Female and Younger Athletes Take Longer to Overcome Concussions

New research out of Michigan State University reveals female athletes and younger athletes take longer to recover from concussions, findings that call for physicians and athletic trainers to take sex and age into account when dealing with the injury. Continue reading

Thirteen Sensual Aphrodisiac Foods to Improve your Sex Life

Almost everyone wants to improve their love life, find the perfect partner and have better sex. Some of the biggest pharmaceutical sales in history come from performance-enhancing drugs. What about using natural inducements for romance such as chocolate-dipped strawberries, grapes or truffles? Add some of these delectable delights to your arsenal of temptations and woo your lover into bliss. Continue reading

Strangers Can Spot ‘Kindness’ Gene: Study

People with a certain gene trait are known to be more kind and caring than people without it, and strangers can quickly tell the difference, according to US research published on Monday. Continue reading

Psychopathic Killers: Computerized Text Analysis uncovers the Word Patterns of a Predator

As words can be the soul’s window, scientists are learning to peer through it: Computerized text analysis shows that psychopathic killers make identifiable word choices – beyond conscious control – when talking about their crimes. Continue reading

Indulge and Have Sex Once a Week

Couples often ask how frequently they should be having sex. There’s no right answer. After all, a couple’s sex life is affected by so many different factors: age, lifestyle, each partner’s health and natural libido and, of course, quality of their overall relationship to name just a few.

What might seem like too much sex to one person may seem like too little to another: (Remember that scene in Annie Hall, in which Woody Allen and Diane Keaton are discussing their sex life, split-screen, with their respective therapists? Asks Woody’s therapist, “How often do you sleep together?”  To which he responds: “Hardly ever. Maybe three times a week.” Meanwhile, Diane Keaton’s therapist is asking her the very same question, and she replies, “Constantly. I’d say three times a week.”)

Every couple has to find their own middle ground Dr. Gail Saltz, says: “If your sex drives are out of balance, Continue reading

Sleep Tight Every Night

In addition to food, water, and air, sleep is the one thing we truly can’t live without. But experts say more and more women are falling short on shut-eye, and staring at the ceiling all night isn’t just frustrating—it can also be life threatening. Studies show that one in six fatal car accidents are caused by sleep-deprived drivers, and according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), the 40 million Americans who now suffer from sleep disorders are at higher risk for a slew of serious health issues. Here, what’s behind the insomnia epidemic, plus fast-acting solutions for getting quality sleep.

The Vitamin Z Deficiency Continue reading

Drugs, Overeating, Anger and Sex Are Main Triggers of Heart Attacks

New research has shown that the main triggers of heart attacks are drugs, overeating, anger and sex – in that order, reports the Independent.

A heart attack trigger is a factor, which explains why a heart attack occurs on a particular day or time. It is the final straw that triggers the attack and is distinct from the underlying cause, which may be a combination of smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise or being overweight.

According to the new ranking of these triggers, cocaine use increases the risk 23-fold, and a cup of coffee raises it 50 per cent.

Some triggers lead to a big increase in risk – limited exposure reduces it.

As relatively few people take cocaine, despite the high risk to individual users, the drug triggers less than 1 per cent of all heart attacks.

Coffee is widely drunk, so despite the relatively low risk to coffee drinkers, the beverage triggers one in 20 heart attacks. More than 2 per cent of heart attacks occur during or after sex (the exertion which triggers it).

Professor David Spiegelhalter at Cambridge University noted that if everyone stopped having sex, heart attacks could be reduced, but that is unlikely to be a popular public health message.

He was commenting on the study by Belgian researchers, published in the Lancet.

It showed that the biggest factor, in population terms, was traffic fumes, which triggers more than 7 per cent of all heart attacks.

Oral Sex Bigger Cause of Throat Cancer than Tobacco

LONDON – A virus spread during oral sex is the main cause of throat cancer in people under 50 years of age.

Scientists say the human papilloma virus (HPV) spread during unprotected sex is to blame for a disturbing rise in potentially deadly oral cancers in the last few decades.

