It’s one thing if you had a long day at work and are too exhausted to have sex, but it’s another if you find yourself lacking a sex drive in general. If the latter is the case, you’re not alone. A low or absent sex drive is one of the most common sexual problems for both men and women.
An estimated 35% of women in the United States have a condition known as hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).1 HSDD is categorized by a lack of interest in sex that can cause problems in a relationship. In addition, an estimated 30 to 50% of men ages 40 to 70 experience erectile dysfunction (ED).2
Many people who suffer from a lack of sexual desire wonder how they can get back to feeling sexual with their partners. Taking a supplement may help. These are six supplements and vitamins to improve sex drive:
Your body needs Vitamin D for many reasons, including calcium absorption, immune function, and cell growth.3 Having a vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction and female sexual dysfunction. A 2016 study from Turkey showed that women with vitamin D3 deficiency scored lower on a sexual satisfaction questionnaire than those who had normal D3 levels.4 An analysis from Johns Hopkins University of 3,400 men found that those with vitamin D deficiency were more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction.5
To prevent vitamin D deficiency, you need to meet the daily recommended value of 600 International Units (IU) daily if you are under 70 years of age, and 800 IU if you are over 70.6 You can get Vitamin D from the sun or from a few foods, including meats, fishes, and vitamin-fortified milk. Many people need to take a vitamin D supplement, like Princeton Nutrients’ OmegaStem, which contains several other supplements as well.
Ginseng, also known as Panax ginseng, is an herb that grows in Asia and North America. The fleshy root of the plant is used in traditional Chinese medicine. Several studies have shown the effectiveness of ginseng in treating sexual problems in both men and women.
Research from the University of Guelph in Canada found that ginseng is one of the most powerful aphrodisiacs.7 A review of several clinical trials published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology showed that Korean red ginseng is effective in improving erectile dysfunction.8 An Italian study of 66 men showed that taking red ginseng also increased testosterone.9 A 2010 study showed that taking Korean red ginseng improved sexual arousal for menopausal women.10
Omega 3 Fatty Acid
Omega 3 is another ingredient that greatly increases libido, both for women and men. Fish oil is the most well-known source of omega 3, but there are plenty of other sources, like flax, chia seeds, and even phytoplankton. Nope, that’s not a typo. Phytoplankton, such as krill, are lesser-known sources of omega 3 and are a great option for vegetarians. Unlike fish sources, krill supplements, such as Princeton Nutrients’ UltraKrill, are virtually free of mercury and other toxic contaminants. Omega 3 contains essential EPA and DHA, which are both vital fatty acids that you’re body doesn’t make itself.
Maca is a plant that grows in the mountainous regions of South America. The roots of the maca plant have been traditionally cultivated and eaten as both a vegetable and a medicine. Maca can improve sex drive in both men and women. Research from Victoria University in Australia showed that taking maca root lowered sexual dysfunction and lessened the effects of anxiety and depression for postmenopausal women.11 A 2009 Italian study of 50 men also showed that taking maca root lessened erectile dysfunction.12
L-arginine is a non-essential amino acid, which are building blocks, or proteins. Researchers have found that L-arginine works by stimulating nitric oxide in the body, increasing blood flow to the genitals, and producing more “intense sensations.”13 A 2003 Bulgarian study found that L-arginine, when paired with Pycnogenol, a pine bark extract, decreased erectile dysfunction. The study included 40 men with self-diagnosed erectile dysfunction. After taking L-arginine and pycnogenol for three months, 92.5 percent of study participants reported having a normal erection.14
There is also some evidence of l-arginine assisting in female sex drive. ArginMax is a trademarked supplement containing L-arginine, as well as ginkgo, ginseng, damiana, and other vitamins and minerals. A clinical trial of ArginMax by the University of Hawaii School of Medicine found that taking ArginMax increased sexual desire for female study participants.15
The dried leaves of the ginkgo biloba plant have been used medicinally for thousands of years. Ginkgo biloba is one of the most popular herbal supplements for memory and anxiety. Ginkgo increases blood flow, which may be why it can help with sex drive.16 A study from the University of California San Francisco demonstrated the positive effects of ginkgo biloba on sexual dysfunction caused by antidepressants.17 Research showed that ginkgo biloba was 84 percent effective in treating sexual dysfunction. Female study participants were found to be slightly more affected by ginkgo biloba than men.
Fenugreek is an herb that is native to the Mediterranean. Its seeds have been used as spices and medicinally for thousands of years. Fenugreek is also a common ingredient in men’s sexual health supplements. A 2011 study published in Phytotherapy Research found that fenugreek extract had a positive correlation with sexual arousal in men. Recent research also suggests that taking fenugreek can help women with arousal.18 A 2015 study found that premenopausal women experienced a higher sex drive after taking a fenugreek supplement.19
A Word to the Wise
No matter which of these you include in your diet (or all of them!), it’s always beneficial to add a booster to your diet. Princeton Nutrients has another supplement called VitaPulse, which boosts not only the effects of OmegaStem, but pretty much every cell function. Use it on its own or in conjunction with other supplements or nutrients, for a particularly effective impact.
If you are taking prescription medications or are being treated for a health condition, consult your doctor before taking any vitamins or supplements. Even supplements that are considered safe can have some adverse effects on your health if taken with prescription medicines.
These promising studies show supplements can help some people overcome their diminishing libidos. Since having a healthy sex life is good for mental and physical health, getting your sex drive back should be top priority – and perhaps one of these capsules can be the key.