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Look, I’m all for getting nutritious sources of protein — whether it’s from eating ground beef, chicken, salmon, or a protein shake. After all, “protein is the most satiating macronutrient,” nutritionist Vanessa Liu previously told POPSUGAR. But what I’m not going to do is let TikTok convince you that “eating vagina” offers any sort of protein benefits because, unfortunately, it absolutely does not.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, this rumor has been circulating around TikTok and other social media platforms for a while. In one video posted recently, the content creator writes, “Any gym rats need help reaching their protein intake?” over what appears to be a screenshot of a Google search confirming, “You can get protein from eating vagina. The enzymes found in the liquid that a woman’s vagina secretes contain a fair amount of protein and, if consumed by the human body, can be used as a supplement.”
Of course, this sounds amazing in theory, and I will always encourage partners to go down on each other. But snacking on vagina for purely nutritional reasons is just not valid, confirms ob-gyn Felice Gersh, MD, founder and director of the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine.
When asked if cunnilingus would be a sufficient way for people to contribute to their protein intake, Dr. Gersh responds, “Not in the least.” She explains that the material in vaginal secretions includes “large numbers of bacteria, cervical mucous, cells [that were] shed from the vaginal and cervical walls, liquids that have passed through the vaginal walls containing electrolytes, and a small additional quantity of protein, largely a type of antibody called secretory immunoglobulin.”
While the word “protein” is included in Dr. Gersh’s description, do not be fooled: “The minimal amount of protein someone would actually consume during oral sex would add nothing to their nutritional status,” Dr. Gersh confirms.
If anything, “vaginal fluid is actually mostly made up of carbohydrates and other compounds,” ob-gyn Cindy Duke, MD, owner and medical director of Nevada Fertility Institute, says. But still she reiterates, “There isn’t any nutritional value in this bodily fluid that would be beneficial or significant to another’s person’s dietary intake.”
So if you’re interested in upping your protein count, experts suggest eating leaner sources of protein and dairy — like 99 percent lean ground turkey and nonfat Greek yogurt. You could also try cooking slightly larger portions of meat for meals and/or making recipes like this high-protein mac-and-cheese dish for dinner. As a reminder, you should aim to hit around .36 grams of protein per pound of body weight, according to the Dietary Reference Intake report for macronutrients.
But most importantly, if you have a question about what does or doesn’t qualify as a sufficient source of protein, don’t take advice from a TikTok video — talk to a doctor or nutritionist, OK?
And while I’m always looking for reasons to encourage people to go down on their partner, let their pleasure or yours be the only reason you need.