Doctors have called for boys to be vaccinated against HPV just like teenage girls to stop the spread of the disease.

HPV is best known as the cause of around 70 percent of cervical cancers. Since 2008, girls aged 12 and 13 have been vaccinated against the virus in schools. However, it can also cause warts and other cancers, the Daily Mail reports.

Cancers of the mouth and oropharynx – the top of the throat – used to be mainly diagnosed in older men who drink or smoke. But increasingly, it is being seen in younger men.

Maura Gillison of Ohio State University in Columbus said the sexually transmitted HPV was a bigger cause of some oral cancers than tobacco.

She said: “We don’t know from strict scientific evidence whether the vaccine will protect from oral HPV infections that lead to cancer,” according to a Ohio State University statement.

“Those of us in the field are optimistic it will – the vaccines in every anatomical site looked at so far have been shown to be extraordinarily effective, about 90 percent effective, at preventing infections.”

Pleasures such as Food, Sex and Other Reduce Stress via Brain Pathways

Food, sex and other pleasurable activities can reduce stress by inhibiting anxiety producing pathways in the brain. Researchers from University of Cincinnati say new studies provide a clearer understanding of why consuming “comfort food” is appealing during times of stress.

Yvonne Ulrich-Lai, PhD, research assistant professor, James Herman, PhD, director of the Laboratory of Stress Neurobiology and professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at UC, and colleagues conducted studies on rats, observing their response to the pleasures of tasty sweets and sex.

Pleasure Lowers Stress Hormones and Heart Rate

For the study, researchers gave the rodents a sugar solution twice a day for two weeks and then gauged their reaction to stress, physiologically and behaviorally. The rats given the solution had lower stress hormones and heart rates when they were restrained in ventilated tube, compared to the control group. Stress responses were lower in response to saccharin and from exposure to sexually responsive partners.

When the researchers gave sucrose directly into the stomach, the rats did not have the same response, showing the”pleasurable properties of tasty foods, not the caloric properties were sufficient for stress reduction,” says Ulrich-Lai.

The scientists also found when they blocked signals to an area of a brain structure that regulates stress the rats did not experience reduced anxiety. The rats exposed to pleasurable food and sex had a lower stress response.

“Our research identifies key neural circuits underlying the comfort food effect,” notes Ulrich-Lai. “Further research is needed, but identification of these circuits could provide potential strategies for intervening to prevent or curtail increasing rates of obesity and other metabolic disorders.” Food, sex and other pleasurable activities actually work to inhibit stress pathways in the brain that the scientists also say can last up to 7 days.

Sex still Important for Men age 70 to 95

Remaining sexually active is important for men – even those age 70 to 95, found in a survey conducted by Australian researchers. The study was initiated to find out what sort of factors influence sexual activity in elderly men.

43 Percent of Elderly Men would prefer more Sex

In the sampling of relatively healthy men, researchers found 43 percent would prefer to have sex more often. The survey included 3274 men aged 75 to 95 years, 85 percent of whom provided information about their sex lives.

Almost half (48.8%) of the respondents said sex was “somewhat important”, and 30.8 percent had at least one sexual encounter in the last year.

Researchers gathered information via questionnaires from 1996 to 1999, 2001 to 2004 and again from 2008 to 2009, assessing the men’s social situation and medical history.

The men again answered questions about their sex life from 2008 to 2009. The researchers evaluated hormone levels from 2001 to 2004 in an effort to garner more information about just how many elderly men are sexually active and what keeps them that way.

Men without health problems including diabetes, osteoporosis, prostate cancer, low testosterone levels, depression, and not on medications that might interfere with erections remained the most sexually engaged.

Other factors that limited sexual activity included partner’s lack of interest in having sex and simply not having a partner.

For almost half of the elderly men surveyed, sex remained an important part of life and 43 percent reported a desire to have sex more frequently. The findings have implications for clinicians who should discuss sexual activity with elderly male patients.

