Bright lights a turn-on for men

The Sun (Malaysia) - - LIFESTYLE -

MEN who have lost their sex­ual ap­petite may re­gain their libido with re­peated ex­po­sure to bright light, ac­cord­ing to an Ital­ian study re­leased re­cently by the Euro­pean Col­lege of Neu­ropsy­chophar­ma­col­ogy (ECNP).

Sci­en­tists at the Univer­sity of Siena re­cruited 38 men with low sex drive and sub­jected them to 30-minute, early-morn­ing ses­sions of light ther­apy us­ing a ‘light box’.

One group was ex­posed to an in­tense, ar­ti­fi­cial light, while a con­trol group was treated with a dim­mer light.

Af­ter two weeks, the first group’s av­er­age sex­ual sat­is­fac­tion scores jumped from 2.0 to 6.3 out of 10, and their testos­terone lev­els in­creased from 2.1 nanogram per millil­itre (ng/ml) to 3.6ng/ml, the ECNP said in a state­ment.

Sub­jects in the con­trol group showed no sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments in sex drive.

“Light ther­apy has been used suc­cess­fully in the past to treat some forms of de­pres­sion,” said Ed­uard Vi­eta, chair of psy­chi­a­try and psy­chol­ogy de­part­ment at the Univer­sity of Barcelona Hospi­tal Clinic.

“This study sug­gests now that it may also work to treat low sex­ual de­sire in men.”

The leader of the Ital­ian re­search, Prof An­drea Fa­gi­olini, said it was al­ready known that child con­cep­tion rates drop markedly in north­ern Europe dur­ing the dark win­ter months, and peak in the sum­mer month of June.

“The use of the light box re­ally mim­ics what na­ture does,” he com­mented.

Low sex­ual drive in men is cur­rently treated via testos­terone in­jec­tions, an­tide­pres­sants and other med­i­ca­tions.

Be­fore light ther­apy can be­come a vi­able al­ter­na­tive, its ef­fec­tive­ness will have to be con­firmed by larger stud­ies, Fa­gi­olini stressed.

The Ital­ian doc­tor, who heads the De­part­ment of Men­tal Health at Siena’s univer­sity, said the new treat­ment may any­way be un­suit­able for pa­tients with eye con­di­tions or tak­ing medicines that in­crease sen­si­tiv­ity to light, such as an­tibi­otics or an­tide­pres­sants. – dpa

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