Saturday, 21 August 2010

The miracle cure...

What if I told you that one thing could reduce stress, make you look younger, fight cancer, improve fertility, help you to sleep and make you happier then you'd think that I was making it up...

However there is one thing that has all of these benefits and more!

What am I talking about? Sex of course!

Sex has many proven benefits to the body and mind. Numerous studies have been done on the subject, and while there are health risks associated with sex, the benefits are worth knowing about as well! I have brought together information from many sources to give you a comprehensive list of the health benefits of sex!

Sex can make you live longer! In a study done at Duke University, researchers followed 252 people over twenty- five years to determine the factors important in influencing life span. Sexual frequency and past and present enjoyment of sex were three of the factors studied.  For men, frequency of sex was a significant predictor of longevity. While  frequency of sex was not predictive of longevity for women, those who reported  past enjoyment of sex had greater longevity. This study suggested a positive  association between sex, pleasure, and longevity. 
In addition to this a Swedish study found increased risk of death in men who gave up sex earlier in life. The research was done on four hundred elderly men and  women. At age seventy, they were given a survey of their sexual activity and then  followed over time. Five years later, the death rates were significantly higher among the  men who ceased sexual activity at earlier ages. 
Another study by a group of researchers from Queens University in Belfast, Ireland, found that the death rate from all causes for  the least sexually active men was twice as high as that of the most active!

Sex can help to reduce stress. Serious research on sexuality began in the United States in the 1950s by Alfred Kinsey. He reported that sex reduces stress, and that people who have fulfilling  sex lives are less anxious, less violent, and less hostile. Current research bears this out, as  physical touch increases the hormone oxytocin, which boosts trust and lowers cortisol  levels, the hormone of chronic stress.  Stress has been linked to heart problems, hypertension, lack of sleep and a whole range of other health issues.

Sex can help with weight loss! It has been estimated that the act of sex burns about 200 calories, the equivalent  of running vigorously for thirty minutes. Most couples average about twenty-four  minutes for lovemaking. During orgasm, both heart rate and blood pressure typically double, all under the influence of oxytocin. Muscular contractions during sex  work the pelvis, thighs, buttocks, arms, neck, and thorax.  Being overweight is linked to increased incidences of diabetes, heart disease and early death.

Sex can make you look younger! This was a surprise to me, but it seems to be true. According to research done by  David Weeks, a clinical neuropsychologist at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, making love  three times a week in a stress-free relationship can make you look ten years younger. He studied more than 3,500 men and women between the ages of 18 and 102. In his study, a panel of judges viewed the participants through a  one-way mirror and then guessed the age of each subject.  Dr. Weeks, whose findings are published in Superyoung: The Proven Way to Stay Young Forever, says this is partly because sexual activity in women helps to trigger the  production of a human growth hormone that helps them maintain their youthful looks.  Sexual activity also pumps oxygen around the body, boosting the circulation and the flow  of nutrients to the skin.

Sex can increase the amounts of healthy hormones in the body. Dr. Winnifred Cutler, a specialist in behavioural endocrinology, reported that  women who enjoy regular sex had significantly higher levels of estrogen in their blood  than women experiencing either infrequent sex or no sex at all. The benefits of estrogen  include a healthy cardiovascular system, lower bad cholesterol, higher good cholesterol,  increased bone density, and smoother skin. 
Another important hormone that is affected by sexual activity is DHEA.  Before orgasm, the level of DHEA spikes in the body to several times higher than  normal. DHEA is believed to improve brain function, balance the immune system, help  maintain and repair tissue, promote healthy skin, and possibly improve cardiovascular  health.
Testosterone is increased through regular sexual activity. Testosterone can help strengthen bones and muscles, and is also beneficial to a healthy heart and brain. The risk  for Alzheimer's disease is twice as high for people with lower testosterone levels.

Sex can help to boost your immune system! According to gynaecologist Dr. Dudley Chapman, orgasms boost infection-fighting  cells by up to 20 percent. Psychologists at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that  students who had regular sexual activity had one-third higher levels of immunoglobulin  A (IgA), an antibody that boosts the immune system and can help fight colds and flu. In  one study it was reported that women who perform oral sex on their mates are less likely  to suffer from pre-eclampsia, a condition that causes a dangerous spike in women's blood  pressure during pregnancy. This effect was amplified if the woman swallowed after! Plus, sperm carries TGF beta, a molecule that can boost the  activities of her natural killer cells, which attack the rogue cells that give rise to tumours. 
A study from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality conducted by  Dr. Ted McIlvenna looked at the sex lives of ninety thousand American adults and found  that sexually active people take fewer sick leaves and enjoy life more.

