Articles Blog

Why Grandparents Are Key To Human Survival

Why Grandparents Are Key To Human Survival


One of my favorite memories as a kiddo was
spending time with my granny in Kentucky- not only did she teach me how to shuck corn,
she made the BEST chocolate gravy. Yes…that’s a thing. But did you know grandparents are
unique and that most other species don’t have them? Hello, it’s Natalia for DNews! From “to grandmother’s house we go”
to “grandmother got run over by a reindeer”- grandparents are an integral part of holiday
celebrations! This is the time of year that extended families make the pilgrimage to their
elders. But in a world where most other animals begin to mentally deteriorate and die once
they reach the end of their reproductive rope, why do humans continue on to grow old and
become grandparents? A few animals, such as dolphins, whales and
humans DO have grandparents which play a key role in caring for their grandkids. And new
studies show that there are gene variants that protect against Alzheimer’s disease
found in some humans that allow them to continue contributing to their families long after
they’re done producing offspring. Past studies have linked two versions of the
gene CD33 to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, however a variant or allele of CD33
has been discovered that actually protects against the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
This interests scientists because humans, unlike most mammals, continue to live well-past
our reproductive years. And living past our ‘prime’ allows humans to contribute to
the success of our grandkids by handing down knowledge, supplying food, and being cost
efficient babysitters while parents tend to other duties…or children. This means humans
having grandparents gives our species an evolutionary advantage when it comes to having multiple
children in shorter intervals. However, those grandparents who DO develop dementia and Alzheimer’s
disease can have the opposite effect on a mother raising multiple children- they become
more of a burden. Though there’s no proof this gene variant
was naturally selected for- it could very well have been selected for randomly. And
not everyone has this gene variant, however, learning more about this variant allows researchers
to develop drugs that mimic the variant and help protect patients against the effects
of Alzheimer’s disease. These findings may support the popular ‘grandmother
hypothesis’. The ‘grandmother hypothesis’ was first introduced in 1997 by anthropologist
Kristen Hawkes after she worked with the Hazda, hunter-gathers in Tanzania. While working
with this group of foragers, she noticed that grandmothers played an integral part in feeding
their grandchildren, allowing the mothers to tend to her other children. This assistance
over time has allowed women to have more children in shorter intervals, increasing her fecundity.
In 2012 study by Hawkes has been able to further support the ‘grandmother hypothesis’ through
computer simulations that prove that a little grandmothering over time can increase a species
lifespan by years. However, grandkids aren’t the only ones
benefitting from having Bubbie and PopPop around. Studies have shows that grandparents
who actually spend time with their grandkids, remain mentally alert and physically active
long after they had their own kiddos. Studies show that post-menopausal grandmas who spend
time with their grandkids have a decreased chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease
or other cognitive disorders. But the study also showed that grandmas who spend too much
time with their grandkids had greater cognitive impairments and felt their children were too
demanding with their childcare needs. So, somewhere in between there’s a happy medium
of grandkid/grandparent interaction! Something to consider is that nowadays grandkids
don’t always live in close proximity with their grandparents so both the grandkids AND
the grandparents potentially miss out on the benefits of interacting with one another.
A study released by the National Academy of the Sciences showed that older men and women
who spent long periods away from their family had a 26% higher risk of death in a seven
year period than those individuals who were more engaged with their loved ones. Thus,
by you spending time with your grandparents you may be extending their life…how’s
that for that pressure? Grandparents are most definitely grand. And
unique! So be sure to give yours an extra hug this holiday season. And if they have
departed- raise a glass to them and thank them for their contribution to your survival!

100 thoughts on “Why Grandparents Are Key To Human Survival”

  1. my grandpa was a racist protestant republican who blamed everything on non-whites, both my grandmothers never spoke to me, but one did give me a $20 bill every birthday

  2. When you just asked out a girl named Natalia and she said no and you come to watch videos and cry but the hostess name is Natalia so you cry even more

  3. My grandparents were the meanest bunch of jerks ever. All of their own kids bailed at the legal age of 18 to get the hell away from em. I am happy they are 6 feet under now.

  4. How come an "anti alzheimers" gene could be an evolutionary edge when we only recently managed to push our lifespan so far that alzheimers started to become a problem? How can some develop a counter to something we barely even experienced?

  5. I never knew any of my Grand parents.  I was born too late or they died to early.  However, there can be no question of the mutual benefit the old and young share in company.

  6. Word of advice.. It's obvious that she is not looking to the camera becouse she is reading lines.. Try mix that a little bit, it's weird looking at her like that.. Overall a great show you have, great chanel and keep up the good work guys!!!

  7. 2:35 So,what would studies show of Great grandparents Spending time with parents,or,great grand children..?Not enough sources,to be a popular,thought about well researched scientific interest..

