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Author Topic: Sex And Vitamins  (Read 7648 times)

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Sex And Vitamins
« on: October 29, 2018, 03:48:05 PM »

Vitamins have just about everything else—naturally they have sex appeal too. Vitamin D, in fact, comes within an ace of being a sex hormone. Cholesterol (a fatty substance that occurs liberally in your person and sometimes forms gallstones) can be made to yield—by changing the arrangement of an atom or two—either Vitamin D or the characteristic hormones that make the sexes opposite.

Not so opposite as you may suppose, at that, for female sex hormones circulate in the male bloodstream and vice versa. Although Vitamin D is formed from skin oils with the aid of sunlight, Casanova didn't get that way from basking under an ultra-violet lamp. There are positive relations between the vitamin content of food and gonadal activity, "gonads" being the drawing-room term for ovarian and testicular gland tissue. But in general the vitamins step up one's glamour voltage by increasing the plane of nutritional efficiency, and consequently the activity of the gonads.
Specifically, Vitamins A and B are thought to act as important regulators of the thyroid (though it must be remembered that the relationships of all the glands are so complex and interlocking that nobody yet knows all the answers).

One o£ the depressing results of insufficient thyroid activity is sexual weakness. Adequate B vitamins tend to stimulate the production of the thyroid hormone. Vitamin A, on the other hand, helps to depress excessive thyroid activity. You need plenty of both vitamins in order to maintain this nice balance.

Sitting on top of each of your kidneys is an adrenal gland which secretes a hormone called adrenalin that causes you to run, put up your fists, or otherwise defend yourself when danger threatens. The rind that encloses the adrenals (physiologists call it the cortex) pours out a quite different hormone called cortin that is packed with sex appeal, among other things. There is a close relationship between the adrenal cortex and the sex organs. It explains a good many bearded ladies. Tumors and other abnormalities of this vital tissue frequently cause women to develop masculine characteristics such as beards and too generous distribution of body hair. Vitamins come into the picture because it has been found that a deficiency of Vitamin B interferes with the normal functioning of the adrenal cortex and hence depresses sexual activity.

One of the newest B vitamins, pantothenic acid, has been briefly discussed. A report on some of its fascinating functions has just been made before the American Chemical Society. Such unglamorous symptoms as muscular weakness,  low blood pressure, excessive fatigue and exhaustion—no sex appeal there!— appear chargeable in some instances to insufficient pantothenic acid in the diet. This is the same vitamin, you will remember, that is involved in anti-gray hair experiments.

It is believed that lack of pantothenic acid damages the adrenal glands in such a way that the hormone, cortin, cannot be manufactured and the symptoms follow as described. In laboratory animals, weakness is pronounced and death often comes abruptly and with no apparent cause except circulatory collapse. While scientists are delving into the complex relationships of pantothenic acid and the glands, you can make use of their discovery that yeast, molasses, and liver supply the vitamin.
We have already seen how lack of Vitamin B1 sent the emotional temperatures of young women dropping right out of the bottom of the thermometer. When they were well fed they were charming; deprived of the vitamin, they were morose and moody and exhausted—the very opposite of alluring. Other experiments have demonstrated that lack of B1 interferes with ovulation and therefore has a general depressing effect on the reproductive organs.

In the case of men, B1 deprivation has the same distressing effect observed in young men who didn't get enough protein: a deplorable lack of interest in the opposite sex. Insufficiency of B vitamins probably works also to depress the appetite and thus to limit the general intake of energy.

Deficiency of Vitamin A causes the skin to become dry and rough, and the same process  operates within the moist mucous cavities of the body. The effect is to cause the soft membranes, including those involved in reproduction, to become covered with tiny horny scales.

Conception and menstruation apparently are not affected, but pregnancies may be interrupted spontaneously or labor may be abnormally prolonged. In the male, results are less severe. Although most of these manifestations have been demonstrated by animal experiment, Vitamin A is regarded as so important to human reproduction that the recommended intakes for expectant mothers are increased 50% above normal, to a total of some 9,000 units per day.

