Study: Women with more children may age slower than those with fewer
Women who have more children may age slower than those who have fewer, according to researchers at Simon Fraser University.
A study of 75 rural Guatemalan women found that those with a higher number of children who survived childbirth had longer telomeres.
A summary of the findings explains, "Telomeres are the protective tips found at the end of each DNA strand and are indicative of cellular aging. Longer telomeres are integral to cell replication and are associated with longevity."
One of the lead researchers, Pablo Nepomnaschy, said, "The slower pace of telomere shortening found in the study participants who have more children...may be attributed to the dramatic increase in estrogen, a hormone produced during pregnancy. Estrogen functions as a potent antioxidant that protects cells against telomere shortening."
Another explanation is that women with more children may simply have better support systems that result in more energy to maintain cellular tissue.
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