common and natural sources of Vitamin B12 are as follows:
- Milk and other Dairy products
- Fishes like trout, sardines, salmons, etc.
- Seafood like oysters and clams, mussels, salted mackerels, etc
In case someone follows a vegetarian diet, he may go for the following options:
- Fortified cereals
- Butter squash
Daily intake of multivitamin supplements, having at least six micrograms of Vitamin B12 can also be helpful equally.
When to see a doctor?
One should see a doctor whenever he or she is experiencing symptoms of vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anaemia. It’s important for vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anaemia to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.
Although many of the symptoms improve with treatment, some problems caused by the condition can be irreversible if left untreated. The longer the condition goes untreated, the higher the chance of permanent damage.