Skip to content

    Health & Sex

    Font Size

    Want Romance? Oysters May Really Work

    Chemical in Mussels, Clams, and Perhaps Oysters May Trigger Hormone Surge

    WebMD Health News

    March 16, 2005 -- Oysters' reputation as an aphrodisiac is legendary, but now researchers say they may have found scientific evidence to back up those claims.

    A team of American and Italian researchers has found evidence that at least four varieties of bivalve mollusks -- a seafood category that includes oysters, mussels, and clams -- contain two compounds that trigger a surge of sex hormones.

    The compounds, known as D-aspartic acid (D-Asp) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) have been shown in animal studies to stimulate the release of hormones, including testosterone and estrogen, which are involved in sexual arousal and activity.

    The results of the study were presented this week at the American Chemical Society Meeting in San Diego.

    Hormone Surge

    In the study, researchers analyzed the chemical composition of tissue samples taken from different types of mollusks commonly eaten in Mediterranean countries.

    The tests showed D-Asp and NMDA were present in three varieties of clams and a Mediterranean mussel variety.

    Researchers say that since previous studies have established a correlation between these two compounds and testosterone, estrogen, and sexual activity, it's plausible that the presence of D-asp and NMDA in these mollusks could explain much-heralded aphrodisiacal properties of mollusks.

    Although the most famous romance-inducing mollusks -- oysters -- weren't specifically tested in the study, researchers say the results may also apply to other varieties of mollusks. But further study will be required to confirm that.

    Today on WebMD

    couple not communicating
    How to tell when you're in one.
    couple face to face
    Get your love life back on track.
    couple having an argument
    Turn spats into solutions
    couple in argument
    When to call it quits.
    Life Cycle of a Penis
    HIV Myth Facts
    How Healthy is Your Sex Life
    Couple in bed
    6 Tips For Teens
    Close-up of young man
    screening tests for men
    HPV Vaccine Future