Male Sexual Health – How Nutrition Can Help

Male sexual health

The age-old adage, “You are what you eat” also applies to how healthy you are in the bedroom. There is considerable research which links good nutrition to optimal male sexual health. Here are a few things to consider when you want to improve or optimize sexual well-being:

Vitamin D status - There is research that suggests that low levels of vitamin D can decrease testosterone levels. Low testosterone levels can decrease libido and a man’s health in general. (1,2) Try to get at least 20 minutes of sun exposure daily to boost your vitamin D levels. If you have darker skin, you may need more. If you are not able to be in the sun, take a vitamin D supplement with an olive oil or coconut oil base. You will need at least 5,000 IU per day to boost vitamin D levels.

Zinc, Selenium, and Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Considering becoming a father? Both zinc and selenium are vital to the health of the sperm. Selenium is a mineral that protects the sperm from oxidative damage and zinc is a mineral that is needed for healthy sperm development. (3,4) Omega-3 fatty acids help to maintain the integrity of the sperm. (5) (However, you also need to supplement with a good antioxidant as omega-3’s are subject to oxidative damage). If you are planning on starting a family, supplementing with these three nutrients is something to consider.

Vitamin C - For those that suffer from issues like erectile dysfunction, getting a good dose of antioxidants may help. Vitamin C helps to decrease inflammation in the arteries, therefore increasing the amount of blood flow to the penis (which is necessary for an erection). (6) Remember to increase your diet with plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables or take a vitamin C supplement with different forms of vitamin C such as calcium ascorbate and magnesium ascorbate.

Proline and Lysine - These two amino acids help to form collagen which maintains the integrity of arteries. Along with vitamin C, they help to protect the cardiovascular system which is vital in sexual performance. Both these amino acids are available in organic bone-broths. You could also find these amino acids in supplement form.

In addition to a healthy diet and supplementing with the nutrients you need, stress management, exercise, and getting the right amount of sleep will also help you to optimize your sexual performance. As with everything, being healthy in all aspects of life is a lifestyle. Make small, daily changes in order to reap the benefits of good health.

References:

1. Foresta C. et al. Bone mineral density and testicular failure: evidence for a role of vitamin D 25-hydro-xylase in human testis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011; 96(4):E646–652.
2. Foresta C. et al. Testiculopathy and vitamin D insufficiency. The Lancet. 2010: 376(9749):1301.
3. Kestes A. et al. Sperm oxidative stress and the effect of an oral vitamin E and selenium supplement on semen quality in infertile men. Arch Androl. 2003; 49(2):83–94.
4. Vaamonde D. et al. Preliminary Results of Trans-Resveratrol as an Effective Protector Against Exercise-Induced Morphology Abnormalities on Mice Sperm. P-200 presented at the 67th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) 2011.
5. Ebisch I. M. et al. The importance of folate, zinc and antioxidants in the pathogenesis and prevention of subfertility. Hum Reprod Update. 2007; 13(2):163–174.
6. Chambers J. C. et al. Demonstration of rapid onset vascular endothelial dysfunction after hyperhomo-cysteinemia. An effect reversible with vitamin C therapy. Circulation: 1999; 99:1156–1160.

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