TORONTO — While being mother is a greatly gratifying experience, most mothers are unlikely to consider the sleepless nights and temper tantrums as beneficial for aging. But, a surprising new study suggests that the more children a woman has, the slower she ages.
In the journal PLOS One, researchers reveal that women who had more children had longer telomeres than women who had fewer children.
The researchers assessed the number of children born to 75 women from two neighboring indigenous rural Guatemalan communities. In addition, they assessed the length of their telomeres at two time periods 13 years apart.
They found that producing a higher number of offspring may actually slow the pace of biological aging. The findings reveal a bit more about the process of aging and how estrogen may influence women.
“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,” said Pablo Nepomnaschy, one of the researchers, in a news release. “Estrogen functions as a potent antioxidant that protects cells against telomere shortening.”
With that said, the social environment in which the study participants live may influence the relationship between their reproductive efforts and the pace of aging.
“The women we followed over the course of the study were from natural fertility populations where mothers who bear numerous children receive more social support from their relatives and friends,” said Nepomnaschy. “Greater support leads to an increase in the amount of metabolic energy that can be allocated to tissue maintenance, thereby slowing down the process of aging.”Follow @gorkhapost
E-cigarettes may lead to accumulation of fat in the liver
WASHINGTON — Using e-cigarettes may lead to an accumulation of fat in the liver, a study of mice exposed to the devices suggests.
The research was presented Sunday, March 18, at ENDO 2018, the Endocrine Society’s 100th annual meeting in Chicago, Ill.
“The popularity of electronic cigarettes has been rapidly increasing in part because of advertisements that they are safer than conventional cigarettes. But because extra fat in the liver is likely to be detrimental to health, we conclude that e-cigarettes are not as safe as they have been promoted to consumers,” said lead author Theodore C. Friedman of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles, Calif. “This has important public health and regulatory implications.”
E-cigarettes contain nicotine, which Dr Friedman and other researchers have reported is associated with non-alcohol fatty liver diseases. However, the long-term effects of e-cigarettes on liver disease, diabetes, heart disease or stroke are unknown.
In the 12-week study, Friedman and colleagues studied mice missing the gene for apolipoprotein E, which makes them more prone to developing heart disease and fat in the liver. All of the mice were fed a diet relatively high in fat and cholesterol.
One group of mice was put in a chamber that exposed them to e-cigarette aerosol, so that their blood nicotine levels were similar to that of smokers and e-cigarette users. A second group of mice were exposed to saline aerosol.
The researchers collected liver samples, and looked at genes in the liver affected by e-cigarettes using a technique called RNA sequence analysis. They found changes in 433 genes that were associated with fatty liver development and progression in the mice exposed to e-cigarettes.
The researchers also found that genes related to circadian rhythms (the body clock) were changed in mice exposed to e-cigarettes. Circadian rhythm dysfunction is known to accelerate the development of liver disease including fatty liver diseases.
“Our experimental results will provide support to policymakers and federal and state regulatory bodies to take preventive measures to stop the increasing use of e-cigarettes among both children and adults,” Friedman said.
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