4 Toxins That Are Killing Your Libido and 6 Tips To Keep Your Sex Drive Humming

How’s your sex drive been lately?

Having a strong libido isn’t only important for physical pleasure, but it’s a key sign that your hormonal system is functioning optimally. Unfortunately, several environmental and lifestyle factors can create shifts in hormonal balance, stealing your sex drive.

Specifically, the sex hormone testosterone, which is the key hormone behind a strong libido, can become compromised in the presence of specific toxins. 

Among these libido-thieves are toxic chemicals that can be found everywhere in our environment. If you don’t know where to look and what steps to take, these compounds can sneak into your body and ruin your sex life virtually undetected. 

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • What drives a healthy libido, and why protecting your testosterone is crucial for you sex drive
  • The top toxic insults that are killing your libido 
  • How environmental toxins impact hormones
  • Lifestyle tips to mitigate hormonal imbalance and keep your libido strong
  • A powerful step you can take to protect your body and your libido from toxic insult

What Drives a Healthy Libido?

Several factors can come into play when it comes to a healthy libido, including age, physical activity, diet, stress, and toxic load. At its core, however, a healthy libido comes down to hormonal health. When your hormones are running smoothly, your sex drive will be healthy and strong. 

Although it’s commonly associated with male physiology, testosterone is the primary hormone behind libido, and is critically important for both male and female sexual health[1]. That said, it’s important to also acknowledge that your entire hormone system works together in concert. This means that if one of your hormones becomes imbalanced, it can throw the others off, creating hormonal chaos. 

While hormones naturally fluctuate and change as we age, environmental factors can significantly impact the state of your hormones – particularly toxins like heavy metals, glyphosate, forever chemicals, and phthalates. 

Furthermore, these same toxins can also impact metabolic conditions, which can affect your hormones, leading to many downstream effects, including low libido[2][3][4].

4 Toxins That Are Killing Your Libido

#1 Heavy Metals

Heavy metals are found ubiquitously in our environment in everything from food to water supply and personal care products (and more). These toxic compounds can have wide-ranging effects on our bodies, but your hormonal system is especially vulnerable. 

Research shows that the heavy metals lead and cadmium can disrupt testosterone balance in both men and women[5]. 

In men, heavy metal exposure is associated with erectile dysfunction. Specifically, research shows that high lead and cadmium levels in the blood and high mercury levels in urine are all positively correlated with sexual dysfunction[6].

Studies also show the negative impact that heavy metals have on female hormones. Specifically, lead and cadmium can interfere with estrogen and SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin). Coupled with their impact on testosterone, this spells libido havoc for women exposed to these compounds [7]. 

#2 Glyphosate

Glyphosate, also known as Roundup, is a known endocrine-disrupting agent with several detrimental health impacts. Roundup is used as an herbicide on almost all GMO crops, and studies warn that this compound could directly impact sex hormones. 

Unfortunately, research shows that about 82% of the population in the United States has detectable levels of glyphosate in their urine. Both estrogen and testosterone may be affected by glyphosate, with studies showing an inverse relationship between this compound and these two hormones[8].

In one animal study, researchers found that low ”non-toxic” concentrations of Roundup decreased testosterone levels by 35% – that’s a massive testosterone hit for a “non-toxic” concentration[9]. Can you imagine what this compound is doing to our bodies at higher levels? 

Some research shows that glyphosate itself may have estrogenic and androgenic activity. And animal research shows that ingestion of glyphosate can delay puberty in rats[10]. 

#3 Forever Chemicals 

Forever chemicals, also known as PFAS (Per- and Polyfluorinated Substances), break down incredibly slowly in the environment. So slowly, in fact, that many may never fully break down at all – hence the name “forever” chemicals

PFAS are also ubiquitous in the environment, with some common sources including food packaging, carpeting, clothing, drinking water, and various foods[11]. 

In men, high levels of PFAS are associated with lowered testosterone, leading to erectile dysfunction, poor semen quality, and infertility[12][13]. 

In women, research shows that PFAS can either increase free testosterone out of its normal range, or lower testosterone below its optimal value, depending on where the woman is in her life cycle[14]. PFAS can also impact estradiol and FSH (Follicle-stimulating hormone), affecting reproductive aging[17].

PFAS not only directly impact sex hormones, but they can also mess with IGF-1, which is a crucial hormone for both metabolic health and sexual function[15][16]. 

