Why are super-centenarians almost always female? According to a report in the journal Cell Stem Cell, 95 per cent of people who live to 110 are women.
Researchers say it is time to look at whether women’s stem cells age differently and if this has consequences for health-span and lifespan.
The sex hormones oestrogen and testosterone are known to modify lifespan.
The lifespan of male mice increases when they are given oestrogen.
Men rushing to take testosterone supplements may be interested to know that eunuchs live about 14 years longer than non-castrated men.
In female mice, oestrogen directly affects their stem cell populations. At the height of oestrus, it enhances the regenerative capacity of their brain stem cells and increases their blood stem cells.