This is the second installment of our arousal-boosting Valentine’s Day series. The benefits of moderate exposure to sunshine, in the forms of vitamin D, has been well-reported, but research conducted by the Medical University of Graz, in Austria, found that sunshine also can enhance your sex drive.
Vitamin D and Sunlight: The Beginning of the Libido Boost
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient your body needs. Not actually a vitamin, vitamin D becomes a hormone called calcitriol (also known as active vitamin D). Although small amounts can be absorbed through food eaten in your diet, your body is designed to produce vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight.
The two forms of vitamin D are:
- Vitamin D2 also known as ergocalciferol, which is found in plants, and
- Vitamin D3 also known as cholecalciferol, which is found in animals.
Both of these forms of vitamin D are created by your body when your skin is exposed to the ultraviolet rays of sunshine. These UVB rays convert a substance in your skin known as 7-dehydrocholesterol into vitamin D.
Turning Sunshine into a Testosterone Enhancer
Once the body has converted that cholesterol into vitamin D, with the help of the sun’s UVB rays, it’s still inactive. The process to becoming the arousal boosting testosterone follows a few more steps:
- The sun’s UVB rays come into contact with the skin.
- The UVB rays convert 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin into vitamin D.
- The vitamin D is then absorbed into the blood stream.
- Vitamin D is passed through the body, to the liver, where it is turned into the prohormone 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (AKA calcidiol).
- Calcidiol is then passed to the kidneys, where it is converted into 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol (AKA calcitriol or active vitamin D).
- The active vitamin D is then released back into the bloodstream.
Sunshine, Vitamin D and Your Sex Drive
Research conducted at the Medical University of Graz, in Austria, found that men who had at least 30 nanograms of vitamin D per milliliter of blood, had had significantly more libido boosting testosterone in their bloodstream. Additionally, they found the average testosterone levels of the men in their study fluctuated with the seasons.
Testosterone levels in their subjects began to decrease in October (the beginning of the winter) and reached the lowest levels in March, when the region experience the least amount of sunshine. These findings support previous research that surmised an hour of sun exposure can boost a man’s testosterone levels by as much as 69 percent!
Knowing the importance of testosterone’s effects on the libido, getting outside and catching a few rays even in the winter months is key to keeping your sex drive healthy.