An injection of a hormone in chocolate can stimulate men’s libido and improve their performance between sheets, according to a study.
Researchers discovered that the chemical excited men more when exposed to the scent of perfume or images of women’s faces.
The hormone kisspeptin – also called “Viagra of the Mind” – is a naturally occurring chemical that stimulates the release of other reproductive hormones.
It was named in recognition of his discovery at Pennsylvania State University, the city where Hershey’s chocolate kisses are made.
Researchers hope that a simple shot with kisspeptin could one day help the sexual boost performance of people with low libido.
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An injection of a hormone in chocolate can stimulate men’s libido and improve their performance between sheets, according to a study
“Psychosexual disorders have a major adverse effect on well-being and can be very painful, not only for those affected, but also for their partners,” said author and endocrinologist Alexander Comninos of Imperial College London.
“Despite the large number of people with these conditions, there are currently limited treatment options,” he added.
“Our study shows that kisspeptin can stimulate brain activity related to attraction, and intriguingly, this stimulating effect is even greater in men with a low sexual quality of life.”
A maximum of one in three men has sexual problems – such as little desire – that are more psychological than physical.
These can harm both relationships and fertility.
One of the most common problems is a loss of libido or sex drive, often related to personal problems, stress or fatigue.
Decreasing libido can also be a sign of an underlying medical problem, such as decreased hormone levels.
Despite how often there is little sex drive in the population, few treatments are available because not much is known about the underlying brain processes.
Kisspeptin was named in recognition of his discovery at Pennsylvania State University, the city where the American brand Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses is made
In their study, Dr. Comninos and colleagues gave magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scans to 33 heterosexual men between the ages of 18 and 34 while smoking a popular scent and viewing photos of women’s faces.
The scent – Chanel No. 5 – has previously been shown to be associated with sexual arousal.
The researchers wanted to see if kisspeptin can be used to stimulate areas of the brain that appeal to young healthy men with normal libido.
They found that when kisspeptin was given instead of a placebo, activity in the attraction paths of the participants’ brains was improved, both when smelling the perfume and when looking at the women’s faces.
They also discovered that – when looking at the faces – kisspeptin had a greater effect on attraction paths in men with a lower sexual quality of life.
The team now hopes to conduct the first clinical trials on patients who have a low libido.
They had previously shown that kisspeptin improves how the body handles sexual arousal. The latest results emphasize the effect on gray matter and attraction – a fundamental process that can lead to arousal and sexual activity.
“This builds on our earlier work that identified a role for kisspeptin in sexual arousal,” said Dr. Comninos.
“We have now discovered that kisspeptin can actually improve the processing of odors and facial features, which are often the first steps for sexual arousal.”
“We hope that our growing understanding of how kisspeptin stimulates parts of the brain that are involved in attraction and excitement can ultimately lead to new ways to treat affected people. However, we still have a long way to go. “
“Attractiveness is usually the first step to sexual arousal and it is encouraging to see that kisspeptin can also stimulate brain activity,” co-author and endocrinologist Waljit Dhillo added.
“This new finding helps us better understand the brain activity of people with psychosexual disorders that can lead to therapeutic goals.”
The team plans to conduct further studies to investigate this possibility – and note that the discovery may also lead to better treatments for stress and depression.
The full findings of the study were published in the journal JCI Insight.
WHAT IS IMPOTENCE?
Erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence, is when a man cannot get or maintain an erection.
It is more common among people over 40, but it affects men of all ages.
Failure to stay upright is usually due to fatigue, stress, anxiety or alcohol and is not a cause for concern.
However, it can be a sign of an underlying medical condition such as high blood pressure or cholesterol, side effects of medication or hormonal problems.
Lifestyle factors that can influence the condition are obesity, smoking, too much cycling, too much drinking and stress.
Source: NHS Choices