What is loss of libido?
Loss of libido is a sexual dysfunction relating to loss of
sexual desire or sexual drive and is also termed hypoactive
sexual desire disorder (DSM-IV). It is not to be confused
with impotence or erectile dysfunction.
Linked closely to levels of hormones in the body, one's
libido can be affected by age, weight, diet and lifestyle
factors such as stress. The cause of loss of libido can be
either physiological, psychological or both.
Who does it affect?
Loss of libido is an increasing problem in our modern world,
although it is thought to be more prevalent in some countries.
It is estimated that between one quarter and one third of
adult males and up to 45% of adult females suffer from loss
of libido in the USA. There may be several reasons for this:
increased stress levels, increased rates of depression, poor
diet and exercise, drug abuse and even environmental changes.
What can people do to improve libido?
Aside from the conventional medicines available which can
have unpleasant side effects, there are a number of things
you can do to improve your libido naturally.
Being fit and healthy and having a good diet are key to improving
sex drive. Getting the right nutrition is paramount - eating
healthy foods and taking the right vitamins and minerals can
help increase your sexual desire and reproduction.
How fatty acids help libido
Low levels of omega fatty acids in the body have been associated
with hormone imbalances (specifically the sex hormone testosterone)
and, consequently, with low libido and poor sexual health.
Given that testosterone levels are positively associated with
sexual desire, preserving testosterone levels is thought to
enable men and women to regain their sexual vigour. Supplementing
diet with the right long-chain omega fats may help to correct
any hormone imbalances and restore one's sexual desire.
Long-chain fatty acids are also the precursors of hormone-like
substances called prostaglandins which, on a cellular level,
regulate performance and potency-related functions in sexual
Fatty acids are the building blocks for the production of
female sex hormones. They also help a woman"s body store
more of the fat soluble vitamins (like E, D and K) that keep
her sexually active, as well as providing moisture and softness
which helps with vaginal dryness (a typical menopausal symptom).
Foods to avoid
- Hydrogenated oils. These interfere with healthy fat metabolism
and may adversely affect sexual performance
- Caffeine raises blood pressure, a condition associated
with infertility in men and decreased libido in both sexes.
Caffeine places stress on the adrenal glands, which are important
to the creation of most hormones. Medical studies show that
regular caffeine intake decreases testosterone production.
It also increases muscle tension, making it hard to relax.
This is detrimental since a state of relaxation is very important
to a satisfactory sexual experience. Caffeine is also a vasoconstrictor
and can impede the penis' ability to fill with blood, resulting
in soft or no erections.
- Alcohol is a depressant and reduces testosterone levels
in men. According to a Duke University Medical Center study,
regular moderate male drinkers experienced reduced capacity
for penile erection, semen production and sperm counts. Consuming
even small amounts of alcohol interferes with a man"s
ability to control premature ejaculation and can result in
fewer or no orgasms and decreased orgasm quality.
- Smoking reduces oestrogen levels in women and has a long-term
detrimental effect on sex drive. In men, smoking cigarettes
lowers testosterone levels, and studies have shown a negative
association between the number of cigarettes smoked daily
and quality of erections.
In order to improve and maintain your sexual health it is
important to have a sufficient intake of omega fats in the
diet. Omega product contains a high concentration of omega-3 &
omega-6 fatty acids, combining the benefits of ultra-pure
EPA and organic evening primrose oil.