Weird! A new study in the journal Current Biology examined genealogy records from 14th- to early-20th-century Korean eunuchs in the royal court and found that the castrated men lived, on average, almost two decades longer (till age 70) than men with their manhood intact. What gives?
“Our study supports the idea that male sex hormones decrease the lifespan of men,” the authors write.
Based on earlier research, the authors argue that one explanation for this could be that male sex hormones may negatively influence the immune system and “predispose men to adverse cardiovascular attacks.” They note further that the theory helps explain why females — in many species — live longer than males.
But testosterone isn’t the only thing to pin when it comes to the lengthened lifespans. Diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors weren’t studied. However, even though the eunuchs (who were castrated as boys, preventing the production of testosterone) spent a great deal of time living relatively well inside a palace, they still outlived royalty. So how can intact, endowed men capture some of their secrets?
Obviously, the study authors don’t advocate becoming a eunuch. There are more sensible and reliable ways to up your chances of a long, healthy life: don’t smoke, eat a healthy diet, get plenty of exercise.
“For better health and longevity, stay away from stresses and learn what you can from women,” the authors said in a statement.
We like that “listen to women” part.
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