When a woman conceived a fetus in her womb, the feeling of overwhelming joy pours. Regardless whether you’re a single woman, or happily married, giving birth to that baby, a new life you bring to this planet is a joy. It’s a priceless gift endowed to humans on this planet. Well, that feeling of joy and being a woman has something positive. Researchers at Simon Fraser Univesity suggest that a woman who gave birth to a number of children have a positive influence at the rate her body ages.
In this new study at PLO SONE on January 2106, just a few days ago found women who gave birth to children who are alive showed longer telomeres. According to scientists and researchers, telomeres are protective tips found at every end of human DNA strand, and the longer the telomere, the longer the lifespan.
The study evaluated the number of children born to 75 women in a Guatemalan communities, as well as the length of their telomeres. The length of the telomeres from participants were measured through specimen obtain from saliva and buccal swab at 2 points with each 13 years apart. This study is the first to look at the direct link between the number of children and shortening of telomere throughout the aging process.
According to the led author of the study, their findings contradicts the theory of life history which foretell having a number of children can speed up the biological aging process.
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. Estrogen functions as a potent antioxidant that protects cells against telomere shortening.
Social environment may play a vital role on influencing between reproductive efforts and rate of aging. The women who participated in the study have natural fertility where mothers who gave birth to a number of children obtain social support from close friends and relatives. This greater support experienced by these mothers result to a higher level of metabolic energy that can be helpful to tissue maintenance; hence slowing down the aging pace.