Annals of Internal Medicine 2010

Biggest Sex Survey in 16 Years

The male-female orgasm gap. The sex lives of 14-year-olds. An intriguing breakdown of condom usage rates, by age and ethnicity, with teens emerging as more safe-sex-conscious than boomers.

That’s just a tiny sampling of the data being unveiled Monday in what the researchers say is the largest, most comprehensive national survey of Americans’ sexual behavior since 1994.

Filling 130 pages of a special issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the study offers detailed findings on how often Americans have sex, with whom, and how they respond. In all, 5,865 people, ranging in age from 14 to 94, participated in the survey.

The lead researchers, from Indiana University’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion, said the study fills a void that has grown since the last comparable endeavor -— the National Health and Social Life Survey — was published 16 years ago. Major changes since then include the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, the types of sex education available to young people, the advent of same-sex marriage, and the emergence of the Internet as a tool for social interaction.

Dr. Dennis Fortenberry, a pediatrics professor who was lead author of the study’s section about teen sex, said the overall findings of such a huge survey should provide reassurance to Americans who are curious about how their sex lives compare with others.

“Unless, like al-Qaida, you feel there’s something abnormal about the American people, what these data say is, ‘This is normal — everything in there is normal.'”

The researchers said they were struck by the variety of ways in which the subjects engaged in sex — 41 different combinations of sexual acts were tallied, encompassing vaginal and anal intercourse, oral sex, and partnered masturbation.

Men are more likely to experience orgasm when vaginal intercourse is involved, while women are more likely to reach orgasm when they engage in variety of acts, including oral sex, said researcher Debra Herbenick, lead author of the section about women’s sex lives.

She noted there was a gap in perceptions — 85 percent of the men said their latest sexual partner had an orgasm, while only 64 percent of the women reported having an orgasm in their most recent sexual event.

One-third of women experienced genital pain during their most recent sex, compared to 5 percent of men, said Herbenick, citing this as an area warranting further study.

The study, which began taking shape in 2007, was funded by Church & Dwight Co., the manufacturer of Trojan condoms. Questions about condom usage figured prominently in the study, but the researchers — during a teleconference — insisted the integrity of their findings was not affected by the corporate tie.

Among the findings was a high rate of condom usage among 14- to 17-year-olds. Of the surveyed boys who had sexual intercourse, 79 percent reported using a condom on the most recent occasion, compared to 25 percent for all the men in the survey.

However, the sample for that particular question involved only 57 teens in the 14-to-17 age range. That’s far smaller than the thousands involved in latest federal Youth Risk Behavior Survey last year which calculated condom use among sexually active high school students at 61 percent.

Fortenberry nonetheless found the new findings encouraging.

“There’s been a major shift among young people in the role condoms have in their sexual lives,” he said. “Condoms have become normative.”

Another intriguing finding — rates of condom usage among black and Hispanic men were significantly higher than for whites. The researchers said this suggested that HIV-AIDS awareness programs were now making headway in those communities, which have relatively high rates of the disease.

The lowest condom usage rates were for men over 50 — and the researchers said this was worrisome. Although men in that age group are more likely to be married than males in their teens and 20s, other surveys have shown 50s-and-over to be far more open to multiple sexual partners than in the past, raising the risk for disease.

Other notable findings:

–While about 7 percent of adult women and 8 percent of men identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual, the proportion of individuals who have had same-gender sex at some point in their lives is higher. For example, 15 percent of the men aged 50-59 said they had received oral sex from another man at some point.

–Among adolescent boys, only about 2 percent of the 14-year-olds — but 40 percent of the 17-year-olds — said they had engaged in sexual intercourse in the past year.

The survey was conducted from March through May of 2009, with the assistance of Knowledge Networks, among a nationally representative sample of adolescents and adults. Once people were selected to participate, they were interviewed online; participants without Internet access were provided it for free.

The researchers said the 1994 survey was compiled through in-person interviews, while the new method — collecting data over the Internet — may help make respondents more comfortable about discussing sexual behaviors.

Dr. Irwin Goldstein, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, noted that the new study came more than 60 years after Alfred Kinsey -— also based at Indiana University -— published his groundbreaking report, “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male.”

