A daily dose of niacin may help men with high cholesterol and erectile dysfunction, a new Chinese study suggests.
In the randomized controlled trial, 160 men with high cholesterol and moderate to severe erectile dysfunction (ED) were randomly assigned to receive up to 1,500 mg oral niacin daily or placebo for 12 weeks (1). The study results showed that the men who took niacin reported an improvement in their ability to maintain an erection. In addition, their lipid levels improved. The placebo group did not have a change in symptoms.
The researchers commented that the study only included men who had high lipid levels as well as ED, so it would be not clear whether niacin has an effect in patients who have only ED. In patients with atheroscle-rosis, which is the accumulation of fats along blood vessel walls, niacin is known to improve both cholesterol and lipid levels. So it would be no surprise that niacin also helps ED, because atherosclerosis and ED have similar causes: both can be caused by inflammation of blood vessels, the scientists said.