Is There an Association Between Vitamin D Deficiency and Erectile Dysfunction? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is found very frequently in the male population, in particular in its arteriogenic form, which also represents an important predictor of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Some evidence suggests that vitamin D could play a role in cardiovascular risk prevention thanks to its ability to reduce endothelial damage, oxidative stress, the production of inflammatory cytokines, and dyslipidemia. Since ED and CVDs have pathogenic mechanisms in common, numerous studies have evaluated a possible association between vitamin D deficiency (blood concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D < 20 ng/ml) and ED, but with conflicting results. This meta-analysis was therefore performed to clarify the discrepancy of the data so far published. To achieve this, articles have been searched extensively in the Pubmed, MEDLINE, Cochrane, Academic One Files, Google Scholar, and Scopus databases from the first day they were created until January 2020. The search strategy included pertinent Medical Subjects Headings (MeSH) terms. Of the 431 items retrieved, only eight observational studies were included, resulting in a total sample size of 4055 patients. It was found that 25-hydroxyvitaminD (25(OH)D) levels did not show any significant difference between patients with and without ED. However, when patients with vitamin D deficiency only were taken into account, the international index of erectile function (IIEF) score for erectile dysfunction was significantly worse than in controls. This association remained significant even when eugonadal-only patients were considered. Finally, we found that eugonadal patients with severe ED have lower 25(OH)D3 levels than patients with mild ED. In conclusion, this meta-analysis suggests an association between vitamin D deficiency and the presence of severe forms of ED, independent of testicular function.

Nutrients. 2020 May 14*** epublish ***

Andrea Crafa, Rossella Cannarella, Rosita A Condorelli, Sandro La Vignera, Aldo E Calogero

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Catania, via S. Sofia 78, 95123 Catania, Italy.