“Just like then, these papers contain material that is avant garde and often considered off-limits,” Goldstein wrote in a forward to the study. “At a time when we can have nudity on HBO but cannot use the names of our genitals on the evening news, there remains a need to continue research on sexual health.”

Soy May Be Harmful to Sexual Behavior

America has a love affair with soy especially women who believe it fights osteoporosis and that soy formula is a good choice for infants. Although promoted as a health food, soy has been linked with numerous diseases including infertility and cancer.

Soybean farming is a multibillion-dollar industry. In fact, many of the worlds rain forests were cleared to provide more land to grow them. And as with so many health issues, once enormous profits are involved, it becomes difficult to get to the truth

I have two concerns about soy products. One is the direct effect of all soy products on health. The second is that more than 80 percent of all soybeans used for manufacturing foods are GMO (genetically modified). Genetic modifications cause the plant to produce abnormal proteins as well as to overproduce toxins normally produced by the plant. (For a detailed discussion on food safety, read my report “How to Avoid Poisonous Foods.”

But it’s not just modified soy that poses problems. Even natural soybeans have real dangers for health. One study found that infant monkeys fed soy extract soon after birth exhibited increased aggressiveness later in life and were socially withdrawn. Bad dietary choices can have profound effects on behavior, even producing criminal and sociopathic behavior. Soy foods are major players in this process.

Because soy contains estrogenic compounds, there is worry that it may disrupt the normal development of the brain, especially the brain’s sexual development. One study found that soy extracts could alter the development of the male hypothalamus, causing males to act more like females. It is the hypothalamus that determines our sexual behavioral development, especially a nucleus called the sexually dimorphic nucleus of the preoptic area (SDN-POA). (

When newborn male animals were fed soy formula (similar to human soy infant formula), this critical nucleus was reduced in size. In addition, males had greater difficulty maneuvering a maze when fed soy formula as an infant. In humans, this would mean boys would have greater difficulty learning.

Some studies have found soy formula had no effect on testosterone levels, but others found they were decreased. Most found that the prostate gland was significantly smaller in the soy-exposed males. Of considerable importance is the worry that feeding soy infant formulas to babies may cause them to act more feminine.

The soy-fed males also were found to have lower levels of brain 5-alpha-reductase in the hypothalamus and amygdala. These areas of the brain play a major role in sexual behavior. Low levels of this enzyme reduce levels of deoxytestosterone in the brain, the more powerful form of testosterone. A careful balance between estrogen and testosterone in the hypothalamus during early development is critical to sexual behavioral development.

The females fed soy had their own problems. The study found that when soy was fed to female newborns there was a significant fall in the release of oxytocin (dubbed the love hormone) from their brains. At least in the mice, this caused a decrease in sexual receptivity  that is, they were less interested in sex. Oxytocin is also critical for normal social development. Among its many additional functions is protecting the brain from inflammation.

The females fed soy as infants also had much lower brain 17-estradiol (estrogen), which was found to have adverse effects on normal female behavior.

In essence, these studies clearly indicate that even small changes in estrogen and testosterone can have undesirable effects on the sexual behavior of both male and female animals. They also demonstrate that compounds such as soy extracts can have negative effects on these delicate hypothalamic nuclei even in adulthood.

Courtesy of Dr. Blaylock

Do You Suffer From ED?

E.D.  Checklist

An occasional problem achieving an erection is nothing to worry about. But failure to do so more than 50% of the time at any age may indicate a condition that needs treatment. Are you at risk for erectile dysfunction (ED)? Take the following quiz and find out.

