He is loved and detested in equal measure. But Marmite sales may be on a spurt after scientists discovered it could hold the secret to make more men last in the bedroom. New research suggests that a diet rich in daily vitamin B12 foods can combat premature ejaculation, a problem that affects one in four men in the UK. And Marmite is one of the richest sources of vitamin – along with meat, fish, eggs and fortified breakfast cereals.
Premature ejaculation can destroy sexual lives and destroy relationships. Men affected by the problem last just over a minute during sex, compared with an average of 7.3 minutes in those unaffected. The exact cause remains a mystery. Some research suggests that it may have a genetic element, with men inheriting their parents’ problems, but experts also believe it is related to psychological problems.
A popular theory is that men are conditioned to ejaculate quickly by early sexual behavior, where they do not want to get caught up in the act. Another is that, in evolutionary terms, a man is more likely to produce more children than his rivals if he impregnates women quickly. Treatments usually involve relaxation techniques or anesthetic creams that numb the sensation of prolonging pleasure.
Doctors sometimes prescribe a type of antidepressant known as an SSRI. During drug trials in the late 1980s, prolonged ejaculation time was one of the reported side effects. In 2010, the first specifically licensed pill for the problem was introduced in the UK. However, the drug – called Priligy – is not available in the NHS. But the latest discovery, conducted by researchers at the Istinye University in Istanbul, Turkey, suggests that daily portions of Marmite could be another option.
The scientists recruited 109 men, half of whom suffered with premature ejaculation and half did not. They took blood samples and compared vitamin B12 levels between groups. The results, in the journal Andrology, revealed that men culminating too fast had significantly lower levels of the vitamin than those that can last longer. The scientists emphasized that the findings do not show that vitamin B12 deficiency is at fault and that more research is needed to confirm the link.
But the findings back up earlier research from China in 2014, suggesting that folic acid – a very similar substance that works closely with vitamin B12 in the body – can also combat problems with sexual performance. Vitamin B12 is vital for a healthy nervous system. Lack of it can cause anemia, tiredness, needles and needles, mouth ulcers, vision problems and even depression and confusion.
A healthy adult needs 1.5 micrograms a day to keep the body in good condition. However, up to six people are believed to be deficient either because of poor diet or their bodies do not absorb it properly. A five-gram spoon of Marmite provides about a quarter of the daily needs for vitamin B12. The British Marmite market is worth 37 million pounds a year and the entire world production is produced at a Burton-on-Trent factory, which produces 17 million bottles per year.
It is unclear how vitamin-rich foods could improve premature ejaculation. But one theory is that it strengthens levels of chemicals like nitric oxide and serotonin. These are neurotransmitters believed to play a key role in controlling ejaculation.
In a report on their findings, the researchers said: “Men with premature ejaculation reported significantly lower levels of vitamin B12 compared to controls. “Our study shows low levels of vitamin B12 are associated with the presence of PE.”