Unlike your chronological age, your biological age is very flexible, and studies show diet, physical activity, sleep, stress management and supplementation all contribute to a youthful biological age. This article will look at the latest research on reversing your biological age and how NAD+ supplements can support your age reversal goals. So, if you’ve had your biological age measured and you are wondering how to improve your results, then this article is for you.
Biological age is the age of your cells
Biological age is the rate at which you are aging on the inside, it reflects how well your cells are functioning and how much damage they have accumulated. Studies show that biological age is a good predictor of your future health, with a biological age older than your chronological age (the number of years since you were born), indicating an accelerated pace of aging.
Fortunately, your biological age is reversible and it is estimated that around 80% of your biological age is determined by lifestyle factors, meaning changes to your daily habits can reduce your biological age.
Lifestyle habits such as exercise, fasting and hot and cold exposure change the epigenetic pattern on your cells to activate pathways that promote repair and regeneration, which are known to be turned down during aging.
Healthy lifestyle habits reverse biological age
Studies continuously show that good lifestyle habits reverse biological age and the following practices have good evidence to demonstrate a positive impact on cellular health and biological age:
Changes in NAD+ levels have been shown to be involved in the aging process. NAD+ is essential for cellular health because of its critical role in the production of cellular energy. As NAD+ levels decline during aging our cells stop producing sufficient energy and cannot perform critical functions.
NAD+ also powers cellular repair and regeneration and without these pathways being switched on, damage accumulates accelerating the aging process.
NAD+ is one of the only molecules known to target all of the Hallmarks of Aging – 12 key processes that are known to drive the cellular aging process - to slow aging at a cellular level. Given the many important functions of NAD+, it is unsurprising that increasing NAD+ levels has been shown to reverse biological age. In our clinical trial, Nuchido TIME+ increased NAD+ levels, reduced inflammation, activated healthy aging proteins and reduced biological age by 1.26 years in just 28 days.
Exercise has been shown to positively impact a variety of different areas including metabolic health, brain health and immune function. All forms of exercise are beneficial, but resistance training is particularly beneficial for supporting muscle mass which is known to decline with age.
Studies show that exercise reverses biological age and supports cellular health by creating energy stress in your cells, which in turn activates the cells energy sensor called AMPK. AMPK activation is important because it regulates many important processes including: NAD+ and energy production, anti-inflammatory pathways, increased muscle performance, enhanced metabolism, recycling of damaged cellular components and repair pathways.
Any activity which creates short term cellular stress is termed 'hormesis' and other examples include cryotherapy, saunas and fasting. Activation of AMPK is known to decline with age, and this contributes to cellular aging, therefore, any activity which creates energy stress in this way is very beneficial for your cellular health.
While short term cellular stress such as exercise is beneficial for your cells, chronic psychological stress can increase inflammation and negatively impact your biological age. Multiple studies show that traumatic stress experienced at any age can increase biological age and influence the rate of aging during later life. Incorporating stress management techniques which support your mental health such as journalling, mediation or breathing exercises can help to reverse biological age.
Optimise your diet
While tailoring your diet to your needs is highly personal, incorporating anti-inflammatory, polyphenol rich and gut supporting foods is critical to aging well.
Polyphenols are a group of compounds found in plants, which have a wide range of health benefits. They are powerful anti-aging compounds that work by lowering inflammation, supporting gut health, reducing cellular damage and enhancing mitochondrial function. Several studies show increased consumption of polyphenols reverses biological age.
Your diet also influences levels of inflammation in your body. A high sugar diet increases chronic inflammation across the body which increases biological age. Whilst incorporating anti-inflammatory foods and reducing consumption of ultra-processed foods reduces your biological age.
The health of your gut has been found to impacts many other parts of your body including your skin, immune system, and brain. Ensuring your diet contains a variety of plants which are high in polyphenols, fermented foods and sufficient fiber, while reducing consumption of ultra-processed foods can improve gut health and by increasing the diversity of good gut bacteria, it supports the health of your whole-body. Studies show that just increasing the number of plants in your diet (aim for 30 different plants a week) and changing nothing else can reduce biological age.
Get restorative sleep
Sleep is the time when your body can repair and recover, therefore having consistent quality sleep is critical to feeling your best.
A lack of sleep accelerates aging because it increases inflammation, damages mitochondria, alters production of hormones and impairs nutrient sensing pathways. Your sleep-wake patterns are regulated by your circadian rhythm which become dysfunctional with age, so supporting your circadian rhythm can support deep restorative sleep.
There have been many studies on the individual impacts of each of the lifestyle practices above, but exciting studies from the research team of Dr Kara Fitzgeral highlight the power of combining these habits. In her research they used a combination of the tools listed above and found that in just 8 weeks they reduced the average biological age of female participants by 4.6 years and male participants by 2 years.
The continued research emerging from this area is very exciting and reinforces that how we age is in our control.