  1. Are you overweight?  Yes or No
  1. Do you have any of the following conditions?
    • Diabetes
    • High cholesterol
    • Depression
    • Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries from plaque)
    • Kidney disease
  1. Do you:
    • Smoke
    • Drink alcohol
    • Use recreational drugs
  1. How often do you exercise?
    • Daily
    • Once or twice a week
    • A couple of times a month
    • I never seem to get around to it
  1. How often do you feel stressed?
    • Much of the time
    • Sometimes
    • Rarely

Answers:

  1. Overweight men are more likely to have ED
  2. Common causes of ED include nerve diseases, psychological conditions and diseases that affect blood flow. A number of prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs may also cause ED by affecting a man’s hormones, nerves or blood circulation
  3. Tobacco, alcohol and recreational drugs can all damage a man’s blood vessels and/or restrict blood flow to the penis, causing ED
  4. Regular exercise can reduce the risk of ED
  5. Stress and anxiety are leading causes of temporary ED

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

  • Does my erectile dysfunction stem from an underlying illness?
  • Could any of my medicines be causing this problem or making it worse?
  • Could stress or a psychological problem be to blame for my erection difficulties?
  • Are there medications I can take?

Did You Know?

  • Misinformation about erectile dysfunction includes the notion that ED, also called impotence, is an unavoidable consequence of aging. ED is not considered normal at any age, nor is it normal for a man to lose erectile function completely as a result of being older.
  • Another myth is that tight underwear causes ED. While physical and psychological conditions can lead to ED, tight underwear is not to blame. Tight underwear may be a factor in producing a low sperm count.
  • ED can be treated with oral medications, sex therapy, penile injections and surgery, such as penile implants.
  • Intercavernous injection therapy is a medication injected directly into the penis to treat ED.
  • Intraurethral therapy is a suppository medication that is inserted into the urethra to treat ED.
  • Urologist is a doctor specially trained to treat problems of the male and female urinary systems, and the male sex organs.

Know Your Numbers

  • At least 20 million American men have some degree of erectile dysfunction, and about one in 10 adult males suffers from ED long-term.
  • About 40% of men in their 40s report at least occasional problems getting and maintaining erections. So do more than half (52%) of men aged 40 to 70, and about 70% of men in their 70s.
  • Failure to achieve an erection less than 20% of the time is not unusual; treatment is rarely needed.
  • Atherosclerosis alone accounts for 50% to 60% of ED cases in men 60 and older. Between 35% and 50% of men with diabetes have ED, and ED may be a predictor for other vascular problems.

Here is How to Live Longer

1. Drink Red Wine

Red wine is packed with resveratrol, an antioxidant. These work to protect your body against the effects of aging. One or 2 glasses of red wine a day can help keep your body young.

2. Eat Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is a wonderful food that contains a large amount of antioxidants that protect your body from aging. Find good quality dark chocolate, learn to appreciate it, and have a bit of it each day. Eating chocolate may lower your blood pressure and cholesterol while providing an energy boost.

3. Smile

Smiling is a great way to change your attitude, connect with people and give benefit to your body. Like relaxation, smiling can work to counteract the effects of stress. By forcing ourselves to smile, we “trick” our body into believing that everything is good, thereby reducing stress. Like a switch, smiling can actually change your mood. So put a smile on, even if you don’t feel like it, and pretty soon you’ll be smiling for real.

4. Have More Sex

Sex and touching are thought to be essential parts of health. Sex releases an assortment of beneficial chemicals in the body. Sex and touching help us bond with others, strengthens relationships, and increases our own self-worth. Frequent sex may even extend your life by years.

5. Relax

Relaxation is the opposite of stress. While stress brings harmful health effects, relaxation helps our bodies to rest, heal and function better. By practicing daily relaxation techniques, you can train yourself to turn off your stress and replace it with calm energy. This will improve your blood pressure, heart rate and ability to cope with life’s challenges.

6. Make Exercise Play

Physical games and sports are a great way to keep both your body and mind healthy. Simple exercise routines are great for maintaining balance, flexibility, endurance and strength. Group games and sports can give your mind a workout as well, as you anticipate other people’s actions and how to work together. Find a game and activity that suits your level of physical ability and play often.

7. Sleep

Sleep is an essential body function. Most Americans do not get enough sleep. Medications, stress, illness and poor sleep habits all can prevent you from getting between 7 and 9 hours a night. The health benefits of sleep include more energy, better immune function, and more.

