Friday, 05 Jun, 2009 Science

Muscle Men Have More Sex, But Poor Immune System


According to a new study, men with muscles attract women more, but their downside is poor immune system and stronger appetite.

The lead researcher, William Lassek, who works as an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, explains that such disadvantages could be the reason why not all men are beefcakes.

The current study adds more facts about the cost of being the He-Man. Earlier studies found that testosterone, which is a hormone that encourages secondary muscle growth, restrains the immune system of all animals, and this includes humans.

However, this is the first research that focuses on both the positive and negative sides of big muscles within a single populace. The lead researcher examined data from over 5,000 men aged between 18 and 49, who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in the period from 1988 to 1994.

Lassek confirmed that the more muscles a man has, the more sexual partners he has throughout life. To group men into beefier and slender ones, researchers analyzed total fat-free mass, or the mass of arm and leg muscles. In addition, in his research Lassek found that men with more muscles are more likely to lose their virginity earlier than slender men.

However, muscle men had a great disadvantage - an increased appetite. Besides, if compared to slender men, they were also more likely to produce less infection-fighting white blood cells and a smaller amount of C-reactive protein, which is an important immune molecule that helps destroy pathogens, reports NewScientist.

The analysis of the pluses and minuses of beefy men could explain why men of different shapes succeed.

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