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Apple Cider Vinegar and Erectile Dysfunction: Is it Effective?

Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Reviewed by Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Written by Geoffrey C. Whittaker

Published 09/04/2021

Updated 05/27/2024

When it comes to salad dressing ingredients, you’d be hard-pressed to find an ingredient more buzzed about than apple cider vinegar (ACV). Many people believe that it’s a cure-all for just about any affliction — and with its antioxidant benefits and positive effects on high blood pressure and body fat, it seems like that curing property might extend to any erectile dysfunction problem. But can it really?

While a healthcare professional may acknowledge the benefits of ACV, they’ll quickly point out that it’s not considered one of the proven home remedies for ED — and that there aren’t any of those anyway. It can, however, benefit your sexual health when incorporated sparingly.

So, what’s the truth about apple cider vinegar and erectile dysfunction? Keep reading to find out more about how it relates to your sexual health.

Apple cider vinegar is essentially apple juice that has been fermented two times. The first fermentation converts it to alcoholic cider, and the second converts it to acetic acid. ACV comes in pasteurized or raw versions, and you can buy it at almost any grocery store. Many people use it in salad dressings, but it has a variety of uses in both cooking and home remedies.

Lovers of ACV will enthusiastically point to its benefits, saying it helps with everything from hair health to weight loss. But while apple cider vinegar for erectile dysfunction (ED) isn’t a commonly noted benefit, apple cider vinegar is considered a natural remedy for many health conditions that can also be addressed by lifestyle changes.

The beneficial effects of apple cider vinegar include:

  • Reduced cholesterol

  • Reduced the risk of heart disease

  • Better weight management

  • Better management of blood sugar levels (blood glucose levels)

While it might appear from the above list that apple cider vinegar can improve your general health, what about your erectile health? 

Some people say there are apple cider benefits for men — specifically, that it can be used to treat erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is defined as not being able to get or maintain an erection firm enough for sex. Age is a significant contributor to ED, but there are lots of potential causes, including:

  • Cardiovascular issues

  • Diabetes

  • Neurological diseases

  • Stress

  • Obesity

  • Drinking too much alcohol

  • Illegal drug use

Let’s look at the potential effect of apple cider vinegar on these potential ED causes.

While there’s no substantial research on whether or not apple cider vinegar can treat erectile dysfunction, some studies suggest apple cider vinegar could possibly help with risk factors that can lead to erectile dysfunction. 

For example, a 2009 study found that ACV could help lower body weight in people with obesity. 

As mentioned above, obesity can lead to ED. So, some may think that if ACV is taken for weight loss, it could also help cure ED caused by weight issues. 

Type 2 diabetes is another potential cause of erectile dysfunction — and a small study of 16 men found that ACV may lower blood sugar in men with type 2 diabetes.

While there is some minor evidence that ACV may help the above issues (along with a few others), there has not been any research done on this type of vinegar as a treatment for erectile dysfunction. And there are plenty of reasons to avoid using it for any health condition without proper medical advice.

Most importantly, ACV could rot your teeth. Prolonged contact between tooth enamel and acetic acid or other acidic compounds degrades the enamel, so consuming too much apple cider vinegar could lead to aggressive cavities.

Likewise, apple cider vinegar can cause problems with:

  • Bloating

  • Heartburn

  • Acid reflux

  • Lowered potassium levels

Since there are potential side effects of ACV, it's important to ask a professional for advice on how to use apple cider vinegar for erectile dysfunction. And if you're dealing with ED, you’re much better off opting for a treatment with proven, science-backed results. 

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There are a number of proven treatment options for ED that aren’t included in marinade recipes. It’s really all about finding the right one for you. 

Here are six proven treatments for erectile dysfunction.

Sildenafil 

Meet the generic version of Viagra®— one of the most commonly prescribed ED medical treatments out there. 

Sildenafil is in a class of medications called phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5 inhibitors). 

As with the brand name version, you must have a prescription to obtain sildenafil. 

This medication — along with other PDE5 inhibitors —  works by relaxing the blood vessels in the penis, which increases blood flow to the penis during sexual stimulation. 

One reason sildenafil is so popular is that it works quickly. It gets going within 30 minutes of consumption and lasts around four hours.

Tadalafil 

Tadalafil, also known as Cialis®, is another commonly prescribed ED pill. It is also a PDE5 inhibitor, which means it also relaxes blood vessels to encourage blood flow to the penis. 

Tadalafil can last for up to 36 hours, which is why it’s often referred to as the “weekend” ED medication.

Vardenafil 

Vardenafil is the active ingredient in Levitra®, another prescription ED medication. It works within 30 to 60 minutes of taking it and lasts about five to seven hours.

In one clinical trial, 75 percent of men taking vardenafil said they got an erection that was good enough for sex after using the 10mg dose, while 80 percent of men said the same after taking a 20mg dose.

Choose your chew

Avanafil 

The brand name of this medication is Stendra®, and it’s a relatively new ED medication. Like sildenafil and tadalafil, it is also a PDE5 inhibitor. 

Many people like avanafil because it works after just 15 to 30 minutes and is thought to have fewer side effects. 

ED Devices

From vibrators to external support devices to implants, there are a number of devices on the market to treat ED.

A penile vibrator is intended to stimulate your penis so that blood flows to the area. 

