I think we can all agree that having high libido is a trademark of being a healthy male.
When we as men were younger, we usually had pretty good libido, however, with age, that tends to disappear. It happens faster for some than for others.
I’m not talking about a stress libido, where you have uncontrollable desire (which usually occurs for “survival” purposes). That is usually induced by stress, gut irritation, etc.
A healthy libido is when a man is always in the mood, but can focus on other things, like work, when needed.
In this article I want to show you have to get a healthy libido.
#1 Optimize dopamine
Dopamine is one of the most important neurotransmitters when it comes to libido. Dopamine increases energy, desire, motivation, pleasure, etc., and is not only essential for libido, but also erections.
Dopamine also keeps prolactin low, which is the main hormone that inhibits libido and can contribute to erectile dysfunction.
Some of the best (and easy) ways to increase dopamine is to:
- Keep the gut clean – gut serotonin and inflammation lower dopamine and cause low libido, ED and poor mood. This can easily be accomplished by eliminating problematic foods, for example, high FODMAP foods, raw greens (salads), gluten, beans, soy, gums, etc.
- Get out in the sun. Direct sunlight stimulates dopamine release, so being indoors all day can result in suboptimal dopamine levels.
- Stress less. Stress quickly lowers dopamine and increases serotonin and prolactin, which lowers libido.
- Relax more. Relaxation techniques, such as listening to music, walking in nature, laughing, getting a massage, meditating, etc., boosts dopamine.
- Do exploratory, new things – such as walking a new foot trail, swimming in the deep ocean, doing cliff diving, learn to ride a unicycle, etc.
For more info on boosting dopamine, check out my other articles on the subject:
- The complete guide on boosting dopamine
- How to increase dopamine receptors
- Foods that increase dopamine
#2 Keep stress low
I’ve found that when I’m stressed, my libido melts away. I don’t necessarily have to be stressed as in the sense of freaking out about something, but even just being preoccupied with finishing something that I deem to be very important in my head keeps me in a “stressed” state.
Something is only important, because we deem it as very important. Once we let go of it, we get a great sense of relief, which is basically stress relief.
So point being, you don’t have to be freaking out to be stressed. Pressing matters in your head can also sap your libido.
How difficult is it really to let something go and just be in the moment? Just being in the present with your spouse/partner and not be distracted by anything. Apparently it’s very tough and that’s why meditation is such a big hit these days.
Stress is also a powerful inducer of leaky gut and gut dysbiosis as well as serotonin and prolactin, all of which are libido killers.
A few ways to keep stress low is to:
- Meditate – learn to become aware of what’s going on in your mind and then to shut it off if it’s not productive and useful.
- Get a massage (getting it from your spouse is even better)
- Do intense exercise, such as sprints, a quick HIIT session of burpees, a squash session with your buddy, etc.
- Take a break from what you’re doing and go for a walk
- Listen to music
- Do deep breathing
- Become conscious of the problem and realize that it’s only a problem because of your perspective. Then change your perspective.
- Proper sleep in a quiet and “safe” environment. With safe, I mean that your mind is at ease without worrying about break-ins, leaks, mold, etc.
If you’re interested in learning how to lower stress and cortisol, check out this article of mine.
#3 Optimize DHT
DHT is a very important masculine hormone. It helps you keep going, it prevents you from quitting and it keeps your libido high.
This study found that serum DHT concentration was the only independent hormonal predictor of the frequency of orgasms (R), whereas prolactin is the opposite. With high prolactin you have sex 2-3 times per month, whereas with low prolactin and high DHT, it could be a daily thing.
A few things you can do to increase DHT include:
- Avoid polyunsaturated fat – they are potent inhibitors of the 5-AR enzyme
- Avoid 5-AR inhibitors – such as curcumin, saw palmetto, mushrooms (lions mane, reishi, etc.), green tea, Sulforaphane, Beta-sitosterol, Fenugreek, lignans, etc.
- Optimize thyroid hormone T3 levels – T3 potently stimulates DHT production. Zinc, selenium, and good liver function are essential for proper thyroid hormone conversion.
- Keep the gut clean – low-grade inflammation inhibits the 5-AR enzyme.
- Lower prolactin
- Stay lean
- Lift weights explosively
- Use creatine, boron, caffeine, zinc, androsterone, 11-keto-DHT, etc.
If you want to learn more on increasing DHT, you can read my other content on it:
#4 Keep inflammation low
Inflammation, especially low-grade chronic inflammation, is the bane of our modern society.
Inflammation is known to increase cortisol, prolactin, serotonin and estrogen and lower testosterone, dopamine and DHT.
Keeping inflammation low is key to keeping libido high.
A few ways to lower inflammation include:
- Lowering gut irritation and inflammation. You can see by now that this is a recurring theme here and should realize how important the gut is when it comes to almost everything and anything in the body.
- Optimizing micronutrient status, especially vitamin D, E, K2, A, calcium, zinc, magnesium, copper, etc.
- Avoid sleep deprivation
- Avoid excess iron intake (especially from fortified food) as well as other heavy metals.
- Avoid vegetable oil intake
- Tape your mouth shut at night if you do mouth breathing during sleep. Sleeping with an open mouth is a very powerful inducer of inflammation, and many people fix their ED and libido, just by making this small change.
#5 Keep prolactin low
Prolactin is the mother of libido killers. Once you orgasm, your prolactin shoots up and kills your libido for days or even weeks on end.
A few ways to lower prolactin include:
- Boost dopamine – dopamine is the main prolactin antagonist.
- Lower stress
- Keep serotonin low – serotonin is a potent inducer of prolactin and the two are usually well correlated. SSRI drugs are known to induce erectile dysfunction, low libido and just general sexual dysfunction. Quitting SSRI drugs exacerbates the issues and results in post SSRI sexual dysfunction (PSSD).
- Consume calcium and optimize vitamin D levels. Low calcium intake increases the parathyroid hormone, which increases prolactin and also increases the active form of vitamin D (R, R). Parathyroid hormone and the active form of vitamin D (calcitriol; 1,25 (OH)2D3) increases prolactin (R, R, R). Using a calcium channel blocker, such as magnesium or increasing calcitonin, lowers prolactin.
- Use vitamin E.
If you want to read more on how to lower prolactin, check out these two articles of mine:
#6 (Bonus) Increase histamine
Histamine actually shares a few similarities with dopamine, such as enhancing libido, motivation, energy, drive, etc.
If you don’t have high histamine symptoms such as allergies, rash, nasal congestion, etc., then boosting histamine might be a viable option.
A simple concoction to increase histamine is to:
- Eat lots of red meat for high zinc intake. Copper has the opposite effect and is used in the breakdown of histamine. Red meat is also a good source of histidine, which is the precursor amino acid to histamine.
- Use histidine. 2-4g is a good dose. Start with 2g and work up to 4g to see how you feel. In some studies, they gave people up to 32g daily without side effects (R).
- Use H3 antagonists. The histamine H3 receptor is an auto-receptor and will lower histamine production when activated. Blocking the H3 receptor thus increases histamine levels. 500mg kutaja bark would do the trick.
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