Boosting A Low Sex Drive – Lifestyle Changes | Optimale
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Increasing your libido is possible with changes to lifestyle and diet. Certain foods can improve your sex drive, such as milk, eggs, shellfish and green vegetables. Reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption can also improve your sex drive. Supplements play an important role in the enhancement of libido – Vitamin D and L-Citrulline have evidence to support their use.
Lifestyle Adjustments to Boost Low Sex Drive
Sex drive is a complex issue which is impacted by several areas of health and wellbeing.
Here we look at the different aspects of nutrition and supplementation which can affect hormone production and health to boost your low sex drive.
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Foods to Boost Low Sex Drive
These foods can improve sex drive and boost testosterone levels. They contain vitamins and minerals which are needed in the body to produce hormones, including testosterone.
Eggs contain high levels of vitamin D and nutrients such as zinc and choline to help you to produce testosterone and remain healthy. It also contains cholesterol which is the building block of hormones such as testosterone.
Milk also contains high levels of vitamin D to help with testosterone production and general health which can boost a low sex drive.
Whilst there are some health concerns linked to overconsumption of red meat and risk of colon cancer, it is not clear whether these are due to the preservatives in processed meats (it is difficult to separate fresh red meat consumption from processed meat in human studies) or also due to red meat itself.
Regardless, red meat contains healthy amounts of iron, zinc and cholesterol which all help with testosterone production and sex drive.
Oysters and Shellfish
Oysters are a classic food often linked to increased sex drive. This is likely due to their high zinc content, which is linked to increased hormone production and libido.
There are animal studies which show an increase in libido after eating this food, but no research in humans.
Canned or fresh tuna contains high levels of vitamin D, in fact, one portion can provide your recommended allowance for a whole day!
Dark green cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, kale and spinach, provide high levels of DIM and natural aromatase inhibitors which reduce oestrogen levels. An aromatase inhibitor stops the enzyme aromatase from converting testosterone into oestrogen.
This increases testosterone production and stops your levels from becoming depleted. Both can increase sex drive.
Saffron is an expensive herb/spice taken from the Crocus sativus flower. It has recently been heavily studied in the area of libido, particularly for people on anti-depressants.
A study of 38 women who had fluoxetine induced sexual dysfunction showed a significant improvement in sex drive after taking 30mg per day of saffron.
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Alcohol and Caffeine Consumption
Avoiding certain substances can boost your low sex drive by ensuring you have normal hormone levels and healthy organs.
Alcohol overconsumption/abuse can damage the kidneys and liver. These organs are important for the production of hormones and the clearance of oestrogen. If oestrogen levels are raised in men then this can lead to a reduction of testosterone production by inhibition of gonadotrophin production by the pituitary. Gonadotrophins stimulate the testicles to produce testosterone and sperm.
Alcohol also increases oestrogen production by increasing aromatase levels and inhibiting the breakdown of oestrogen in the liver. In men, not only does this reduce sex drive, but it also inhibits the pituitary glands production of LH and FSH. In turn, this reduces the production of testosterone by the testicles.
This impacts the endocrine system by increasing cortisol production and can lead to adrenal fatigue. It can also lead to reduced sleep quality as well as masking a lack of sleep.
If consumed in high quantities caffeine can negatively impact testosterone production and therefore sex drive.
Supplements to Boost your Low Sex Drive
Natural Vitamins from Food Supplements
As discussed above, Saffron is a food supplement which has been shown to increase sex drive in men and women.
L-Citrulline and L-Arginine
L-Citrulline and L-Arginine are nitric oxide boosters which are naturally occurring in the human body.
A study of 24 men found that L-citrulline improved erectile dysfunction in 50% of men which can lead to improvements in sex drive.
Vitamin D is hugely important for the production of hormones such as testosterone, as well as recovery and rest. It has also been shown to improve mood in a large meta-analysis of studies in this area.
All of these areas are important to optimise to ensure you are boosting your sex drive to its full potential.
If you’re suffering from low sex drive then boosting it may be as simple as making these lifestyle changes.
Regular exercise, eating well and taking the right supplements may make all the difference.
If you are concerned that you are already living healthily but still suffer from issues with sex drive then our simple blood test will tell you more about whether you may have a hormonal issue.
Read more about low sex drive in men.
For more information
Contact us for more information on low testosterone or TRT.
- Aversa, A., Isidori, A.M., Greco, E.A., et al. (2004) Hormonal supplementation and erectile dysfunction. Eur Urol. 45(5):535-538.
- Al-Sader H, Abdul-Jabar H, Allawi Z, Haba Y. Alcohol and breast cancer: the mechanisms explained. J Clin Med Res. 2009;1(3):125-131. doi:10.4021/jocmr2009.07.1246
- Brownlee KK, Moore AW, Hackney AC. Relationship between circulating cortisol and testosterone: influence of physical exercise. J Sports Sci Med. 2005;4(1):76-83. Published 2005 Mar 1.
- Kashani L, Raisi F, Saroukhani S, Sohrabi H, Modabbernia A, Nasehi AA, Jamshidi A, Ashrafi M, Mansouri P, Ghaeli P, Akhondzadeh S. Saffron for treatment of fluoxetine-induced sexual dysfunction in women: randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2013 Jan;28(1):54-60. doi: 10.1002/hup.2282. Epub 2012 Dec 20. PMID: 23280545.
- Zhang Z, Su G, Zhou F, Lin L, Liu X, Zhao M. Alcalase-hydrolyzed oyster (Crassostrea rivularis) meat enhances antioxidant and aphrodisiac activities in normal male mice. Food Res Int. 2019 Jun;120:178-187. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2019.02.033. Epub 2019 Feb 20. PMID: 31000228.
- Cormio L, De Siati M, Lorusso F, Selvaggio O, Mirabella L, Sanguedolce F, Carrieri G. Oral L-citrulline supplementation improves erection hardness in men with mild erectile dysfunction. Urology. 2011 Jan;77(1):119-22. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2010.08.028. PMID: 21195829.
- Spedding S. Vitamin D and depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis comparing studies with and without biological flaws. Nutrients. 2014;6(4):1501-1518. Published 2014 Apr 11. doi:10.3390/nu6041501
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