#4 Phthalates 

Studies show that around 75% of the US population has detectable levels of phthalates in their bodies[18].

Phthalates are chemicals used in plastics, helping them become stronger and more durable. These compounds are also found in a wide range of everyday products and furnishings like vinyl flooring, personal care products, and plastic packaging. 

Studies show that phthalates can impact both male and female sex hormones. In men, phthalates are seen as anti-androgenic, reducing levels of vital androgen hormones like testosterone and potentially causing erectile dysfunction. In women, phthalates may suppress estrogen production, and reduce testosterone levels up to 24%[19]. 

Unsurprisingly, research shows a strong correlation between lack of sexual interest and high levels of urinary phthalates in women[20]. 

6 Tips To Keep Your Sex Life Alive

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the above information, I have good news for you – there are plenty of steps you can take to keep your hormones and your libido happy. 

#1 Keep Your Stress In Check

Stress is up there with some of the top reasons that your hormones go out of whack and your sex drive comes to a stall[21]. 

Interestingly, some research shows that while stress may increase testosterone in men, it does the opposite for women. Therefore, as a woman’s stress hormones rise, her testosterone takes a hit[22]. 

You can take several steps to directly influence your resilience to stress and help mitigate imbalances in stress hormones (and the cascade that impacts sex hormones). While every person is unique and, therefore, will have their own ways of managing stress, some research-backed stress reduction techniques include[23][24][25][26]: 

  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi
  • Meditation
  • Journaling
  • Spending time with loved ones

#2 Stay Physically Active

If you need one more reason to stay physically active, here it is: exercise may improve your sex drive. 

Research shows that physical activity may improve sexual function via both sympathetic nervous system activity and endocrine factors. Specifically, the more active people are, the healthier their testosterone levels tend to be[27]. 

 In studies focusing on women with hysterectomies and women with antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction, exercise was able to alleviate sexual concerns[28]. 

There’s also some evidence that staying physically active can help men and women feel more confident and therefore promote healthy sexual desire. Interestingly, physical activity has also been linked to orgasm[29].

#3 Increase Antioxidant-Rich Foods

Antioxidants help to balance out the oxidative stress that occurs in our bodies due to both natural and unnatural causes. When our diet is rich in antioxidants, we’re better able to quench free radicals and thus keep oxidation in check. When our diet lacks antioxidants, on the other hand, we may experience higher levels of oxidation stress, which could lead to oxidative damage. 

Studies show that antioxidants may help to reverse infertility in men by increasing levels of testosterone. Furthermore, antioxidant supplementation has been shown to improve signs of erectile dysfunction[30][31][32].

In women, research shows that during certain phases of life, such as the menopausal and perimenopausal years, antioxidant needs increase. This is also a time when hormone imbalances start to emerge, which can lead to common symptoms such as hot flashes, weight gain, and, you guessed it, low libido[33]. 

Some foods that are naturally rich in antioxidants include fruits and vegetables like berries, greens, pomegranate, broccoli and broccoli sprouts, and green tea.

#4 Consume A High-Quality Diet

A diet full of highly processed and low-quality foods can indirectly impact your testosterone levels[34].

While there are plenty of diets to choose from these days, when it comes to libido (and testosterone), the key is quality. 

So, what makes a high-quality diet?

First, as often as possible, you’ll want to choose non-GMO and organic foods. Organic foods won’t contain glyphosate and other harmful pesticides and herbicides. While there is some debate about the health consequences of GMO foods, what’s becoming crystal clear is the danger of glyphosate that’s sprayed on these crops. Any food labeled organic must also be non-GMO, which can make things a bit simpler. 

In addition to crops, you’ll also want to prioritize the quality of your meat, fish, dairy, and eggs. Many producers add hormones and antibiotics to their animal feed, which ends up in your body once you consume the animal or animal products. These added chemicals can mess with your own hormone system and create imbalances that lead to issues like low libido.

The second thing to pay attention to in your diet is nutrient density. Sitting around eating organic cookies all day won’t give your body the nutrients it needs to maintain optimal hormone health. This means that you’ll want to focus on whole foods as much as possible and reduce your intake of processed foods. 

