The effect of low vitamin D status on sexual functioning and depressive symptoms in apparently healthy men: a pilot study

Int J Impot Res. 2018 Oct;30(5):224-229. doi: 10.1038/s41443-018-0041-7. Epub 2018 Jul 5.


Hypovitaminosis D is associated with sexual dysfunction in apparently healthy women and with erectile dysfunction in men with the presence of concomitant disorders. This study was aimed at investigating sexual functioning and depressive symptoms in young men with low vitamin D status. The study included 15 apparently healthy men (18-40 years old) with vitamin D deficiency (group A), 16 subjects with vitamin D insufficiency (group B), and 16 men with normal vitamin D status (group C). All participants of the study completed questionnaires investigating their sexual function (the International Index of Sexual Function-15-IIEF-15 for heterosexual men), as well as the presence and severity of depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory-Second Edition-BDI-II). Compared with healthy men, subjects with vitamin D deficiency obtained lower scores for erectile function, orgasmic function, and sexual desire, while individuals with vitamin D insufficiency lower scores only for erectile function. Erectile dysfunction was more prominent in group A than group B. The total BDI-II score was higher in group A than in the other study groups. The results of the study suggest that low vitamin D status impairs male sexual functioning and severity of sexual dysfunction correlates with the degree of hypovitaminosis D.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Erectile Dysfunction / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Libido
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / epidemiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / epidemiology
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / physiopathology*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / psychology
  • Young Adult