A new study at the University suggests that sex may in fact be one of the secrets to good health and a longer life, at least in fruit flies.
Researchers found that male fruit flies that perceived sexual pheromones of their female counterparts, without the opportunity to mate, experienced rapid decreases in fat stores, resistance to starvation and more stress. Sexually frustrated flies lived shorter lives. However, mating partially reversed the negative effects on health and aging.
"These data may provide the first direct evidence that aging and physiology are influenced by how the brain processes expectations and rewards. In this case, sexual rewards specifically promoted healthy aging," senior author Scott D. Pletcher, PhD, professor in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the U.M Medical School and research professor at the U.M Geriatric
Center, was quoted as saying.