Are Apples the Best Food for a Better Sex Life in Women?

Are Apples the Best Food for a Better Sex Life in Women?
4.73 (94.68%) 79 votes

Addyi (flibanserin), the drug marketed for “hypoactive sexual desire disorder,” is ineffective and unsafe. What about dietary approaches for female sexual dysfunction?

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“The creation and promotion of ‘female sexual dysfunction'” as a mental disorder seems like “a textbook case of disease mongering by the pharmaceutical industry” harkening back to the first DSM, psychiatry’s diagnosis manual, which listed “frigidity” as a mental disorder, along, of course, with homosexuality. The latest manifestation is “hypoactive sexual desire disorder,” a disease invented by drug companies. It’s like when Prozac was about to go off patent, “the company sponsored the creation of” a new mental illness to market a drug called Sarafem, which was simply Prozac repacked into a pink capsule. “The condition previously known as shyness was…branded as ‘social anxiety disorder'” so they could get kids on Paxil.

“There are certainly women who are troubled by low libido, but there is no reliable scientific evidence that hypoactive sexual desire disorder is a real medical condition.” And, women can get diagnosed with it even with a normal libido. “A woman highly interested in sex, just not [for whatever reason] with her current partner, can still qualify for [the] diagnosis”—and the drug. Even a woman who is perfectly satisfied with her sex life “may still qualify if her partner [isn’t].”

Our story begins in 2009, when a drug company tried to get “a failed antidepressant” called flibanserin approved “to treat hypoactive sexual desire disorder.” Only problem? It didn’t work. It was resubmitted again after more study, and was still rejected, as was the appeal. But, in 2015, the FDA approved the drug. “What changed? Nothing about [its] efficacy.” It didn’t work any better. What changed is that the drug company that bought it “helped launch an [astroturf fake grassroots] advocacy group, “Even the Score,” which lobbied for approval under a feminist rubric.

“Men have their drugs.” Why don’t women get any sex drugs, which was exposed as kind of a bitter irony. But hey, “within 48 hours of FDA approval, [the drug] was sold for [a cool] billion in cash. Very satisfying for the drug company, “but what about the women who take” the drug (sold now as Addyi)? Not much. The drug just doesn’t work as advertised.

Yes, it may stimulate monkeys to groom each other more. But, when researchers dug up the unpublished data about the drug, any clinical benefit was found to be “marginal,” and the drug was found to have significant adverse side effects. “Besides being ineffective…, [it can be] dangerous.” “[C]ombining [it] with alcohol can cause dangerous hypotension and [fainting]—problems so serious that the FDA put a black box warning, its most serious safety alert, on the label [that, of course, no one reads].” “Even without alcohol, [it] can cause severe drops in blood pressure levels and [cause] sudden prolonged unconsciousness. Now, serious side effects “might be acceptable in [some kind of] cancer [wonder] drug or something, but “are entirely unacceptable in a drug given to healthy women for an invented condition.”

Are there any safe and natural solutions? Well, there’s lots of studies on diet and men’s sexual health, but what about women’s? I’ve previously explored the evidence about women with high cholesterol levels reporting diminished sexual function across a number of dimensions. This could explain why a more plant-based diet, rich in a variety of whole plant foods, “might be effective in ameliorating sexual function [issues] in women,” as it is in men. More whole grains, beans, vegetables, and fruit, and less meat, dairy, and sugar “associated with a reduced risk of [erectile dysfunction],” because the anatomy and physiology of sexual responses are actually quite similar between the two. You can measure clitoral engorgement with fancy MRI techniques within minutes of exposure to an erotic video.

And, we now know lubrication is all about blood flow, too. “Within the sexually-aroused vagina,” it’s the hydrostatic pressure from all the additional pelvic blood flow that forces fluid “to leak [out] onto the surface…as the vaginal lubrication.”

