More D for Big O's
There's finally a good reason to surreptitiously slip Liver Snaps into your wife or girlfriend's granola.
It turns out that women with higher levels of Vitamin D3 – found in foods like beef liver, egg yolks, cheese, and fatty fish – appear to function better sexually. They experience more desire, arousal, and lubrication, in addition to having more intense orgasms.
Endocrinologists reporting in International Urology and Nephrology recruited 108 women between the ages of 21 and 51 to fill out the Female Sexual Function Index questionnaire to evaluate their sexual functionality.
The researchers also measured estradiol, testosterone, FSH, LH, DHEA, TSH, and thyroxin level, in addition to vitamin D3 levels. What they found was that women with high or higher levels of vitamin D3 in their blood scored higher on all factors relating to sexual satisfaction.
Surprisingly, though, there wasn't any hormonal differences between the more sexually satisfied women and the less sexually satisfied women. The only thing that differed was Vitamin D3 levels.
A vitamin D deficiency isn't only a possible sexual problem. This common deficiency can also cause or exacerbate diseases like multiple sclerosis, cancer, and heart disease. It also plays a big part in the health of the immune system, as well as playing a significant role in depression.
The trouble is, not many foods have decent amounts. Sure, you can get it from foods like liver and fatty fish, but most Americans get it from vitamin-D fortified dairy products.
The trouble is, vitamin D is fat soluble, and many Americans drink or eat fat-free dairy products, which results in all that vitamin D fortification going to waste, the tiny vitamin D molecules floundering around your stomach and intestines, waiting in vain for their forever home.
There's another problem with vitamin D obtained from dietary sources, too. While it enters the bloodstream quickly (provided there's some dietary fat present for it to dissolve in), it also leaves the system quickly.
You can also allow your body to make vitamin D by exposing your skin to sunlight (which creates the type of D known as D3), but most doctors rank that practice right up there with having the copper plumbing in your house replaced with lead.
But screw them. You'd be much better off with the type your body makes exposing the skin to UVA and UVB rays. D3 enters the bloodstream much more slowly and lasts twice as long as the kind you find in foods and many supplements.
Of course you have to be sane about it. You want a minimum amount of planned exposure, not the hours-long cancer-causing sessions that will make your skin look like the vintage WWII bomber jacket your grandfather used to wear on V-E day.
Just follow these guidelines from dermatologist Dr. Michael Holick, MD:
- Despite what dermatologists reflexively warn against, get some sun between 10 AM and 3 PM (when it's strongest).
- If you have dark skin, spend as much as 30 minutes in the sun. If you have fair skin, limit your exposure to 10 minutes.
- Don't wear sunscreen during this "tanning" time, except on your face.
- Do this three times a week, if possible.
If this is impossible (because it's freakin' winter), or you can't abide by this "risky" behavior, use supplemental D3. Unfortunately, the only way you'll know if you're up to healthy levels is to get a blood test. The desired level is between 50 and 70 nanograms per deciliter of blood.
If you go the supplement route, consider taking one with microencapsulated vitamin D3, like I-Well™. Studies show that this microencapsulated form is the most bioavailable and longest lasting. Its effects remain constant for up to 14 days, making it clearly superior to the oil-based vitamin D3 supplements that make up most of the market.
Of course, if your sex life starts hitting on all 8 orgasmic cylinders, that's also probably a pretty good sign that you're getting enough vitamin D.
- Canat M et al. Vitamin D3 deficiency is associated with female sexual dysfunction in premenopausal women. Int Urol Nephrol. 2016 Nov;48(11):1789-1795. PubMed.