High Cholesterol leads to Erectile Dysfunction (ED)


Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common condition. It’s estimated to affect about 50 million men in India. Men with ED have a hard time getting and keeping an erection.

For most men, being unable to get or maintain an erection happens occasionally. ED is diagnosed when a man consistently has this difficulty.

ED is caused by a number of different factors, including poor heart health. High levels of cholesterol can affect your heart health.

Can treating the high cholesterol also help treat ED? Research shows that it may have a slight effect.

What the research says

The most common cause of ED is atherosclerosis, which is a narrowing of the blood vessels.

Many things can lead to atherosclerosis, including high cholesterol. That’s because high levels of cholesterol in the blood can cause a buildup of cholesterol in the arteries. That, in turn, can narrow these blood vessels.

Researchers have also found a link between ED and high cholesterol, which is otherwise known as hypercholesterolemia. The link isn’t fully understood yet, but it has led researchers to explore the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs for the treatment of ED.

Statins and erectile dysfunction (ED)

Statins are drugs used to lower cholesterol levels. In a 2017 study on rats, researchers noted improved erectile function following the treatment of high cholesterol with atorvastatin (Lipitor). Lipid levels remained unchanged.

The researchers concluded that better erectile function was not the result of a decrease in cholesterol levels, but rather an improvement in the endothelium. The endothelium is an interior surface in the blood vessels.

An earlier literature review from 2014 also found evidence that statins may improve ED over time.

On the other hand, a 2009 study found evidence suggesting that lipid-lowering medications may cause or aggravate ED. In more than half of the identified cases, men recovered from ED after they stopped taking statins.

A 2015 cohort analysis didn’t find an association between statins and an increased risk of ED or sexual dysfunction. ED is also not listed as a common side effect of statins. More research is needed to better understand the connection between statins and ED.

Diet, cholesterol, and ED

Eating foods high in cholesterol won’t necessarily affect your blood cholesterol levels. That said, what you eat can still have an effect on your ED. Recent studies suggest that eating a healthy diet, the Mediterranean diet in particular, can lead to improved symptoms.

Staples of the Mediterranean diet include:

fish and other seafood, such as shrimp and oysters

fruits, such as apples, grapes, strawberries, and avocados

vegetables, such as tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, and onions

whole grains, such as barley and oats

healthy fats, such as olives and extra-virgin olive oil

nuts, such as almonds and walnuts

Some of the items you should avoid:

foods high in trans fats, such as margarine, frozen pizza, and fast food

foods made with added sugar

certain vegetable oils, including canola oil

processed meats and other foods

A chronic vitamin B-12 deficiency may also contribute to ED, so try to add foods rich in B-12 to your diet. Consider taking a B-12 supplement too. Read more about the connection between diet and ED.

Other risk factors for ED include:


type 2 diabetes

chronic kidney disease (CKD)

multiple sclerosis (MS)

plaque buildup in the penis

surgeries for bladder cancer

injuries caused by treatment for prostate cancer

injuries to the penis, spinal cord, bladder, pelvis, or prostate

drinking, smoking, or using certain drugs

mental or emotional stress



Some medications can also lead to erection problems. These include:

blood pressure medications

prostate cancer therapy


prescription sedatives

appetite suppressants

ulcer drugs

When to see a doctor

You should visit your doctor as soon as you notice any erection problems. ED is usually a sign of an underlying health issue, so it’s important to identify the cause before it becomes more serious.

Watch for ED symptoms such as:

the inability to get an erection when you want to have sex, even if you can get an erection at other times

getting an erection, but being unable to maintain it long enough to have sex

the inability to get an erection at all

High cholesterol doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms, so the only way to diagnose the condition is through a blood test. You should have routine physicals so that your doctor can diagnose and treat any health conditions in their early stages.

Your doctor may also request certain laboratory tests, such as a testosterone level test, and a psychological exam to diagnose your ED.

Treatment options

There are different ways you can manage ED, from everyday lifestyle changes to daily medications. Treatment options for ED include:

talk therapy or couples counseling

switching medications if you suspect a medication is causing ED

testosterone replacement therapy (TRT)

using a penis pump
Vacurect Device

You can also use medications to manage the symptoms of ED, including:

the oral medications avanafil (Stendra), sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and

vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn)

the injectable form of alprostadil (Caverject, Edex)

the pill suppository form of alprostadil (MUSE)

As per the study by experts many men’s suffering from ED wants non invasive and side effect free traetment for ED and for this Vacuum therapy (penis pump) is the best treatment available.

For queries about Vacuum therapy penis pump or buying it visit- www.vacurect-india.com .

In addition to diet, there are other lifestyle changes that may help to reduce high cholesterol levels and improve ED. Try these options:

Walking more

Walking 30 minutes per day can drop your risk of ED by 41 percent, according to Harvard Health Publishing.

Staying physically fit

Obesity is a significant risk factor for ED. A 2014 study Trusted Source found that 79 percent of men who were considered overweight or obese had erectile problems.

Being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight can help you prevent or treat ED. That also means quitting smoking and limiting how much alcohol you drink.

Exercising your pelvic floor

Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor may help you maintain an erection for longer. Learn more about Kegel exercises for men.


Researchers haven’t determined that high cholesterol is a direct cause of ED, but the condition may contribute to erection problems. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can reduce your cholesterol levels, which may also lower your chances of developing ED.

Speak with your doctor if you have concerns about your cholesterol or erectile issues. They can help you come up with a treatment plan that works best for you.