#5 Maintain Healthy Metabolic Function

Metabolic function can directly impact your sex drive due to the interplay between your metabolic hormones and sex hormones. One of the main drivers of metabolic dysfunction is high, or uncontrolled, insulin, which causes a cascade of dysregulation in your entire hormonal system. 

For example, research shows high insulin can reduce men’s testosterone and growth hormone levels[35][36]. Similarly, high insulin can push androgen production in women at the expense of estrogen[37]. This may be one of the reasons that women with metabolic syndrome tend to show low sexual desire[38].

Another hormone that comes into play in the metabolic-sexual function relationship is insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1). IGF-1 is directly related to sexual function and also plays a role in healthy metabolic function. In fact, many people with metabolic syndrome have a deficiency in IGF-1[39][40][41].

Maintaining a healthy metabolism comes down to several lifestyle factors, but prioritizing nutrition and staying active are two of the most effective. Unsurprisingly, they’re also two factors that can help to boost your libido. 

#6 Watch Your Alcohol Intake

We all like to enjoy a nice glass of wine or a cocktail now and then, but when drinking alcohol becomes a habit it could negatively impact your libido. Much like other stressors on your body, too much alcohol can drain your testosterone levels[42]. 

Interestingly, while some women may feel more sexual while under the influence, studies find that their physiological arousal is still hampered[43].   

In fact, in a meta-analysis of seven studies involving over 50,000 women, researchers found that drinking alcohol increases the likelihood of sexual dysfunction in women by 74% – that’s a pretty staggering number[44].

Alcohol has a similar impact on sexual function in men. In one study, investigators examined the impact of alcohol on sexual function in men with alcohol addiction and found that 72% had impaired sexual function in areas including premature ejaculation, low sexual desire and erectile dysfunction[45]. 

Even in men without alcohol addiction, a night of drinking can result in erectile dysfunction due to the connection between alcohol and the central nervous system. Taken chronically, however, alcohol can induce vascular changes which results in more severe sexual dysfunction[46].

While this doesn’t mean you have to give up alcohol completely, watching your intake and cutting back if you’ve made a habit out of drinking will do your libido a lot of good. 

Improve Your Libido With Detox

Taking steps to ensure your lifestyle is libido-friendly is crucial, but the fact of the matter is – toxins are everywhere. Even if you clean up your diet and personal care routine, these chemicals sneak their way into our lives right under our noses. That’s where liver support comes in.

If we can’t completely avoid toxin insults, our next best strategy is to arm ourselves against them. 

This was the motivation behind Daily Detox powder. Daily Detox combines hard-hitting detox nutrients with foods and herbs that support metabolism, digestion, energy, and immunity. In one small scoop each day, you get liver detox support (to get those unwanted libido-thiefs out of your system), antioxidants (to help support healthy hormone levels), and metabolic support (to keep metabolic and sexual function running smoothly). 

Many people try to improve their libido with lifestyle changes alone and find that although they may feel better, things down there are still stagnant. Until we relieve our bodies of the toxic load that’s holding us back, our lifestyle changes will likely only result in moderate shifts. 

With Daily Detox, you get a hit of detox every day in a safe and gentle formula. 

Takeaway

If you’ve been struggling with your sexual desire, there could be several root causes – stress, lack of physical activity, poor diet, and so on. However, one of the most overlooked causes of low libido is the presence of toxic chemicals in your body, stealing your testosterone and leaving you feeling listless in bed. You may have tried it all but still find that you can’t get your sex drive humming. If that’s the case, I highly recommend shifting your focus to detoxification support. 

As you’ve learned, toxic compounds are everywhere these days, and they can have a direct impact on your sexual health. A simple yet effective detox formula like Daily Detox can give your body the boost it needs to move those toxins out and make way for a healthy sex drive. 

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in Articles/Detox/Lifestyle

Dr Wendy Myers, ND is a detox expert, functional diagnostic nutritionist, NES Bioenergetic Practitioner, and founder of Myersdetox.com. She is the #1 bestselling author of Limitless Energy: How to Detox Toxic Metals to End Exhaustion and Chronic Fatigue . Additionally, Wendy is the host of The Heavy Metals Summit, the Myers Detox Podcast, and the Supercharged Podcast. Passionate about the importance of detox to live a long and healthy life, she created the revolutionary Myers Detox Protocol , and Mitochondria Detox kit after working with thousands of clients, as well as a range of supplements to help you detox from everyday living and maintain a healthy lifestyle!

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