It’s official: making love is not only good for the heart, it’s good for overall health – at least in moderation.
A study by a team of US psychologists at Wilkes University suggests that the right amount of sexual intimacy strengthens the body’s defences against colds, flu and other diseases. The team studied 44 men and 67 women, collecting saliva samples and conducting interviews about sexual habits, frequency of sex, satisfaction with love relationships and the length of their current romances.
The results showed that saliva samples of the group who made love at least once – but not more than twice – a week had 29 per cent higher levels of IgA (immunoglobulin A) than those who had sex less often. IgA is an immune system protein found in saliva and mucosal tissues that helps defend the mouth and upper respiratory tract against common colds and flu viruses.
Does this mean having sex more often is the means to an even more robust immune system? Sorry. By this study’s measures, it seems that you really can have too much of a good thing.
Study participants who said they had sex three or more times per week had the lowest IgA levels of all – even lower than the people who had no sex at all.
These results have led researchers to speculate that frequent sexual activity could be a sign of unsatisfying, stressful or obsessive relationships, which may generate anxiety and, in turn, depress the immune system.