If you’re one of the many adults in search of an anti-aging solution for mental health, improved cognitive function, and other brain health tips, the answer might be a lot simpler than you’d think. According to a new Dutch study, if you want to keep your brain young, just have sex.
The research, published in the March 2015 issue of The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, was based on 1,747 adults with an average age of 71. Each of them was asked to do a series of tests to evaluate memory, rate of mental processing, fluid intelligence (the ability to use abstract thinking), and other general cognitive functions. The participants were also asked four questions about how they feel about sexuality in relation to themselves and to older adults in general, and about their current sex life.
The findings revealed an interesting relationship between sex and how it serves as an anti-aging solution to keep your brain young. The study found that adults who were sexually active (and were satisfied with their sex life) displayed better results on the tests for fluid intelligence, memory recall, and general cognitive function. Researchers also found a link between believing sexuality was important with improved fluid intelligence, faster processing speed, and better overall cognitive function.
Furthermore, participants who didn’t see the need for intimacy in old age scored lower-than-average scores for processing speed, memory recall, and general cognitive function. While some of these connections held true for both men and women, sexual satisfaction and the perceived importance of sex seemed to serve as a strong anti-aging solution for women’s brain function.
This isn’t the first study to suggest sex as an anti-aging solution that can help to keep your brain young. A 2010 study in the journal PLOS ONE found that in rats, mating increased the number of new neurons in the hippocampus region of the brain, which is responsible for memory formation and storage. Sexually active rats also showed more brain cell growth as well as more connections between the brain cells. In other words, the rats that had more sex had better brain health. Granted, these findings were among rats and not humans, but it still provides further evidence for the power that sex can have in helping to keep your brain young and your mind sharp.
In addition to helping keep you brain young, click here to see what else sex can be an effective anti-aging solution for. And if you’re looking for more ways to keep your brain young, click here for more useful brain health tips to try.
Hartmans, C., et al., “The Perception of Sexuality in Older Adults and Its Relationship with Cognitive Functioning,” The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 2015; 23(3): 243-252.
Leuner, B., et al., “Sexual Experience Promotes Adult Neurogenesis in the Hippocampus Despite an Initial Elevation in Stress Hormones,” PLOS ONE 2010; doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011597.