The Physicians Committee of Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a group of over 12,000 doctors that supports plant-based living and preventative medicine, believes that a dairy-free diet may be advantageous for your sex life.
In fact, dairy consumption has been shown to have a negative effect on sperm count, libido, erections, and female orgasm.
Quitting dairy will enhance your sexual life
Low sperm counts are caused by dairy.
Dr. Neal Barnard, the CEO of PCRM, spoke about how cheese consumption may impact male fertility during an episode of the plant-based lifestyle podcast It’s All About Food from 2017.
“Men who consume the most cheese have the worst sperm counts, the worst sperm motility, the worst sperm morphology,” he said. “Meaning the shape and the movement and just the absolute number of sperm is less the more cheese you eat.”
There hasn’t been found to be a causal relationship between high dairy consumption and sperm count. However, research suggests that they are related. The Rochester Young Men’s Study, a cross-sectional investigation done between 2009 and 2010, examined the effect of diet on sperm.
Researchers discovered that men between the ages of 18 and 22 had less sperm motility when they consumed full-fat dairy products, particularly cheese. The study suggested that the decline in semen quality was caused by the high estrogen content of dairy products.
Dairy throws off sex hormones
Do you have a low libido? Dairy consumption may lessen sexual desire, but there are other potential causes as well.
According to some studies, eating dairy products like milk, cheese, and other dairy products can cause hormone levels to fluctuate. The two main sex hormones, estrogen, and testosterone, are among them. The chemicals have an effect on sexual motivation.
“Taking in these hormones may play a role in modifying sex hormone levels in humans and can, therefore, impact sexual function,” dietician Julieanna Hever explained to LIVEKINDLY. Hever is the author of The Healthspan Solution and Plant-Based Nutrition (Idiot’s Guides).
Dairy cows frequently have higher levels of estrogen and progesterone. Because they are repeatedly impregnated in order to produce milk, this is the case. Progesterone is a sex hormone that controls menstruation and pregnancy.
According to a 2010 study, men’s levels of female sex hormones significantly rose after consuming cow’s milk. As a result, the testosterone secretion, which aids in enhancing male libido, was decreased.
Susan Levin MS, RD, CSSD, PCRM’s director of nutrition education told LIVEKINDLY in an email that the “cross-species disruption in the natural order of human hormones is enough to send everything off the rails.”
“It is fairly easy to imagine that a cow’s lactation fluids, which are full of hormones, would impact the hormones of the being that consumed those fluids,” she said.
PCRM and its members urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture to include a dairy-free diet in its MyPlate dietary recommendations at the beginning of 2020. To ensure that consumers are aware of any potential health risks associated with dairy products, PCRM urged the FDA to require warning labels on cheese products.
These potential health factors may affect sex hormone levels as well as raise the risk of cancers linked to hormones, such as breast and prostate cancer.
Dairy reduces erection strength
According to UW Health, 5% of men over the age of 40 experience full-blown erectile dysfunction (ED). (UW Health is the University of Wisconsin’s medical center and health system.) When they reach the age of 70, that percentage will rise to about 15%.
Although ED can affect men of any age, it tends to affect older men more frequently. This may be due to a variety of factors. Anxiety, depression, and diseases like diabetes and heart disease are among these. High levels of lipids and cholesterol, low testosterone, hypertension, or high blood pressure, are additional risk factors.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, studies have linked high saturated-fat dairy diets to an increased risk of erectile dysfunction.
Consuming excessive amounts of dairy products can raise cholesterol and blood pressure levels due to their high-fat content.
“It is important to remember that the human body is a hydraulic system. If there is a clog in one pipe, the whole system could break down,” Levin explained.
Insufficient blood flow to the erectile tissue caused by clogged blood vessel walls may contribute to ED, according to a study in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. This may affect the strength and duration of erections, making them weak.
“We have one cardiovascular system that feeds the entire body, including the sexual organs. Since dairy is high in saturated fat and is associated with cardiovascular disease, this also applies to the rest of the body,” Hever continued. “If the arteries are atherosclerotic, they can impede sexual function with decreased blood flow to the right places.”
The same results may also result from a diet that is heavy in red meat and sugary foods and drinks. A diet low in dairy and high in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, on the other hand, is inversely related to these adverse effects.
Dairy causes painful vaginal orgasm
Pleasurable sensations might be diminished by the lack of blood flow to the sexual organs.
Hyperlipidemia, or elevated blood cholesterol levels, has been linked in studies to both erectile dysfunction and the vagina, which can also affect sexual arousal.
Blood vessels in a person with a vagina enlarge when they are aroused, allowing more blood to flow to the area.
This aids in lubrication and other bodily functions that help the body get ready for sexual activity.
The labia and clitoris swell due to blood flow to the area, making them touchable. Blood flow obstructions can compromise these processes.
According to a 2009 study from the Second University of Naples, those with hyperlipidemia in their vaginas reported less orgasm, lubrication, and arousal, than those with normal blood lipid profiles.
Which foods will improve your sex life?
So what foods should you consume to help increase your libido?
Consuming a diet free of dairy and rich in foods like avocados and bananas that are high in zinc and vitamin B may also help to boost libido.
The former, a crucial trace mineral, affects the levels of testosterone. And the latter can support mood enhancement, which might support the promotion of increased libido.
Additionally, the PCRM advises against eating meat. The group claims that a diet rich in animal proteins may cause serotonin levels to drop. Serotonin is a hormone that regulates mood and is also linked to feelings of happiness and well-being.
Increasing blood flow is essential for setting the mood for sex, according to registered dietitian Bonnie Taub-Dix.
“We want to look at foods that boost circulation, because not only do we want to boost circulation to your brain. But it also boosts circulation to other parts of your body,” she explained.
She noted that “most of the foods that are vegan can do that. Foods like cayenne pepper, dark chocolate, fruits, leafy greens, sunflower seeds, and beets. All of those foods would help to boost circulation, and when you boost circulation, there’s a greater chance that you’re going to get the [sexual] response you’re looking for.”