So, how can we improve blood flow? Well, the flavonoid phytonutrients in cocoa can help open up arteries, increasing pulse wave amplitude from this at baseline to this, after drinking cocoa for four days, peaking at about 90 minutes after consumption.

So, can that Valentine’s Day chocolate make a difference? Women who eat chocolate do tend to have higher female sexual function index scores, but the effect disappeared once age was taken into account. So: “Despite all the potential biological mechanisms supporting a role for chocolate as an aphrodisiac food,” the study failed to show a benefit. One would assume that chocolate could improve blood flow, but remember that was with cocoa powder. Maybe the fat and sugar in chocolate is counteracting the benefits. What are some whole-food sources of flavonoids? Well, onions have a lot. Indeed, “fresh onion juice enhanced copulatory behavior…in…rats,” but for those of us less interested in increasing “the percentage of ejaculating rats,” and looking for something other than onion juice for our hot date, how about that apple?

But, “there [wasn’t] a study addressing the potential correlation between daily apple consumption and women’s sexual function”… until, now. The title kind of gives it away, but women were split into regular daily apple consumers versus those consuming less than an apple a day, and the hundreds of apple eaters in the study scored “significantly higher” on the female sexual function index.

Now, note they only included women eating unpeeled apples, because the phytonutrients are concentrated in the peel. So, we don’t know if there’s a link with peeled apples. And, this was just an observational study, so “further studies will be necessary to clarify…the relationship between apple intake
 and female sexuality.” “However, the present data can allow the development of future research for identifying new compounds and food supplements to use in female sexuality recovery.” Uh, or, you can just try eating an apple.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Nietjuh via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“The creation and promotion of ‘female sexual dysfunction'” as a mental disorder seems like “a textbook case of disease mongering by the pharmaceutical industry” harkening back to the first DSM, psychiatry’s diagnosis manual, which listed “frigidity” as a mental disorder, along, of course, with homosexuality. The latest manifestation is “hypoactive sexual desire disorder,” a disease invented by drug companies. It’s like when Prozac was about to go off patent, “the company sponsored the creation of” a new mental illness to market a drug called Sarafem, which was simply Prozac repacked into a pink capsule. “The condition previously known as shyness was…branded as ‘social anxiety disorder'” so they could get kids on Paxil.

“There are certainly women who are troubled by low libido, but there is no reliable scientific evidence that hypoactive sexual desire disorder is a real medical condition.” And, women can get diagnosed with it even with a normal libido. “A woman highly interested in sex, just not [for whatever reason] with her current partner, can still qualify for [the] diagnosis”—and the drug. Even a woman who is perfectly satisfied with her sex life “may still qualify if her partner [isn’t].”

Our story begins in 2009, when a drug company tried to get “a failed antidepressant” called flibanserin approved “to treat hypoactive sexual desire disorder.” Only problem? It didn’t work. It was resubmitted again after more study, and was still rejected, as was the appeal. But, in 2015, the FDA approved the drug. “What changed? Nothing about [its] efficacy.” It didn’t work any better. What changed is that the drug company that bought it “helped launch an [astroturf fake grassroots] advocacy group, “Even the Score,” which lobbied for approval under a feminist rubric.

“Men have their drugs.” Why don’t women get any sex drugs, which was exposed as kind of a bitter irony. But hey, “within 48 hours of FDA approval, [the drug] was sold for [a cool] billion in cash. Very satisfying for the drug company, “but what about the women who take” the drug (sold now as Addyi)? Not much. The drug just doesn’t work as advertised.

Yes, it may stimulate monkeys to groom each other more. But, when researchers dug up the unpublished data about the drug, any clinical benefit was found to be “marginal,” and the drug was found to have significant adverse side effects. “Besides being ineffective…, [it can be] dangerous.” “[C]ombining [it] with alcohol can cause dangerous hypotension and [fainting]—problems so serious that the FDA put a black box warning, its most serious safety alert, on the label [that, of course, no one reads].” “Even without alcohol, [it] can cause severe drops in blood pressure levels and [cause] sudden prolonged unconsciousness. Now, serious side effects “might be acceptable in [some kind of] cancer [wonder] drug or something, but “are entirely unacceptable in a drug given to healthy women for an invented condition.”

