It may shock you to learn that you have more than one age. Your chronological age and your biological age. This article will look at what your biological age is and why knowing this information can be very beneficial.
Biological Age: the rate at which your cells are aging
Your chronological age is simply how many years have passed since your birth. This number will continue to increase over time, and we have no control over it. On the other hand, your biological age is the rate at which your cells are aging inside, how well are they functioning and how much damage they have accumulated. Therefore, your biological age can be higher or lower than your chronological age. For example, while your chronological age may be 35 your cells may be functioning like those of someone aged 40!
Research now shows that our genetics have only a small influence on your rate of aging, only accounting for ~20%. The remaining ~80% is determined by lifestyle factors. This means your daily habits and routines have a huge influence on your biological age.
Lifestyle is the biggest influence on your biological age
Studies show that those people who routinely exercise, eat a healthy balanced diet, get optimal sleep, and reduce stress tend to have a lower biological age than those of the same chronological age who do not follow these lifestyle practices. Studies have now shown that adhering to these lifestyle practises can increase lifespan by up to 10 years.
However, everyone’s biology is unique, and we all respond differently to lifestyle habits and supplements. Therefore, measuring your biological age before and after implementing something new into your routine can serve as a valuable tool to measure the impact it is having at a cellular level. Supporting the personalisation of your routine, to your biology.
The research team of Dr Kara Fitzgerald recently published a study analysing the effects of lifestyle interventions (diet, sleep, exercise, relaxation guidance and supplementation) on a group of healthy middle-aged men. The results showed a decrease in biological age by 2 years in just 8 weeks. This exciting research further highlights the plasticity of biological age and how altering our lifestyle habits can have a positive impact.
Women were not included in the study as women in the same age category are in various stages of their menstrual cycle and hormone levels are known to have a strong influence on biological age. For example, it has been found that a women’s biological age can significantly increase during the menopause. Therefore, future studies conducted on female biological age will be interesting.
How to measure biological age
One company at the forefront of biological age testing is GlycanAge. They measure biological age by looking at the expression patterns of glycans. These are sugar molecules found on the surface of cells, and they account for a large part of the inter-individual variation seen among people.
The expression pattern of glycans changes with age, with young individuals having a pattern of glycans that suppress inflammation, while older individuals tend to have glycan patterns that promote inflammation. This is significant because increased levels of inflammation are known to be a key driver of the cellular aging process. Glycan expression patterns integrate genetic, epigenetic and lifestyle factors to produce a reliable measure of biological age.
In our upcoming clinical trial, Nuchido have partnered with GlycanAge to measure the impact of Nuchido TIME+ supplementation on biological age and we are very excited to share these results. Overall, knowing and tracking your biological age over time can be a valuable tool in optimising your health and personalising your routine. With increasing evidence continuing to demonstrate that lifestyle factors such as diet, sleep, stress and physical activity have a large influence on biological age. It’s a very exciting time having access to such testing, with more research continuing to emerge on the importance of biological age.