There is a strong connection between gut health and sex. Research suggests that there are several factors that control our sexual desire and libido. Gut health condition is one of them.
Out gut is composed of millions of neurons that transfer the message from gut to brain. Therefore these neurons control our moods and sexual desire.
Gut comprises all the organs involved in the digestive tracts such as the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and rectum.
The gut doesn’t only degrade food and absorb nutrients but also produces several neurotransmitters. As gut contains millions of neurons, it is called the enteric nervous system or second brain.
Gut health and sex are strongly connected to each other:
The gut produces approximately 90 percent of serotonin and 50 percent of all dopamine. Serotonin helps in providing blood flow to the different organs of our body, including our reproductive organ. Dopamine gives us pleasure.
Research showed that mice had little or no good bacteria produces a little amount of serotonin. And when they have a proper balance of gut bacteria, they produce a sufficient amount of serotonin. Increased level of serotonin causes them to have a healthy sexual desire and libido.
Several factors cause an imbalance of gut bacteria or destroy our good bacteria in the gut. These factors include alcohol consumption, excessive use of antibiotics, stress or poor diet. This imbalance of gut bacteria or lack of good bacteria cause several gut health problems such as inflammation, allergies, depression or anxiety, chronic diarrhea, constipation, an autoimmune disorder, and skin problems.
It is true that any kind of illness or emotional stress inhibit your desire for sexual intercourse. This article will discuss several connection between gut health and sex.
Gut bacteria produces serotonin and dopamine:
Gut bacteria plays an important psycological role in our everyday life. There is a strong relationship between gut health and depression or anxiety.
An intestinal cell called enterochromaffin cell (EC) produces serotonin. Several immune cells and neural cells also produce serotonin.
Scientists showed interest to find if bacteria have any effect in the production of serotonin. They evaluated the level of mice by doing an experiment in mice.
They showed that germ-free mice produce 60 percent less serotonin. When these mice were inoculated with healthy gut bacteria, they produced a sufficient amount of serotonin.
Several bacteria have an effect on producing neurotransmitters:
- Bacillus produces dopamine
- Enterococcus, E. coli, Streptococcus produce serotonin.
90% of all serotonin is produced in the gut and 50% of all dopamine is produced in the gut.
- Serotonin stimulates erection and inhibits ejaculation. In other cases, serotonin affects sexual behavior in an opposite effect due to receptor variation.
- Dopamine also facilitates sexual motivation, copulatory proficiency, and genital reflexes.
Three-way gut bacteria hampers sexual desires:
- Gut bacteria cause UTI. Although E. coli can cause UTI, it is not a harmful bacteria. A bacterium called Gardnerella vaginallis lives in the vagina. It increases E. coli infection. This is an antibiotic-resistant bacteria. That’s why it’s very difficult to treat UTI. Urinary tract infection hampers our sexual activities.
- Research says that gut bacteria make us sexy. A healthy level or balanced level of gut bacteria makes our skin healthy, smooth or sexually attractive.
- Improper Diet affects the level of gut flora resulting in dysbiosis or imbalance of gut bacteria. This causes increased permeability of the intestinal wall (leaky gut syndrome). This leaky gut permits the endotoxin to disperse throughout the body. This dispersed endotoxin decreases the level of testosterone by inhibiting its production in the testes. Decreased level of testosterone lowers sexual desire.
3 ways to improve sexual desire and libido:
- Fiber is a food particle that feeds good bacteria in our gut and thus encourages their growth. These good bacteria produce serotonin. Thus they increase the production of serotonin and enhance libido.
See More: Best foods for gut health
- You can take a probiotic supplement. Probiotic supplements contain a higher number of probiotic bacteria that prevent gut diseases.
- You can also avoid processed foods that are rich in sugar, fat, and gluten.