Vitamin D Is Your New Best Friend For Sex & Hormonal Health
Studies show that 93% of Americans1 are not getting enough vitamin D from the foods they eat. This is concerning because vitamin D is critical for bone health, cardiovascular function, mental well-being, healthy blood sugar levels, gut health, and more.*
Another area vitamin D supports is hormonal health; this essential nutrient is vital to healthy fertility outcomes, menstruation, menopause, and even sexual satisfaction.*
How vitamin D promotes hormonal balance.
Hormones help modulate powerhouse processes such as mood, growth and development, healthy stress responses, thyroid function and metabolism, and reproduction.
Fertility & pregnancy
According to a 2021 2Frontiers in Endocrinology2 scientific review2, low vitamin D status is associated with suboptimal outcomes for both mother and baby during pregnancy and certain female hormonal issues that can affect fertility.
That said, even healthy women with no known hormonal health concerns may find it more difficult to conceive if they have lower vitamin D levels. In a 2019 3Human Reproduction3 study3, researchers found a direct relationship between vitamin D status and the likelihood of conception in women trying to conceive.
Women with optimal levels of vitamin D [i.e., 25(OH)D levels above 50 ng/mL] were 3.4 times more likely to conceive within the six-month study than women clinically deficient in vitamin D [i.e., 25(OH)D levels below 20 ng/mL].
Considering a large chunk of the population is vitamin D deficient or insufficient (29% and 41% of U.S. adults4, respectively), couples planning to conceive any time soon would be wise to look into their vitamin D levels first.
And yes, I said couples—men are 50% of the conception equation, and their vitamin D status matters too. In a 2020 review from the World Journal of Men's Health, vitamin D was found to improve sperm motility5 (which is a big deal for male fertility outcomes).*
Sexual function & pleasure
While optimal vitamin D levels are desirable for a positive pregnancy outcome, you also want to make sure that your journey to baby (or just to the bedroom) is pleasurable and satisfying—and this essential vitamin can help.
Healthy vitamin D status has been linked to enhanced erectile function, orgasmic function, and sexual desire in men6, and improved sexual desire, orgasms, and sexual satisfaction in women7.
In terms of reproductive hormone levels, vitamin D supplementation has been found to improve testosterone levels in men8 and result in healthier levels of estrogen and progesterone9 in menstruating women.*
According to a 2017 multiethnic study10 published by Maturitas, healthy vitamin D status supports healthy levels of sex-hormone-binding globulin (SHBG)—a protein that carries estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone to the tissues in need—in both men and women.
From hormone balance to healthy orgasms, it's clear vitamin D promotes a number of critical sexual functions.
No longer menstruating? You're not out of the woods because your vitamin D levels still matter. In a 2019 systematic review11, vitamin D was shown to support vaginal pH balance and moisture (i.e., combat dryness) during menopause—and these are key factors for urogenital tract health, as well as sexual pleasure.*
What's more, the whole-body health implications of this fat-soluble micronutrient are directly pertinent to the menopausal and postmenopausal life stages. In a 2019 12Menopause12 study12, researchers found an association between optimal vitamin D levels and healthy blood lipid levels, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels in Chinese postmenopausal women. Evidence suggests that taking a vitamin D supplement can help promote bone integrity13, muscle health, and even longevity outcomes for women in this life stage.*
Are your vitamin D levels healthy?
If you're not sure what your vitamin D status looks like, ask your health care provider to test your levels to make sure you're in the optimal range. (Hint: Most people aren't!)
Here's a breakdown of the 25(OH)D blood test ranges:
- <20 ng/ml is classified as clinically vitamin D deficient
- 21-29 ng/ml is classified as clinically vitamin D insufficient; it's also considered the clinical "warning zone"
- 30-49 ng/ml is considered sufficient by many lab testing standards
- >50 ng/ml is the median level at which most association studies show various health benefits—including immune function, balanced mood, and more
Although 25(OH)D serum levels below 50 ng/mL (but higher than 30 ng/mL) are considered "healthy," leading health experts agree that we need our vitamin D status above 50 ng/mL to provide the vitamin D our bodies need to optimally carry out physiological actions—including critical hormone functions.
How to achieve healthy vitamin D status with supplementation.
We know we can do better for our health by reaching serum vitamin D levels of at least 50 ng/mL, but the golden question remains—how? Here's what I recommend:
- Determine your current 25(OH)D levels with a blood test.
- If your levels are suboptimal (i.e., below 50 ng/ml), take a quality daily supplement with 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 (not D2) for three months before retesting (note: the duration it takes to achieve optimal status can vary based on baseline vitamin D level, season, and other factors).
- Take your vitamin D supplement with food that has healthy fat in it to aid in absorption of the fat-soluble vitamin (or even easier, take a supplement with the high-quality fat built in!).
- Enjoy the sun (safely!).
mbg's vitamin D3 potency+ ticks all the boxes, making it an easy choice for achieving (and maintaining) healthy vitamin D status.*
Vitamin D plays a role in many of our hormonal processes, and achieving healthy levels has been shown to have wide-reaching benefits—from hormone balance to sexual function and satisfaction.*
Suboptimal hormone levels are the result of other health concerns. Eliminating variables like vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency can help you find the true root cause of any health challenges you may be experiencing.
mbg's vitamin D3 potency+ is a quality, high-potency source (i.e., 5,000 IU) of algal, organic vitamin D3 combined with health-supporting fats (i.e., an organic trio of avocado, olive, and flaxseed oils) in one daily gelcap. (And health experts adore it!)
Looking to explore more vitamin D options? Check out mbg's picks for the best vitamin D supplements available on the market today.
Whitney Crouch, RDN, CLT is an integrative registered dietitian who helps women recover their health from thyroid, gut, and sex hormone related issues. Having experienced the challenges of living with an undiagnosed autoimmune thyroid condition, she is passionate about helping women recover from autoimmune and non-autoimmune hypothyroidism/hyperthyroidism, poor gut health, and imbalanced hormones so that they have energy, focus, and food freedom.