Thanks to drugs such as Cialis and Viagra, many men who once battled erectile dysfunction are now capable of rising to the task of lovemaking. But being able-bodied isn’t the same as being amorous. What to do when it’s psychology, not physiology, that’s holding a man back? Researchers believe they’ve found the answer.
New research has discovered that a hormone called kisspeptin appears to be a master sex hormone, controlling not only the flow of reproductive juices in the body — but in the brain as well. In a study, 29 healthy men were given either an injection of kisspeptin or a placebo. When examined under an MRI, the brains of the men who received the hormone showed increased activity in the areas of the brain typically activated by sexual arousal and romance, and afterward reported a reduction in depressive symptoms. And earlier studies have linked kisspeptin to appetite control as well. So: lean, happy and ready for lovin’. Not a bad combination!
While a prescription for this mental Viagra may still be a few years away, there are two proven ways to boost your own kisspeptin levels and kick your sex drive into a higher gear.
1. Reduce high-fat desserts. Animal studies have found that a high-calorie, high-fat diet reduced testosterone levels and the body’s sensitivity to kisspeptin. Dietary fat can be healthy, but not if it increases your calorie intake. Fatty desserts such as ice cream are an easy choice to cut back on.
2. Cut stress. Hormones released by the hypothalamus during stress have been shown to inhibit both the creation of kisspeptin and the body’s ability to use what’s in your system.