Vitamin D and low testosterone

Vitamin D, believe it or not, has more effects in our organism that the ones that we were traditionally taught at school. Right now, we know that it has an important influence in our sex lives, and it affects meaningfully our behavior, but let´s study how Vitamin D can improve our sex drive.

Vitamin D and low Testosterone

Vitamin D is an important fat-soluble nutrient naturally found in very few foods, such as mushrooms and fatty fish (i.e. sardines, salmon, mackerel) which contain high levels of vitamin D. Other foods, such as milk, are fortified with vitamin D. The body does produce high amounts of vitamin D when skin is directly exposed to sun (i.e. not through a window), so it’s sometimes referred to as the “sunshine vitamin.” However, excess sun exposure may increase the risk of skin cancer. Because vitamin D is difficult to find in foods and prolonged sun exposure carries health risks, nutritionists and doctors often prescribe supplements of varying doses.

A reasonable amount of research suggests an association between adequate levels of vitamin D in the body, as measured by 25(OH)D, and total testosterone (TT).

In a 2012 cross-sectional study, scientists measured levels of free testosterone (FT), total testosterone (TT), and 25(OH)D in 1,362 males, primarily white health professionals over the age of 40. The researchers divided 25(OH)D by quintile and noticed a positive, independent association between concentrations of 25(OH)D and levels of TT and FT. From lowest to highest, 25(OH)D quintile TT was 18.5, 19.4, 19.6, 20.1, and 20.0 nmol/L, and FT was 97.7, 98.2, 99.2, 100.7, and 101.5 pmol/L.  Most importantly, the researchers noted “that the association between 25(OH)D and total and free testosterone is linear at lower levels of 25(OH)D (below approximately 75-85 nmol/L), reaching a plateau at higher levels.” This suggests that the positive association between vitamin D and levels of free and total testosterone stops when vitamin D levels are optimal in the body. (1)

In another study, researchers compared the vitamin D and testosterone levels of 652 Korean men over 40 years old.

The researchers found that vitamin D deficiency, defined by levels less than 20 ng/ml, was independently associated with testosterone deficiency. Men with vitamin D deficiency were 2.65 times more likely to have testosterone deficiency compared to those with levels above 20 ng/ml.

The higher level of vitamin D was associated with higher total testosterone and free testosterone levels in Korean men,” the researchers concluded. (2)

Vitamin D and poor sex life

Vitamin D is for good for your sex life.  The influence of vitamin D in immunity and various benefits that use of this multi-vitamin provides for us has already been disclosed, for free, just simply by exposing ourselves to the sun. New studies show that testosterone levels, the male sex hormone, are higher in people with higher levels of vitamin D.
According to a study conducted by researchers at the Medical University of Graz, Austria, increasing levels of vitamin D in the body may help increase testosterone levels of men and their sexual desire. The work was published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology. (3)
The researchers tested the levels of vitamin D and testosterone in 2,299 men over several months. They found that as levels of vitamin D increase, testosterone levels peaked in the summer and fell during the winter. They also found that men who had at least 30 nanograms of vitamin D in each milliliter of blood had higher levels of circulating testosterone. (4)
Maybe for this reason, males who live by the ocean usually have a higher sex drive, compared with those who lives at  cities or far from the ocean, where sun exposure is not that intense or frequent.

Vitamin D and Erectile Dysfunction

Given the link between vitamin D and atherosclerosis, Italian researchers conducted a study in 143 men with erectile dysfunction (ED). The men were evaluated for penile atherosclerosis by ultrasound along with blood levels for vitamin D3.

The results showed that most men with ED have low vitamin D levels and those with more severe ED had significantly lower vitamin D levels than those with mild ED. Vitamin D deficiency was also worse in those with ED due to penile atherosclerosis than in those men with ED due to other factors.

These results indicate that low levels of vitamin D3 are linked to ED and indicate that vitamin D3 levels should be measured in men with ED. Establishing optimal blood levels of D3 may lead to better endothelial function and reduce/prevent ED. (5) stated that nearly half of the men were coming up deficient in vitamin D, and only one in five had optimal levels of the nutrient. What’s more, men with severe cases of ED (called arteriogenic ED) had vitamin D levels that were about 24 percent lower than those with mild forms of the condition.

Alessandra Barassi, MD, of University of Milan and her colleagues reported in the Journal of Sexual Medicine that low levels of vitamin D “might increase the ED risk by promoting endothelial dysfunction,” and that since low levels of vitamin D are common in all ED patients — not just those with arteriogenic disease — it “may be involved in the mechanism that promotes endothelial dysfunction causing ED.” (6).

This means that the lower the vitamin D levels, the harder it will be for you have a satisfactory sexual life.

We can conclude that vitamin D is not necessary only for the correct development of bones and teeth; it is also needed  to help you to have a healthy sexual life, that is why our recommendations would be: go to the beach more frequently, practice more outdoor activities, and take vitamin D supplements and you will keep a higher sexual drive during more years.


(1) Can vitamin D restore low Testosterone levels?
(2) Does vitamin D affect Testosterone levels?
(3) Vitamin D good for sex life. Lisa Karpov.
(4) Vitamin D good for sex life. Lisa Karpov.
(5) Can vitamin D3 improve male sexual performance? Dr. Michael Murray.
(6) Vitamin D and Erectile Dysfunction: what´s the connection?