Not Getting Enough of This Vitamin Can Ruin Your Sex Life, Doctor Says
Taking a supplement can help keep things spicy in the bedroom.
All of our sex lives are bound to have highs and lows—and if you're going through a dry spell, you're not alone. A 2021 study revealed that Americans of all ages are having less sex than they once did. You can chalk this up to any number of reasons, such as low libido, sexual dysfunction, hormone imbalance, or being too exhausted from the demands of today's lightning-paced world, but the good news is, there could be a simple solution. Studies show that getting enough of one vitamin in particular can help keep things spicy in the bedroom. Read on to learn what it is, so you can put your bedroom woes to rest.
A healthy sex life has some surprising benefits.
Sex doesn't just feel good—a good sex life can improve your health and your life. In a 2016 study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers looked at the relationship between sexual satisfaction and quality of life among 3,515 U.S. adults and found that sexual health was key for most participants. What's more, people with better health reported higher sexual satisfaction, while those in poorer health were less satisfied with their sex lives.
According to the experts at WebMD, having a healthy sex life helps support immune health, lowers blood pressure, reduces your risk of heart attack, improve sleep, ease stress, and even burn calories—all compelling reasons to ensure you have good sex throughout your life.
Lacking this nutrient can interfere with sexual health.
A growing body of research shows that vitamin D deficiency can significantly impact your sexual health. In men, the so-called "sunshine vitamin plays a crucial role in sexual function. For example, a 2019 study published in The World Journal of Men's Health showed that vitamin D increases sperm motility, boosts fertility, and helps improve testicular function through sex hormone production. And a study from 2019 observed a link between low vitamin D levels in women and symptoms of sexual dysfunction, such as pain during sex, inability to become aroused, and lack of sex drive. Jeffrey Bland, PhD, immunity expert and founder of Big Bold Health, says, "In females, vitamin D is used by the ovaries for maintaining proper sexual function. However, no conclusive evidence shows vitamin D alters female sex hormones."
Vitamin D may have an effect on erectile dysfunction.
A 2018 study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology looked at the relationship between vitamin D and sexual function in 114 men. The findings demonstrated that participants with higher vitamin D levels also had higher testosterone levels and better erectile function. The Cleveland Heart Lab reports that vitamin D helps increase blood flow to the genitals by improving the lining of blood vessel walls, which supports blood flow and reduces inflammation. "Medical research suggests that optimal vitamin D levels are necessary for erectile function," states Andrea Paul, MD, medical advisor at Illuminate Labs.
For more health news sent directly to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Lacking vitamin D affects urologic health.
Urology is an area of health care related to the reproductive system and anatomy involved in sexual health, including the sex organs, bladder, kidneys, and urinary tract. Mounting evidence shows a link between low vitamin D levels in men and urologic issues such as overactive bladder, prostate gland enlargement, and urinary tract infections (UTIs). Vitamin D deficiency was also correlated with a higher risk of UTIs in children and adults, according to a 2019 meta-review published in the Annals of Clinical and Laboratory Science.
"Vitamin D influences calcium absorption and utilization, so it can affect the amount of calcium excreted in the urine," Bland explains. "Therefore, a well-balanced intake of vitamin D is important in promoting proper calcium utilization and urinary tract health."
To ensure your sexual health is at its best, get sufficient vitamin D by spending time outdoors in direct sunlight, eating vitamin D-rich foods, and taking a vitamin D supplement if necessary. According to the National Institutes of Health, adults aged 70 and younger require 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily, while those over 70 need 800 IU per day. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking any new supplements, or if you have questions regarding dosage.