Out of all the health hacks making the rounds, here’s one we bet you can all get behind: Having sex more frequently can make you a healthier man, a new study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine suggests.
In the study, researchers asked 2,267 people questions about how often they had sex, and then took blood samples to run some tests. They found that those who reported having sex the least frequently—less than once a month—had significantly higher levels of a chemical called homocysteine than those who had sex the most, or at least twice a week.
That’s important, since high levels of the amino acid homocysteine have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, possibly due to damage it inflicts on your blood vessels. The chemical seems to promote the formation of fatty plaque in your arteries and increase clotting of your blood—both of which can put you at risk of a heart attack.
Interestingly, the researchers didn’t find such a link in women. They’re not sure why, but they theorize that it may be because sexual stimulation in women isn’t as dependent on healthy blood flow as it is in men, who need it to get and maintain an erection.
Now, because this was an observational study, it can’t definitively prove it was the frequent sex that caused a reduction in the homocysteine levels. It could be that guys with low homocysteine levels simply had less sex due to problems with their erection in the first place.
While scientists can’t yet prove cause and effect, there certainly isn’t a downside to having more sex.