5 Facts You’ve Gotta See!
Women live, on average, at least five years longer than men. Theories abound as to why this is … and it’s often been surmised that men are bigger risk-takers or that the stress and/or hard labor of a ‘man’s work’ wears their bodies down faster.
But nowadays, we know that suggesting a man’s life is “harder” than a woman’s is far too simplistic (not to mention too sexist) to really explain away the discrepancies … plus it’s certainly not always accurate.
There have, however, been several revelations over the years that shed some light on the life expectancy gender gap, and help answer the question, “Why do women live longer than men?”
So Why DO Women Live Longer?
5. Women Get Heart Disease Later
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, for both men and women. However, women tend to be about 10 years older than men before they’re diagnosed. So while a man may suffer from a heart attack or stroke in his 50s or 60s, a women isn’t likely to face these conditions until her 70s or 80s, which may account for some of the lifespan gap.
4. Male Genetic Material May Lead to Shorter Lifespan
Japanese researchers decided to tackle this lifespan question by creating “bimaternal” mice, that is, mice produced without fathers. Instead, they were created with the genetic material from two mothers. Interestingly, when the male genes were taken out of the equation, the mice lived about one-third longer, leading researchers to suggest that male genetic material may have a shortening effect on lifespan, whereas the female genome may impact longevity.[i]
There’s also speculation that testosterone, which men obviously have more of, could also play a role. This is especially true for young men in their mid-teens to early 20s, during which a surge in testosterone can lead males to engage in aggressive, risky behaviors like drinking and driving, using weapons, and so on, all of which lead to a higher death rate.
It’s also suspected, though it hasn’t been proven, that higher testosterone levels in men may have a negative impact on cholesterol, lowering the good HDL and increasing the bad LDL … and ultimately contributing to heart disease risk.[ii]
2. Women Have Better Heart Pumping Power
Still more research looked at male and female hearts and the way they respond to aging. While women’s hearts tended to continue pumping well into old age, men’s hearts tended to lose about 25 percent of their pumping power by their 70th birthdays.[iii]
The good news is that men can significantly reduce the rate at which their hearts lose power by exercising regularly. So, guys, if you haven’t yet tried out the…
… really, what are you waiting for?
1. Mom’s Mitochondrial Mutations Only Harm Men
Your cells’ mitochondria (the energy-producing part of your cells) have their own DNA, which is passed down to both men and women directly (and solely) from their mother. Usually, when genes are passed down they get input from both mom and dad to help prevent mutations. But in the case of mitochondria DNA, it comes only from mom, and therefore mutations are more likely to be passed on.
However, the mitochondrial DNA mutations are not harmful to women, only to men, and this is the key researchers now believe may explain why men have shorter lifespans.[iv] Mitochondrial mutations inherited from mom are harmless for women, but in men may shave years off of their lives.
But guys, this doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. As the Huffington Post reported:[v]
“Males may not be entirely doomed, however, as evidenced by the fact that they haven’t gone extinct yet. It’s possible that the nuclear genome – the DNA we inherit from both of our parents – might be compensating for the mitochondrial handicap in men. In other words, men whose genomes can counteract the nasty effects of mitochondrial mutations might do better and pass on their genes more effectively.”
Of course, while we all face some factors that are “out of our control” when it comes to health and longevity, there are PLENTY of powerful things you DO have control over to boost your immune system toward increasing the odds (tremendously) that you’ll live a long and high-quality life…
When people ask me what the most important steps they can take are, I cite what most people already know… healthy diet and exercise… but I ALSO cite 2 important things you hear much less about…
1) REGAIN Control of the “Fibrin” Levels in Your Body (click to learn why this is a MUST)
2) Address and Improve Your EMOTIONAL Health (it is said, and it does seem, that women overall do a MUCH better job of addressing this crucial aspect of their health than men… but men need to do so just as much!)
Written By: Updated: August 20,2012