You may have heard that oysters are one of those foods that increase the human sex drive/libido. Here, we take a closer look at the scientific evidence behind oysters as an aphrodisiac.
Legend has it that Casanova, the 18th century lover, ate 50 oysters for breakfast every day and this increased his sexual libido and stamina. Research has shown that oysters contain hormone inducing amino acids that trigger increased levels of sex hormones. In fact, it is during the spring time that these fish are said to have their greatest aphrodisiac quality. However for oysters to have their greatest effectiveness, they must be eaten raw, as cooking them reduces the quantity of vital components needed for the increased libido.
In addition to amino acids, research has also shown that oysters contain certain compounds that increase both testosterone and estrogen levels. This hormone boost for both men and women is what is said to lead to heightened sexual desire and stamina. In addition to this, oysters also contain high quantities of zinc that aid in blood flow to the genitals. Zinc is said to be the most effective nutrient in enhancing the human libido. For men especially, zinc is important. Men lose between 1 – 3 milligrams of zinc (in their sperm) per ejaculation. Therefore, the high quantity of zinc in oysters can be particularly beneficial for men. The zinc can also improve sperm count, swimming ability and sexual potency. For women, zinc is also beneficial. It may help ovaries, the source of the key sex hormones for women, stay healthy. In addition to this, they aid in vaginal lubrication.
There is more to the aphrodisiac nature of oysters than their chemical composition. It is said that the sucking of oysters is quite erotic, especially when the couple feeds each other. Oysters have a very slippery texture, which adds to the sensual nature of the taste. So in addition to the actual chemical makeup of oysters, they also make a great foreplay food.
As stated earlier, for the full effect, oysters should be used raw. The best way to do this is to put them on a bed of ice, and use a spicy sauce or some freshly squeezed lemon juice and then suck them from the shell.
However, despite these ‘scientific facts’, some argue there is no such thing as an aphrodisiac food. With reference to oysters’ zinc content, it is most beneficial to those with a zinc deficiency and can increase their testosterone level but there is no evidence that states that it increases sexual desire. Most of the arguments negating the impact of oysters on sex drive note that these are based on myth and folklore, not fact. Also, it is argued that oysters could simply be having placebo effect: that is, it could be causing an effect because the person expects it to, not because it actually does. Thus, while oysters may contain chemical properties that aid in the production and secretion of certain sex hormones, thus increasing sex drive, there is a lot of myth attached to oysters and their impact on the human sex drive.
Therefore it seems the impact of oysters on the sex drive could be a dual effect between the physical composition of the oysters (the resemblance of oysters to the female genitalia, the slippery, slimy texture) and the chemical composition (zinc, amino acids). Due to this, it may be hard to determine scientifically that oysters are 100% an aphrodisiac. One thing is for certain: depute the divide of opinions as to whether the impact of oysters on sex drive is myth or fact, whatever works for you as a person or couple is certainly worth the try.
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