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mccoy

sex-restriction and longevity

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I could find no specific literature article on the subject. Some religions like Taoism strongly suggest that preserving the vital fluid is conducive to longevity.

 

Is sex-restriction, practiced withouth CR, really favourable to longevity? Males? Females? Scientific literature?

 

Of course if we practice CR or downregulate mTOR anyhow, sex-restriction is a natural consequence because we exit the proliferation & growth mode, the set of genetic expressions favourable to mating, proliferation, growth to the expense of repair & manteinance.

 

It may be even be that we have the usual U-shaped curve, extremes of restriction (without CR) and indulgence are harmful, whereas being moderate and following the instinct without deliberate stimulation is all right.

 

 

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I'd speculate that (especially for longevity/health fanatics like those in this group), sex restriction would do more harm than good.  Actually I'm quite confident about this.

 

Ejaculation Frequency and Subsequent Risk of Prostate Cancer

 

Sex and death: are they related? Findings from the Caerphilly cohort study

 

Is Sex Necessary?

Edited by Gordo

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Gordo, thanks for the links. I'm presently reading those and commenting. The Leitzmann et al., 2004 article seems rigorous. Their conclusion:

 

 
Conclusions Our results suggest that ejaculation frequency is not related to increased risk of prostate cancer.
 
It must be underlined that the article has focused on increase prostate cancer and not on increasing mortality rate.
 
Also, previous literature suggested the opposite, that is increased prostate cancer with increased frequency of ejaculation.
The conclusions are not unanimous then, although the authors claim their study is pretty much rigorous  and it would seem so.

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The Smith et al, 1997, article, offers a pretty strong correlation between frequency of ejaculation and lower overall mortality,  suggesting a protective role of sexual activity in middle aged men. Some confounding factors have been considered, other not. This is an epidemiological study, which can display as we know its pitfalls. For example, what were the habits of the more sexual active guys? Healthy habits? Good diet and physical activity? Then the healthy habits may contribute more to negative mortality then the higher sexual frequency.

 

A word of caution from the authors:

 

Despite this, confounding may well account for our findings. Multivariable models are seriously limited in their ability to control for confounding, especially with covariates that are imprecisely measured.2021 Furthermore, unmeasured or unknown confounders can create strong, apparently “independent,” associations between risk factors and mortality.22 However, the association between frequency of orgasm and mortality in the present study is at least—if not more—convincing on epidemiological and biological grounds than many of the associations reported in other studies232425 and deserves further investigation to the same extent

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Then there is the issue I was hinting at in the OP. CR and other dietary restriction usually cause a decrease of libido, thru various biological pathways and adjustments. The more rigorous the restriction, the more pronounced the decrease in libido, which may also reach a nihil.

Would such sex restriction cause an increase in mortality? Would the decrease in mortality observed in CR overwhelm the ostensible increase in mortality  due to abstinence?

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This study seems to confirm, after a decade, the Leitzmann et al study on the negative correlation of prostate cancer and ejaculation frequency

 

Ejaculation Frequency and Risk of Prostate Cancer: Updated Results with an Additional Decade of Follow-up.

 

I'm searching pubmed but there is almost nothing on the specific subject. I wonder why they didn't experiment with rats.

Edited by mccoy

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Further ruminations:

 

High ejaculation frequency=metabolic pathways set for procreation=upregulated mTOR

Upregulated mTOR=decreased longevity, higher overall mortality

 

So, if the very simple above logic concatenation stands true (at least, so the discussions in this forum would suggest), there might be something amiss in the few articles published so far (at least, where overall mortality is concerned). Maybe the studies should be of a clinical type and examine the metabolic aspects and biomarkes of those healthy ones who ejaculate frequently versus those who don't.

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Semen production is done by very small part of your body. Why do you think this upregulates mTOR? Plus, composition of semen has not high in protein which also doesn't affect your protein intake. If you push your imagination higher, ejaculation is like exercising without the load of oxidative stress.

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Gordo, thanks for the links. I'm presently reading those and commenting. The Leitzmann et al., 2004 article seems rigorous. Their conclusion:

 

 
Conclusions Our results suggest that ejaculation frequency is not related to increased risk of prostate cancer.
 

