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Why You Could Be Younger Than You Think? - Pt. 5

Have you ever wondered how some people can be so active and lively well past their seventies? We tend to associate getting older with a general deterioration in physical and mental capability, but ageing isn’t a straightforward decline as it may seem.Mature man in good health jogging illustrating that his biological age is lower than his chronological age.

For a start, thestatus of our health is more to do with our biological age — how well our bodies function — rather than the number of years from birth, our so-called chronological age. In fact, our biological age and chronological age can be remarkably different, with the former sometimes a better predictor of our overall lifespan and risk of gettingage-related diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.

It follows that if we could manage our biological age, slow it down, stop it, or even reverse the ageing process, we will not only live longer but stay healthy in later life.

THE SCIENCE OF AGEING

What changes at the biological level when we age? We can think of ageing as a loss of information – our cells lose their identity and don’t function as well as a result. If a nerve cell, for example, starts to behave less like a nerve cell, it could eventually lead to a loss of sight, if that cell happens to be part of the optic nerve.

The information in question lies in the cell’sepigenome, which consists of various chemical compounds that attach to and ‘tag’ DNA to control which genes are switched on or off in the cell, and therefore how and when that cell functions.

HOW DO I DETERMINE MY BIOLOGICAL AGE?

Thanks to advances in research that are helping us to understand the ageing process better than ever before, we now know of biological signs—biomarkers—that can indicate our biological age and help predict our lifespan.

Unsurprisingly, it turns out that many of these biomarkers are related to the epigenome. One of the most widely-used biomarkers for ageing isDNA methylation, which has been linked to longevity. The length of the protectivetelomere 'caps' on the end of our chromosomes are known to play a role in ageing. We can also look to genes or proteins linked to ageing for clues.

Because ageing is such a complex process, there are likely multiple biomarkers involved when it comes to predicting our biological age.

CAN I CONTROL HOW I AGE?

We're often told topractice a healthy lifestylein terms of our diet, exercise, sleep and wellbeing, and these factors seem to be important for reducing our biological age too, by targeting processes like DNA methylation
Image of a lady's trim stomach showing she is aware of her weight and diet.

Calorie restriction is one particular approach that has shown promise. Dr. Sinclair believes that genetic pathways are activated by low energy which activates enzymes called sirtuins. "Eat less often." which does not insinuate consuming fewer calories butconsuming fewer calories within a shorter amount of time.A diagram depicting NAD+ levels dropping as we age.

Certain supplements have also seen success in slowing how we age, by mirroring some of the biological effects of exercise or dietary restriction. This includes the supplementnicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), which boosts the level of NAD+, a coenzyme which helps protect cells from stress and repair damaged DNA.

As people continue to live longer and age-related diseases pose an ever-greater health problem, anti-ageing interventions are becoming more pertinent, as well as a hot topic.

Previously it was hard to say for certain that a 65-year-old with a healthy lifestyle is biologically younger than a 65-year-old who smokes, drinks, doesn't exercise or takes supplements.

That's why it's exciting that scientists are developing ways to reliably measure biological age, including via blood biomarkers. This will allow longevity therapies to be assessed in clinical trials for their effectiveness to ensure anti-ageing becomes more than just a buzzword.

The content of this article is for informational purposes only.
It’s not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or health provider before starting a new health regime or program.
Do not ignore medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you’ve read on this site or any Youth & Earth product.

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