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Can aphrodisiacs increase libido?

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Chocolate may be romantic, but may not help in the bedroom.

Chocolate may be romantic, but may not help in the bedroom.

RYAN PUGH | Evergreen Photo Illustration

RYAN PUGH | Evergreen Photo Illustration

Chocolate may be romantic, but may not help in the bedroom.

NINA WILLIS, Evergreen reporter

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FALSE

Foods such as chocolate, strawberries and oysters have become iconic for putting people in the mood, especially when paired with a glass of fine wine. But many of those same foods work much differently than most people would suspect.

The romantic qualities of chocolate mainly act as a placebo. Studies show that while younger women with higher sex drives consume more chocolate, the difference in libido had more to do with age than actual chocolate consumption, according to the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

As far as health benefits, dark chocolate and cocoa contain high levels of polyphenols, antioxidants that may improve cardiovascular health, according to the Journal of Chemistry.

Once the symbol of Venus, strawberries offer antioxidants associated with anti-inflammatory effects and contain high levels of vitamin C, according to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Much like chocolate, strawberries also serve as a placebo. Their symbolism and use in pop culture give rise to their supposed aphrodisiac qualities.

Oysters contain zinc, which is necessary for healthy sperm production, and also serotonin, which regulates mood, according to Sexual Medicine Reviews. Studies have not made a direct connection to sexual behavior, though.

Overall, a dinner of oysters followed by a chocolate-covered strawberry dessert might set the mood for a romantic evening, but results not guaranteed.

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Can aphrodisiacs increase libido?