Researchers Discover Having More Kids Slows Aging Process

Researchers Discover Having More Kids Slows Aging Process

Good news for JewishMOMs who have or want to have big families!

A 13-year research study conducted by Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia has discovered that having more kids actually slows down the aging process.

According to an article about the study which appeared in The Atlantic, 13 years ago researchers swabbed the cheeks of 75 women living in rural Guatemala and then measured the length of their DNA’s telomeres (the protective caps at the end of chromosomes, sort of like the hard plastic ends of a shoelace). As organisms age, as a general rule the telomeres shorten, which means the chromosomes fray and cells age.

But after researchers recently returned to swab the cheeks of those same women, they were surprised to discover that the telomeres of women with many children were longer than the women with few or no children. Meaning, it seems, that by having more children they actually slowed down the aging process.

Professor Pablo Nepomnaschy suggests the following explanation, “The slower pace of telomere shortening…may be attributed to the dramatic increase in estrogen, a hormone produced during pregnancy. Estrogen functions as a potent antioxidant that protects cells.”

In other words, scientists have discovered the Fountain of Youth, and it is the first mitzvah in the Torah–“Pru Urvu,” be fruitful and multiply!

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6 comments

  1. As late-starting parents (30) with eight kids, we always said that as long as we had someone in diapers, we were still “young!” I’d be curious to know if that works for fathers too…

  2. Thanks Jenny! This research is good news, but I still think that it’s more about whether we FEEL old or young, and how each one of us interprets what she sees in the mirror every morning… regardless of age and the number of kids.

  3. I had three children at age 40 and after… It definitely kept me young. Exercise and good health in general is a big factor in how young you act, feel, and think. It is helpful to to keep this study in mind when we are over-exhausted and burnt out from the daily grind of managing the big family. Our negative thought might be this is ‘killing me!’

  4. Hadassah, I also started over 40 and now have 3 bH! But sadly I just started feeling ‘old’ which I hadn’t till now. Was it just exercise that helped keep you feeling young?

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