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We might all have held the wrong belief about what gives longevity of life, according to a new research by the University of Sheffield.

Most people hold the belief that if they eat healthy, stay away from chemicals and live a certain kind of life that is devoid of stress, they might just be in contention for the oldest person alive in a couple of years.

Scientists have suggested that they have finally found a recipe for long life and it is not a certain food or a combination of a couple of them: total abstinence from sex!

The University of Sheffield researchers rest their findings on the belief that nuns – who are believed to stay away from sex completely – tend to live longer.

Refraining from having sex will help you live longer than all your peers, the study found.

The scientists discovered that mealworm beetles live for longer if they avoid mating; while those who tried to produce offspring each day passed away at a much younger age.

Mating was found to release a hormone in the insects needed to produce sperm in a male or eggs in a female. But this was also found to have a negative effect on their immune system, the researchers found.

This makes them vulnerable to potentially deadly infections, as their body’s natural ability to fight rogue bacteria is compromised.

Though the mechanism is not necessarily the same in humans, study author, Dr. Michael Siva-Jothey, believes the principle can be applied.

He said: “Nuns tend to have a longer lifespan than women with children; and most people know of someone with a maiden (unmarried) aunt who seems to live forever.

“The question is, why? The beetles which mate die sooner than the beetles which don’t mate.”

Humans also have weaker immune systems during sex, which explains how STIs can be easily spread, he added.

Author: Yemi Olarinre