While there’s no “normal” when it comes to libido, maybe you’re just not feeling it lately. It could be that sex with your partner, solo sex, or even the idea of sex doesn’t appeal to you. This could spell bad news for your health, well-being, and relationship if you’re in one.
If your loss of interest in sex is seriously bothering you, then it’s worthwhile to dig into the root cause of the problem. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of research regarding reasons for low libido. Amongst them, a vitamin deficiency is a possible culprit.
In this guide from ASYSTEM, we’ll go over which vitamin deficiencies cause libido problems, why it happens, and how you can start supplementing to get your sex drive back.
What Causes Low Sex Drive?
There are tons of potential causes of a low sex drive. They can roughly be split up into three categories: physical, psychological, and social.
A physical cause of low libido is anything that affects your biology.
In many cases, this shows up as a sex hormone imbalance — most notably estrogen and testosterone. A hormonal imbalance can result from lifestyle factors, such as poor diet, lack of exercise, or smoking. A hormonal contraceptive can also cause it. In some cases, hormonal changes come with age — the older we get, the fewer sex hormones we produce.
A loss of sexual function can also come with age. For instance, almost half of males above 40 experience erectile dysfunction caused by poor blood circulation. Some women also report reduced sexual function, such as increased dryness, as they age. These factors can cause a loss of desire for sex.
Another common physical cause of low libido and sexual dysfunction? Sleep deprivation. In our society, we wear lack of sleep as a badge of honor. However, this can take a toll on all aspects of our health, including our sex drive. After all, it’s hard to even think about sex when you’re exhausted.
Last, vitamin deficiencies can also be behind low libido. Because vitamins affect so many functions in our bodies, being deficient in them can cause something to be off, which can manifest in low libido. We’ll go into more detail on the link between vitamin deficiency and low libido below.
Considering the high rates of stress in our culture, it should be no surprise that it can play a role in low libido. After all, think about how you feel when you’re stressed out. Your body is tense, your mind is somewhere else, and the only thing that sounds good is curling up with a bowl of ice cream.
However, stress does much more than leave you irritated. It can cause you to secrete stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline. When this happens, your body cuts down on the production of sex hormones, which is linked to low libido.
Another reason you may not desire sex may be body image problems. If you don’t feel confident about your appearance, it may be hard to relax and enjoy the experience of sex. Instead, you may be too preoccupied with thoughts about your body. One study even found that body image is associated with sexual health.
If you’re in a relationship, then you may not be 100% to blame for low libido. If you used to feel an intense attraction to your partner that has faded over time, this could cause low libido. This is especially true if your sexual desire increases with other partners — or the idea of them.
While it’s normal for sexual attraction to fade over time in a relationship, this should not cause you to lose interest in sex completely. In some cases, it can even be a sign that there are underlying issues to be worked out.
Can Vitamin Deficiency Cause Low Sex Drive?
Because vitamins regulate so many of our body’s functions and processes, it should come as no surprise that certain vitamin deficiencies are linked to low sex drive.
For instance, a zinc deficiency is associated with a testosterone deficiency. One study found an inverse relationship between zinc concentration and testosterone levels in males. By feeding the study participants a diet low in zinc, the researchers were able to reduce their zinc levels to the point of deficiency.
Compared to the beginning of the experiment, the study’s participants experienced a significant decrease in their testosterone levels.
Research also supports the association between an iron deficiency and a reduction of sexual function, leading to low libido. For instance, one study found middle-aged women with iron deficiency reported higher rates of low energy, low arousal, and vaginal dryness. While the mechanisms behind this relationship are not completely understood, researchers believe an iron deficiency can be due to a decrease in sex hormones, particularly testosterone.
Vitamin D may also play a role in low libido. One study found an association between a deficiency in vitamin D and erectile dysfunction in middle-aged men. This may be because vitamin D plays a role in vascular health (related to blood vessels).
However, the study only shows an association between the two. As such, it’s hard to say with 100% certainty that vitamin D can lead to a low sex drive. Nonetheless, because it plays such a huge component in our health, it’s not surprising that it can affect sexual function, as well.
In sum, certain vitamins can play a role in sex drive. Because vitamins play so many roles in our health, being deficient in one of them can manifest as a low sex drive.
However, researchers found that supplementing with vitamins can improve some aspects of sexual health and function. We’ll go over which vitamins can help increase your libido in the next section.
Top Vitamins for Improving Sex Drive
Zinc is a trace metal that occurs naturally on the earth. Aside from being well-known for its role in regulating the immune system, zinc has been shown to improve sexual health in males. The study cited above found that supplementing with zinc could increase testosterone levels by almost two times. Testosterone is associated with libido; as such, increasing it can improve sex drive.
One animal study had similar findings. By administering a zinc supplement to male rats, the study found a significant improvement in sexual arousal, sperm count and quality, and the ability to maintain an erection.
One study examined the effects of fenugreek and magnesium on sex drive in males. According to the study, the participants experienced a significant increase in sexual orgasm and orgasm intensity.
Of course, this may be partially due to the effects of Fenugreek, which is an ingredient you can find in ASYSTEM’s Libido Gummies. That said, magnesium is well-known for promoting relaxation and blood flow, which can reduce stress — a potential cause of low libido.
As mentioned above, an iron deficiency is associated with hormonal changes, which can lead to low libido. Supplementing with iron can correct this deficiency and correct a low sex drive — if this was the root cause, to begin with.
However, keep in mind: Unless you have a true iron deficiency, it’s best not to supplement with it. Too much iron can be toxic. Be sure to check in with your healthcare provider before taking an iron supplement.
Low vitamin D levels are associated with a decrease in testosterone and other aspects of sexual function, such as erectile function. As such, if you have a vitamin D deficiency, it’s important to correct it to improve your libido. As with all supplements, check in with your doctor before you start taking it to avoid any side effects.
Deficiencies in certain vitamins are linked to low sex drive. Ask your doctor for a blood test to check if your vitamin levels are where they should be. Supplementing can be what you need to get your sex drive back to normal levels if you're deficient.
If you continue to experience low libido, the right supplement can help. ASYSTEM’S Libido System contains a blend of natural ingredients clinically proven to boost libido — for your best sex life yet.
Meet our Experts
This article has been reviewed by members of our Scientific Advisory Board.
Former Olympic Athlete, Founder, B2ten Foundation (coach to multiple Olympic Champions)
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