"not related to increased risk" does not negate the finding that it IS related to decreased risk.  They found that:

 

"high ejaculation frequency was related to decreased risk of total prostate cancer. The multivariate relative risks for men reporting 21 or more ejaculations per month compared with men reporting 4 to 7 ejaculations per month at ages 20 to 29 years were 0.89 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.73-1.10); ages 40 to 49 years, 0.68 (95% CI, 0.53-0.86); previous year, 0.49 (95% CI, 0.27-0.88); and averaged across a lifetime, 0.67 (95% CI, 0.51-0.89)"

 

So you may get a whopping 33% reduction in lifetime prostate cancer risk if you just hit that magic 21 number.  Use it or lose it!  ;)

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Semen production is done by very small part of your body. Why do you think this upregulates mTOR? Plus, composition of semen has not high in protein which also doesn't affect your protein intake. If you push your imagination higher, ejaculation is like exercising without the load of oxidative stress.

 

Burak, continuos production of a significant bulk of semen means by definition that the system is geared toward reproduction (which comes together with cellular proliferation & growth). This rules out the prevalence of a repair & maintenace mode, which is what bestows longevity. 

Now, I don't know whether mTOR can be upregulated only in the reproductive system and not in the other organs. It maybe, by some peculiar metabolic pathways.

 

 

However, we have only a few non-unanimous epidemiological studies on the subject. What the researchers should do is set up a double-blind clinical trials, comparing biomarkers of frequent ejaculators and sparing ejaculators. Also, they might measure the effect of increasing sexual activity in the same human subject. But evidently there is not much interest in this topic. 

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Gordo, thanks for the links. I'm presently reading those and commenting. The Leitzmann et al., 2004 article seems rigorous. Their conclusion:

 

 
Conclusions Our results suggest that ejaculation frequency is not related to increased risk of prostate cancer.
 

"not related to increased risk" does not negate the finding that it IS related to decreased risk.  They found that:

 

"high ejaculation frequency was related to decreased risk of total prostate cancer. The multivariate relative risks for men reporting 21 or more ejaculations per month compared with men reporting 4 to 7 ejaculations per month at ages 20 to 29 years were 0.89 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.73-1.10); ages 40 to 49 years, 0.68 (95% CI, 0.53-0.86); previous year, 0.49 (95% CI, 0.27-0.88); and averaged across a lifetime, 0.67 (95% CI, 0.51-0.89)"

 

So you may get a whopping 33% reduction in lifetime prostate cancer risk if you just hit that magic 21 number.  Use it or lose it!  ;)

 

 

Gordo, I agree with your observations, the article does suggest positive benefits from higher ejaculation frequency. I remain skeptic though. Should we force our own bodies to ejaculate more in lack of desire? Would this be a sustainable situation or at all feasible? Would this decrease our Prostate Cancer risk but increase other risks?

Without libido, that would equate to eating with no hunger or compulsive eating, a doubtlessly harmful practice.

Also, the conclusions of the study would be that CR increases the risk of prostate cancer, since it decreases libido in most not overweight people. In me it sure does. Does that sound scientifically sensible?

 

I wish, as I wrote in the previous post, that they would led some different studies like clinical trials and check for example the biomarkers of longevity in the subjects.

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Then there is the issue I was hinting at in the OP. CR and other dietary restriction usually cause a decrease of libido, thru various biological pathways and adjustments. The more rigorous the restriction, the more pronounced the decrease in libido, which may also reach a nihil.

Would such sex restriction cause an increase in mortality? Would the decrease in mortality observed in CR overwhelm the ostensible increase in mortality  due to abstinence?

 

You seem to be confusing or equating "libido" with "sex".  You might enjoy reading: The FAST Supper featuring a bunch of CR Society folks, who eventually cover this topic if you read long enough ;)

While libido might go down (probably will), sexual enjoyment, performance capabilities, and frequency may actually all go up.  There are other benefits to lower libido as well, like not having a desire to cheat on your spouse, or get an STD, and generally just being less distracted in life.  Many life shortening and/or health damaging pathogens (including some that cause cancer) are transmitted sexually - it is a huge health benefit to be in a monogamous relationship with someone equally faithful.

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Gordo, I read the nymag article with interest. All of it. Bad ending though.

 

From wikipedia: Libido (/lˈbd/), colloquially known as sex drive, is a person's overall sexual drive or desire for sexual activity.

 

That was my interpretation of libido as well. Now, can you have sex without sex drive? I cannot. Unless we are speaking of compulsory sex. Maybe I'm an alien, but the discussions in the nymag about having lesser libido and being better at sex made no sense to me. I have no drive, no desire, I don't engage in sex. Same goes for hunger: I have no hunger, I don't eat, it would be unnatural otherwise.

 

Also, in this context we may confound the effect for the cause. If CR promotes good CV health, it is known that CV health usually grants good sexual health. Also, a moderate restriction may grant more energy and this may grant more sex drive.  Higher frequency of ejaculation in men may thus be the effect of some healthy lifestyle, and not the cause of lesser overall mortality.

