Is Chocolate Really and Aphrodisiac?


| 15 Comments

All these years I have been hearing that chocolate is an aphrodisiac and I am not exactly sure if that is true.  According to an article in the New York Times, many people think that chocolate is an aphrodisiac because of, "two chemicals it contains. One, tryptophan, is a building block of serotonin, a brain chemical involved in sexual arousal. The other, phenylethylamine, a stimulant related to amphetamine, is released in the brain when people fall in love." In reality, researchers do not think that the amounts of these chemicals that are found in chocolate are enough to completely influence someone's desires. 

         

chocolate-covered-strawberry_300.jpg

 This same article in the New York Times mentioned a study that was done on 163 women to see if chocolate made them more aroused.  This study was published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine and found that chocolate intake did not increase women's sexual desire.  How this study was done was that there were advertisements posted in a local market in northern Italy that asked for volunteers.  There were 163 women (an average of 35 years of age) who participated and they were separated into two groups.  One group was women who had responded to a questionnaire saying that they usually eat chocolate daily and the other group was the women who had reported that they did not eat chocolate on a daily basis.  After the women answered the questions and the researchers went over the data they concluded that there was, "No differences between the two groups were observed concerning sexual arousal and satisfaction, sexual distress and depression. Our data also confirm that aging has a high statistically significant impact on women's sexual function."

            After reading this study, I came to realize that this was a very observational study in which there was room for some error.  First, only women were tested and no men were, so if this study were too conclude that chocolate did increase arousal, it would have to specifically mention that it increased arousal in women.  Also, some of the women could have over estimated or underestimated their sexual habits or chocolate intake.  But based on this observational study, it seems like the researcher's conclusion was a false negative but I cannot really tell because they went into it very open minded and just wanted to see if there was a correlation between chocolate consumption and sexual arousal. Perhaps people feel that chocolate increases arousal because it is associated with the idea of love.  However, there is still much research to be done to actually discover if chocolate does significantly increase sexual arousal.  Do you guys think chocolate really causes people to feel in love? Tell me what you think! 


my photo in this post was taken from this site

15 Comments

I love chocolate, so of course while scanning the class blog I had to stop and read yours! However I was unsure as to what "aphrodisiac" meant and wished you defined it, because it is a term that not many are familiar with. Also, next time, when quoting sources make sure to give the actual author credit rather than just the website. Just a few suggestions! Besides that, I found your article very interesting and LOVED how you took a critical approach to the experiment. Declaring the study as a "false negative" really showed that you went in depth with your research and helped me (along with other readers) understand Andrew's lesson on experimental results. I don't think chocolate has any correlation to sexual arousal but I do think it is SEEN as an object of romance. With how our media always advertises chocolate and portrays it, it is impossible not tho view it in some degree of romance.

It's somewhat disturbing how often I eat chocolate, so your blog post definitely caught my eye! I had heard a while ago that chocolate was an aphrodisiac as well, but for me it quickly became one of those things that I just never really questioned. Your analysis of this experiment was great and raised a lot of good points! I think a big part of chocolate being an aphrodisiac is psychological - we think it is, so we find ourselves associating it in that way. According to this article: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/biology/b103/f02/web2/mdoughty.html , "the mind is the most potent aphrodisiac there is," so maybe chocolate is a euphemism, not an aphrodisiac!

I know that the picture of the chocolate covered strawberry made me fall in love!

Here are the two websites that I found my information from. There's a lot more information on this topic on the sites too if anyone wanted to read into it more, thanks! :)

www.cnn.com/HEALTH/indepth.food/sweets/chocolate.cravings/

thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/17/who-consumes-the-most-chocolate/

I know that the picture of the chocolate covered strawberry made me fall in love!

Here are the two websites that I found my information from. There's a lot more information on this topic on the sites too if anyone wanted to read into it more, thanks! :)

www.cnn.com/HEALTH/indepth.food/sweets/chocolate.cravings/

thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/17/who-consumes-the-most-chocolate/

I'm not really sure why my comment isn't showing my whole entry, I'm sorry guys! Maybe I typed too much for one comment? But I have a whole paragraph in the middle of all that.

