- By Laurel J. Kelly
Consumer Health: Is chocolate a natural aphrodisiac?
Do natural aphrodisiacs work?
Many people would say chocolate is delicious and satisfying. But its power as a natural aphrodisiac is less clear. Certain foods and supplements, such as chocolate, spicy food and saw palmetto, sometimes are claimed to affect libido. Research, though, has shown them to be largely ineffective at producing a sexual response in either men or women. Some preliminary evidence is slightly more encouraging for a few natural supplements, such as ginkgo, ginseng and maca, but more research is needed. And other products marketed as natural aphrodisiacs have been found to contain prescription drug ingredients that aren't disclosed on the label and can be dangerous. Learn more from Dr. Brent Bauer, director of Mayo Clinic's Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program.
Also in today's tips ...
Weight loss: 6 strategies for success
Hundreds of fad diets, weight-loss programs and outright scams promise quick and easy weight loss. However, the foundation of successful weight loss remains a healthy, calorie-controlled diet combined with increased physical activity. For successful, long-term weight loss, you must permanently change your lifestyle and health habits. Here are six simple strategies for weight-loss success.
High-fructose corn syrup and health concerns
High-fructose corn syrup is a common sweetener in sodas and fruit-flavored drinks. As use of high-fructose corn syrup has increased, so have levels of obesity and related health problems. While it's chemically similar to table sugar, there is controversy about whether the body handles high-fructose corn syrup differently than table sugar. Learn more from Katherine Zeratsky, a Mayo Clinic registered dietitian nutritionist.
Bone health: Tips to keep your bones healthy
Bones play many roles in the body — providing structure, protecting organs, anchoring muscles and storing calcium. While it's important to build strong, healthy bones during childhood and adolescence, you can take steps during adulthood to protect bone health, too. Understand how diet, physical activity and other lifestyle factors can affect your bone mass.
Weight training: Free weights versus machine weights
Both free weights and machine weights can help you increase your strength. Other types of resistance, such as using resistance bands or body weight, also can help increase your strength. When considering which resistance option to choose, base your choice on your personal preference, physical fitness level, fitness goals and access to equipment. And whatever type of resistance you choose, remember that proper form and technique is more important than the type of equipment. Learn more from Dr. Edward Laskowski, a Mayo Clinic physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist and co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center.