Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) Affects Sexual Activity

In a double-blind placebo controlled study subjects were given high doses of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and found that it lowered rates of depression and anxiety, increased sexual intercourse rates. The study suggests that this is because Vitamin C modulates catacholaminergic activity.

 BACKGROUND: Ascorbic acid (AA) modulates catecholaminergic activity, decreases stress reactivity, approach anxiety and prolactin release, improves vascular function, and increases oxytocin release. These processes are relevant to sexual behavior and mood. METHODS: In this randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled 14 day trial of sustained-release AA (42 healthy young adults; 3000 mg/day Cetebe) and placebo (39 healthy young adults), subjects with partners recorded penile-vaginal intercourse (FSI), noncoital partner sex, and masturbation in daily diaries, and also completed the Beck Depression Inventory before and after the trial. RESULTS: The AA group reported greater FSI (but, as hypothesized, not other sexual behavior) frequency, an effect most prominent in subjects not cohabiting with their sexual partner, and in women. The AA but not placebo group also experienced a decrease in Beck Depression scores. CONCLUSIONS: AA appears to increase FSI, and the differential benefit to noncohabitants suggests that a central activation or disinhibition, rather than peripheral mechanism may be responsible. (Source: Pubmed)

Overcome Feelings of Helplessness On Your Own

New research at the University of Haifa found that laboratory rats that were on their own when exposed to uncontrollable conditions, which create a feeling of helplessness, learned to avoid situations which create such feelings better than rats that were exposed to uncontrollable conditions in pairs.The way laboratory rats react to uncontrollable situations in which their behaviors have no influence on subsequent events has been researched in the past. Results show that rats that are exposed to a situation in which they are powerless, for example, electric shocks that they can’t possibly avoid, have a more difficult time learning how to avoid them in the future than rats that were never exposed to situations of helplessness – a phenomenon known as “learned helplessness”. Researchers choose to experiment with rats because they are know as social animals and their brains work much the same way as human brains. However, most of the research done until now was done on rats exposed to uncontrollable conditions when they are alone.

In his doctoral dissertation, Dr. Qutaiba Agbaria, under the supervision of Dr. Richard Shuster, examined the differences in learned helplessness among rats that were exposed to uncontrollable conditions alone and in pairs. The researcher began with the hypothesis that rats would learn to be more adaptable in social situations, or in pairs, however, the research results revealed a very different picture. Rats that were exposed to uncontrollable conditions in pairs coped less well when they were no longer in uncontrollable situations than rats that were exposed to these situations alone.

The next phase of the research examined the influence of a rat that had never been exposed to an uncontrollable situation on a rat that had. These pairs of rats showed greater adaptability than pairs that had been exposed to helplessness as individuals or in pairs. In addition, the researchers did not find outstanding differences between the learning ability of these pairs of rats – where one had been exposed to uncontrollable conditions and the other hadn’t – and pairs that were never exposed to uncontrollable conditions, which means that the effect of “learned helplessness” is effectively erased. “Now that we have see that “learned helplessness” can be “unlearned”, we should continue to examine whether this change is a result of exposure to a rat that was not exposed to helplessness or rather that the social behavior between the two animals has another meaning,” said Dr. Agbaria. (Source: Eurekalert)

This whole experiment struck me as absolutely fascinating. For me, if I were to apply this to a human scenario (which may or may not reflect this in reality)… it basically says that if you’re trying to learn a new intimidating skill then it’s best to go at it alone, unless the person coming with you is already a veteran. In other words, learning something new and intimidating is never benefited by having an extra person that is intimidated by the same thing.