In your mind, the pitter-patter of multiple sets of feet may be turning your hair gray sooner, solidifying the frown lines in your forehead, and maybe even taking a few inches off your height. It can certainly feel that way.

However, a 2016 study is gaining new attention for its suggestion that the more children a woman has, the slower she ages. Researchers at Simon Frasier University examined the relationship between the body’s aging pace and number of offspring. Do you believe it?

Specifically, they looked at the length of each woman’s telomeres, a protective end found on DNA strands. Longer telomeres are connected to longer lives, indicating that cells are still able to replicate. Shortened telomeres not only indicate aging, but also stress, disease, and even poor diet.

Over a 13-year period, 75 women in two rural Guatemalan communities were followed and had their DNA samples taken twice. One of the study’s leads, Professor Pablo Nepomnaschy, believes that estrogen levels may play a role in preserving telomeres:

“The slower pace of telomere shortening found in the study participants who have more children however, may be attributed to the dramatic increase in estrogen, a hormone produced during pregnancy. Estrogen functions as a potent antioxidant that protects cells against telomere shortening.”

But he also added this group of women had more support in their environments from family, friends, and the community. Because of this, their metabolism was better and therefore beneficial in slowing down the aging process.

How do you feel about this suggestion? Do you have a large number of kids and people around to help? Do you think you are aging slower or nah?