I don’t need any convincing that you’re only as old as you feel. Because my patients serve as living proof of that adage every day.
I routinely treat 80-year-olds with more energy and vitality than your average middle-aged, overweight, out-of-shape American. And when you feel young, your entire body reaps the benefits.
It’s just plain common sense.
So, I always get a kick out of it when published studies come to the same conclusion. But it does underscore my longstanding belief that taking care of yourself now will help you feel good well into your golden years.
And according to one recent study, it could also put Big Pharma and their “little blue pills” out of business…
Turn back the clock to spice things up
Researchers at the University of Waterloo recently analyzed data from a group of nearly 1,200 adults, with ages ranging from mid-40s to mid-70s. The goal? Too assess how attitudes about sex and aging impact the quality of a person’s sex life.
This data was collected over the course of a decade, as part of the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) study, a national study of physical health and mental well being among older Americans. Results appeared in a recent issue of the Journal of Sex Research.¹
And let’s just say they aren’t too surprising—at least, not to me.
The closer subjects felt to their actual chronological age, the less likely they were to be sexually satisfied. Feeling young, on the other hand, didn’t necessarily influence the amount of sex study participants were having. But it did have a significant positive impact on the quality of subjects’ sex lives, including their level of sexual interest.
Needless to say, this is a better guarantee than you’ll get from a bottle of Viagra. And all it requires you to do is take care of your body.
If you’ve been a reader of Logical Health Alternatives for a while, then you know “aging younger” is a specialty of mine. I’ve dedicated so many articles to the subject that it would be impossible to recount every strategy in my arsenal here. (Though I suggest starting with the July 2013 issue and going from there.)
But with the darkest days of winter just ahead of us, there’s one simple anti-aging weapon I want to remind you about today. And that’s vitamin D.
Better function both in and out of bed
No one thinks of vitamin D as an aphrodisiac (and I highly doubt you’ll see stores selling bottles next to horny goat weed supplements anytime soon). But if this latest study is accurate, then it might be one of the single most important ways to secure a fulfilling sex life into your 60s, 70s, and beyond.
Why? Well for one thing, low levels of vitamin D are linked to functional decline as you age. In a study of nearly 2,000 older men and women, Dutch researchers found subjects with vitamin D deficiency faced a much higher risk of disability than their vitamin D sufficient counterparts.²
And we’re just talking about the basic activities of daily living here—going up stairs, standing up, driving a car, walking without assistance, and getting dressed.
On the flip side, you have another recent study of more than 2,000 women, ranging in age from 18 to 79 years old. This one found that women with the highest levels of vitamin D also had the longest telomeres.3 (Telomeres are the strands of DNA that cap and protect your chromosomes. They shorten with age and ongoing cell division, which leaves chromosomes vulnerable and contributes to disease.)
So preserving their length is going to give you an edge—in this case, one that makes you roughly five years “younger.”
Plus, vitamin D plays a key role in hormone balance, fertility, and overall sexual health in both genders.4
Research suggests, that vitamin D can help to regulate ovulation and menstruation—as well as insulin resistance and elevated androgens—in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome. And in men, vitamin D is linked with higher sperm count and quality… not to mention increased testosterone concentrations.
Bottom line? If satisfaction in the bedroom boils down to biological versus chronological age, vitamin D might just be the most important pill in your medicine cabinet.
Get vitamin D’s best benefits… even in the dead of winter
It’s November—and already, some people may have days where they leave the house and come home without ever seeing the sun. (This is unfortunately fairly commonplace for me here in in New York.)
But even if you manage to steal a full hour of sunshine during lunchtime, don’t assume it’s enough to meet your quota of D for the day… because unless you’re sunbathing in South Florida, it’s not.
I recommend taking at least 2,000 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily, year-round. But in the winter, that dosage may need to be raised considerably. I take 10,000 IU myself this time of year—and you can safely take that amount as well, provided your doctor is monitoring your levels regularly. (And if they’re not, they really should be. All you have to do is ask for a simple blood test called the 25-hydroxyvitamin D, or the 25-OH vitamin D, test.)
I shoot for blood levels around 80 ng/mL in my patients (a far cry from the abysmally low threshold of 29 that’s accepted as “sufficient” by most mainstream doctors). To get vitamin D’s best benefits—both in and out of the bedroom—make sure you’re aiming this high too.
1 Amy Estill, Steven E. Mock, Emily Schryer, Richard P. Eibach. “The Effects of Subjective Age and Aging Attitudes on Mid- to Late-Life Sexuality.” (2017 May 30). The Journal of Sex Research, 2017; 1 DOI: . Retrieved from: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170530100156.htm
2 SohlJ Clin Endocrinol Metab.;98(9):E1483-90. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5409718/
3 Richards JB, et al. “Higher serum vitamin D concentrations are associated with longer leukocyte telomere length in women.” (2007 November). Am J Clin Nutr.;86(5):1420-5. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17991655
4 European Congress of Endocrinology. “Vitamin D supplements could improve fertility.” (2017 May 23). Abstract S27.2. Retrieved from: http://www.ece2017.org/media-office/vitamind/