Men’s Sexual Health Vitamins: Over-the-Counter Options
It’s normal for a man’s libido and testosterone levels to ebb and flow over the years. In addition to the normal changes that come with aging and changing hormones, there are also external factors. People who are dealing with stress or not connecting with their partners tend to experience a decrease in desire. And when things happen that make you feel stronger and healthier, your sex drive tends to feel the same.
But what if you’ve been suffering from a sexual dysfunction for some time and it doesn’t seem connected to the usual ups and downs of life? Or what if you’re hoping to avoid a problem and have lost that sexual desire? Is there something you can do to keep your sex drive healthy and improve your sexual performance and testosterone levels without seeing a doctor?
The answer is “absolutely yes!”
What you put into your body plays a major role in how you feel overall, as well as your sexual health. The better you treat your body the more you’ll feel like having sex and the better you’ll perform during sex.
But with all the options out there, how do you know what you should be using to boost your libido and protect your sexual health?
Taking it Slow
The best thing you can do is read up on the topic and move slowly. You might be tempted to rush into using a supplement or product that claims to offer great results, especially if you’ve been having challenges. The truth is rushing into anything related to your health can do more harm than good.
There are plenty of great products out there, but the best place to begin is with your diet. Start with the vitamins you’re getting in your food and ensure your diet is balanced and focused on the results you want.
Ideally, you’ll want to get all of the nutrition you need, for sexual health and otherwise, from what you eat. Consuming your body’s needed vitamins and minerals in food is the best way to get them into your body and put them to work.
Unfortunately, nowadays at least, that can be next to impossible. Even someone who eats a “perfect” diet is going to struggle to get everything needed on a daily basis. Needless to say, most men aren’t eating a perfect diet. As a matter of fact, research shows they are falling way short of perfection. One study showed men should be eating more than 350% of the dark green leafy vegetables they are currently consuming. They also need to intake their fruit intake by about 150% per day.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, not to mention bloated and concerned about too many trips to the bathroom based on that sort of diet revamp, you aren’t alone.
Your best bet is to take a look at the vitamins needed to improve your sexual health and try to get those foods into your diet more. Even if you still fall short, you’ve made an improvement that’s going to have a significant impact.
Once your diet is more on track, you can consider adding supplements, such as horny goat weed and vitamin E. Vitamin supplements are just that—intended to supplement what you aren’t getting in a relatively healthy diet. They aren’t going to perform miracles in most cases, but they might be enough to give you a boost or take the edge off, especially when paired with your diet changes and a healthy exercise routine.
What are the most important vitamins for sexual health?
Vitamin D is a great place to start. It’s easy to find, affordable, and tends to produce very few side effects when taken in supplement form.
Some studies have shown that men who are deficient in vitamin D tend to struggle with erectile dysfunction. Vitamin D levels are one of the first things doctors check (or should check!) when a patient complains of intimacy issues. This is because it’s an important part of keeping endothelial cells healthy. When these cells are suffering, it tends to affect blood flow, and, therefore, your erection.
Keep in mind, in addition to tweaking your diet and adding an OTC vitamin D supplement, getting outside into the sunshine is also important. Do your best to spend at least 15 to 20 minutes outside each day beneath the sun. This would be a great time to take a walk or do some other cardio activity so you can knock out two birds with one stone.
Niacin, which is in the B vitamin family, is another important vitamin regarding sexual health. It boosts good cholesterol which tends to reduce a man’s risk for ED. Too much niacin can damage your liver and lead to blood pressure and heart problems, so it’s important to speak to your doctor before you begin supplementing niacin. You can, however, add a few extra foods high in niacin to your weekly meal plan. High niacin foods include peanut butter, salmon, and liver. You can view a more extensive list of foods high in niacin here.
Many people know folic acid—another B vitamin—is essential for women who are considering pregnancy or already pregnant, but there’s also evidence it helps with moderate to severe erectile dysfunction. Many tests have shown men with ED test low for folic acid and doctors believe supplementing it could alleviate at least some of the problem, especially when used in conjunction with other measures.
In addition to vitamins B and D, amino acids are also an important part of maintaining sexual health. Some research has shown that men who took L-arginine supplements (an amino acid) experienced better erections after about six weeks. Researchers believe this is because it improves blood circulation, which is needed to get an erection.
Another amino acid you might want to consider supplementing, especially if you’re using Viagra, is Propionyl-L-carnitine. It seems to make the medication more effective, even for men who saw no reaction to the drug.
Finally, some men have sworn by ginkgo biloba for easing their ED woes. This is an herb used in TCM that improves blood flow to the brain. It also has an effect on dopamine, which can be beneficial when it comes to intimacy and sex drive. Some in the medical community believe it’s especially useful when a man is experiencing ED that’s linked to antidepressant medication.