'Viagra effect' from pomegranate juice

If music be the food of love, then pomegranates would appear to run a very close second.

Men and women who drank a daily glass of the fruit's juice for a fortnight experienced a surge in the hormone testosterone, which increases sexual desire in both genders.

The latest achievement claimed for pomegranates, which are already acclaimed as a superfood, will be welcome among those who would prefer a natural aphrodisiac.

The study, by researchers from Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, involved 58 volunteers aged between 21 and 64. By the end of the fortnight both sexes had seen 'significantly increased' testosterone levels.

For men this affects traits such as facial hair, a deep voice and greater sexual urges. It is also produced in female adrenal glands and ovaries, raising a woman's sex drive and strengthening bones and muscles.

As a side effect, increased testosterone can help raise mood and memory and even relieve stress such as 'pre-match nerves' or stage fright, said the study.

Previous research on pomegranate juice has found it full of antioxidants which can help ward off heart diseases and help blood circulation.

The superfood's ingredients also help fight various forms of cancer, alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis and cure stomach upsets and even conjunctivitis. The Edinburgh research measured testosterone levels, blood pressure and, using a scientific scale, levels of 11 emotions including fear, sadness, guilt, shyness and self-assurance.

Testosterone levels increased between 16 per cent and 30 per cent among the subjects, while blood pressure plummeted.

Positive emotions rose and negative feelings fell.

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