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Exercise and eating right reduces your biological age

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Wikipedia has an extensive article on the topic of biological age, determined by DNA methylation levels. From that article:

In 2010, a new unifying model of aging and the development of complex diseases was proposed, incorporating classical aging theories and epigenetics.[20][21] Horvath and Raj[22] extended this theory, proposing an epigenetic clock theory of aging with the following tenets:

  • Biological aging results as an unintended consequence of both developmental programs and maintenance program, the molecular footprints of which give rise to DNA methylation age estimators.
  • The precise mechanisms linking the innate molecular processes (underlying DNAm age) to the decline in tissue function probably relate to both intracellular changes (leading to a loss of cellular identity) and subtle changes in cell composition, for example, fully functioning somatic stem cells.
  • At the molecular level, DNAm age is a proximal readout of a collection of innate aging processes that conspire with other, independent root causes of ageing to the detriment of tissue function.

More information is found on this page.

DNAm age can be reversed to some degree by a good diet (such as a whole-food plant-based diet) and regular exercise, along with adequate rest and an optimistic outlook. Science Daily has a report of a clinical trial that measured this:

A randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted among 43 healthy adult males between the ages of 50-72. The 8-week treatment program included diet, sleep, exercise and relaxation guidance, and supplemental probiotics and phytonutrients.

Aging published “Potential reversal of epigenetic age using a diet and lifestyle intervention: a pilot randomized clinical trial” which reported on a randomized controlled clinical trial conducted among 43 healthy adult males between the ages of 50-72. The 8-week treatment program included diet, sleep, exercise and relaxation guidance, and supplemental probiotics and phytonutrients.

Genome-wide DNA methylation analysis was conducted on saliva samples using the Illumina Methylation Epic Array and DNAmAge was calculated using the online Horvath DNAmAge clock (also published in Aging).

The diet and lifestyle treatment was associated with a 3.23 years decrease in DNAmAge compared with controls.

DNAmAge of those in the treatment group decreased by an average 1.96 years by the end of the program compared to the same individuals at the beginning with a strong trend towards significance.

This randomized controlled study, published in Aging, suggests that specific diet and lifestyle interventions may reverse Horvath DNAmAge epigenetic aging in healthy adult males.

The study’s lead author, Kara Fitzgerald ND IFMCP, from The Institute for Functional Medicine said, “Advanced age is the largest risk factor for impaired mental and physical function and many non-communicable diseases including cancer, neurodegeneration, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.”

Methylation clocks are based on systematic methylation changes with age.

DNAmAge clock specifically demonstrates about 60% of CpG sites losing methylation with age and 40% gaining methylation.

Almost a quarter of the DNAmAge CpG sites are located in glucocorticoid response elements, pointing to a likely relationship between stress and accelerated aging. Cumulative lifetime stress has been shown to be associated with accelerated aging of the methylome.

Other findings include that PTSD contributes to accelerated methylation age; and that greater infant distress is associated with an underdeveloped, younger epigenetic age.

This is to say the authors have tentatively accepted the hypothesis that the methylation pattern from which the DNAmAge clock is computed is a driver of aging, thus they expect that attempting to directly influence the DNA methylome using diet and lifestyle to set back DNAmAge will lead to a healthier, more “youthful” metabolism.

The Fitzgerald Research Team concluded . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

28 May 2021 at 10:40 am

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