Written by Tom Fahey
14 January 2010

The body naturally produces highly reactive chemicals called free radicals during metabolism that are linked to aging, depressed immunity, coronary artery disease, and inflammation. Antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene, buffer the effect of free radicals and might have health benefits. Erectile dysfunction (ED), caused mainly by blood vessel disease, could be partially due to oxidative stress (free radical damage) and reduced levels of antioxidants. Italian researchers found that men with ED showed higher levels of free radicals and lower levels of antioxidants than men without ED. Antioxidant supplements might improve erection capacity in aging men. (Journal Sexual Medicine, 6: 2820-2825, 2009)