sexual health - Science Nutrition Lab

“Natural Viagra”: How the Right Vitamins & Minerals Could Support Sexual Performance

Many people take vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements daily to support sex drive.

Do you have low sex drive or poor sexual performance? It could be linked to a vitamin or mineral deficiency.

Your body needs certain vitamins and minerals to produce sex hormones. Without those vitamins and minerals, you could experience symptoms of sexual dysfunction.

Keep reading to discover how certain vitamins, minerals, and nutritional supplements could act as “natural Viagra” and support sex drive in multiple ways.

Vitamin D: Supports Sexual Function and Sex Drive in Multiple Ways

Vitamin D is crucial for hormone production. If you’re deficient in vitamin D, then you could have imbalanced hormones. Your body produces vitamin D from exposure to sunlight. You can also get vitamin D from food.

Studies show people with low sex drive also tend to have low levels of vitamin D. Studies also show the greater your vitamin D deficiency, the lower your sex drive tends to be.

Researchers believe vitamin D is connected to sex through its effects on endothelial cells. Endothelial cells play a critical role in blood flow to sexual organs during sex. Vitamin D appears to protect endothelial cells from oxidative stress (i.e. inflammation), which could help with sexual performance.

Other studies have connected vitamin D to nitric oxide (NO), a crucial natural molecule for blood flow. NO expands blood vessels, making it easier for blood to flow to your sexual organs.

Vitamin D could also help support your body’s response to stress, depression, and anxiety – all of which could decrease sex drive.

Magnesium: Important for Relaxation, Nerve Function, and Mood

Magnesium is essential for the metabolism of nitric oxide. As mentioned above, nitric oxide (NO) is critical for blood flow. Your body produces less nitic oxide as you get older, which can lead to declining sexual function.

In one study involving 372 older men with chronic kidney disease, researchers found a connection between hypomagnesemia (low magnesium levels in the blood) and erectile dysfunction. Men with normal magnesium levels tended to have good erectile function and overall sexual function, while men with low magnesium levels did not.

Other studies have connected magnesium to hormone production in men and women and overall sexual function. Because magnesium is important for nervous system health throughout the body, magnesium deficiency can cause many effects throughout your body – from sexual function to athletic performance.

 

 

Zinc: Critical for Testosterone Production

Men who are deficient in zinc tend to have lower testosterone production than men who get their recommended daily intake of zinc. Zinc is crucial for multiple body processes – including testosterone production.

If you are deficient in zinc, then taking a zinc supplement could raise testosterone levels. One study found a specific connection between zinc supplementation and higher testosterone. Men with low testosterone took a zinc supplement or a placebo, with men in the zinc group raising testosterone higher than men in the placebo group.

However, this testosterone effect does not appear in men who already get sufficient levels of zinc. If you already get your recommended daily intake of zinc in your diet, then taking a zinc supplement may not raise zinc levels further.

Check your blood for a zinc deficiency with a Science Nutrition Lab blood test and compare your bloodwork against an optimal range based on your age and gender. A zinc deficiency could lead to sexual dysfunction and abnormally low testosterone levels.

Vitamin E: Supports Sperm Count and Inflammation

Vitamin E is one of nature’s best antioxidants. It’s critical for skin health, hormone balance, and oxygen and blood flow to your sexual organs.

Many people take vitamin E supplements (or apply vitamin E serums) daily for anti-aging benefits. Those same anti-aging benefits could help with sexual function: the antioxidant properties of vitamin E can support healthy inflammation, making it easier for blood to flow throughout your body.

Amino Acids: Blood Flow and Nitric Oxide

Some of the world’s best sexual health supplements work by addressing blood flow. By supporting blood flow, these supplements make you feel like you have a stronger sex drive, greater sexual stamina, and better sexual performance overall.

Amino acid supplements are some of the best for supporting blood flow and other related benefits.

L-citrulline is one of the most popular amino acid supplement ingredients for sex drive, and many people take L-citrulline daily for that reason. Your body converts L-citrulline into L-arginine, which is associated with nitric oxide and blood flow. In one 2011 study, men with erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure, and diabetes took 1.5g of L-citrulline daily to help with sexual function. After 30 days, L-citrulline supplementation improved symptoms in 50% of men.

Since your body converts L-citrulline to L-arginine, you can also take L-arginine supplements for sexual function. In one 2019 study, researchers reviewed 10 L-arginine trials involving 540 patients with ED. Participants took 1,500 to 5,000mg of L-arginine daily, then experienced significant improvements in intercourse satisfaction, orgasmic function, and erectile function. In other words, L-arginine supplementation appears to genuinely improve sexual function based on 10 trials involving hundreds of patients.

Unproven Herbal Supplements: More Hype Than Science

A quick search for “sexual health supplements” online reveals thousands of results. These supplements use herbs, plants, and other ingredients to target sexual function in various ways.

It’s rare for any of these sexual health supplements to be backed by major scientific evidence. Many of these supplements are formulated by marketing teams or businesspeople with limited medical experience. Others use unproven ingredients, proprietary formulas, or unsafe blends while claiming to target crucial body functions like hormones.

Generally, you can skip unproven herbal extracts because they’re more hype than science. Horny goat weed, fenugreek, maca, and ginseng may sound like good herbal supplements for sexual health, but there’s little largescale evidence in humans proving they work.

Final Word

Address nutritional deficiencies to support sexual function.

If your body is deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, then you’ll struggle to maintain good sex drive, blood flow, and sexual function.

Adjust your diet or take a supplement to address deficiencies affecting your sexual health. Or, take a Science Nutrition Lab blood test to identify deficiencies long before symptoms appear.

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