I know that the picture of the chocolate covered strawberry made me fall in love! Haha. But on a more serious note, I do believe that chocolate arouses almost everyone, it's delicious, how can it not?! Also, chocolate is associated with fun, love and entertainment. Think about it, chocolate is a part of almost every holiday such as: Halloween, Easter, Valentine's Day, and even Christmas. Americans love chocolate. According to CNN, chocolate is a $83 billion a year business, so it obviously makes us feel-good! CNN also stated that in the United States alone, more than 58 million pounds of chocolate candy are sold during Valentine's week. And in the first article I posted down below, researchers say they are sure that eating chocolate releases a chemical in our brains called "serotonin", which causes us to feel relaxed. Chocolate is one of the top go-to gifts for a reason, because it tastes good and it makes us feel good. Now, I'm going to try and find any chocolate I can get my hands on because all of this chocolate talk has got me craving it!

Here are the two websites that I found my information from. There's a lot more information on this topic on the sites too if anyone wanted to read into it more, thanks! :)

www.cnn.com/HEALTH/indepth.food/sweets/chocolate.cravings/

thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/17/who-consumes-the-most-chocolate/

-Sorry again, it was because I had a symbol after my first sentence.

There have always been reasons why chocolate has had its erotic appeal, from its romantic essence to the way it is highly sexualized in advertising. According to Women's Health (link: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/sex-and-relationships/chocolate-for-better-sex), the study contradicts the one you proposed. The article, regardless of how accurate the science of it is, claims "Female participants who consumed at least one cube of chocolate a day experienced more active libidos and better overall sexual function than those who didn't indulge." Perhaps it may be the age old correlation between romance and chocolate that acts as a mental effect to make us feel this way. It is hard to tell whether a piece of candy can make humans feel excited, but maybe it's just the appetite that we crave versus the things it may lead to.

I love chocolate, but I don't eat it on a daily basis. In the beginning, I didn't know what the word "aphrodisiac", so giving a brief definition would have helped out. I don't think a lot of people are familiar with this word. I agree on the study having errors because they should have tested men also, Another thing, since it was a survey, the women were less likely to be honest and give honest answers, so that is another flaw. I don't think chocolate makes you sexually aroused, I believe it is the thought behind chocolate. We look at chocolate as this romantic factor and it is our own idea about chocolate that turns a person on. However, here is an article about chocolate mentioning the molecule phenylethylamin, that is in chocolate, has something to do with being sexually aroused. http://news.softpedia.com/news/Why-Chocolate-Changes-Sexuality-Health-and-Mood-47486.shtml

I love chocolate, but I don't eat it on a daily basis. In the beginning, I didn't know what the word "aphrodisiac", so giving a brief definition would have helped out. I don't think a lot of people are familiar with this word. I agree on the study having errors because they should have tested men also, Another thing, since it was a survey, the women were less likely to be honest and give honest answers, so that is another flaw. I don't think chocolate makes you sexually aroused, I believe it is the thought behind chocolate. We look at chocolate as this romantic factor and it is our own idea about chocolate that turns a person on. However, here is an article about chocolate mentioning the molecule phenylethylamin, that is in chocolate, has something to do with being sexually aroused. http://news.softpedia.com/news/Why-Chocolate-Changes-Sexuality-Health-and-Mood-47486.shtml

I love chocolate, but I don't eat it on a daily basis. In the beginning, I didn't know what the word "aphrodisiac", so giving a brief definition would have helped out. I don't think a lot of people are familiar with this word. I agree on the study having errors because they should have tested men also, Another thing, since it was a survey, the women were less likely to be honest and give honest answers, so that is another flaw. I don't think chocolate makes you sexually aroused, I believe it is the thought behind chocolate. We look at chocolate as this romantic factor and it is our own idea about chocolate that turns a person on. However, here is an article about chocolate mentioning the molecule phenylethylamin, that is in chocolate, has something to do with being sexually aroused: http://news.softpedia.com/news/Why-Chocolate-Changes-Sexuality-Health-and-Mood-47486.shtml

For me chocolate just makes me happy. I literally could eat it daily, and some weeks, I do. I've actually never heard of it being an aphrodisiac, but I can see how the connotation with happiness and sexual arousal can be construed.