Sex can help to prevent cancer! A study conducted by Graham Giles from Australia concluded that the more often  men ejaculate between the ages of twenty and fifty, the less likely they are to develop  prostate cancer. A study published by the British Journal of Urology International  asserted that men in their twenties can reduce by one-third their chance of getting prostate  cancer by ejaculating more than five times a week.
A 1989 study found increased frequency of  sexual activity correlated with a reduced incidence of breast cancer among women who  had never had a child. The study examined fifty-one French women who were diagnosed  with breast cancer less than three months prior to the interview. They were matched with  ninety-five controls. A higher risk of breast cancer also correlated with lack of a sex  partner and rare sexual intercourse, defined as less than once a month.

Sex can improve the state of your prostate (guys only for this one ;). The prostate gland is responsible for producing some of the  secretions in semen; sometimes the prostate becomes inflamed and painful (prostatitis).  In single men who had prostatitis, over 30 percent who masturbated more frequently  reported marked or moderate improvement of their symptoms. In addition, there is a  suggestion that frequent ejaculation may help prevent chronic non-bacterial infections of  the prostate.

Sex can help you sleep. This probably isn't such a surprise to many women out there that complain of their men just falling asleep straight after sex, but for any insomniacs out there this could be handy (handy... get it?). Orgasm causes a surge in oxytocin and  endorphins that may act as a sedative. One study found that 32 percent of 1,866 U.S.  women who reported masturbating in the previous three months did so to help go to  sleep.

Sex can help to treat depression! Orgasms cause intense increased  activity in the deep limbic parts of the brain, which settle down after sex. Antidepressants  tend to calm activity in the limbic parts of the brain as well. People who engaged in  regular sexual activity experience less depression, and orgasm frequency may be one  reason why.  When a man has an orgasm, an area in the limbic system, called the  mesodiencephalic junction, is activated. Cells in the region are known to produce some pleasurable hormones including dopamine and endorphins. At the same time, researchers have shown that  the amygdala, a fear centre in the brain, becomes less active in men's brains during sex.
Gordon Gallup, a psychologist at the State University of New York Albany, headed a study that found women whose male partners did not use condoms were less  subject to depression than those whose partners did. One theory put forth was that  prostaglandin, a hormone found in semen, may be absorbed in the female genital tract,  thus modulating female hormones.
Other research has indicated that high sexual activity is associated with lower risk  and incidence of depression and suicide. A Canadian study that examined the correlation  between sexuality and mental health found that celibacy was correlated with high scores  on depression and suicidality indexes.

Sex can even make you happier! After evaluating the levels of sexual activity and happiness in sixteen  thousand people, Dartmouth College economist David Blanchflower and Andrew Oswald  of the University of Warwick in England found that sex so positively influenced  happiness that they estimated increasing sex from once a month to once a week is  equivalent to the happiness generated by getting an additional $50,000 in income for the  average American.

As you can see, sex has a myriad of different effects on the body. Below is a summary of the health benefits of regular sex.

Health Benefits of regular sex
Better memories
Reduced stress
Increased youth-promoting hormone DHEA
Weight control--sex burns about 200 calories per half hour; yoga, 114; dancing (rock), 129; walking (3 mph), 153; weight training, 153.
Better moods
Fewer colds and flu
Staying in shape

Health Benefits just for Women
More regular menstrual cycles
Lighter periods
Better bladder control 
More fertile menstrual cycles
Pain relief  of menstrual cramps
Increased testosterone and estrogen

Health Benefits just for Men
Increased heart rate variability (a sign of heart health and a calmer mind)
Improved heart cardiovascular function (three times a week decreases risk of  heart attack or stroke by half)
Higher testosterone levels (stronger bones and muscles)
Improved prostate function
Improved sleep

Now I don't want you to take this information as a green light to have as much sex as possible with as many people as you can. You have to weigh the health benefits of sex with the possible risks of sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies and other similar issues. Of course you should practice safe sex with a new partner until you know that they are clean, but even a condom isn't a 100% guarantee of safety. Many STDs can bypass a condom.

The full health benefits are with unprotected sex, so it is worth finding that one (or more ;) life partner that you can trust and enjoy having sex with her regularly. In the meantime if you can't find the one then don't let that stop you from enjoying the health benefits of sex with a condom. If you can't achieve that, then masturbation is a perfectly healthy way of increasing the number of orgasms you have, which also has significant health benefits!

So in order of preference you should try to have unprotected sex with a trusted partner, protected sex with one (or more) less trusted partners, or masturbation (I hope you can trust yourself...)

For women (I know this is the Real MAN project, but I know lots of you are reading), quality of sex is more important. So make sure that your partner knows what he is doing. If he doesn't then try to help him out. It helps if you know what works for you (in addition to the health benefits) so make sure you can make yourself orgasm. If your partner isn't open enough to be helped... then maybe you should consider getting yourself an upgrade... Isn't it worth it for your long term health?

1 comment:

  1. In the first paragraph I didn't expect that sex would be the answer! lol Good intro!

    I think this blog is like you are writing an essay to submit to your lecturer lol...hundreds of reference!! You do well research I have to say. :-)