 

Anyway, when I fast, for example, or the times I eat really less for whatever reason, my libido and consequent sex activity always drops down to sea bottom. Does this lowered frequency of ejaculation increases my mortality risk as well? I doubt it. Maybe there is some sort of balance or optimization. I don't know.

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I go with sex-restriction for longevity.

 

Animal trials indicate that mating frequency is inversely related to lifespan.

But I believe more in the fact that enunches lived several times longer than their emperors despite similar diet, life style and access to healthcare. Sex alone could explain this huge difference.

Taoism as well as some other Chinese practices are based on thousand year trial experiences, which may not be precise from the point of view of the west, but does show the right direction.

 

In modern science, I was told that something in semen such as spermidine and zinc are vital to health and lifespan. Also sex-restricters can utilize more time and money on other useful things other than dating, let alone free from sex disease.

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Another angle to explore - we know that strong interpersonal relationships are good for longevity, and sex strengthens the marriage relationship.  

Marriage Research: Marrieds Live Longer Than Singles, Study Finds

 

Regarding that article with the bad ending - if anything, the writer was far too positive on the prospects of CR.  There is little to no evidence that CR in humans will beat a healthy obesity avoiding diet and lifestyle.  The godfather of CR (Walford) died at age 79, CR does not even work in most subtypes of mice, and it doesn't work in primates (compared to a healthy diet).  In fact I don't think it's been shown to work in any large or long lived mammal, in humans it's a sure way to give yourself osteoporosis and susceptibility to infectious disease, and good luck if you ever get seriously injured or hospitalized, no reserves for your body to pull from.  The idea of always going hungry,  or giving up sex, makes me laugh.  Then again, I do cold exposure and I'm sure that would equally make other people laugh.  At the end of the day, none of these interventions will make much difference (compared to a healthy diverse plant based diet).  And serious longevity gains will only come from emerging technology & research.

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Another angle to explore - we know that strong interpersonal relationships are good for longevity, and sex strengthens the marriage relationship.  

Marriage Research: Marrieds Live Longer Than Singles, Study Finds

 

 

That's interesting. Also, sex within marriage or stable relationships is usually devoid of venereal disease and does not takes much time away, as michaelcaolu underlines happens when singles date.

One aspect which is not part of a scientific reasoning but may be conceptually sound, is that I'm reluctant to throw away the wisdom of millennia of Taoism or Hinduism, for example, for a few observational studies which do not agree too much within themselves. It wound sound extremely arrogant of the modern human being. Not that ancient wisdom must be necessarily totally correct, but I believe we need harder evidence before challenging it.

Edited by mccoy

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Regarding that article with the bad ending - if anything, the writer was far too positive on the prospects of CR.  There is little to no evidence that CR in humans will beat a healthy obesity avoiding diet and lifestyle.  The godfather of CR (Walford) died at age 79, CR does not even work in most subtypes of mice, and it doesn't work in primates (compared to a healthy diet).  In fact I don't think it's been shown to work in any large or long lived mammal, in humans it's a sure way to give yourself osteoporosis and susceptibility to infectious disease, and good luck if you ever get seriously injured or hospitalized, no reserves for your body to pull from.  The idea of always going hungry,  or giving up sex, makes me laugh.  Then again, I do cold exposure and I'm sure that would equally make other people laugh.  At the end of the day, none of these interventions will make much difference (compared to a healthy diverse plant based diet).  And serious longevity gains will only come from emerging technology & research.

 

Gordo, my 'bad ending' remark was mainly prompted by the fact that the journalist went back to overindulge in junk food. From one extreme to the other, the latter being arguably the worst one.

 

I believe that moderate CR summarizes the 'eat sparingly' concept. Sparingly is subjective and does not mean so little as to almost starve or achieve a less than 18 BMI. In such a context, I think we all agree that CR is beneficial. 

Re. hunger, here as well the moderation principle is applicable. Grehlin, according to Fontana, lowers general inflammation. So, to have a little hunger, or not to be full and satisfied all the time might be beneficial. 

Giving up sex, the same. Moderation allows not to waste precious vital energy which will take us more easily into old life and hopefully centenarian life. This is another area where the governing law might be a U shaped function. 

Cold exposure, I anedoctally experienced great benefits from it in the past. I'm not laughing, on the contrary, inspired by this forum and by Wim hof, I started back practicing it.

I also agree on the paramount importance of an healthy plant-based custom-tailored diet.

Bottom line, we do what we can having well in mind that the benefits are of a probabilistic nature. Putting more longevity-enhancing practices together is likely to sum up to higher probabilities of success. And avoiding a mortal cancer or stroke or cardiac arrest might mean 20+ years of relatively healthy life. No too much of an insignificant figure.

