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An active sex life beyond 50 could protect us from dementia.
We are obsessed with the idea of staying young and active over the years, and we know a few ways to do it. Eating green leafy vegetables, doing crosswords or listening to music are some of the activities doctors recommend, but now a new study has found that maintaining a sexually active life after 50 is also a way to improve the health of our brain and thus protect ourselves from dementia.
Sex influences some social, emotional and physical aspects of our lives in general, but how does it benefit our cognition?
Benefits of sex.
Data on the sex lives of more than 6,800 participants, ages 50 to 89, were analyzed. To see if the sex had some effect on agingTwo types of experiments were carried out.
In the first experiment, participants were asked to read a series of words, which they then had to recall immediately after and after five minutes. The second experiment consisted of a series of exercises in which the participants had to remember a specific pattern of numbers.
Factors that could influence sexual activity and cognition were taken into account, such as age, level of education, wealth, level of physical activity, state of cohabitation, general health and quality of life.
The results revealed that those who had a active sex life were more prone to remember precisely both word and number tests than those who said they were sexually inactive.
The results were better in men than in women.
The sexually active men showed a greater punctuation of the two tests that sexually active women. The women showed a significant improvement in the ability to remember words, but not the sequence of numbers.
Why is being sexually active good for the brain?
Sex increases the feeling of well-being thanks to the release of the hormones dopamine and oxytocin in the brain. The study authors speculate that these two substances improve signaling or connectivity between different regions of the brain, which could explain why it improves brain health.
The difference found between men and women could be due to specific sex hormones.
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