Penis pumps also work to pull blood into the penis by creating suction. Once you’ve used the pump, you put a plastic ring around the base of your penis to keep the blood there. 

An inflatable penile prosthesis is a surgical procedure that involves placing an implant into the penis to create an erection..

There is also an external support device for erectile dysfunction called the Erektor®. It has two rings attached to either side of a rod. The penis goes into the rings, and the rod provides rigidity for intercourse.

Psychological Therapy for ED

Depression and anxiety can affect your libido and your ability to get an erection. 

In fact, research actually shows that 20 percent of ED cases are caused by psychological issues. 

Speaking with a mental health provider can help. They will be able to help you come up with a game plan to solve your sexual performance and ED issues.

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Apple cider vinegar has become a popular product touted for delivering a variety of health benefits — including helping manage erectile dysfunction.

Some scientific research has found that apple cider vinegar can potentially address health issues like obesity and type 2 diabetes, which are known to increase ED risk. 

However, there haven’t been any studies done specifically on ACV as it relates to erectile dysfunction. 

And because of this, it’s best to opt for a proven ED treatment method.

Your best first step? Talk to a healthcare provider about your sexual dysfunction. Together, you can assess which treatment for erectile dysfunction is best for you.

18 Sources

  1. Capogrosso, P., et al. (2013). One patient out of four with newly diagnosed erectile dysfunction is a young man - worrisome picture from the everyday clinical practice. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jsm.12179
  2. CIALIS (tadalafil) tablets, for oral use. (2018). https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2018/021368s030lbl.pdf
  3. Cleveland Clinic. (2020). Erection Ejaculaton: How it Occurs. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/10036-erection-ejaculation-how-it-occurs.
  4. Cleveland Clinic. (2023) Exploring the Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/exploring-the-health-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar
  5. Kondo, T., et. al., (2009). Vinegar Intake Reduces Body Weight, Body Fat Mass, and Serum Triglyceride Levels in Obese Japanese Subjects. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1271/bbb.90231
  6. LEVITRA® (vardenafil HCl) Tablets. (2007). https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2007/021400s010lbl.pdf
  7. LEVITRA (vardenafil hydrochloride) tablets, for oral use. (2017). https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2017/021400s020lbl.pdf
  8. Liatis, S. et al., (2010). Vinegar reduces postprandial hyperglycaemia in patients with type II diabetes when added to a high, but not to a low, glycaemic index meal. https://www.nature.com/articles/ejcn201089
  9. Medline Plus. (2018). Sildenafil https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a699015.html
  10. Medline Plus(2016).Tadalafil https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a604008.html
  11. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease. (2017). Definition & facts for erectile dysfunction. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/definition-facts
  12. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease. (2017). Symptoms & Causes of Erectile Dysfunction. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/symptoms-causes.
  13. STENDRA® (avanafil) tablets, for oral use. (2018). https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2018/202276s018lbl.pdf
  14. Smith BP, Babos M (2020).. Sildenafil. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK558978/
  15. Stein, M.J., et. al. (2014). New advances in erectile technology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3891291/
  16. Urology Care Foundation. (2108). Erectile Dysfunction (ED). https://www.urologyhealth.org/urology-a-z/e/erectile-dysfunction
  17. Well-Being Institute, the University of Cambridge. (2006). Causes and Treatment Options of Psychological Impotence. https://www.cambridgewellbeing.org/psychological.html
  18. Yafi, F.A., et al. (2017). Erectile dysfunction. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5027992/
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Kelly Brown MD, MBA
Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Dr. Kelly Brown is a board certified Urologist and fellowship trained in Andrology. She is an accomplished men’s health expert with a robust background in healthcare innovation, clinical medicine, and academic research. Dr. Brown is a founding member of Posterity Health where she is Medical Director and leads strategy and design of their Digital Health Platform, an innovative education and telehealth model for delivering expert male fertility care.

She completed her undergraduate studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (go Heels!) with a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science and a Minor in Chemistry. She took a position at University of California Los Angeles as a radiologic technologist in the department of Interventional Cardiology, further solidifying her passion for medicine. She also pursued the unique opportunity to lead departmental design and operational development at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, sparking her passion for the business of healthcare.

Dr. Brown then went on to obtain her doctorate in medicine from the prestigious Northwestern University - Feinberg School of Medicine and Masters in Business Administration from Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, with a concentration in Healthcare Management. During her surgical residency in Urology at University of California San Francisco, she utilized her research year to focus on innovations in telemedicine and then served as chief resident with significant contributions to clinical quality improvement. Dr. Brown then completed her Andrology Fellowship at Medical College of Wisconsin, furthering her expertise in male fertility, microsurgery, and sexual function.

Her dedication to caring for patients with compassion, understanding, as well as a unique ability to make guys instantly comfortable discussing anything from sex to sperm makes her a renowned clinician. In addition, her passion for innovation in healthcare combined with her business acumen makes her a formidable leader in the field of men’s health.

Dr. Brown is an avid adventurer; summiting Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (twice!) and hiking the incredible Torres del Paine Trek in Patagonia, Chile. She deeply appreciates new challenges and diverse cultures on her travels. She lives in Denver with her husband, two children, and beloved Bernese Mountain Dog. You can find Dr. Brown on LinkedIn for more information.

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