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How Does It Work?
Resveratrol’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help reduce damage by free radicals to the vascular structures, corpus cavernosum, and muscle tissue in the penis. It also helped improve smooth muscle functioning and increased levels of glutathione, a natural antioxidant in the body that helps maintain cellular health.54
One of the ways resveratrol works with ED medication is by increasing the amount of nitric oxide in the body.11 The body needs adequate amounts of nitric oxide to maintain vascular and peripheral nerve health, including relaxing blood vessel walls so they dilate and allow proper blood flow.236 Not enough nitric oxide can lead to cardiovascular disease (e.g., high blood pressure) and ED.236 Drugs such as Viagra® and Levitra® rely on having enough nitric oxide to generate the enzyme that helps control dilation of blood vessels.236 Some of the ways resveratrol is believed to increase nitric oxide are by activating sirtuin genes and by reducing oxidative stress, which is known to lower nitric oxide levels.11,237
Evidence of Benefit
Cigarette smoking is a risk factor for male infertility and erectile dysfunction. Data published in 2010 showed that resveratrol supplementation significantly prevented oxidative damage to urogenital tissue in lab rats caused by nicotine, compared to untreated rats.54 It also was demonstrated to significantly increase sperm counts and mobility, as well as raise testosterone levels, without any increase in body weight.55
In another recently conducted study, diabetic rats with impaired erectile function were randomly separated and grouped into either an untreated control group or one of three treatment groups:11
Both the resveratrol and combination-treated groups showed improvement in ED, whereas the drug-only treated group did not. Vardenafil and resveratrol combined demonstrated the best results, suggesting that resveratrol’s reported ability to increase levels of nitric oxide increases the levels of the enzyme necessary to dilate the blood vessels and maintain an erection. Vardenafil’s inhibition of the breakdown of that enzyme helped sustain the vasodilatory effects.11
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Sponge-like erectile tissue in the penis.
Damage and dysfunction from free radicals.
98 to 1800 μg/100 mL resveratrol.
9 to 167 μg/100 g resveratrol.
About 3.5 ounces.