Studies show that one in five adults do not have adequate levels of the so called ‘sunshine nutrient’. And in the winter where sunshine levels dip, it’s even more difficult to get our Vit D hit.
But the nutrient is essential for a whole host of health benefits, including looking after bones, the brain and the immune system. What’s more being deficient in vitamin D can lead to low oestrogen in women and reduced testosterone in men, which can impact your libido.
“There are many factors that can affect libido such as stress, anxiety, depression, medication, smoking, drinking, illness and being overweight,” explains Rob Hobson, head of nutrition at Healthspan and co-author of the Detox Kitchen Bible.
“These factors can impact on the food choices we make, which in turn can affect nutrient intake and the quality of our diet.
“Some can even impact on the body’s requirement for certain nutrients or affect their absorption in the body and the joint effect of this may have an impact on your libido.”
So how do we up our levels of Vit D and get our sex lives back on track?
Rob recommends eating mushrooms, fortified breakfast cereals, mackerel and eggs for breakfast to help boost vitamin D levels. But although this should help he says that it is actually difficult to get enough vitamin D from diet and sun exposure alone, especially in the winter.
“Our recent research found that Britons are living a mole-like existence – seeing an average of less than 10 hours of daylight a week during the winter months,” he explains.
“So taking vitamin D supplements is recommended. Public Health England recommends everyone gets a daily intake of 10 mcg.”
Generally, no adult should take high doses of Vitamin D (over approximately 2000 IU or 50 mpg) without a blood test for Vitamin D.
It’s not the first time vitamin D has been linked to a lower sex drive. A study, published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology, found that men with adequate levels of the nutrient had more testosterone, the male sex hormone, than those with lower levels.
And earlier this year a new study in the journal International Urology and Nephrology found that women with female sexual dysfunction (FSD) – the term used to describe sexual problems – had lower levels of vitamin D in their blood.
Researchers discovered that low vitamin D itself was linked to low desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm and satisfaction and more pain.
So if you fancy getting fruity over the festive season it could be time to up your vit D intake. Not too much though or this midwife won’t be happy. *winky face emoji*
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