Medically Reviewed by
Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS
4 min read
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that serves many important functions in your body, including supporting immune health, cardiovascular health, and bone health.
There are two types of vitamin D: D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D2 is synthesized by plants and not produced by the human body; you have to get it by way of food sources or supplements. Vitamin D3 is produced by your body via sun exposure and can be consumed via limited food sources.
If your doctor writes you a prescription for a vitamin D supplement, it’s going to be D2, since that’s the only form currently available as a prescription. Still, they may recommend that you purchase your own vitamin D3 supplements.
While vitamin D’s health benefits are well understood, you may not realize that vitamin D can also be good for your sexual health. Indeed, vitamin D supplementation has been shown to support people’s sex life in a number of ways, which we’ll explore below. Other factors that can influence your sex life include stress levels, hormones, nutrients, herbs, medications that deplete certain nutrients, and lifestyle.
Vitamin D is essential for full gonadal function in people of both sexes and various genders. Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to lower estrogen levels, which can have negative consequences for sexual health. Studies have shown that vitamin D3 supplementation can boost estrogen levels.
When it comes to testosterone levels, vitamin D3 supplementation has shown mixed results.
One study found that vitamin D3 supplementation can increase testosterone levels in men who suffer from low vitamin D levels. However, the same study found no change in testosterone levels for those who weren’t deficient in vitamin D.
Other studies have similarly found that vitamin D supplementation can boost testosterone levels for those who are vitamin D deficient. One study examined 165 subjects who were divided into two groups: one to receive daily vitamin D supplementation for a year, and the other to receive a placebo for the same time period. The results showed that vitamin D supplementation very likely has an effect on increasing testosterone. In another study, 41 men who underwent vitamin D therapy saw increases in their total and free testosterone levels, as well as healthier sexual function in general. In short, vitamin D supplementation can have positive effects when it comes to this important sex hormone.
The recommended daily allowance for vitamin D is 15-20 mcg (600-800 IU). It’s safe to take up to 25mcg (1,000 IU) per day, though, as a maintenance dose. Check with your doctor about what’s right for you. If your vitamin D levels are low, your doctor may suggest that you go with a higher dose.
There’s ample evidence to suggest that vitamin D supplements can boost your libido.
One study found that subjects with vitamin D deficiency had issues with their sex drive and overall sexual health. On the other hand, those with adequate vitamin D levels reported higher levels of sexual desire and overall sexual satisfaction.
We’ve already discussed the potential for vitamin D to increase testosterone levels. It may also boost levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), another hormone that is associated with the strength of your libido. One study found that low DHEA and low testosterone levels were associated with low libido in pre- and post-menopausal women. It’s possible that vitamin D supplementation, by boosting levels of both DHEA and testosterone, could play a role in boosting libido.
Libido is also driven by your blood flow, which is influenced by your body’s nitric oxide levels. Studies have shown that four weeks of vitamin D supplementation can promote healthier nitric oxide levels, which may have the effect of boosting libido.
As is the case when you incorporate any new supplement into your routine, it’s important to speak to a medical professional first. In the specific case of vitamin D, taking too much can indeed be toxic. Vitamin D intoxication that can result in kidney and vascular issues has been observed when blood levels get too high. A side effect of vitamin D toxicity can be issues with sex drive, among other problems.
Your sexual health is determined by a variety of factors. To improve your sex life and your sex drive, you can start with some small lifestyle tweaks: getting enough sleep, eating a nutrient-rich diet, effectively managing stress levels, drinking less alcohol, among others. But beyond these steps, you may want to consider vitamin D3 supplementation, which has been shown to improve sexual health in a number of important ways. Care/of offers an excellent, easy-to-digest vitamin D3 supplement. Talk to a medical professional about whether a D3 supplement is right for you.