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Nine Health Benefits of Sex

July 07, 2009 | 96,739 views
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intimacy, sexA good sex life is one way to stay happy, healthy and fit.

For example, sex can actually cause you to get fewer colds. Research has shown that couples who have sex weekly have a 30 percent increase in immunoglobulin A, an antibody that fights infection. Sex can also help women have a more predictable period schedule, as a result of being exposed to male pheromones.

In addition, having sex reduces stress -- for physiological as well as emotional reasons. Sex activates a nerve that has a calming effect. Having sex also lowers blood pressure, which reduces the risk of heart disease.

Sex can even reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol!

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

The article above actually lists nine, yes nine, ways that having sex once a week can benefit your health. They are:

  1. Get fewer colds because of an increase in immunoglobulin A, an antibody that fights infection

  2. Women can get more predictable periods because of exposure to male pheromones

  3. A better physical response to stress

  4. Lower blood pressure, which lowers your risk of heart disease

  5. Lower your bad cholesterol and increase your good cholesterol

  6. Help tone your abs, gluts and pretty much any muscle in your body

  7. Natural increases in estrogen improve the appearance of your hair, skin and nails

  8. Improve your memory because blood flow increases to your brain

  9. Increased feelings of motivation because of the release of endorphins

And this is actually only the tip of the iceberg. Sex has also been found to boost self-esteem and improve intimacy in your relationship. This is because sex and orgasms result in increased levels of the hormone oxytocin -- the “love” hormone -- that helps you feel bonded to your partner.

As oxytocin increases, so do hormones known as endorphins, which in turn lessens feelings of pain related to everything from headaches and arthritis to symptoms of PMS. It can also help you to get a better night’s sleep.

Further, for women, having sex can help strengthen muscles of your pelvic floor (the same ones used to stop urination). As you age, having strong pelvic floor muscles reduces your risk of accidents.

Of course, these benefits are assuming you’re having sex with a mutually monogamous partner -- otherwise you risk catching a sexually transmitted disease.

Sexual Pleasure Begins in Your Brain

Your brain and nervous system control your sex glands and genitals, and this is why they also control your sexual desire, as well as orgasms. This is why, for example, visual images trigger sexual desire in both sexes.

Your brain stem also emits nerve impulses that control erectile function. These nerve impulses navigate through the erection center of your spinal column to the erectile tissue of your penis, where they trigger a chain reaction in the membranes of your vascular muscle cells. This sophisticated chain reaction is dependent on a messenger molecule called cyclic guanosine monophosphate, or cGMP.

However, this works in reverse as well; an erection softens as soon as another enzyme called phosphodiesterase starts to degrade the cGMP molecules.

Drugs like Viagra, Levitra and Cialis work by inhibiting phosphodiesterase, which may help maintain your erection. But, these pills will not create an erection in and of themselves. Your initial erection still has to be triggered psychologically. Without that initial impetus, potency pills will have no effect whatsoever.

This is also why these pills are ineffective for many men who take them hoping for a magic jack-in-the-box effect.

As you might suspect, because your sexuality is so intimately tied to your mind, anxiety, defensiveness, fear, and failure of communication are all destructive psychological forces that can take a heavy toll on your libido, whether you’re a man or a woman, by acting as road blocks to desire.

According to Professor Gert Holstege with the University of Groningen in the Nederlands, “Fear and anxiety need to be avoided at all costs if a woman wishes to have an orgasm.”

How to Improve Your Sexual Desire Naturally

If you’d like to take advantage of some of the health benefits that regular sexual activity has to offer, yet find that your desire just isn’t what it used to be, there are many natural tips that can help.

One of the first ones I recommend -- again because sexual dysfunction can worsen due to stress and anxiety -- is taking control of your emotions by learning the Meridian Tapping Technique (MTT) can really help. MTT is a technique that can help you effectively address your stress-related thoughts and leave you feeling calmer and more able to face your challenges, whatever they may be.

Your sexual fires may also be fanned simply by eating less sugar. High levels of sugar in your bloodstream can actually turn off the gene that controls your sex hormones.

Four other tips to give your libido a big-time boost include:

  1. Getting physically active. Studies have shown that men who engaged in regular physical activity lowered their risk of experiencing sexual dysfunction. Remember, when using exercise as a drug, it’s important to vary your routine and include the four types of exercise I describe in this video.

  2. Optimizing your diet based on your body's unique nutritional type. We each have a unique nutritional type with varying demands for the ratios of macronutrients (fats, proteins and carbohydrates) to function optimally. When you’re eating the foods your body was designed to eat, you’ll notice improvements in every aspect of your health.

  3. Optimizing your vitamin D and insulin levels, as these simple measures have profound influences on every area of your health, including your sex life.

  4. Considering choline and vitamin B5 supplements. The neurotransmitter that triggers the sexual message, in both men and women, is acetylcholine (ACH). With too little ACH, sexual activity goes down. One way to safely and effectively enhance ACH levels in your body is to take choline supplements (1,000-3,000 mg) and vitamin B5 (500-1,500 mg).


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