New research from Yale University reveals the first evidence that childbearing may cause accelerated aging in women.
The researchers tested 100 healthy postmenopausal women from five rural villages in southern Poland for biomarkers associated with accelerated aging.
The study, conducted in partnership with researchers from Jagiellonian University Medical College in Krakow and the Polish Academy of Sciences, found that the women with higher gravidity — those who had experienced more pregnancies, more births, and spent more time lactating — had higher levels of the biomarkers for accelerated aging than women with lower gravidity.
Women who had experienced at least four pregnancies had 20% higher levels of 8-OHdG, a biomarker of oxidative damage to DNA. They had 60% higher levels of Cu-Zn SOD, an enzyme that provides the body’s primary anti-oxidative defense, indicating increased oxidative stress, which is an important contributor to aging.
This biological connection between childbearing and accelerated aging has been documented in animals, but never so clearly before in humans.
“Like all organisms, people face trade-offs between reproduction and maternal survival in places where energy resources are limited, like a rural farming village,” says Richard Bribiescas, Yale professor of anthropology, and of ecology and evolutionary biology, and coauthor of the study. “This study, for the first time, provides compelling evidence of those trade-offs in humans.”
Publication: Anna Ziomkiewicz, et al., “Evidence for the Cost of Reproduction in Humans: High Lifetime Reproductive Effort Is Associated with Greater Oxidative Stress in Post-Menopausal Women,” PLOS One, 2016; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145753
It isn’t the bearing of children, it is the rearing of children. Have you never heard your Mother tell you where she got her gray hair from? roflol
Aging cannot be documented like this. There are many examples of women over 100 years in Japan having number of children and a troupe of great grand children. Aging in animals is different from humans because in animals only food for existence is the currency to trade off between multiple births and existence. In humans who are sociable creatures various other ingredients of nature and environment also should be taken care of. for example I have written an article by name “Longevity and Latitude” which can be viewed through google by typing “vcmadan2” wherein I have stated that latitude plays an important role in the longevity of humans. Equator has got the lease average life expectancy, and if you climb the ladder to higher latitude both North and South the longevity increases and it is maximum at Japan, Uk, Scandinavian countries, USA, Canada and Australia. The cold climate plays a role to curtail metabolism rate to maximum to maintain body temperature and the trade off between metabolism rate and body temperature results in tropical countries to leave lot of waste products in the body to be cleared by anti-oxidants which they take very little on account of poverty.Thank You.