Fact or Fiction: Are Oysters an Aphrodisiac?

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

For centuries, oysters were regarded as a powerful aphrodisiac. In fact, 18th-century playboy Casanova used to feast on 50 oysters in the morning to boost his libido. Piles of oysters are also a staple in Roman orgies. The Romans believe that oysters increase a man’s libido by raising the levels of testosterone and estrogen. But is there any truth to this? Are oysters an effective aphrodisiac?

Nutritional Value of Oysters

The key to answering this question starts by reviewing the nutritional value of oysters. It appears that this mollusk is rich in compounds that boost sexual desire. These compounds include zinc, iron, magnesium calcium and copper. Oysters are also rich in B vitamins and vitamin A. All these compounds help improve a person’s sex drive!

Zinc is an important mineral that aids in the production of the male hormone testosterone. It boosts male virility, increase sperm production and regulates progesterone levels. In men, progesterone is processed by the body into testosterone. In women, progesterone decreases PMS symptoms. There could be truth to the claim that zinc prevents impotence in men. Clinical tests show that men who are deficient in zinc suffer from impotence. By eating foods rich in zinc, you spice up your love life while preventing sexual disorders.

Oysters also contain phosphorus and iodine. Both minerals increase endurance and stamina. While the selenium in oysters increases sex drive.

Interestingly, oysters also contain dopamine. This is a hormone and neurotransmitter that uplifts the mood and stimulates arousal in men.

But don’t eat too many oysters. It could be detrimental to your health. Oysters are very high in sodium and cholesterol – a bad combination. Eating high cholesterol food will lead to cardiovascular diseases and hypertension. Some people are allergic to oysters. Also, there are cases wherein a bad batch of oysters caused food poisoning and diarrhea. If you’re eating fresh oysters, make sure it’s from a trusted source!

The Science Behind The Myth

Now, many believe oyster’s ability to get couples in the mood is just a myth. Modern science is now looking deeper into this old wives’ tale.

A team of Italian and American researchers teamed up and analyzed various bivalve mollusks, including oysters. They found that such marine foods contain rare amino acids that trigger arousal in both men and women. These compounds also boost the level of sex hormones in participants who joined the study. This discovery was announced to more than 15,000 scientists at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Diego, California.

According to other health experts, the potency of oysters – as an aphrodisiac – depends on its state. In order to benefit from oysters, you have to eat it as fresh as possible. By cooking the oysters, you decrease the level of D-Asp and NDMA molecules. This cuts oysters’ potency in raising the sex drive.

Most experts agree that there is no food that’s scientifically proven to stimulate people to get in the mood. But some foods – like oysters – suggest sex in mind. After all, it’s the cliché of all aphrodisiac foods. By suggesting sex, it stimulates desire to do the deed. By enjoying sensual food, you increase the chances of a sexual encounter.