Have you ever wondered if having sex had any effect on your health? Well, obviously it is a good cardio replacement, depending how sexually active you are, and you just generally feel good doing it, but does sex does offer any other benefits to your health that were not previously documented?
Back in 2010, a study conducted on rats led to findings that might astound you. Obviously, rats and humans differ in some ways, yet Princeton’s Psychology Department argues that the physiology of what happens with rats is similar enough to what happens to people.
The study went was conducted on active, nocturnal rats. Males were matched up with sexually receptive females. A set of rats were allowed access to these females once daily for two weeks, while the other set only once in two weeks. Their blood was also tested for the amounts of stress hormones present, specifically cortisol, which were suspected to cause the detrimental effects that unpleasant experiences do to the brain.
It was to the researchers’ surprise that the yet amount of stress level on the first night of sex was extremely high, the “feel-good” feeling from sex appeared to have overcome the effects of cortisol. Over the course of the two week study, sexual activity promoted brain cell growth meanwhile lowering the amount of anxious behavior from the rats, as well as cortisol levels in the blood which dropped to normal levels.
So how does this even work? There are several things that are involved in sex. There is exercise, and the Princeton rats were noted to have been going at it for an average of 30 minutes. Sex also promotes increased oxytocin levels, a hormone that makes you feel that warm, fuzzy feeling in your gut, as well as dopamine, which is the hormone most linked to the reward system of the brain. You add lowered cortisol into the mix, and it’s easier to see why new brain cells are easier to grow in this situation.
So the next time your significant other invites you to have bump uglies in the sack, think of all the good and beneficial things you are given thanks to sex:
1. Growth of more brain cells
2. A natural increase in Vitamin D3
3. Your mood will improve
4. Improved Immunity
Or you could just think about what you normally think about when having sex: boobs. Yeah, on second thought, I’ll take that instead.