8. Spend Time With Loved Ones

Relationships are an important part of health. Not only do strong bonds with other people mean you will have help when you need it, being connected also means protection from loneliness, depression, and mental illness. Spend time cultivating your relationships with friends and family to improve your health and your life.

9. Solve Puzzles and Play Brain Games

Mind games are a great way to stay involved and engaged in the world. Games can exercise different parts of your mind and entice your curiosity. If possible, choose social games like chess or bridge that exercise your brain while keeping you connected with others.

10. Be Positive

Having a positive attitude about aging can add more than seven years to your life, according to researchers. Avoid the cultural push to glorify youth and regret each passing year. Find ways to to pleasure in your increasing age and enjoy greater learning, experience, and control in your life.

Natural Libido Enhancements for Better Sex

Ginseng: There are several types of ginseng, two of which are Siberian ginseng, which is typically used as an aphrodisiac, and red Korean or Asian ginseng, which is used in Chinese traditional medicine and has slightly more research behind it, Saigal says.

Ginseng, like a lot of herbs, is thought to work by helping the body make more nitric oxide — as does Viagra. A couple of good studies showed some effect from ginseng, so people can look at this as an alternative to Viagra. But it’s not going to be as effective as Viagra or Levitra or Cialis.

Ginseng appears to help women, too. Ginseng gives people energy and may improve mood, and you need energy and endurance for sex.

Black Cohosh: In the past, black cohosh has been used to treat arthritis and muscle pain and was traditionally used for “female” complaints. Today, it is marketed to treat hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, premenstrual syndrome, and other menopausal symptoms.

Black cohosh has estrogen-like properties, and increases blood flow to the pelvis — which increases arousal and response to sexual stimulation.  More blood flow means more lubrication, and that’s good for sex.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is funding studies of black cohosh as a treatment for menopausal symptoms.

Chasteberry (Vitex): Chasteberry is native to the Mediterranean region and western Asia — and is approved in Germany for premenstrual and menstrual problems. It is said to increase sexual desire by boosting the hormone progesterone and the brain chemical dopamine.

Chasteberry also decreases the brain chemical prolactin that interferes with sexual desire.  It works for some patients..

L-Arginine (Arginine): Arginine is an amino acid the body needs for many functions, like boosting immunity. The body also uses arginine to produce nitric oxide — an effect similar to the way Viagra works. Arginine has been found to improve blood flow to the penis.

One study showed improvements when L-arginine, glutamate, and yohimbine were combined. (Yohimbine is FDA approved as a drug therapy for ED, so how much of the effect was due to arginine is unknown.) Another study showed “significant improvement in sexual function” when L-arginine and pycnogenol were combined — but not when L-arginine was used alone.

Arginine is generally safe, although there may be drug interactions — especially with high blood pressure drugs. In addition, men taking Cialis, Levitra, or Viagra – or nitroglycerin (nitrates) for chest pain (angina) — should be cautious as combining them with L-arginine can cause a potentially serious drop in blood pressure.

It’s something to try. And if it works for those arteries, it could also help the heart arteries, too. Men with heart disease might benefit most from taking arginine.

Ginkgo: Ginkgo has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Ginkgo leaf extract is used today to boost mental power, help Alzheimer’s, and treat tinnitus, asthma, fatigue, and sexual dysfunction. Some studies show that gingko enhances the effects of nitric oxide — which allows better blood flow to the penis.

Ginkgo is one of those herbs that are pretty popular. The thing is there’s no great data for sexual function on it.  Ginkgo is thought to help with sexual dysfunction related to antidepressant use. One study showed that ginkgo made no difference; the other showed some slight difference. There may be a large placebo effect, but there have been anecdotal reports that it helps some people.

Yohimbe: Yohimbe is derived from bark of the yohimbe tree, native to Africa — and traditionally used as an aphrodisiac. In current times, this extract has been shown to be moderately effective in treating ED. It may perhaps increase erections and libido, because it has some effect on the brain.

