A study by Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women Hospital confirms rather than reveals that men having one orgasm a day significantly lower one’s chances of developing prostate cancer, described as the most common non-skin cancer among American men.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that masturbation and ejaculation brings great benefit to men besides the pleasure side of the act. Science has suggested that masturbating regularly helps improve your immune system, makes for better bladder control and lowers blood pressure. This specific study shows that participants who ejaculated more than 21 times a month were at a 22% lower risk of getting the disease.
The researchers asked men aged 20 to 29 and 40 to 49 to calculate the average number of times they ejaculated per month, including during the previous year. They used both averages to compute a lifetime average.
Orgasms themselves have protective benefits, due to the hormones oxytocin and dehydroepiandrosterone being released; oxytocin has the power to lower blood pressure in women, reducing their risk for cardiovascular disease at the same time, while DHEA has been linked to lower risk for breast and cervical cancer. Greek researchers found that men who had fewer than six orgasms per month were significantly more likely to develop breast cancer.
One of the important findings of the study is that it doesn’t matter how the ejaculation is achieved – with a partner or by masturbation (without help from anyone), even nocturnal emission. Everything helps in preventing a disease that was diagnosed in more than 177,000 men and led to more than 27,000 deaths in 2012, the most recent year the CDC has complete data for the disease on record. It does pose a more significant risk for men over 60, but a 2014 research out of the University of Michigan reported that the number of younger men diagnosed with prostate cancer has increased nearly 6-fold in the last 20 years and the disease is more likely to be aggressive in these younger men.
Still, like anything you read on the Internet, take it with a pinch (or grain) of salt. According to Jennifer Rider of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the data is still just observational and should be taken cautiously. At the same time, given the lack of modifiable risk factors for prostate cancer, the results of this study are particularly encouraging.