Updated 27 October 2014

Many moles linked to lower risk of osteoporosis

If you have many moles, you may actually age slower than your 'non-moley' friends and be at a lower risk of developing age-related diseases such as osteoporosis.

People with more moles may be at a higher risk of melanoma, but research suggests that they could be at a lower risk of age-related diseases such as osteoporosis.

A research study conducted by King’s College of London and published in the July 2007 edition of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention aimed to investigate the relationship between the number of moles and rate of ageing.

This was done by comparing the length of particular groups of DNA, called telomeres, found in the cells of our bodies with the number of moles on the body.

Telomeres are found at the end of the chromosomes and protect genetic information contained in the chromosome, an article by the University of Utah Health Sciences states. Every time the cell divides, the telomeres shorten in length. It is this shortening process that is associated with ageing and other medical conditions such as cancer.

It is known that the number of moles on our bodies decrease as we age.

ReadPreventing osteoporosis

The study examined 900 sets of female, caucasian twins, using a questionnaire to note a number of factors such as disease, sun exposure and use of tanning beds.  

The results indicate that the twins with more moles have longer telomere length, which indicates that they age slower than people with fewer moles.

By measuring the average length of telomere per year in each participant, the study revealed that twins with 100 or more moles were ageing six to seven years slower than those with 25 or less moles.

Lead researcher Dr. Veronica Bataille was excited by the results and believes that the slower rate of ageing in ‘moley’ people could indicate that they will be less susceptible to age-related diseases such as osteoporosis although more research is needed to confirm this.

Read more:

People who live the longest and why
South Africans underestimate men's osteoporosis risk
Low-acid body can prevent osteoporosis-related fractures
Men are the weaker sex when it comes to bone health
Risk factors for osteoporosis

Image: Cindy Crawford via Shutterstock


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Ask the Expert

Healthy Bones

Tereza is the CEO of the National Osteoporosis Foundation and worked as a Nursing Sister in the field of Osteoporosis for 18 years prior to her appointment with the Foundation. She used to be the Educational Officer for the Foundation and co-wrote the patient brochure on Osteoporosis. Read more

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules