As we turn the page onto 2019, new research is surfacing about biological age and how it may be the new way of seeing the big picture of our health. We're excited to hear this conversation among health and wellness professionals, researchers and others gain ground, and how it reinforces Internal Age™ as a powerful health metric available for everyone to understand and use.
Wait, What is Biological Age Again?
We now know that humans have two different ages: chronological and biological (sometimes referred to as physiological or internal age.) Chronological age is the number of years we've been alive, while biological age refers to the "age" our body functions, right down to our cells. Biological age takes many lifestyle factors into consideration, including diet, exercise, sleeping habits, and even our genetics. Unsurprisingly, individuals who age more slowly biologically, are projected to live longer chronologically.
With so much being published, and many new resources coming to the market, we wanted to highlight 3 recent and compelling studies into determining biological or internal age.
1. Dr Morgan Levine at the Yale School of Medicine
We examined a report from CNN late last year where Dr. Levine and her team identified nine biomarkers taken from a blood test that seemed to be the most influential on determining lifespan. These biomarkers include blood sugar, kidney and liver measures, and immune and inflammatory measures.
"People of the same chronological age aren't all at the same risk for developing cardiovascular disease or cancer or even dying," - Dr. Morgan Levine
Using biomarkers from the blood is among the most recent set of studies to emerge for determining physiological age; and the way our cells appear to be aging. Readers Digest picked up on this aging metric in a recent article titled 9 Things You Can Learn in a Blood Test - although personal biological age testing via blood is not yet readily available.
2. Machine Learning and RNA Sequencing by the Salk Institute
In a recent study published in the journal Genome Biology, researchers from the Salk Institute identified some key genetic signatures found in all age groups that can start to predict aging. After sampling skin cells from 133 individuals the team at Salk developed "custom machine learning algorithms" to understand the genetic data taken and ultimately predict healthy aging and non-healthy aging, and try to find the differences. The algorithms were reportedly able to predict the age of a person from their cells within a range of eight years.
This process will further help identify those controllable lifestyle choices that are most likely to promote healthy aging—and ultimately lengthen life—vs those that increase our rate of aging, and shorten it.
"The results showed that the cells were at least a decade older than the actual age of the patients they came from, proving that the algorithm could accurately calculate and predict aging." - Salk Institute
RNA sequencing has entered the search for biological age in a big way recently, but it remains mostly contained to the laboratory, and unavailable to the average health-conscious consumer.
3. Epigenetic Testing From Brown University
A research team out of Brown University just published new findings about what the DNA floating in our bloodstream can tell us about differences in our health.Their research paper found in Aging Cell supported their claim that Cell-free DNA (cfDNA) could also be a marker of internal aging.
“Among other traits, healthy centenarians preserve the epigenetic profile of younger individuals,” lead researcher Nicola Neretti said. “As with anything in aging, many things work together, and it is not clear what the cause or the effect is."
Reported in the article Researchers Might Tell You If Your Body Is Older Than You - Nicola and her team agree that soon this could be one of the methods used to test for biological age, and how that relates to our chronological one.
Also this past week we learned of the first take-home testing kit of its kind now launching in the UK. The kit uses similar epigenetic biomarkers found from our DNA/RNA and sampled through saliva to determine biological age and starts at about $700 / year.
Aortic Stiffness: a Proven Method to Track Internal Age™ Daily
iHeart Internal Age™ is a unique method of determining your biological age, and can be readily integrated into your overall health and wellness action plan. The device has the ability to give valuable, real-time information on biological age each day by measuring (among other things) Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity - a vital indicator of the stiffening of one of our body's most critical arteries as well as its impact on our physiological age.
With ever more resources available for us to determine the age of our bodies right down the cell, it's important to consider what we can do with this information. The ability to track results in real time, and compare our results as we start to implement positive, healthy-aging lifestyle changes has the potential to greatly impact the length of our lives.
Learn more about this simple, easy, and science based biological age reading and start testing with iHeart Internal Age™ and get 15% off using coupon code '2019'