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Why do women live longer than men?

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Dr Tim Hore a senior lecturer at the University of Otago, New Zealand, explained there is “a clear link between castration, male hormones, and sex-specific differences in DNA ageing”. Shrek, seroquel clinical trials the famous New Zealand “wether” (what farmers call male sheep who have been castrated) lived until the grand old age of 16. The average lifespan of a sheep living on a commercial farm is 10 years old.

Dr Hore said Shrek’s longevity “certainly wouldn’t have happened if he was not castrated”.

“Both farmers and scientists have known for some time that removing male hormones by castration improves longevity compared to their intact counterparts,” said PhD student Victoria Sugrue.

“However, this is the first time anyone has looked at DNA to see if it also ages slower.”

Utilising an “epigenetic clock”, the researchers found that the longer lives of castrated sheep were indeed reflected in their DNA.

Dr Hore added: “Interestingly, those sites most affected by castration also bind to receptors of male hormones in humans at a much greater rate than we would expect by chance.”

The study suggests that the male sex hormone – testosterone – accelerates ageing in sheep, which may also be applicable to humans.

According to Medical News Today, abnormally high testosterone levels may lead to:

  • Aggressive or risk-taking behaviours
  • Headaches
  • Heart or liver problems
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Increased appetite
  • Infertility
  • Insomnia
  • Low sperm count
  • Mood swings
  • Prostate enlargement, which may cause difficulty passing urine
  • Swelling of the legs and feet
  • Unexplained weight gain.

Often, abnormally high testosterone levels in men are the result of steroid use.

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“Other causes of high testosterone levels in males include tumours in the adrenal glands or testicles,” said Medical News Today.

A blood test can determine if you have abnormal testosterone levels – your blood glucose and cholesterol levels may be checked at the same time.

This is because cholesterol and blood glucose levels are generally raised when a person has excessive testosterone levels.

Foods that may reduce testosterone

Mint “may reduce testosterone levels”, pointed out Medical News Today, but most of the research is focused on animal models or women.

For instance, spearmint has been shown to be particularly effective at reducing testosterone levels in female rats with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) involves raised levels of testosterone, and the condition can result in women experiencing excessive hair growth on the face.

Again, research conducted on women have shown that liquorice root can also reduce testosterone levels.

Reduce testosterone levels by consuming:

  • Mint
  • Liquorice root.

Other ways to reduce testosterone levels is to stop steroid use (if applicable), or to be prescribed medication.

Medication is typically reserved for females who are struggling to conceive, or suffering from PCOS symptoms.

If excess testosterone levels are attributed to a cancerous tumour, it’s important to seek medical advice.

Being checked over by a doctor can save your life, so if you are worried about your health, do speak to your GP.

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