What do the OOMPH girls have that you haven’t got? Nothing, maybe. A glint in the eye, buoyant health, energy, sound nervous and glandular system—these are a few of the ingredients of oomph or romance quotient or sex appeal or whatever you want to call the indefinable qualities of fitness, and they are much the same for men and women.
Certain it is that there are no specific foods that act as love philters. You can’t expect a couple of dozen oysters or five or six eggs to make you combustible and come hither-able. But just as certainly you cannot achieve these romantic desiderata on an inadequate diet.
Scientists generally accept reproductive efficiency as a supreme health index in experimental animals. Dietary deficiencies which exhibit no other signs may result in diminished fertility.
A high plane of nutrition, therefore, is generally acknowledged to be a prerequisite to glamor.
This does not mean that you should overeat to become a heart-breaker. Quite the contrary: obesity reduces sex interest and interferes with reproduction, to such extent that overweight, sterile women who suffer disturbances of ovulation sometimes achieve pregnancy when weight is reduced.
On the other hand, the mild starvation which girls sometimes undergo to achieve exaggeratedly trim figures often lowers their interest in and capacity for romance.
It is the kinds of food you eat that affect your glamor quotient, as well as the calories you consume. The latter should be sufficient to maintainideal weight.
There is no evidence to link carbohydrates with fertility. Fat-free diets, at least in rats, destroy the mating impulse; if the animals do mate the males cannot become fathers. Practically speaking, however, no human diets are fat-free.
That leaves vitamins and minerals and proteins. Let’s see how the scientists assay these for romance value.
A group of young men with normally roving eyes were placed on a protein-restricted diet. With one exception, there were no observable effects. They went about their business as usual.
They succumbed to no deficiency disease. Their health appeared unchanged. But they lost interest in windy corners, cabaret shows, beaches and beauties. Their sex instinct was notably depressed.
Evidence that proteins are essential for energizing the body to the high metabolic output necessary for normal functioning of sex is reasonably conclusive. Certain of the amino acids supplied by proteins are necessary to the manufacture of secretions by the sex-linked thyroid and adrenal glands.
This may explain part of the glamor value of proteins, or they may help to put a glint in the eye by stimulating high energy output.
The fact remains that young mice brought up on diets deficient in protein show diminished fertility, arrive at the change of life abnormally early, and become aged and decrepit long before they should.
But when they are fed liberal animal protein, the period of vigorous reproductive activity is noticeably extended. The same is true of rats whose reproductive abilities leap upward like the business graph of a defense industry when their rations of fresh meat are increased three to four times.
During the World War, the populations of the Central Powers were so severely restricted in protein foods that they developed edema (retention of water in the tissues) —although undernourished, they appeared overweight from waterlogged tissues.
Significantly, the birth rate was severely reduced. When protein foodsbecame available, not only did their figures slim down but in due time there was a significant jump in the birth rate!
A colony of rats at Yale University achieved scientific fame for populative potency on diets that contained about twice the amount of protein ordinarily considered sufficient.
Not any old proteins will do the trick. Animals whose only proteins came from wheat failed in reproductive ability. Adding a single amino acid, lysine (found in protein foods), brought them back to par and restored normal interest in the opposite sex.
Adding a single amino acid, lysine (found in protein foods), brought them back to par and restored normal interest in the opposite sex. Experiments with individual amino acids have been so limited, for reasons already explained, that it has been by no means proved which particular ones, if any, are indispensable to sexual activity.
But the value of animal proteins in supplying all the amino acids, known and unknown, has been abundantly demonstrated.