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Sex Is the Best Medicine

Well, okay, sometimes there's nothing like an antibiotic.

This article from Forbes.com lists all the ways that sex is really good for you. The list specifically references oxytocin only once:

Pain relief: Immediately before orgasm, levels of the hormone oxytocin surge to five times their normal level. This, in turn, releases endorphins, which alleviate the pain of everything from headaches to arthritis to even migraines. In women, sex also prompts production of estrogen, which can reduce the pain of PMS.

However, several of the other benefits also are linked to oxytocin, which is released during stroking, emotional and physical intimacy and orgasm.

There's a reduced risk of heart disease, and oxytocin counteracts the heart-harmful effects of stress hormones. Researchers found that people who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of immunoglobulin A, which boosts the immune system. But oxytocin also is central to healing and cellular repair.

The physiological advantages only accrue if you're having sex in a way that precludes contracting a sexually transmitted disease, the article warns.

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