  8. ˛. (´• ̮•)˛° /.♫.♫˛. ˛ Π____. * ˛*
    .°( . • .) ˛°./• '♫ ' •. ˛*./______/~\*. ˛*.。˛
    *(…'•'.. ) *˛╬╬╬╬╬˛°.|田田 |門|╬╬╬
    ¯˜"*°••°*"˜¯`´¯˜"*°••°*"˜¯` ´¯˜"*°´¯˜"*°••°*"˜¯`
    ★Merry Christmas and Happy New Year★

  9. made me remember when I used to spend near to everyday with my grandma and grandpa. I miss them. they passed away a year ago or so.

  10. 0:36 – because we as a society are too spoiled – lots of food and homes and other resources for lots of people, healthcare, no predators to worry about…. Grandparents are luxury we keep just for our selfish reasons. When I am old, I don't want to be a burden for the society and for the planet… I can retire in …65?… live to ~75, and then die without regrets….

    Sure grandparents "play key role in caring for grandkids", but again, that is a freaking selfish luxury. When my parents or grandparents grew up, people would spend much more time with their parents, and it's not that the parent's would have had more time, they needed to work to feed the families too, and I bet that they worked much harder than me or you… It's just again, we reached the point when we are too spoiled and nowadays the parents themselves feel like they have less time for kids… Sure they have less time. But only because they choose so. Turn of your facebooks, your TVs, stop driving through half a town to a gym or whatever., You can exercise (or do whatever) at home, and your children can well join you in many activities.

    So yeah, grandparents-grandkids relationship is benefitial for both sides in the current state of the society, but that is not the ultimate answer. We should change something on the deeper level

  11. Unfortunately for me I didnt get to meet my 3 grandparents, only my Mother's Father. He lived a long and good life, and he deserved it.

  12. My grandparents are still sharp they even attained doctorate in their field, buuuuuuuuuuuut they hate it if you correct them or debate them in current world issues, one time i finally got fed up i told them its their generations fault where in this mess to begin with, to my surprise they agreed!

  13. Damn, everyone is talking about how their grandparents were bad. My grandma on my dad's side was the most caring person I've ever known and always put all of us before her, but she passed away. Her husband (my grandpa) Is a funny guy who likes to be free and always has something to say, and likes to do things his way, but is still lovkng, just not lovey dovy type stuff, and they both aren't racist at all and approved my dad marrying my mom even though they are white and she is black. On my mom's side, my Grandpa was a nice sporty guy who had many health problems so I didn't see him as much, and he was a lot sticker than my dad's side, but he still loved me, he just made sure I was in check and I'd get into trouble if I wasn't, but he passed away, and my Grandma on my mom's side is more like that too, except she had more less tough love stuff. I love my grandparents

  14. My grandparents are my inspiration everyday. They came here not knowing English and worked hard until the day they couldn't physically work anymore. I wish they were still alive today so they could see how far we've all come.

  15. I was raised by my grandparents completely. From the moment I was born, until earlier this year when I finally moved out.

  16. I live within a ten mile radius of all my aunts uncles cousins and grandparents on my mom's side. I even grew up with having my great-grandma around until a few years ago. I'm 20.

  17. "She made the BEST chocolate gravy. Yeah, that's a thing." I wouldn't think of that. Would've put the idea to use if I wasn't vegetarian.

  18. I feel sad because I never got to spend any real time with my grandmother…
    What ever time I did spend with her, I don't remember.

  19. I was adopted by my maternal grandparents when I was 5. I don't know why but I do know I had a much better life than my little brothers that weren't.

  20. In S.Korea, grandparents are employed by their kids to take care of their grandchildren. That means salary and all.

  21. In my culture, grandparents are looked upon with a lot of respect. My grandparents also loved me a lot and would support me in every manner. There was a time where I took them for granted because you're just used to someone giving you all you need and you don't realise how much they mean to you. Eventually, they passed away and I regret not being a good grandson during that time but I recall taking out my grandmother out to her favourite restaurant every week. I miss them! Grandparents are amazing!

  22. Another BS video from DNews. Just 200 years ago, the life expectancy was 35 years. There were no grandparents just a few generations ago. Grandparents exist purely by an advancing society that protects them medically and economically. 10,000 years ago, there's no way humans could support an elderly person who eats, but cannot hunt.

  23. Here in the Philippines,many people live with their grandparents.They keep our dying traditions and traditional discipline alive.

  24. What if your grandparents are abusive and/or horrible people like mine? (That's why I almost never see one set and have never met the other)

  25. My mothers Mom, my "memaw" was my WORLD !!!! I truly miss her love, hugs and kisses.. Grandparents are very special… I still have my pepaw who is 83 and I'm blessed to have him as he's blessed to have us there for him …. Love your family no matter what.

  26. Humans living long enough to become grandparents have only occurred for <1% of the time humans have existed. So much for this asinine theory.

  27. My grandparents are so nice. They won't buy me everything, but they'll make sure I'm safe😇 I am always loved and appreciated when I go to their house.

  28. Grandparents definitely can make a positive difference in their grandchildren's lives. Without my MawMaw, I would not be the person I am today!

  29. Be aware of the advert that's being played you have Turkish propaganda as your lead in, I don't think you condone Kurdish murder try to control it

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *