6 Ways To Boost ‘Kisspeptin’ For Libido and Depression

6 Ways To Boost ‘Kisspeptin’ For Libido and Depression

There is a molecule in the brain that has been identified as a major component in regulating fertility and puberty. However, recent research indicates this molecule as contributing to more, including sexual behavior and depression. The molecule is oddly called kisspeptin upon its discovery by researchers from Hershey, Pennsylvania who named it after that city’s chocolate candy keepsake, Hershey Kisses.

Learn about this amazing molecule and 6 ways to boost kisspeptin for libido and depression if you or anyone you know may be struggling with sexual and/or emotional challenges.

Kiss and Tell

Inside your brain is an area called the hypothalamus which is a major regulator for a variety of systemic functions including: body temperature, hunger, satiation (feeling full after eating), blood pressure and hormone levels. This is where kisspeptin is released which immediately begins cell to cell communication that has been linked to the production of luteinizing and follicle stimulating hormones. These hormones, released by your pituitary gland, travel to the ovaries or testes which in turn produce the sex hormones testosterone and oestradiol (steroid hormone responsible for stimulating the female reproductive system).

In 1996, this is where most of the research of kisspeptin stopped. Active brains where studied showing the process of kisspeptin and the peer reviewed medical publishings were put into the literature. However, new research has emerged showing the role of kisspeptin on a resting brain and the results told through this simple switch of optics may be a breakthrough nobody expected.

Resting Brain Response

In an interesting switch, rather than monitor a brain that is lit up as a result of possible sexual reproduction, simply studying a brain at rest enabled researchers to follow kisspeptin “behind the scenes”. The Hippocratic Post reported on some results from a study published in The Journal For Clinical Investigation (JCI) Insight stating that,

“the hormone [kisspeptin] was shown to change activity in key brain networks at rest, which was linked to decreased sexual aversion, and increased brain activity associated with sexual arousal. The scientists also observed that the hormone boosted several networks in the brain involved in mood and depression.”

The study was conducted by scientists from the Imperial College London. According to Dr Alexander Comninos, first author of the study and honorary senior lecturer at Imperial,

“Our findings help unravel the many and complex roles of the naturally-occurring hormone kisspeptin, and how it orchestrates reproductive hormones as well as sexual and emotional function. Psychosexual problems, such as low sex drive, affect up to one in three people, and can have a devastating effect on a person’s, and a couple’s, wellbeing. These findings open avenues for kisspeptin as a future treatment for these problems, although there is a lot of work still to be done.”

The Updated Study

After rodent trials in the lab, the kisspeptin JCI Insight study consisted of a small double blind placebo controlled trial of 29 healthy men. Connected to an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner, participants were shown a variety of images including sexual (pornography), disturbing (car crash) and neutral (a cup). Brain activity was monitored while the subjects viewed these images as well as when each was at rest. The results included:

Altered activity in the Default Mode Network and Salience Network, which have key roles in social and emotional processing

Boosted key mood connections in the brain

Decreased negative moods

Influence entire networks in the brain even when not doing anything

According to Dr. Comninos,

“these findings provide the scientific basis to investigate kisspeptin-based treatments in patients with psychosexual and mood disorders, which are both huge health issues, and frequently occur together”

Ways To Kick Up Your Kisspeptin

Currently a kisspeptin supplement can only be prescribed and monitored by a health professional or naturopathic doctor. However, if you have low libido and/or mild depression there are some natural ways to boost your hypothalamus function which could increase kisspeptin levels.

Chromium Picolinate – An archival study from 1994, published in Medical Hypotheses, showed that “promoting brain insulin activity with chromium picolinate may help to maintain the hypothalamus in a more functionally youthful state”

The USDA cites these foods as high in chromium:

  • Broccoli
  • Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Basil
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Oranges
  • Turkey
  • Green beans
  • Apples
  • Bananas

Chaste tree berry aka Vitex – This herbal supplement may increase reproductive hormones which enhance sexual desire as well as lift mood, especially in women.

Healthy Fats – Holistic practitioner and chiropractor, Dr Axe recommends healthy fats to decrease cholesterol levels and in turn increase brain function and circulation. Health fats include: olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, grass-fed butter and wild-caught salmon.

Aromatherapy – Smelling various essential oils has been shown to significantly trigger brain responses. It turns out that frankincense and myrrh contain active compounds called terpenes and sesquiterpenes. When inhaled, these compounds have cross the blood-brain barrier and increase oxygen uptake around the hypothalamus which can result in a calming, balanced effect.

Sleep – When we are depressed, sleep seems to takeover. Maybe this is for a good reason as sleep can decrease cortisol levels which can alleviate stress, lift mood, and encourage a rise in libido. It is important to note that too much sleep is not good. For optimal hypothalamus kisspeptin production, keep your sleep at a healthy 7-8 hrs per night and maybe, if possible, a 15-20 minute nap during the day.

Move Your Body – Exercise is essential for lowering blood pressure, decreasing hypertensive behavior and increasing metabolic activity all in the hypothalamus. These systemic reactions to exercise can inevitably lead to kisspeptin production. Remember, exercise doesn’t have to be a chore. Find the right activity for you which may not be in a gym at all. There’s outdoor rowing, intramural sports, walking, biking, etc.

Try these 6 ways to boost kisspeptin for libido and depression help. Plus, you can tell all your friends all you learned about this funny sounding molecule that packs more of a punch than originally thought.