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Having Sex Could Prevent the Flu

by Kiri Blakeley on January 17, 2013 at 2:56 PM

So do you have the flu yet? If not, are you scared silly, just waiting for it to strike when you least expect it? Are you gargling with salt water, popping vitamin C by the fistful, and adding heaps of brewer's yeast to every dish? Well, you might be missing one of the more fun ways of preventing the flu: Getting busy between the sheets.

A more-than-decade-old study says that sex can help prevent the flu. Apparently a little tumble in the sack can boost your immune system, especially if you do it at least twice a week. Here's how it works:

Immunoglobulin A, an antigen found in saliva and mucus membranes, is the first line of defense against cold and the flu. The study asked college students how often they had sex and then measured their levels of the antigen. Surprise, surprise, those who were having regular sex had higher immune levels than those who didn't have sex at all. Those who had sex once or twice a week had a 30 percent increase in the antigen over their celibate counterparts. (Celibate in college? Hey, this is a 15-year-old study!)

But don't get too hot and heavy. Those who had sex more than three times a week actually had lower immune systems. What up wit dat? One doctor theorizes that people who have such active sex lives may be in "obsessive or poor relationships that are causing them a lot of anxiety" and hence lowering their immune systems. Woah. Christian and Ana would surely have the flu.

So that's it, folks. If you're not up for a flu shot this year, maybe get up for a shot of another kind, if you catch my drift. Just don't overdo it, eh?

But this does beg the question: If your sex partner already has the flu, should you risk mixing all those fluids to try and boost your Immoglobulin? Would this give you a free pass to have sex with someone who doesn't have the sniffles? Whole lotta possibilities here.

Has having sex helped prevent the flu for you?

 

Image via Kainr/Flickr

Filed Under: cold & flu, sex

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