Are there any safe and natural solutions? Well, there’s lots of studies on diet and men’s sexual health, but what about women’s? I’ve previously explored the evidence about women with high cholesterol levels reporting diminished sexual function across a number of dimensions. This could explain why a more plant-based diet, rich in a variety of whole plant foods, “might be effective in ameliorating sexual function [issues] in women,” as it is in men. More whole grains, beans, vegetables, and fruit, and less meat, dairy, and sugar “associated with a reduced risk of [erectile dysfunction],” because the anatomy and physiology of sexual responses are actually quite similar between the two. You can measure clitoral engorgement with fancy MRI techniques within minutes of exposure to an erotic video.

And, we now know lubrication is all about blood flow, too. “Within the sexually-aroused vagina,” it’s the hydrostatic pressure from all the additional pelvic blood flow that forces fluid “to leak [out] onto the surface…as the vaginal lubrication.”

So, how can we improve blood flow? Well, the flavonoid phytonutrients in cocoa can help open up arteries, increasing pulse wave amplitude from this at baseline to this, after drinking cocoa for four days, peaking at about 90 minutes after consumption.

So, can that Valentine’s Day chocolate make a difference? Women who eat chocolate do tend to have higher female sexual function index scores, but the effect disappeared once age was taken into account. So: “Despite all the potential biological mechanisms supporting a role for chocolate as an aphrodisiac food,” the study failed to show a benefit. One would assume that chocolate could improve blood flow, but remember that was with cocoa powder. Maybe the fat and sugar in chocolate is counteracting the benefits. What are some whole-food sources of flavonoids? Well, onions have a lot. Indeed, “fresh onion juice enhanced copulatory behavior…in…rats,” but for those of us less interested in increasing “the percentage of ejaculating rats,” and looking for something other than onion juice for our hot date, how about that apple?

But, “there [wasn’t] a study addressing the potential correlation between daily apple consumption and women’s sexual function”… until, now. The title kind of gives it away, but women were split into regular daily apple consumers versus those consuming less than an apple a day, and the hundreds of apple eaters in the study scored “significantly higher” on the female sexual function index.

Now, note they only included women eating unpeeled apples, because the phytonutrients are concentrated in the peel. So, we don’t know if there’s a link with peeled apples. And, this was just an observational study, so “further studies will be necessary to clarify…the relationship between apple intake
 and female sexuality.” “However, the present data can allow the development of future research for identifying new compounds and food supplements to use in female sexuality recovery.” Uh, or, you can just try eating an apple.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Nietjuh via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Doctor's Note

The psychiatry profession is infamous for colluding with drug companies to invent new mental disorders. I have some videos already scripted in the queue on “orthorexia.” Subscribe, if you haven’t already, to get notified so you don’t miss it.

If this video didn’t upset you enough about the stranglehold Big Pharma has on the mental health profession, take a gander at Do Antidepressant Drugs Really Work?

On a happier note, more on the benefits of apples:

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

44 responses to “Are Apples the Best Food for a Better Sex Life in Women?

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  1. Oh my. “clitoral engorgement” *fans herself*

    I already eat half an apple a day. Introduce me to a sexy young stud, and I’ll polish off the whole apple. And then I’ll get back to you.

    .

      1. Hmmm. You mean I should squeeze the bejeebers out of a raw onion I might happen to have on hand? Nah… no hunk of male flesh is worth all that.

        Have you ever seen the naked chest and arms of that show-off, Hench Herbivore? I like the guy, nevertheless. :-)

        I assume this study referred to unpeeled raw apples as opposed to lightly cooked? (Hey, I gotta get this right!)

