A new clinical trial has revealed that high-dose vitamin C (ascorbic acid) supplementation increases the frequency of sex.
Dr Stuart Brody, of the University of Trier in Germany, conducted a two-week trial on the effect that high dose (3g/daily) vitamin C supplementation has on sex.
Healthy men and women with a current sexual partner (52 females and 29 males, with an average age of 24 years) received either a vitamin C supplement or a placebo daily, for 14 days.
Subjects had their plasma vitamin C levels determined and then completed the Beck Depression Inventory (a self reporting depression rating scale), at the beginning and end of the trial.
At the beginning of the trial, the men and women also completed a measure of social desirability response bias and provided a partnership satisfaction rating.
During the trial , they completed a daily diary recording of sexual intercourse and other types of sexual activity.
The diary revealed:
Sexual intercourse days were significantly greater in the vitamin C group.
Vitamin C supplementation specifically impacted sexual intercourse and not other types of sexual activity.
Women were most responsive to vitamin C supplementation.
Subjects who were not living with their sexual partner had a greater frequency of sexual intercourse.
Duration of cohabitation was inversely related to frequency of sexual intercourse.
Another benefit of vitamin C supplementation was found from the Beck Depression Inventory scales. Decreases in depression scores were found in the vitamin C group, but not the placebo group.
It is thought that a mild antidepressant effect of vitamin C might benefit a broader range of subjects than just those with a readiness to take action to improve their sexual intercourse frequency.
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Brody, S. High-dose ascorbic acid increases intercourse frequency and improves mood: a randomised controlled clinical trial. Biol Psychiatry. 2001;52:371-4
Note: This trial used a sustained release vitamin C supplement. High doses of vitamin C may increase oestrogen levels in oral contraceptive and hormone replacement therapy. Withdrawal of high-dose vitamin C use should be gradual to avoid sudden oestrogen decrease.