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Tuesday, 10 October, 2000, 08:56 GMT 09:56 UK
Sex 'key' to staying young
Kissing
Sex is "an important part of life", say reseachers
A Scottish psychologist has produced more research which points to regular vigorous sex as a way of looking up to seven years younger.

Dr David Weeks and science writer Jamie James interviewed 95 people in Scotland who look young for their age.

It transpired that sex was a big factor in their youthful appearance.

"The significance of this factor came as a surprise," said Dr Weeks and Mr James.

"As much as any other physical activity, sex is an important part of life for young-looking people from late adolescence or early adulthood throughout their entire lives," they concluded.

Energetic love-making can reduce fatty tissue and release endomorphins from the brain.

These are natural painkillers and reduce anxiety, said the researchers.

Last year, Dr Weeks, of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, released the findings after interviews with more than 3,500 people aged 18 to 102 in Britain, Europe and the US.

They responded to an advertisement placed in the New Scientist in 1988 seeking people who looked and felt younger than they were.

Dr Weeks said that couples who had sex at least three times a week looked more than 10 years younger than the average adult who made love twice a week.

He found that a person's genetic make-up was 25% responsible for youthful looks, with behaviour accounting for 75%.

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