You've already gotten acquainted with two of the B complex vitamins, B12 and B9. Get to know another important member: Vitamin B3, also known as niacin.
Niacin is notable when it comes to your sex life because it helps make sex hormones and improves your circulation (and we already learned why blood flow is so important when you're between the sheets). It also regulates things like sleep patterns -- and erectile dysfunction.
In June 2010, researchers were able to capture images of a protein responding to molecular signals from niacin that give information about oxygen levels in cells [source: University of Rochester Medical Center]. Studying this signaling could help us find new methods to treat erectile dysfunction in the future.
Supplements aren't necessary to keep you niacin-rich -- you almost always get enough from your diet, whether you're the king of beet recipes, a voracious red-meat eater or simply a drinker of milk.
The key to a healthy sex life (beyond, you know, relationship skills)? Getting to the grocery store -- and skipping the chips.
- Iowa State University. "Folate Facts." September 2004. (March 12, 2011.)http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Publications/N3401.pdf
- Moynihan, Tim and Jane Kirby. "Taking folic acid can enhance fertility in men, researchers say." The Independent. March 20, 2008. (March 12, 2011.)http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/taking-folic-acid-can-enhance-fertility-in-men-researchers-say-798387.html
- National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. "What I Need to Know About Urinary Tract Infections." National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. August 2007. (March 12, 2011.)http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/uti_ez/
- Nippoldt, Todd B. "Is 'herbal Viagra' safe?" Mayo Clinic. Feb. 2, 2010. (March 12, 2011.)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/herbal-viagra/AN00702
- NYU Langone Medical Center. "Carnitine." February 2011. (March 12, 2011.)http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=21450
- NYU Langone Medical Center."Male Infertility." February 2011. (March 8, 2011.)http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=21723
- NYU Langone Medical Center. "Vitamin B12." February 2011. (March 14, 2011.)http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=21679
- Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health. "Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets." (March 12, 2011.)http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/
- Reuters. "More Evidence Folic Acid Prevents Birth Defects." March 12, 2011. (March 12, 2011.)http://in.reuters.com/article/2011/03/11/us-folic-acid-idINTRE72A7OO20110311.
- Smith, Ian K. "Vitamin Overdose." Time. April 24, 2000. (March 12, 2011.)http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,996706,00.html
- University of Maryland Medical Center. A.D.A.M. "Sexual dysfunction." (March 8, 2011.)http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/sexual-dysfunction-000150.htm
- University of Maryland Medical Center. A.D.A.M. "Vitamin B3 (Niacin)." (March 14, 2011.)http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/vitamin-b3-000335.htm
- University of Maryland Medical Center. A.D.A.M. "Vitamin B12." (March 14, 2011.)http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/vitamin-b12-000332.htm
- University of Rochester Medical Center. "Vitamin B3 Controls Important Life Processes by Changing Shape in Response to Oxygen Level." June 4, 2010. (March 14, 2011.)http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/index.cfm?id=2889
- WebMD. "Understanding Anemia -- The Basics." (March 14, 2011.)http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-anemia-basics
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