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Study Suggests Bright Light Boosts Male Libido

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Smiling middle aged man sitting in front of a light therapy box, a full spectrum light box which mimics the sun, and treats people suffering from seasonal affective disorder. A flagging libido is something that strikes terror in the hearts of men. And unfortunately, around one out of every four men will experience this problem after the age of 40.

While there are many treatment options, most involve some type of prescription drug. These, of course, often come with unwanted side effects.

Now, research out of Italy may have a simple, natural solution—with no side effects—to help boost your libido.

Lead author Professor Andrea Fagiolini notes that libido problems are often seasonal. That’s because your body’s production of testosterone naturally declines from November through April. Then, it rises steadily through spring and summer, peaking in October.

With this in mind, he and his team experimented with a novel treatment for low libido in men: light therapy. This is the same type of therapy used to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder.

The scientists recruited 38 men diagnosed with desire and arousal disorders characterized by a lack of interest in bedroom activities.

At the start of the study, the men underwent evaluations to determine interest in intimate activities and testosterone levels. Then, the researchers split them into two groups.

One group received regular treatment with a specially adapted light box. The other group received treatment with a light box designed to give off significantly less light. Sessions lasted for a half hour and took place early in the morning.

After two weeks, researchers evaluated the men a second time.

“We found fairly significant differences between those who received the active light treatment, and the controls,” said Fagiolini.

“Before treatment, both groups averaged a sexual satisfaction score of around 2 out of 10, but after treatment the group exposed to the bright light was scoring sexual satisfaction scores of around 6.3—a more than 3-fold increase on the scale we used. In contrast, the control group only showed an average score of around 2.7 after treatment.”

Additionally, testosterone levels rose from 2.1 ng/ml to 3.6 ng/ml in the active treatment group, while they remained unchanged in the low light group.

“Light therapy has been used successfully in the past to treat some forms of depression and this study suggests now that it may also work to treat low sexual desire in men. The mechanism of action appears to be related to the increase of testosterone levels,” Fagiolini concluded.

He also noted that these results were from a small study. So, for the moment, this approach should be treated with caution. This is especially true for men with light sensitivity and eye conditions.

SOURCE: Study shows lack of interest in sex successfully treated by exposure to bright light. Press Release. European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. Sept 2016.

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