Could vitamin deficiency be the reason your sex drive has plummeted? Low libido can affect anyone, but it’s most common in women. If you’ve ruled out things like relationship problems, depression and busy schedules, the next thing to address is your nutrition. If you’re not getting the vitamins and minerals that combat fatigue, keep your mood even and increase your blood flow, you may suffer from little to no sex drive. Luckily, this is one surprisingly easy problem to fix.
Who is affected by low libido?
If you’re not jumping at the chance to pull your partner into the bedroom, you’re not alone. Studies have shown that nearly 27 percent of premenopausal women, 52 percent of naturally menopausal women and 13 percent of surgically menopausal women suffer from low libido. Men are affected, too. As many as 31 percent of men experience low libido at some point in their lives. It’s particularly common in aging men—as their testosterone levels drop, so too do their sex drives.
This can be a crushing dysfunction, especially if your relationship is otherwise good—it distresses the person with the low libido, and the partner may experience feelings of inadequacy or worse. It’s even worse if you’re constantly worried about whether your sex drive will ever come back—who can get in the mood when they’re worried that something is seriously wrong with them?
How vitamin deficiency can affect your libido
There are a lot of causes for low libido—hormone shifts, age, trauma, depression and stress are all common causes. However, nutrition plays a role, too. For example, vitamin deficiencies can contribute to fatigue and depression. Others can contribute to a lack of sex hormones, which makes it physically difficult (if not impossible) to become aroused mentally and physically.
Getting the right nutrition—and skipping refined sugar and other processed junk—can have an almost instantaneous positive effect on your sex drive. When you feel better and your body has the tools it needs, you’re much more likely to head to the bedroom.
Make sure you get enough of these nutrients
- Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 helps your body reduce stress, create and use energy and banish fatigue. Many American adults lack enough vitamin B12 in their diet, especially if they’re vegan. You can get B12 from a B-complex supplement, or find it in foods like eggs.
- Vitamin D. If you’re not getting enough vitamin D (and that’s not a euphemism), you’re probably not going to be in the mood. Unfortunately, many Americans are living with a vitamin D deficiency. Few Americans get enough sunshine, which stimulates vitamin D production. You can get vitamin D through your diet—it’s common in fatty fish, red meat and egg yolks—or you can take a supplement. This helps stimulate sex hormone production and wards off depressive episodes.
- Zinc. Many people operate with a zinc deficiency. Unfortunately, zinc is responsible for helping produce testosterone—a hormone that affects the sex drive in both women and men. Luckily, zinc’s easy to get from fruits, vegetables and grains. Try a supplement if you’re not able to get enough from diet alone.
- Omega 3 fatty acids. Commonly found in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines, omega 3 fatty acids are healthy fats. They can reduce inflammation, improve circulation and boost your heart health. That’s important anyway, but it directly impacts your body’s ability to get blood flow to those—ahem—important places.
- Magnesium. Magnesium is used in several of your body’s systems. When you don’t get enough of this mineral, you might suffer from fatigue, cramps, body aches, depression and insomnia, none of which are particularly sexy situations. It also increases sex hormone production. You can increase your magnesium intake by eating more seeds, nuts and leafy greens.
These nutrients aren’t hard to obtain—either through food or supplements—but if you’re not getting enough in your diet, it can seriously affect your mood as well as your physical being. It’s hard to overstate just how important a healthy diet is, especially when you’re dealing with sexual dysfunction. When you’re eating processed junk foods, you’ll feel awful, and when you feel awful you probably won’t want to have sex.
Taking the time to consciously monitor and alter your vitamin intake can help a great deal. Most importantly, the health benefits from these nutrients aren’t just limited to your libido.