The scientists from the Department of Anthropology at Northwestern University in Illinois found that telomeres in male sperm get extended with age, which affects the life expectancy of an offspring.
These long telomeres may be inherited by the next generation. There are even dynasties of long-livers in the families with older fathers. Dr. Dan Eisenberg and her colleagues studied telomere inheritance in a group of young people living in the Philippines. It was found that telomeres were longer in those participants, whose fathers and grandfathers were older at the time of conception.
Despite the fact that late fatherhood increases the risk of miscarriage and genetic diseases, the researchers believe that there are still more long-term benefits for child health. Thus, the inheritance of telomere length has a positive effect on the biological functions associated with rapid cell growth, it is important for the health of the immune system, intestine, and skin.
It is a fact that the human lifespan is directly related to the length of telomeres, the end parts of chromosomes that protect them from damage.