Can Chocolate Affect Sexual Desire?
Submitted by:Marc Gittelman, MD
Submitted: October 28, 2006
Q: One of my friends is convinced that chocolate acts as an aphrodisiac with his girlfriend. I have heard that before. Do you think there is any truth to that?
A: Since the beginning of recorded history, people have ascribed powers to various foods that may increase the interest in sex or even heighten their sexual response. The medical and lay literature contains numerous accounts of these properties, but unfortunately much of the literature is conflicting. Sexual function is a complex phenomenon that is under psychological, hormonal, and neurovascular control. Cholocolate is often considered one of the foods with a great impact on mood and there are studies showing potential impact on overall human health. Chocolates contain active substances such as methylxanthines, caffeine and even anandamide which may mimic the psychoactive effect of plant-derived cannabinoid drugs. A recent study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine by Dr. Andrea Salonia ofMilanexamined the effect of chocolate in 163 women. What the medical team found was that women who reported eating more than one chocolate portion daily actually have higher sexual function scores for both sexual desire and overall sexual function. But they also found that younger women in the study had higher sexual scores and a higher intake of chocolate. When the analysis was complete, it became apparent that it was not the chocolate that was responsible for the affect on the women’s sexuality so much as their age. The study showed that the younger women were more sexual and apparently also ate more chocolate.
But don’t be disheartened by the study and don’t stop showering your love with chocolates on special occasions or Valentines Day. Remember that the psychology of sexual desire makes up a huge percentage of how sexual a woman feels at any given moment. It is well known that you can improve your partner’s sexual desire by improving the intimacy of your relationship. Therefore, while eating chocolates may not chemically improve desire, it may be that the romantic notion of receiving chocolates from your love is the catalyst to make your girlfriend want to be more amorous with you.