  2. Pink Lady Apples for women and yellow fleshed watermelon, with four times as much citrulline for men. Then, lets introduce these crazy fruit eaters together on social media to discuss salad recipes…

  3. What a filthy, disgusting topic to present on this website!
    (No, I don’t mean the sexual stuff–I enjoyed that. A lot.)
    I’m talking about the wonder drug, flibanserin, and the amoral pharmaceutical industry practices
    as well as the FDA making the decision to approve a drug, based not on the science, but the politics.

    Has no one in Congress called for hearings on this?
    (I’d be absolutely shocked to find out that campaign donations might make that less likely)

    1. Step 1: Take a harmful chemical
      Step 2: Invent a health problem
      Step 3: Market the harmful chemical as a cure for that health problem.
      Step 4: Make millions
      Step 5: Purchase that yacht, mansion, sports car etc. that we’ve been wanting

      1. Step 6: Seduce young women
        Step 7: Show your arrogance ten thousand times too many and turn her off.
        Step 8: Listen as she starts making excuses to get out of love making.
        Step 9: Go back to Step 1 and start over. This time, make a more powerful drug. Get a bigger yacht. Find a younger woman.

        1. Wait, I think it could have been the wives and girlfriends of the drug manufacturers who might have invented the condition.

          Could it be that the sentence “Not now, I’ve got a headache” is how aspirin was invented?

          Perhaps for its blood flow increasing qualities?

          Laughing, Dr. G. it is about more than blood flow.

          Or aspirin would have been all women needed.

          It is more a men eat Mars bars, and women eat Snickers and at least one week per month men think women are nuts.

          I am suggesting the theory of “My husband acted like a big jerk all day, then, flirted with the waitress at dinner and threw his socks on the floor and changed the channel while I was in the middle of watching something and suddenly wants to be with me.” Where the blood boils up to the brain.

  4. The FDA seems to have a habit of hiring people to work for the FDA that previously worked for the very companies who were trying to get drugs approved. For over 30 years, Michael Taylor has been a part of the toxic revolving door between the public sector & the private sector. Starting 1976, Taylor became a staff attorney for the FDA, where he was executive assistant to the Commissioner. In 1981, he went into private practice at King & Spalding, a law firm representing chemical company Monsanto, where he established and led the firm’s “food and drug law” practice. A decade later, on July 17, 1991, Taylor left King & Spalding, returning to the FDA to fill the newly created post of Deputy Commissioner for Policy. He left his company job to become the very person who did the approval and oversaw the policy regarding Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rBST) which is injected into cows to increase milk production. Taylor asserted that milk from injected cows did not require any special labeling and wrote the paper suggesting that if companies have the audacity to label their products as not using rbGH, they should also include a disclaimer stating that, according to the FDA, there is no difference between milk from treated and untreated cows. THIS IS JUST ONE FDA EMPLOYEE, the stories go on and on.

    In the end the FDA has become little more than what the NRA is to guns, just out to promote the industry with little actual concern for the people.

    1. That’s right Julie, Jimbo, and Steve, the FDA isn’t concerned about consumers, only their partners in the pharmaceutical industry. Two biggies that are not going to change in the near future, leaving us to find our own cures. Thank you Dr. Greger for standing up for us.

  5. Laughing that the apple study was an observational study.

    Pondering what they were observing.

    Laughing also that the animal researchers observed animals grooming each other and immediately thought sex.

    Reminds me of the depressed mouse swimming to death.

    Pondering the logic and it seems to me that Chocolate still might be the more effective Valentine’s Day gift, for the men who are trying to figure it out.

    PEMF and Infrared and Cold Laser and all sorts of other things increase blood flow, but women are still more emotional and cerebral than men.

    Nothing shuts off blow flow faster than a woman’s heart and mind.

      1. LOL!

        Yes, that happens.

        My cell phone needs to be re-programmed by the person who designed Grammarly.

          1. I am sure he would be classy enough to call it fellatio, though.

            Just to lower the tone, I suppose that it would only qualify as a nutritional topic if people swallow?

