For many people, the idea of aging is synonymous with being sick and painful. Before we move on, let’s quickly define some key terms:
Lifespan: total years lived.
Longevity: survival to old age.
Health span: years lived in good health.
Chronological age: the number of years you have been alive.
Biological age: how old your cells appear to be based on their current condition
What Is Biological age?
Biological age is a measure of your age based on various biomarkers (a number that may change due to lifestyle and other health factors). Biological age indicates how much age and damage has occurred in the body during its lifetime. Aging is the most leading risk factor for disease. Ideally, your biological age would end up being lower than your chronological age (actual age), although if these two numbers are a match, it is a great sign.
Chronological age VS Biological age
- Chronological age is the year that has passed since our birth. The biological age refers to how old our cells really are and, therefore, our actual age.
- Chronological age is irreversible and is not dependent on life habits. In contrast, biological age can vary depending on your lifestyle (diet, exercise, sleep, behavior, stress, etc.).
- Depending on your life habits and genetics, your biological age will be more or less than your chronological one. Your biological age reflects a combination of your genetics, accumulated lifestyle factors, and other determinants such as demographics, diet, and exercise habits.
A Pathology assistant professor at the Yale School of Medicine and Elysium’s Bioinformatics Advisor, Morgan Levine, Ph.D., says: “Knowing your biological age is an effective way of determining your cumulative rate of aging.”
The cumulative aging rate is related to your biological age compared to your Chronological age (a measure of the pace at which your body has aged each year you’ve been alive).
How to calculate biological age?
The purpose of calculating your biological age is to estimate the speed at which your body is aging so that you can determine how your current diet and lifestyle choices are affecting healthy aging.
Several different aging calculators have been developed using the results from a basic blood test.
One of the best-researched is PhenoAge, developed by Dr. Steven Horvath and his team based on the epigenetic clock theory of aging.
The purpose of PhenoAge is to use a basic blood test to predict aging and methylation. This is a fundamental piece of information. DNA methylation is a term used to define the loss and damage to the functions of our cells, tissues, and organs.
2. Aging calculator:
A quick and easy option to calculate the body’s aging speed is to plug blood test values into an Aging—A1 calculator, designed by Insilico Medicine.
Like many basic tests to track your health statistics, you will need a blood test to calculate your biological age.
To calculate your age using Aging. Ai, you need to order the following tests:
- Complete Blood Count (CBC) with Differential and Platelets Blood Test
- Comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP)
- Lipid panel
3. Determine biological age based on your telomere length
Some labs take a small blood sample to calculate the biological age. In Life Length, they determine biological age based on your telomere length. They use their exclusive technology, TAT® that allows them to measure telomere length cell by cell.
After the analysis, a report of the results has been prepared, including the following data: biological age, average telomere length, 20% of critically short telomeres, and median telomere length. The two last variables are more related than the average telomere length to understand where we stand in the aging process. It is due to short telomeres are the reason why cells become senescent and eventually die.
Factors that accelerate biological age
Many proximate mechanisms have been proposed to change biological age acceleration, including insulin signaling, oxidative stress, inflammation, epigenetic changes, and telomere shortening.
Environmental factors that accelerate biological aging and functional decline include smoking, obesity, socioeconomic status, and psychosocial stress.
Another lifestyle factor that may accelerate biological aging in women mainly is reproduction.
How to Improve Biological age?
Younger biological age people have a lower risk of suffering age-related diseases and mortality than chronological age. But don’t worry, the good news is that a bit of change in your life habits can improve your biological age (we know it’s not easy, but it’s worth the effort).
Once you have completed the biological age calculation, you will have a good idea of whether your health strategy is working or if you need to start changing your approach to your health and wellness.
However, you don’t have to wait for results to start making significant changes. Here are some beneficial tips you can start implementing today to improve your biological age, even if you haven’t received results yet.
Researchers of the Helfgott Research Institute have found that a healthy diet and active lifestyle can balance DNA methylation, leading to a rapid reduction of our biological age. So, help us live longer. Eating more fruits and vegetables can improve your biological age. Eat a keto diet (or a variation). In humans, ketosis enhances mitochondrial function and protects mitochondria from stress-related damage. You don’t have to eat keto all the time. If a complete keto diet doesn’t work for you, try a cyclical keto diet or a targeted keto diet. Both allow you more carbs while giving you the benefits of ketosis.
2. Regular periods of caloric restriction or intermittent fasting (6:18 or 4:20): improves autophagy, a cellular cleansing process that can prevent abnormal cell behavior.
The most reliable way to turn on autophagy is exercise. Experimentation proves that working out increases cellular turnover (how quickly your cells replace themselves) and cleans out damaged cellular parts, linking to decreased aging. Any exercise works, but you might as well do HIIT, so you also capitalize on the mitochondrial benefits you read about a moment ago.
4. Control stress
Chronic stress ages you in two ways. First of all, it raises free radicals — compounds that damage your cells and cause inflammation. In the Second way, chronic stress interferes with your cortisol production. Control stress if you want to improve your biological age.
Think less, live more!
Another major factor in increasing your biological age is reducing your exposure to radiation and environmental toxins.