The results of the study show benefits for mental, emotional and physical health, with participants who had sex at least once a week having significantly longer telomeres (and yes, size does matter when it comes to your telomeres). For us non-scientists, telomeres are protein caps at the end of DNA strands that protect our chromosomes from breaking down and ageing. Protecting these telomeres through diet, exercise, and sexual activity goes a long way to ensuring the effects of physical and mental ageing are delayed.
Over 120 subjects were tested during the trial, coming from various backgrounds and levels of health. Of those who were in physically satisfying relationships, chromosomes were significantly healthier and more protected, and it all came down to having sex once a week.
The Californian study confirms ageing benefits identified through other significant studies surrounding sexual activity. Earlier this year, researchers at Coventry University analysed the effects of frequent sexual activity on brain power in older adults aged 50-80. Those who had sex weekly scored significantly higher on tests linked to verbal fluency, object recognition, and cardiovascular health when compared to those who only scored on a monthly or fortnightly basis.
Both studies have identified the need for further research into the topic, and we’re sure they won’t be stuck for volunteers.