March 26, 2000 10:30am
Licorice: The Anti-Viagra? Study Finds Candy Decreases Men's Libido
Source: News Wire
(BOSTON, MA) -- Men attempting to sweet talk their partners might want to abstain from other sweet sensations - namely licorice, doctors warn.
In a letter published by the New England Journal of Medicine, three Italian doctors said their research found glycyrrhizic acid, the active ingredient in licorice, suppressed sex hormone levels in men in their early 20s by as much as 44 percent.
Just 5 grams of licorice a day over four days was enough to reduce the amount of testosterone significantly in seven men, ages 22 to 24. Four days away from the found glycyrrhizic acid, and the hormone levels went back to normal, team leader Dr. Decio Armanini of the University of Padua told reporters.
"The amounts of licorice given to these men are eaten by many people," said the doctors in the letter.
Licorice flavoring, and the acid, are commonly used in breath fresheners and candies.
"Thus, men with decreased libido or other sexual dysfunction, as well as those with hypertension, should be questioned about licorice ingestion."