As Valentine’s Day approaches, men across the world are plotting how to make
the women in their lives happy enough to drop their skirts and pantyhose. C’mon
men, we women know what those roses and chocolates are really for. This year, consider adding durian. According to researchers in India, durian might just be the spice that makes for a romantically successful evening. Throw aside those flowers and soothing music tracks. The urban legend is real: durian is an aphrodisiac.
The research took place in India, which is apparently suffering from an infertility epidemic. According to the
All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) the sperm count of a
normal Indian adult male has plummeted from an estimated 60 million squirmers
per ml three decades ago to only 20 million, probably due to the scary
sounding “xenobiotics emanating from chemical industries.”
Although some people (like me) might argue that a decrease in India’s reproduction rate might actually be beneficial to the overcrowded country and the already overpopulated world, it’s devastating to all those couples trying and failing to start a family. In southern India, those who have heard about durian’s naughty reputation are paying out big bucks for an exotically smelly homeopathic remedy.
|It keeps going and going and going…|
Most countries in Southeast Asia have raunchy folktales
concerning the King of Fruit, which is called the King, and not the Queen, for a reason. While sampling durian in Sri Lanka, my husband
Rob was several times dragged away from me by a winking older man to be
educated about the birds and the bees of durian. One man claimed that a concoction of durian seeds would keep his little man at the ready for more than 2 hours.
no one except those desperate Indians ever thought to do the research on whether or not durian
really makes anything go up, blood pressure or otherwise.
The emasculating situation of India’s men may be what inspired the researchers to look into durian’s aphrodisiacal properties,
and in particular its effect on sperm. Durian may not be able to help Indian men fit into internationally sized condoms (or sadly, durian condoms), but the study showed a positive outlook for men suffering from swimmers retarded by those scary xenobiotics.
The study looked at the effect on copulation of durian fed to male Swiss mice
over a two week period. Just how they observed this effect is awkward, and
includes this wonderfully giggle-licious photograph.
dimmed lighting. On the
first, seventh and 14th day of the study, scientists observed the
copulating couple for an hour and recorded the number of times the male mounted
and how long it took him to get up the courage to go for it, which they term “mounting
latency.” I know a far few number of human males suffering from a similar “latency.”
They found that the group fed the highest concentration of durian extract
were both faster to make a move and more prolific. By the end of the two weeks,
the male was climbing aboard five minutes before his nervous, non-durian fed
periods. That’s one horny mouse!
The researchers also recorded sperm count and sperm mobility, meaning how
energetically the little mice swimmers flailed under the microscope. They found that the mice fed the highest concentration of durian had both higher concentrations and activity level.
A follow-up study attempted to isolate the compound causing all the mice machismo. The researchers compared plain old durian extract to the effect of the compound 3-β-hydroxy-21-Normethyl-19-vinylidenylursane. It’s unclear how they chose to study that particular compound out of durian’s 60-some-odd active compounds. It’s also unclear what exactly 3-β-hydroxy-21-Normethyl-19-vinylidenylursane is but the conclusion is that the compound is not what gives durian it’s magical masculating powers.
Links to both studies: