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Erections refers to the ability to achieve and maintain and erection as well as its rigidity. Many supplements catering towards erectile dysfunction are said to possess these pro-erectile properties.

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel.
All content reviewed by the Examine.com Team. Published: Jul 5, 2013
Last Updated:

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect erections
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-b Minor Very High See all 4 studies
An improvement in erectile dysfunction is seen with 3g of Korean Red Ginseng (fermented panax ginseng, regular panax ginseng not as well tested) which is thought to be secondary to anti-fatigue effects and improved blood flow
grade-b Minor - See study
Erections are increased following yohimbine ingestion which is thought to be a combination of alpha-2-adrenergic antagonism (enhancing relaxation of the penile tissue so engorgement of blood can ensure) and increasing blood pressure (which would increase the amount of force in an erection). However, may not be able to overcome organic erectile dysfunction associated with poor blood flow
grade-c Minor - See study
Increased erectile function has been noted with CoQ10, but this may be secondary to reductions in symptoms of Peyronie's Disease
grade-c Minor - See study
There appears to be a slight proerectile effect of eurycoma supplements as assessed by self-report survey
grade-c Minor - See study
An increase in erection frequency has been noted in men, likely related to the libido enhancing properties
grade-c Minor Very High See all 4 studies
1.5 and 2.25 of tribulus extract or 6 g of tribulus root seems to modestly improve erections in infertile men, men with partial androgen deficiency, and men with erectile dysfunction. The effect is reliable across all studies so far, however, research is still in its early stage and great confidence in these results would be unwarranted.
grade-c - - See study
Supplementation of 2,000mg of Ashwagandha thrice daily in men with psychogenic erectile dysfunction failed to exert any benefits more than placebo.
grade-c - Very High See 2 studies
Currently assumed to be ineffective for erections or erectile dysfunction due to the poor quality of the evidence in existence.
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on erectile properties in persons with sexual dysfunction
grade-c - Moderate See all 3 studies
The best evidence to date does not support a pro-erectile effect of saffron supplementation per se, although it may have a particular role in combating SSRI related sexual dysfunction that results in erectile dysfunction.
grade-d Minor - See study
Hardness of erections in persons with mild erectile dysfunction appears to be increased following supplementation of citrulline supplementation.
grade-d Minor - See study
One study has noted an improvement in erections in persons thought to have impaired blood flow
grade-d Minor - See study
May be proerectile in persons with organic erectile dysfunction (due to poor blood flow)
grade-d - - See study
No apparent effect in one study.