Having more children slows ageing in women

Young pregnant woman, reading a book at home to her two boys, eating fruits, hugging and laughing
Young pregnant woman, reading a book at home to her two boys, eating fruits, hugging and laughing

A new study suggests that “having more children slows down the aging process” – another surprising anti-ageing solution!

According to a study conducted by researchers at Simon Fraser University in 2016, the number of children a woman gives birth to can have an effect on the rate at which her body ages – slowing the process down. This contradicts the commonly accepted idea that having more children accelerates the aging process.

The study led by health sciences professor Pablo Nepomnaschy and postdoctoral researcher Cindy Barha found that women who give birth to more surviving children exhibited longer telomeres. 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.

“The slower pace of telomere shortening found in the study participants who have more children, however, may be attributed to the dramatic increase in estrogen, a hormone produced during pregnancy,” Nepomnaschy told Science Daily.

According to Nepomnaschy, the study findings contradict life history theory which predicts that producing a higher number of offspring accelerates the pace of biological aging. 

Nepomnaschy explained that women with more kids tend to receive more support from outside sources, like relatives and friends, which can help increase the amount of metabolic energy she has.

This, in turn, contributes to tissue upkeep and slows down aging.

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