Biological age increases due to pregnancy.

Biological age increases due to pregnancy.

When a baby grows in the womb, the pregnant woman’s body does more work. In this context, biological age also increases.

The importance of pregnancy is different for each woman: some decide to become mothers early, others do not want to have children until late or do not want to have children at all. Folic acid supplements are especially important in the first weeks of pregnancy: the vitamin folate is important for embryo development. But what about the mother? Several studies indicate that women who have given birth face health problems in the future. A recent article published in the journal “Cell Metabolism” has highlighted changes at the DNA level due to pregnancy. These indicate a greater biological age of the pregnant woman.

How pregnancy affects age

A person’s chronological age is determined by simply adding the years, months, and days since birth. But there is also biological age, which is an indicator of life expectancy, for example, says Professor Kieran J. O’Donnell of Yale School of Medicine. Deutschlandfunk: “Perhaps the cells are biologically older or biologically younger, which says something about your personal life expectancy or how many years of health you still have left or about your risk of disease.”

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What does biological age consist of?

To determine biological age, it is necessary to analyze various indicators in the human body, the so-called biomarkers. This allows a better prediction of the functional state of the organism. Max Planck Institute for Biology of Aging. Therefore, these include:

  • Blood pressure
  • view
  • hearing
  • Joint mobility

But the length of telomeres (protective layers at the ends of chromosomes) and certain blood proteins are also part of the biomarkers. Cholesterol and inflammatory markers are also suitable for determining biological age. There are also individual influences. “We have to live with the genes we are born with. But there are also many environmental factors that influence biological age. Lifestyle plays a very important role, i.e. a healthy diet and sport or physical activity over a long period of time,” says aging researcher Professor Björn Schumacher. DAK Health.

Aging biologically faster due to pregnancy

Pregnancy is stressful for the body, which causes biological age to increase more rapidly. Using blood samples from more than 100 pregnant women, the researchers checked the biological age of blood cells. They carried out this process in the early, middle and late stages of pregnancy. Some women were also examined three months after giving birth.

We found that pregnancy is associated with accelerated biological aging. Biological age progressed faster than chronological age during the study period. In the 20 weeks between the beginning and the end of pregnancy, an average of about two years.

But what surprised the researchers most was the significant decrease in biological age in the post-pregnancy study. In some people, the decrease in biological age was measured by eight years, reported and refers to a press release. This depends, among other things, on the woman’s body mass index before birth: with a lower value, women are biologically younger. Breastfeeding also causes a further decrease in maternal biological age within three months after birth. The long-term nature of these consequences has not yet been investigated, and it also remains to be discovered how the aging process changes with multiple pregnancies.


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