Eunuchs in Korea centuries ago lived significantly longer than other men, according to a new study indicating that castration may add as much as two decades to a man’s life.
A eunuch, historically employed as a harem attendant or as a functionary in certain Asian courts, usually has his testes removed or non-functioning.
During the Korean Chosun dynasty, from 1392 to 1910, boys in Korea were at times castrated to gain early access to the palace. Investigations revealed that those castrated lived about 14 to 19 years longer than men who had similar socio-economic status, but still had their testicles. That’s according to a study published in the journal Current Biology.
Three of the 81 eunuchs who were studied lived to100 or more years, a centenarian rate that is 130 times higher than what obtains in developed nations today, researchers Kyung-Jin Min and his colleague Cheol-Koo Lee of Korea University found.
Medical Daily reports that researchers found that castration typically increases the lifespan in animals with studies on people inconclusive.
It added that since the latest discovery may offer some clues to longevity and better health, in the meantime, researchers have joked that men should "stay away from stresses and learn what you can from women."