Edited by mccoy

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There are two articles:

1. Castration & Life Expectancy: Eunuchs Live Longer Than Other Men, Study Shows (http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/1910455)

2. Having multiple sexual partners shortens lifespan. ( http://www.everydayhealth.com/longevity/can-promiscuity-threaten-longevity.aspx)

 

I remember the average lifespan of emperors were only about 30-40 years. Eunuchs lived more than twice longer than emperors...

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Very interesting study on the Korean Eunuchs. Of course that's an extreme case which I believe not many pursuers of longevity would like to adopt (castration was also practiced at an early age I believe). A more modern version of it might be rapamycin (and other drugs)-induced testicular atrophy, which comes also with a not-too-hot strong immunosuppressive signal.

I think the optimal T concentration has been discussed in other threads. The range as far as I remember is very wide. Too low has some health-related drawbacks. The U curve seems to govern here as well. 

I'll simply follow the instinct (which is a way to say I'll heed as much as possible the suggestions of the metabolic expressions).

Usually, an healthy plant-based diet will regulate optimally the sex drive, without anomalous frequency (anedoctal).

A diet rich in meat and other animal proteins may upregulate the sex drive, if it won't compromise CV health (anedoctal).

Do not let's forget also, that the procreation age for some of us, like myself, is well over. Why to retain a significant sex drive after your thirties? Metabolically, and from the standpoint of energetic optimization,  it makes little sense.

Edited by mccoy

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Dr. G did a new video related to this discussion:

https://youtu.be/-9XdbwrenFY

 

Regarding the Korean eunuch studies/press, I don't think it was very well controlled and even though they lived longer than their peers, they didn't live all that long in absolute terms.  Having lower T, especially in certain cultures and timeperiods, may contribute to longer life just due to the basics like you are less likely to get into fights, less stress over finding/keeping a mate, participating in fewer dangerous activities, lower risk of STDs, etc.

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Regarding the Korean eunuch studies/press, I don't think it was very well controlled and even though they lived longer than their peers, they didn't live all that long in absolute terms.  Having lower T, especially in certain cultures and timeperiods, may contribute to longer life just due to the basics like you are less likely to get into fights, less stress over finding/keeping a mate, participating in fewer dangerous activities, lower risk of STDs, etc.

 

Dr G's  review seemed to me less exhaustive than usual, maybe there is really not very serious material, not an issue of extensive research yet.

 

I agree on the eunuchs mortality, they used to live in a protected environment, with less stress, no fights, more access to foods and basic necessities, so it may just have been that they died less of other violent causes + infections and starvation-related conditions

Edited by mccoy

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Paul McGlothin posted an email to his livinghteCRWay group, a few years ago, that was amusing and relevant.  It showed that the eunochs in the employ of the Turkish monarchy greatly outlived their masters; in fact, examples were given when the eunoch served three emperors, each dying and passing on the eunoch to his descendant.

 

:)xyz

 

  --  Saul

 

P.S.:  As in the case of Mccoy, Paul didn't advocate this method of life extension.

 

:rolleyes:

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mccoyOne aspect which is not part of a scientific reasoning but may be conceptually sound, is that I'm reluctant to throw away the wisdom of millennia of Taoism or Hinduism, for example, for a few observational studies which do not agree too much within themselves.

 

I agree  entirely.

 

In that context,  I think it's important not to conflate sexual-activity-restriction with orgasm- and/or- ejaculation- restriction (and of course, not conflate restriction with complete abstinence.)   And its critical, imo,  to recognize the vast depth and complexity --in theory and practice --of Taoistic and Yogic approaches to longevity, and how   the very complicated and multi-faceted practices of  Taoistic/Yogic  "sex restriction" are  elements of   integral systems,  not straightforward  isolated variables that can simply be added/not added to CR-type etc. regimen.

Edited by Sibiriak

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  And its critical, imo,  to recognize the vast depth and complexity --in theory and practice --of Taoistic and Yogic approaches to longevity, and how   the very complicated and multi-faceted practices of  Taoistic/Yogic  "sex restriction" are  elements of   integral systems,  not straightforward  isolated variables that can simply be added/not added to CR-type etc. regimen.

 

 

Right, in Raja Yoga for example, which I know to an extent, the purpose of sex restriction is to sublimate the sexual energy to higher levels. We are dealing with the so called prana here, or astral energy powering the whole activity of the nervous system. Derouting this basic pranic flow to other astral/nervous plexuses in the body, higher up along the spine, will help the acholite to attain enlightenment. Absolute enlightenment entails absolute control of life energy and metabolism, so the real enlightened one, if he/she wants, can stop aging and even reverse it.

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