For ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION, consuming a fish oil concentrate improves blood flow to the pelvis, reduces inflammation, and cuts the risk of tiny blood clots that impede erections. Highly absorbable omega-3 fats in a concentrate also stabilize hormone and neurotransmitter balance, for stronger erections that are sustained longer. This is well-supported in scientific literature.
Omega-3 fats are an integral part of every cell membrane throughout the body, and required for membrane receptors to function. All cells are wrapped in a membrane that acts as a selective barrier to regulate passage of nutrients and waste in and out of the cell. The membrane is made of fatty acid phospholipids and cholesterol. Each new cell will try its best to form this membrane with generous and optimal amounts of omega-3 fats. If these are lacking, the membrane will include saturated or other fats. But cell membranes lacking omega-3 lipids are impaired: they are less fluid, and less able to function as a vital barrier. They fail at keeping electrolytes, water, and vital nutrients within the cell; and they cannot efficiently communicate with other cells or fully receive regulating hormones such as testosterone or insulin. Homeostasis that should maintain stable conditions within tissues including a man’s pelvic organs, is then compromised. For men, a lack of omega-3 oils can reduce the frequency, turgor or rigidity, and duration of erections.
The key fact is that our bodies cannot make omega-3 fatty acids, they are essential fats that we must consume for optimal function of male sexual organs and numerous body systems. The term ‘omega-3’ refers to the location of double bonds in the chemical structure of the long-chain fatty acid. The human body needs omega-3 fatty acids, but we cannot produce them ourselves, and thus we need to ingest them in the richest form possible. The main food sources of omega-3 fats include oily fish in the animal kingdom such as salmon, mackerel, trout and sardines, and organic cold-pressed flaxseed oil in the vegetable kingdom. Thus, many people lack these crucial healthy fats.
Concentrated fish oil and its omega-3 fats can help erectile function in several ways:
- These oils improve blood flow to the pelvic organs by reducing viscosity of the blood and helping arteries dilate. Half of men over fifty have atherosclerosis of the penile artery, which could drastically reduce their ability to achieve erection: Omega-3 fats support better perfusion in the penis.
- Fish oil concentrate cuts the risk of tiny blood clots and platelet clumping, both of which are risks for slowing down blood flow and interfering with erectile function. By discouraging blood or platelet clots, fish oil enhances speedy entry of blood into the corpora cavernosus of the penis, which brings about erections.
- Flexibility of artery walls or arterial elasticity is improved by omega-3 fatty acids: meaning that arteries stretch easily to accommodate greater blood inflow for an erection to occur. Good elasticity allows blood to flow easily in and out, whereas inflexible artery walls impede blood flow to the penis, which can lead to weak erections. Researchers at the Medical Defense College in Tokyo discovered that subjects with abnormal lipid levels taking 3g of both EPA and DHA, the two main omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil, daily for seven weeks experienced major improvements in arterial elasticity, compared with men who took a placebo.5 Fish oil relaxes arteries, easing the way for blood to flow through the penis. This results in better erections and penile perfusion.
- Inflammation is reduced by fish oil concentrate. Less inflammation allows the testes to produce more stable levels of testosterone, in turn supporting erectile function. The testicular cells that make testosterone are easily diminished if they are assailed by inflammatory mediators.
- Fish oil concentrate can boost production of testosterone by increasing luteinizing hormone, which triggers cells in the testicles to make testosterone. It also reduces the activity of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), releasing more free testosterone, all of which leads to better testosterone levels. This helps reverse testosterone insufficiency, which can cause erectile dysfunction. Testosterone levels slowly decline naturally as men age, but low levels can also be caused by diet, stress, obesity, and other environmental factors. Lower testosterone levels can cause a decline in sexual function, mood, sleep habits, lower libido, and can reduce muscle strength and tone.
- Helpful neurotransmitters are encouraged by fish oil concentrate: The mechanisms by which a healthy erection occurs, along with desire and arousal, include brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. To achieve arousal and erection, neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin and hormones like testosterone are critical. Dopamine and testosterone levels influence each other: When one goes down, typically so does the other. Omega-3 fish oil fats enhance dopamine production. Studies found that substances boosting dopamine improved the symptoms of ED which were previously not helped by testosterone alone.6
- Omega-3 oils ease emotional stress and have antidepressant actions. Getting an erection is a multi-system function involving the central nervous system, stress factors, visual stimuli to the brain, and blood flow. The omega-3 fats in fish oil concentrate can reduce stress symptoms, strengthen the brain as well as the central nervous system, and help blood circulation to the penis. High blood pressure aggravated by stress, will also worsen erectile dysfunction, and omega-3 fatty acids help keep blood pressure in check.
Numerous research studies show that concentrated omega-3 fats can help erectile dysfunction.
One significant 2017 study looked at the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on atherosclerosis-induced erectile dysfunction. Aware of fish oil having “well-described beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, lipid profiles, and other inflammatory diseases in humans,” this study sought to examine the potential mechanisms for fish oil’s protective effects in lowering oxidative stress, reducing the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and attenuation of atherosclerotic plaques. Researchers determined that the treatment group showed significantly improved intracavernosal pressure within the penis, meaning more fullness in the corpus cavernosus along both sides of the organ, a very important measurement of an erectile event.3
We prefer to use a pure fish oil concentrate in our clinic, because it gives much higher absorption of omega-3 oils than standard fish oil pills. The concentrate has no fishy after-taste, requires far fewer pills, and is therefore more economical. Because of its ultra-high absorption, more of the essential omega-3 fats enter the body than with regular whole fish oil, and so fewer capsules are needed to attain good tissue levels of omega-3 fats. Two or three fish oil concentrate capsules daily are ample; and are the equivalent of one to two tablespoons of whole fish oil, which would translate to about eight to ten regular fish oil pills! Many of our male patients over the years are receiving enduring improvements in erectile dysfunction, taking a potent fish oil concentrate for at least 6 months. These men generally report steady improvements in ease of attaining erections, better turgor, more nocturnal erections, and more satisfying penetration, using the scale of the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) questionnaire.
Omega-3 fish oil concentrate 1,000-2,000mg daily, with any meals, or as directed by your healthcare provider.
- Long chain omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: a systematic review. Delgado-Lista J, Perez-Martinez P, Lopez-Miranda J, Perez-Jimenez F. Br J Nutr. 2012 Jun; 107 Suppl 2():S201-13.
- The role of marine omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids in inflammatory processes, atherosclerosis and plaque stability. Calder PC Mol Nutr Food Res. 2012 Jul; 56(7):1073-80.
- Shim JS, Kim DH, Bae JH, Moon du G. Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Erectile Dysfunction in a Rat Model of Atherosclerosis-induced Chronic Pelvic Ischemia. J Korean Med Sci. 2016;31(4):585-9.
- Ghasemi Fard, Samaneh, et al. “How does high DHA fish oil affect health? A systematic review of evidence.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition (2018): 1-44.
- Nestel, Paul, et al. “The n− 3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid increase systemic arterial compliance in humans.” The American journal of clinical nutrition2 (2002): 326-330.
- Giuliano, F., and J. Allard. “Dopamine and sexual function.” International journal of impotence research 13.S3 (2001): S18.