The news will have put a spring in the step of red blooded males everywhere – regular sex can reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
Scientists at the University of Montreal yesterday revealed that men who had slept with at least 20 women during their lives were 28% less likely to develop the disease.
Meanwhile men who were virgins were almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with the cancer.
But that’s not all. It turns out that jumping between the sheets can have a host of other health benefits for men AND women.
There may be no cure but the best way to protect yourself from a cold is to have sex at least twice a week, according to researchers at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania.
A study published in 1999 found regular sex could boost levels of immunoglobulin in the blood by 20%. The antibody destroys bacteria and protects against colds and flu. Plus it’s far more fun than a flu jab.
Sex is the ultimate stress buster and a study in the journal Biological Psychology found that lovers who had had sex the night before reacted better to stressful situations.
That is because the pleasure of another person’s touch, kissing and cuddling, lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol and boosts the body’s happy hormones such as oxytocin. It also means sex can help to combat depression.
As a painkiller
Next time your other half tells you they have a headache, you can inform them that sex is actually an excellent painkiller.
Research published in the Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine found that an orgasm could halve the body’s sensitivity to pain, including back pain, migraines and arthritis. Sex raises the level of endorphins, the body’s own painkillers, by a third in minutes, making it far quicker than popping pills.
For looking young
The secret to looking younger could lie in the bedroom not the Botox, say scientists at the Royal Edinburgh University. They found couples who have sex at least four times a week look 10 times younger.
That is because the pleasure releases healthy hormones such as adrenaline, dopamine and norepinephrine that help to preserve skin cells and relax muscles to prevent wrinkles. And the good news for couples is that “loving intercourse” with a regular partner is better than promiscuous sex.
Preventing heart attacks and strokes
Men who make love to their partner at least twice a week are 45% less likely to develop a life threatening heart condition.
Regular sex can help to lower blood pressure, which can reduce the risk of common killers such as heart attacks and strokes. Scientists at the New England Research Institute in Massachusetts studied the sex lives of more than 1,000 men and were so impressed by the results they urged doctors to screen men for sexual activity.
Burning off calories
The term “horizontal jogging” may actually be apt as sex is an excellent way to burn off extra calories.
Doctors at the University of Montreal found that a 24-minute session in the sack can burn 104 calories for men and 67 calories for women. That means sex is a more effective form of exercise than walking. But be warned, a six minute “quickie” burns just 20 calories, so don’t skip the foreplay.
Preventing breast cancer
As well as prostate cancer, an active love life can also guard against breast cancer in both men and women. A Greek study published in the British Journal of Cancer in 2000 found that men who had fewer than six orgasms a month were at significantly higher risk of developing the disease. Meanwhile a study of French women published in 1989 found those without a sexual partner, or who had sex less than once a month, were at higher risk of being diagnosed with it.
For stronger bones
Sex can help men top up their levels of testosterone and women to maintain their levels of oestrogen. But these are not just sex hormones.
They can also help to stop bone density deteriorating with age, reducing the risk of diseases like the brittle bone disorder osteoporosis.
Helping you sleep
Forget counting sheep, say scientists at the French medical research council Inserm.
Their study published in 2012 found the body released relaxing chemicals such as serotonin after orgasm, helping maintain healthy sleep patterns. They also found men were more likely to feel sleepy after sex – which means they do have an excuse for nodding off instead of wanting to cuddle or chat.
Sex during menstruation can help combat endometriosis, a condition that can affect fertility, according to researchers at Yale University.
It also acts as a good workout for a woman’s pelvic floor muscles as they contract during orgasm, helping reduce the risk of incontinence.