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Men who indulge their sweet tooth by eating liquorice may later find themselves unable to indulge their sweetheart, researchers in Italy have found.

Decio Armanini of the University of Padua and his colleagues asked seven healthy young men to eat 7 grams of liquorice every day for a week. After only four days, the subjects' testosterone levels had dropped by an average of 44 per cent. Glycyrrhizic acid--a compound in liquorice root extract--inhibits an enzyme involved in the production of the hormone (The New England Journal of Medicine, vol 341, p 1158). The researchers suggest that doctors should consider liquorice as a potential culprit when treating men with sexual dysfunction.


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