Some studies indicate that yohimbe may help ED in men taking antidepressants, although research in this area is limited. Caution: Some yohimbe bark extracts may not contain significant amounts of yohimbine, so they may not have these effects. There’s a buyer-beware issue.  A lot of supplements use names that sound like yohimbe but are basically worthless. Look at the content label. Make sure it’s from the yohimbe tree. Also, look for the name of the active ingredient — yohimbine or yohimbine hydrochloride.

Maca: Maca is a vegetable native to Peru that is traditionally used as an aphrodisiac,  There have been rat studies, but studies to support its use are very limited,  but because it’s a vegetable, maca won’t hurt you.

Pycnogenol: Pycnogenol is an extract of the bark from French maritime pine. It is believed that pycnogenol helps protect blood vessels and boost production of nitric oxide — similar to L-arginine, yohimbe, ginkgo, and ginseng.

Some studies show that taking L-arginine and pycnogenol together boosts nitric oxide production. Those weren’t randomized trials [meaning the combination wasn’t compared to placebo], but there was an effect. So there’s some effect in combining the two.

ArginMax: If female patients are interested in herbs, Hutcherson guides them to ArginMax (a combination of Panax ginseng, L-arginine, ginkgo biloba, damiana, multivitamins, and minerals).

Two large clinical studies found that ArginMax improved sexual function in menopausal and other women with low sexual desire.

Zestra for Women: Zestra, a blend of botanical oils and extracts, is designed to increase female sexual desire, arousal, pleasure, and satisfaction when applied to the female genitalia.  Zestra’s ingredients include: borage seed oil, evening primrose oil, angelica extract, coleus extract, vitamin C, and vitamin E.

In a preliminary study, Zestra was shown to increase sexual sensation, arousal, pleasure, and satisfaction in “normal women” and women with arousal problems. Zestra also helped with sexual side effects related to antidepressants.

You rub it on your clitoris, which is supposed to increase blood flow.

The NIH is launching a clinical study comparing Zestra to placebo in women with a variety of sexual dysfunctions, including problems with interest, desire, arousal, and orgasm.

Vitamin E: Vitamin E oil — when applied to the vagina — helps improve lubrication. It is very effective. .

Cautionary Notes About DHEA Supplements

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a natural hormone that is converted into male and female sex hormones in the body. DHEA is sold as an antiaging supplement that improves energy, strength, and muscle, plus it increases immunity and burns fat.

However, the NIH says, “there is no conclusive evidence that DHEA supplements do any of these things,” and “there is little scientific evidence to support the use of DHEA as a ‘rejuvenating’ hormone.”

Long-term effects of DHEA supplements have not been studied — but there are “early signs that these supplements, even when taken briefly, may have detrimental effects on the body, including liver damage.”

Even if DHEA does rev your libido, it won’t help erections,  If the goal is a better erection, getting more testosterone won’t help.  We don’t know the long-term effects of DHEA

Keeping Your Libido Healthy

Pills aren’t the only answer. If flagging sexual desire is the problem, find something that adds spice. Find something interesting that stimulates your mind, since the brain is the largest sex organ.

Her libido-boosting suggestions:

  • Sleep in the bedroom. Have sex anywhere else — the den, kitchen, or laundry room.
  • Seize the moment wherever, whenever, it hits.
  • Buy something new. New lingerie definitely qualifies.
  • Send hot sizzling notes to each other during the day.
  • Buy a sex toy. Read an erotic novel together. Watch an erotic video.

There are so many things, you can never run out of ideas. What helps most — the best aphrodisiac — is going on a field trip to an adult store together. Try different things, touch, giggle, have a good time. You find you can’t wait to get home to try them.

Protecting Your Sexual Desire

To keep your libido in prime form, you’ve got to walk, jog — do some kind of aerobic exercise — daily. Maybe it doesn’t sound sexy, but a two-mile walk every day keeps the blood flowing.

Losing weight (if you’re obese) and eating a low-fat diet also helps restore sexual function. You’ll feel better about yourself, and your partner will be more interested in you. You’ll also help your heart.  And that’s very sexy.