biological age vs. chronological: how to incorporate good habits to live longer and better

The organs of the body age unevenly, so knowing their vital status can help delay the onset of diseases.

What does biological age mean? Recent investigations have detected that the state of cells and organs does not necessarily have to coincide in aging with the person’s chronological age.

For this reason, scientists believe that knowing the biological age, which may not coincide with the chronological age, would make it possible to predict the quality of life that will be had over the years and, consequently, act to avoid or delay certain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or cardiovascular pathologies, among others.

What’s more, the organs could show different aging processes from each other. Recent work led by Brian Kennedy at the National University of Singapore and colleagues, published in the journal Cell, supported the idea that various organs and systems in the body, such as the cardiovascular and immune systems, can age at different rates within from the same individual.

Kennedy’s team collected stool and blood samples from about 480 people between the ages of 20 and 45 and measured a total of 403 biological characteristics in each individual.

The team classified these biomarkers into nine categories to assess the biological age of the kidneys, liver, gut microbiome, and cardiovascular, immune, metabolic, and sex hormone systems.

The team also assessed biological age through physical fitness tests and by analyzing photographs of the participants’ faces. Of the nine systems and organs evaluated, the biological age of an individual’s cardiovascular system correlated the most with people’s age in years: their “chronological age.”

The experts in charge of different research works agree on the importance of knowing the biological age of the organism, on the other hand, they disagree regarding its possibilities of predicting the extension of life, since a standard way of measuring the biological age has not yet been created. biological age and, although it is being worked on, the tools that have been devised thus far are not yet proven.

Of course, the objective of all scientists who are dedicated to this type of study is to find a way for people to prolong their lives by modifying their habits, knowing what their weak points are, or their most delicate and aging organs. .

David Sinclair, professor of genetics and co-director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging Research at Harvard Medical School, is among the researchers and entrepreneurs promoting the notion of a biological age. He describes it as “like a credit score for his body,” The Wall Street Journal was quoted as saying.

These investigations support widely studied issues, such as the importance of having a good quality of sleep, healthy eating, exercise habits to influence biological age in a good way.

But then the genetic question intervenes. This is different for all people and monitoring biological age could help determine which habits are most useful to each human being.

For example, 10,000 steps a day might be perfect for one person, but 6,000 would suffice for another. Other aspects that would reduce the biological age are meditation or practicing yoga or other stress control techniques.

Dr. Sinclair revealed that, in his case, he uses supplements to try to rejuvenate his biological age that have been created by his own company.

In principle, the scientists aim to find the exact way to measure biological age and unravel what influences it and, from there, develop plans to prevent chronic diseases, which, they hope, could allow the future lengthening of life. .

But not all scientists believe in such a way to know the biological age, draw up a rejuvenation plan, live longer.

Some think that even if the physiological years of each individual were to be known with precision, it is an exaggeration to think that it will allow them to live longer.

Alex Zhavoronkov, CEO of Insilico Medicine, which uses artificial intelligence to develop drugs that target age-related diseases, said biological age is a useful concept for drug development.

But he clarified that he doubts that people can use the behaviors to live longer, according to studies on life expectancy in different countries around the world.

“Extreme optimization of sleep, exercise and diet is unlikely to result in a dramatic increase in lifespan,” he stated.

The growing interest in biological age is fueled by advances in the field of epigenetics, the study of how gene expression is affected by behaviors and the environment.