Scientist prove why oysters are the food of love. Picture Instagram (blue.eats)

Raw oysters have long been rumoured to be a potent aphrodisiac.

Casanova himself was said to have gulped down 50 for breakfast every day.

And now scientists have found that couples who eat a lot of seafood – ranging from oysters to oily fish – have sex more often and are more likely to conceive.

This may be because nutrients in fish and shellfish can stimulate ovulation and boost sperm quality and embryo development.

Audrey Gaskins, one of the US researchers from Harvard University, said: "Our study found that couples who consume more than two servings of seafood per week while trying to get pregnant had a significantly higher frequency of sexual intercourse and shorter time to pregnancy."

The scientists aimed to determine the relationship between seafood consumption and time to pregnancy by asking 500 couples to keep a diary recording daily seafood intake and sexual activity.

They found that 92 percent of those who ate seafood more than twice a week had conceived by the end of the year – compared with 79 percent of those who had eaten less.

The link between seafood consumption and a greater likelihood of pregnancy could not be entirely explained by the couples having more sex, researchers said. Instead, biological factors relating to beneficial nutrients in seafood were thought to be a significant factor, according to the study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Dr Gaskins added: "Our results stress the importance of not only female but also male diet on time to pregnancy and suggests that both partners should be incorporating more seafood into their diets for the maximum fertility benefit."

England's National Health Services, advises that women who are trying to get pregnant should limit their oily fish consumption to two portions a week, but there is no limit on shellfish.

The association with oysters and sex dates back to the Romans.

Galen, the most renowned physician of the ancient Roman empire, prescribed them as a cure for a loss of libido.

In the same context, the shellfish also featured in the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice.

Bond, played by Sean Connery, is offered a plate of oysters by a woman who is pretending to be his bride. But when she tells the spy that she will not sleep with him, he pushes them away with the words: "Well, I won’t need these."

Daily Mail