As for the study, there are obviously holes. The biggest one being, as you mentioned, the sexual bias. If it's going to be a fair analysis of chocolate being an aphrodisiac on both sexes, the study should include men. Also, for it to be a truly credible study, it should be double blind. Maybe a way that this could be done is through finding the active ingredient suspected to cause sexual arousal and finding a substitute and imitating the chocolate. Researchers then would administer the real and fake chocolate to participants and analyze their reactions.

This is probably not possible (being as I know very little about the chemical makeup of chocolate), but if it were, it'd be a cool way to prove or disprove this hypothesis!

For me chocolate just makes me happy. I literally could eat it daily, and some weeks, I do. I've actually never heard of it being an aphrodisiac, but I can see how the connotation with happiness and sexual arousal can be construed.

As for the study, there are obviously holes. The biggest one being, as you mentioned, the sexual bias. If it's going to be a fair analysis of chocolate being an aphrodisiac on both sexes, the study should include men. Also, for it to be a truly credible study, it should be double blind. Maybe a way that this could be done is through finding the active ingredient suspected to cause sexual arousal and finding a substitute and imitating the chocolate. Researchers then would administer the real and fake chocolate to participants and analyze their reactions.

This is probably not possible (being as I know very little about the chemical makeup of chocolate), but if it were, it'd be a cool way to prove or disprove this hypothesis!

For me chocolate just makes me happy. I literally could eat it daily, and some weeks, I do. I've actually never heard of it being an aphrodisiac, but I can see how the connotation with happiness and sexual arousal can be construed.

As for the study, there are obviously holes. The biggest one being, as you mentioned, the sexual bias. If it's going to be a fair analysis of chocolate being an aphrodisiac on both sexes, the study should include men. Also, for it to be a truly credible study, it should be double blind. Maybe a way that this could be done is through finding the active ingredient suspected to cause sexual arousal and finding a substitute and imitating the chocolate. Researchers then would administer the real and fake chocolate to participants and analyze their reactions.

This is probably not possible (being as I know very little about the chemical makeup of chocolate), but if it were, it'd be a cool way to prove or disprove this hypothesis!

For me chocolate just makes me happy. I literally could eat it daily, and some weeks, I do. I've actually never heard of it being an aphrodisiac, but I can see how the connotation with happiness and sexual arousal can be construed.

As for the study, there are obviously holes. The biggest one being, as you mentioned, the sexual bias. If it's going to be a fair analysis of chocolate being an aphrodisiac on both sexes, the study should include men. Also, for it to be a truly credible study, it should be double blind. Maybe a way that this could be done is through finding the active ingredient suspected to cause sexual arousal and finding a substitute and imitating the chocolate. Researchers then would administer the real and fake chocolate to participants and analyze their reactions.

This is probably not possible (being as I know very little about the chemical makeup of chocolate), but if it were, it'd be a cool way to prove or disprove this hypothesis!

For me chocolate just makes me happy. I literally could eat it daily, and some weeks, I do. I've actually never heard of it being an aphrodisiac, but I can see how the connotation with happiness and sexual arousal can be construed.

As for the study, there are obviously holes. The biggest one being, as you mentioned, the sexual bias. If it's going to be a fair analysis of chocolate being an aphrodisiac on both sexes, the study should include men. Also, for it to be a truly credible study, it should be double blind. Maybe a way that this could be done is through finding the active ingredient suspected to cause sexual arousal and finding a substitute and imitating the chocolate. Researchers then would administer the real and fake chocolate to participants and analyze their reactions.

This is probably not possible (being as I know very little about the chemical makeup of chocolate), but if it were, it'd be a cool way to prove or disprove this hypothesis!

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