Regular sex might help women live longer - study

Sex might do much more for you than make you smile.
123RF

Sex might do much more for you than make you smile.

It turns out regular sex in a quality relationship might be very good for women physically as well as psychologically.

It might even help them live longer.

University of California scientists studied 129 women on things like partner relationships and stress, as well as measuring their telomere length - the protective cap around chromosomes.

Nothing significant was revealed until they looked at women who reported having sexual intimacy during the week of the study. Their telomores were significantly longer.

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Telamores protect chromosomes from fraying and therefore protect the integrity of the DNA, which becomes frayed as people age. So longer telomeres are good news for your health holding up into older age.

Lead researcher Tomás Cabeza de Baca says one guess as to what is happening is that sexual intimacy might be dampening stress response systems and lifting immune responses. Over time these patterns of stress function should result in longer telomere length.

But he says it's only a preliminary study on a small sample of women and more research on sexual intimacy's role in health is needed - including on how it affects men.

The report was published in the scientific journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

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 - Stuff

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