Just in: A study claims that nuts improve sex life. The 14-week trial compared a group of men who added a daily dose of certain nuts to a Western style diet with an equivalent group of men who ate the same diet but without nuts. The investigators, who hail from research centers in Spain, believe that this is the first study to show that eating nuts can benefit sexual function. They report their findings in a paper that features in the journal Nutrients.
All this is great and it is definitely a wonderful PR success for the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council INC. While health claims are proven wrong many times, they work financially: Do you remember the claim that one glass of red wine would help prevent heart attacks? We felt so good drinking red wine. It proved totally wrong. It is the equivalent of claiming that driving SUVs would be good for the environment.
Forbes says: As with all research like this, it’s important to know where the funding is coming from. In this case, it’s an industry association called the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC) that represents 800 nut and dried fruit companies in more than 75 countries, according to its website.
Simply because an industry group funds a study doesn’t automatically invalidate the results (although the connection increases scrutiny), and as mentioned these results don’t support a strong conclusion that adding nuts to a typical diet will improve sexual function. Rather, the outcome looks more like a placebo effect – and yes that’s still an effect, but not one supported by tangible evidence.
In the case of nuts and sex it might be more complicated because nuts are definitely good for your health – some more, some less. Nuts are the perfect protein source for a vegan and vegetarian lifestyle. Nuts contain a lot of micronutrients that you would not find in other food. There is no question a healthy lifestyle will improve sex in every aspect. But do nuts specifically lead to a better sex life?
If future research suggests that this is only half or not true it might backfire. The nut industry would not be the first to suffer from health claims being contradicted:
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged POM Wonderful on Sept. 27, 2010 with deceptive advertising for claiming its pomegranate juice and POMx pills “prevent or treat heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction.” The FTC complaint asserts that POM misstated the results of the scientific studies it conducted. Here we go.
The editors of the CLIPPER magazine strongly believe in the benefits of nuts and dried fruit for your health. It is driving our passion. But we would encourage our readers to be careful about health claims that have not been confirmed by many sources over a longer period of time. The ‘boomerang’ effect might just be devastating than the benefits from the original claim.
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