For most men with erectile dysfunction, from chronic long term cases to more occasional issues, the primary treatment is a dose of sildenafil or tadalafil tablets, which are PDE5 inhibitors that open blood vessels smooth and relax muscles and help relieve the physical effects of ED.
However, is it possible that certain kinds of fruit juice can also help people dealing with ED? Very little scientific research has been undertaken, but there have been suggestions that watermelon, beetroot, lemon and lime juice can help that are more than purely anecdotal.
Given that the study of effective ED treatments and the physical processes that cause it in some men is still a relatively new field, it is important to separate the fact from the fiction.
Here are some common fruit juices associated with helping with ED and whether they actually can help.
Lemon And Lime Juice
Citrus juices have been associated with health benefits for as long as we have been studying the effects of food, but the findings of a 2022 study have brought lemons and limes into the spotlight again.
The study looked at the effects of lemon and lime juice in combination with sildenafil and found that it increased its effect and, most shockingly, rapidly reduced the time it takes for the drug to take effect to a quarter of its original time.
With such a recent study, more research needs to be done, but the reason for such a dramatic effect, found through studying laboratory rats, was that it acted as a natural PDE-5 inhibitor and increased nitric oxide levels by up to 70 per cent.
This does mean, however, that for men suffering from high blood pressure that they are taking medication for it such as alpha-blockers, the risk of a dangerously dramatic drop in blood pressure does increase as well, due to the increase in nitrates.
With that said, given that an increasing number of people are mixing citric juices with ED medication, there is some level of evidence to say that it could work, although one should check with their doctor first to avoid any unexpected side effects.
Whilst lemon and lime juice is the only fruit juice that has been directly studied in association with ED, other juices which are linked to multiple health benefits have also been tried, although any evidence supporting their use is anecdotal or circumstantial at this point.
Beetroot juice is a very good example of this, as many of its purported benefits map with those seen in ED treatments. Like citrus juices, beetroot juice is high in nitrates, which converts into nitric oxide that acts as a vasodilator to help keep blood vessels open.
There have also been studies that link beetroot juice with lower blood pressure, which has been linked to an improvement in blood flow to the genitals.
Whether these individual studies could help with ED symptoms has not been confirmed as of yet.
The final, and somewhat more tenuous fruit linked with managing ED is watermelon, due to one simple amino acid.
Watermelon contains L-citrulline which has been connected, albeit somewhat mildly, with a reduction in symptoms and increase in sexual activity.
This is due to how L-citrulline works with the body’s nitric oxide system to promote a widening of blood vessels and stimulation of cGMP enzymes.
But before you tuck in, it should be noted that most of these studies were undertaken with L-citrulline supplements, and to get the same effect you may need to eat up to a kilogram of diced watermelon a day.