Fruit Flies Explain Why Women Outlive Men?
5:15 pm, August 2nd | by Laura Donovan
For many years, researchers have offered possible explanations as to why females often outlive their male counterparts: Men are risk-takers, more stressed, and less healthy. But in a new paper for Current Biology, scientists say the different lifespans could have to do with mitochondria, which can only be passed down from females. One of the researchers explained it as such:
“All animals possess mitochondria, and the tendency for females to outlive males is common to many different species. Our results therefore suggest that the mitochondrial mutations we have uncovered will generally cause faster male ageing across the animal kingdom…Over thousands of generations, many such mutations have accumulated that harm only males, while leaving females unscathed.”
Tom Kirkwood, a professor in aging at England’s Newcastle University, said that while the findings are certainly “intriguing,” we must incorporate “lifestyle, social and behavioural factors” into the picture for humans.
Another thing to remember, he said, is that “we have different hormones.” Until I’m presented with further proof, I’ll continue partially subscribing to the well-worn notion that guys are shortchanged on earth time because they visit the doctor less frequently than women.