07:28 GMT25 February 2020
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    Brazilian scientists managed to determine that sexual activity directly affects the ageing process as the body diverts its resources to reproduction at the expense of "repair and maintenance."

    A team of researchers from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul has discovered that there may be some merit to the disposable soma theory, which postulates that "aging might be the result of tradeoffs between early life reproduction and longevity," and that the body spends energy on reproduction essentially at the expense of its lifespan.

    During an experiment described in a study published in the journal Biogerontology, the scientists studied a group of 80 rats divided into two categories: breeders (rats that engaged in procreation activities) and non-breeders (rats that were denied such opportunity), analyzing "redox rates and the testosterone levels at four different ages" among the test animals and performing "a principal component analysis between redox measures of five different organs followed by a cluster analysis to determine correlations."

    While 'non-breeders' displayed "no alterations along the aging process up to 24 months," the researchers noticed between the three age clusters of 'breeders': "cluster 1, 6-month-old animals; cluster 2, 12-month-old animals, and cluster 3, 24-month-old animals."

    "The results show differences between male breeders and non-breeders, and provided evidence that oxidative stress plays a role in aging, and that reproduction alters the redox profiles of males," the scientists declare.


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