A relative newcomer among vitamins is Vitamin E, which in animals has been shown to have a positive relation to sterility. The vitamin is essential to normal reproduction in animals and in all probability to human beings. There is little likelihood of Vitamin E shortage in the average diet, since the substance occurs in many common foods, including grains. Wheat germ is a concentrated source, wheat germ oil even more potent.

The germ cells of both sexes require the vitamin. Many women who have been unable to bear children because of spontaneous miscarriages have been enabled to complete their pregnancies through the daily administration of wheat germ oil, in which Vitamin E is concentrated. Vitamin E is coming to be recognized as preventive in some cases of habitual miscarriage.

Our old friend, Vitamin C, turns out to have a surprising relationship to sex appeal and the reproductive function—surprising, because although it is one of the oldest
and best known vitamins, its importance to sex functions was largely unsuspected until the first public report was made in September, 1941.

Research covering a period of eight years at the University of Wisconsin, under the direction of Professor Paul H. Phillips, proved the role of Vitamin C in reproduction. Experimental animals were mostly cattle.

Bulls which, because of age and associated conditions were unable to sire offspring, were treated with synthetic Vitamin C. From 65% to 75% of the aging bulls were sufficiently revitalized by the vitamin to achieve paternity. Two-thirds of the sterile cows similarly treated were rejuvenated to full reproductive capacity.
Sterility in human beings springs from manifold causes, but Professor Phillips reported that tests indicate that some cases of impotence and sterility are associated with lack of Vitamin C. These findings are so new that it is too early and quite unjustified to hail the vitamin as a sterility cure-all or a Fountain of Youth promising rejuvenation. Studies in fertility, however, have shown that the sex-linked pituitary gland is unusually rich in Vitamin C. The pituitary secretes several hormones, at least one of which plays a dominant role in controlling the functions of the sex glands. It is believed likely that the vitamin stimulates the important pituitary secretion.

In cattle, Vitamin C must be injected to be effective, but human beings can absorb it by mouth. Dosage effective in human subjects, when supervised by a physician, is about 45 international units of Vitamin C per pound of body weight, according to  Professor Phillips—from four  to  six  times  the  usual  daily  requirement  of  the average adult.

The role of minerals in reproductive efficiency is not fully known, except for the well-established need of extra calcium by expectant mothers. Here it is a case of the growing child abstracting calcium to build its own skeleton, draining the mother's resources and subjecting her to the characteristic convulsive symptoms of calcium shortage—leg cramps, tingling fingers, twitching muscles. For this reason, intake of milk is emphasized in pregnancy, and the use of calcium salts such as calcium gluconate or calcium lactate is generally advised.

A dramatic but somewhat obscure maternal role has been assigned to manganese. Take that astounding creature, the oyster. Sometimes the oyster is a lady, and at other times the same oyster is a gentleman—an economical but wholly colorless slant on romance.
When the oyster is in its egg-ripening or glamour girl phase, there is a high content of manganese in the reproductive organs. When the same oyster becomes a man again, the manganese content of the organs is relatively low. Biologists of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service have recently reported the results of this keyhole peeping.

This ties in with what nutritionists have known for some time about rats. Deprived of manganese, mother rats are unable to nurse their young, and furthermore they can't be persuaded to show the slightest interest in them. This has led to the interesting observation that mother love may not be a matter of poetry, but just a case of a pinch of manganese in the blood.

Whether or not these findings are relevant to human beings, there is no question that manganese is an essential mineral to man. It is present in all tissues but, as might be expected, is concentrated particularly in the reproductive organs.

It is possible that you run some risk of manganese shortage if you take no whole-grain cereals, since manganese, along with other valuable elements, is concentrated in the bran of the grain. The most concentrated source is—you'd never guess!—blueberries