              1. YR,

                You are so funny!

                Yes, TMJ and fellatio.

                You learn something new every day.

                Tom already brought up the positive health benefits for males in the acne video comments.

                I would imagine someone has done the effects on the gut microbiome angle by now.

                Whoever did the studies which were covered back with the thirty minute kissing blog.

                Not sure it would give the same results, but the fact that the bacteria gets passed even by people in the same house petting the dog, I suspect some types of contact would give stronger results.

                So, can I tell my friend who does FODMap you either need to do a fecal transplant or you could try fellatio and see what that gets you first.

                Or you can find someone and kiss them for a half hour.

                Not sure if that changes the mouth microbiome or the gut microbiome or both.

                1. YR,

                  There is a 99.999999999% chance that there are researchers whose observational studies has already examined the topic from every angle.

                  It is highly likely that they not only understand fellatio and the gut microbiome and the nutrition and calories and there will be some who have examined the health benefit to the males and females and someone already will know if sperm kills Cancer cells in a Petri dish and they will have already double checked for placebo effect by now.

  6. Traumatized that the Big Pharma would be involved in making up new mental illness diagnoses at all.

    I was already traumatized that psychiatry was making it up.

    I don’t remember the details, but, a few years ago there was a young person who was on psych meds, but, later, the parents took the child to a medical doctor and was given a different diagnosis, and the parents wanted to switch the child to the medical meds, but there was a court case and the psychiatric meds won.

    I found that interesting, because, I have been interacting with someone who has spent their lifetime on psych meds and they didn’t ever have anyone check for heavy metal poisoning or homocysteine or blood sugar issues or nutritional deficiencies or tumors / cysts, etc. They don’t look for a cause at all. They seriously just treat the symptoms and I don’t even understand that at all.

    I knew one young man who was in the psych system and he ended up having a brain tumor and dying and I know one woman who was about to be institutionalized for what turned out to be homocysteine and diabetes problems. And I have a friend whose son is schizophrenic, but he eats zero nutrition at all – just junk food and soda – no fruits or vegetables at all and he doesn’t take supplements and had been arrested for pot. I am devastated that they didn’t start with things like having his Magnesium levels checked and figure out if he had the type, which is caused by having a cat or by smoking pot, before putting him on meds for the rest of his life.

    I know that I would have been given a psych disorder if I went to a psychiatrist and it ended up being correcting my blood sugar, getting toxic mold out of the house I moved into, going organic, getting rid of things like my antiperspirants and aluminum pans and supplementing B12 and Omega 3 and Zinc and drinking silica water for 12 weeks, which took away my hallucinations.

    It just doesn’t even make sense to me that they would not do labs and brain scans and even check for things like toxic mold first.

    1. I have talked to more than one person whose children got so much worse on the meds, that they ended up going from kids who struggled emotionally with things like bullying or a break up and ended up getting institutionalized and later, they got off the meds and “got better” when there was enough time after the traumatic life event and off the med as if what they really needed might have been coping mechanisms and support.

      I wonder how many meds do that. With my relatives with dementia, the meds made them so much worse and for my uncle with pain, they put him on pills, which caused seizures and in both cases, the more the med symptoms occurred, their response was “up the dosage” and “take them off completely” ended up being the answer, which improved things by 10,000 times. That is what the mothers of the kids said later. They said that if they hadn’t taken the young adults off the meds, the young people might have been institutionalized for the rest of their lives. Traumatizing. Traumatizing. Traumatizing.

      I have also seen the same thing with ADHD – where kids who just hadn’t been parented at all, got to school and had never been told to “sit still” ended up on drugs very young and years later, getting off the drugs ended up working miraculously well, but the drugs stole the young people’s personality and passions and caused them to be passive for years, before they got old enough to get them off.

      1. And those thoughts bring to mind the true story of Sybil – the ridiculous story of abuse of power and authority.

          1. Nancy,

            Yes or “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”

            There are so many horrific stories in the mental health field.

