Men with genetic vitamin D deficiency could be at greater risk for low testosterone, according to a recent study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
The finding is based on a study of 4,254 Chinese men whose genetic information was available through an additional study.
Vitamin D is essential for skeletal health, as it absorbs calcium, one of the primary components of bones. Vitamin D also helps nerves, muscles, and the immune system work properly.
Testosterone is predominantly a male hormone, although women’s bodies produce it in smaller amounts. It’s responsible for most masculine traits, like facial hair, a deeper voice, and increased muscle mass. It also fuels a man’s libido and helps with erections.
Men with low testosterone often feel tired, moody, and less interested in sex. (Learn more about low testosterone here.)
Past research has linked vitamin D deficiency has been linked to low testosterone, although it’s unclear why. In January 2018, a study in the International Journal of Endocrinology suggested that taking vitamin D supplements might improve sexual health.
What makes the current study from China different is that the study subjects had genetic vitamin D deficiency. “Whether vitamin D supplementation can raise androgen [e.g., testosterone] levels merits further investigation in long-term randomized control trials,” the authors wrote.
They explained that their study included only Asian men. Men from other backgrounds might not have the same results.
Men who are concerned about their vitamin D levels, testosterone levels, or sexual health are encouraged to see their healthcare provider.
Check out these links for more information:
International Society for Sexual Medicine
“Vitamin D Important for Men’s Sexual Health, Study Finds”
(April 2, 2018)
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
Chen, Chi, et al.
“Causal link between vitamin D and total testosterone in men: A mendelian randomization analysis”
(Abstract. Published: March 21, 2019)
(October 18, 2017)
(Page last updated: May 9, 2019)
Medscape Medical News
“Low Vitamin D Tied to Testosterone Dip in Healthy Men”
(May 27, 2015)
Renal and Urology News
Akirov, Amit, MD
“Genetically Determined Low Vitamin D Concentrations Associated With Low Testosterone Levels”
(April 24, 2019)