Sunlight, sex and sexual dysfunction. By Marc Sorenson, EdD.
Sunlight, sex and sexual dysfunction is a title that generally catches attention. Sexual dysfunction problems are rampant in our society, and those who claim to have answers usually draw immediate attention. Do I have answers and good advice? Probably—I will let you judge. Let us look at some research, and results gained, from sunlight and vitamin D.
Sexual dysfunction among women.
The first, and most recent women’s study, shows Vitamin D3 deficiency associates with Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD) in Premenopausal Women. Moreover, we know that sun exposure to skin produces 90% of serum vitamin D levels. The scientists conducting this study measured vitamin D levels in 50 premenopausal women with FSD, and 58 healthy controls. The average age of the women was 35 years. Furthermore, all of these women completed a Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) questionnaire. The investigators then correlated sexual desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction and pain scores to the vitamin D levels. In addition, they evaluated all women for depression with the Beck depression Inventory (BDI).
Results for the women’s study:
Vitamin D levels were about 40% lower in the women with FSD than in the healthy controls. In addition, the results of each sexual function, spectacularly favored the healthy controls. Consequently, the researchers stated their results in this manner: “Desire (p = 0.0001), arousal (p = 0.0001), lubrication (p = 0.002), orgasm (p = 0.0001), satisfaction (p = 0.018), and pain (p = 0.010) domain scores were also correlated with the levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3.”
The p score or value means the probability value. Hence, it indicates the probability of obtaining test results at least as extreme as the results actually observed. Thus, the p-value for desire, arousal, lubrication and orgasm are extremely significant. The other sexual functions, satisfaction and pain (lack thereof), were also significant.
Why is sexual dysfunction in women so important?
A study in the journal, Sexual Medicine Review, showed that female sexual dysfunction affects 41% of premenopausal women around the globe. This is not normal, and in my opinion, is due to widespread sunlight deficiency. Sunlight deficiency leads to the deficiency of vitamin D, which results in untold suffering and frustration among women and their husbands. If something as normal and natural as regular, non-burning sun exposure could lead to a more satisfying sex life, would it not be worth the effort?
By Marc Sorenson, EdD. Sunlight Institute…
At a meeting of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, a most interesting research report has emerged. The summary reads thusly: Exposure to bright light increases testosterone levels and leads to greater sexual satisfaction in men with low sexual desire. These are the results of a pilot randomised placebo-controlled trial.[i]
Men with low sexual desire were put in two groups; one group received bright light therapy from a light box; the other was treated with a light box that was not nearly so bright. Testosterone levels were measured in both groups. The experiment lasted two weeks, and the results were impressive. The men who had received the bright light therapy increased their sexual satisfaction scores increased by 300%. Testosterone levels also increased by 300% in the bright light group. The researchers believe that bright light therapy might have fewer side effects than drugs and offer at least equal results.
These results should not have been surprising. Long ago, light treatments were shown to remarkably increase testosterone levels. In 1939, Dr. Abraham Myerson measured initial levels of circulating testosterone in men and exposed their various body parts to UV.[ii] After five days of chest exposure sufficient to cause reddening, circulating testosterone increased by 120%. After eight days without additional UV exposure, testosterone returned to initial levels. When the genital area was exposed, testosterone levels increased by 200%! Considering our sex-obsessed society, it is surprising that no studies followed up on Myerson’s work. Testosterone, after all, is important in sexual behavior, since it is the “love” hormone for both sexes.
If this information reaches the public, the interest in sunbathing may increase. That would be terrific, because sun exposure would also profoundly enhance the health of those who were soaking up the sun.
Is there anything that sun exposure can’t do? Just be careful not to burn in the sun.
[ii] Myerson, A. Influence of ultraviolet radiation on excretion of sex hormones in the male. Endocrinology 1939;25:7-12.