            There is genuine mental illness, but I watched a TED Talk about nutrition helping people who were so far gone and about it being used in the case of people who were already locked up in an institution on meds who kept attempting suicide. The nutrition stopped them from attempting suicide. I wonder what might have happened if they did nutrition first and maybe fixed hormones and looked for brain damage….?

            1. My cousin is a psych nurse, and I have people I know who have been locked in institutions for decades, so I am not dissing the whole system. Just that they start with symptoms and go straight to diagnoses and meds.

              There are people who are unsafe to themselves or others and who need to be locked up.

  7. I can’t say about apples but I can attest to cocoa powder(the kind with zero sugar and zero saturated fat.) I am 67 and still goin. Sex life seems to be getting better and better since going plant based. Hooooray for cocoa powder!

  8. I don’t know if this is the right place to post this but I was wondering what food beverage or spice has the highest amount of antioxidants ounce for ounce in the world last I heard it was amla powder is that still the case and if it is is there a particular brand I should look for or are all amla powders out there the same

    1. Tyler,

      Tom is right that cloves are on that short list and you are right that Amla is on the short list, too.

      Look for GMP and lab tested. I bought the powder and was putting it into capsules for my dog, who doesn’t like the taste of Amla, but it is seriously messy filling capsules and I would fill them before work and would suddenly find Amla under every fingernail.

      I switched to Triphala, which is a mix of three fruits, with Amla being one, is one, but it has to be lab tested and GMP, because most of the on-line brands have lead in them. He emphasized on-line and my health food store sells it. Not sure health food stores do their homework and get the good stuff, but it means you can ask. They have tablets and I don’t know if tablets really have gotten better enough to know that they actually dissolve. They said that tablets are made differently nowadays so that they do dissolve, but I have seen old images of footage from a colonoscopy, where the whole pills were visible. There are also capsules, but again, GMP and lab tested.

      Dragon’s Blood was another, which was through the roof, but Dragon’s Blood might actually be so powerful that it might damage your DNA.

      If you look on Amazon, you will find out that people do take it and I found out that it is in the Yunnan Baiyao emergency red pill I have given to my dog a few times.

      Dr. Greger, who is the source of the information I have just shared, backed up to Amla as his recommendation, though Tom is right, he also recommends cloves.

      In truth, they are still testing foods, so “the highest” depends on which year you looked.

  9. Hi, Thank you for the website & all your work! My husband & I have been vegan for 21 years & would love to have a small, printed copy of your daily dozen, to hand out to people. I don’t see anything like that anywhere online, that I can print or order, am I missing it? I printed my own copy and it takes up about 1/2 of a page. So, I have 3 questions: 1-can I order paper copies of the daily dozen to hand out to people? 2-If the answer to #1 is no, then is it okay with you, Dr. Greger, if I print out copies myself & hand them out…maybe even type it up myself & print it smaller, I would include a link to your site (nutritionfacts.org)? 3-Can I print a copy of your daily dozen on a pamphlet that I create, again, I would include your site address with the daily dozen checklist? Thank you!

  10. What has always bothered me is that this “problem” of women’s “lack of desire” is a problem in the first place. It seems to me that this “problem” always seems to be measured against the sexual desire of the man involved i.e., he’s not getting enough and what can be done about that? Perhaps the real problem is that men are the actual problem due to their hypersexuality and they, perhaps, need something to slow them down. If 43% of women feel they have a problem of low libido, perhaps that is actually normal. Has anyone asked them – the women – if they are happy and content with their number of sexual encounters. Have they been asked if the problem is they feel guilt and shame for not performing to the standards of their man?
    If one looks at nature, one does not see animals – in general, now – fornicating twice a week (and how did that particular standard come about anyway????). Elephants go years before their next heat after having a child. I contend that human males have set up a false construct regarding how often one “should” be fornicating which is, ultimately, all about their desires. Not the woman’s.

    And women continue to buy into this false narrative.

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