Global Food Myths #15: Do oysters promote male potency?
LSG Group experts clarify food myths from around the world – Episode 15 is a Valentine’s Day special about oysters and their “side effects”.
The Venetian writer Giacomo Casanova – perhaps the most famous womanizer in history – is said to have enjoyed 50 oysters for breakfast every day. As the story goes, this was not due to his profound love for mollusks, but rather to prepare himself for his amorous adventures. Burkhard Weizsäcker, Senior Executive Chef at LSG Sky Chefs, explains whether oysters really are a natural aphrodisiac that promote male potency.
“There’s probably nothing to it,” says Weizsäcker. “The reason why oysters are said to be beneficial for male potency, however, is their extremely high zinc content.” Anyone who eats 75 g of the delicacy (which corresponds to consuming approximately 5 oysters) has already hit his daily requirement of 15 mg of zinc. For reference, per 100 g, an oyster contains about 22 mg of zinc, while other commonly praised foods such as wheat bran, providing 13.3 mg, and pumpkin seeds, providing 7 mg, clearly lag behind.
Zinc could indeed stimulate the production of sex hormones and increase testosterone levels, but only if there was a previous deficiency and the hormonal activity of the testicles had been reduced. This is typically not the case with men who consume a normal diet, and the consumption of oysters remains exclusively a culinary pleasure.