Our birthdays determine our age. Or so we thought. If you think our calendar age determines our 'true' age, then you are wrong. Although we consider this chronological age to be our actual age, we often overlook that some people with a recorded age of 50 may be as fit as 30 years old. On the flipside, which some maybe 35 years old as per chronology, their health might suggest otherwise. They might be 60 years old as per their biological age. In order to know the actual state of health of a person, we need to determine know how to calculate biological age.
Suppose you are interested in slowing down the effects of aging. It then becomes important to understand the difference between chronological age and your biological age. Chronological age is the count of years you have been alive. On the other hand, biological age is how old the cells appear to be based on their current condition. While chronological age is irreversible and not dependent on life habits, biological age varies depending on one's lifestyle. Depending on genetics and life habits, one's biological age can be higher or lower than chronological. People with a younger biological age than their chronological age are at a lower risk of suffering age-related diseases and mortality. Interestingly, biological age can be improved with as minor as few changes in life habits.
Actual age vs Biological Age
Calculating one's biological age aims to measure the speed at which the body is aging. This is done to determine how one's current diet and lifestyle choices impact healthy aging. The biological age also indicates how much aging and damage has occurred inside one's body throughout their lifetime. It is safe to say that biological age calculations are accurate predictors of one's health and life span.
While it is a great idea to match your biological age with actual age, you can actually lower your biological age! If you achieve that scenario, it means that your body is aging more slowly than what is typically meant for your age. In the case that one's biological age is higher than their actual age, it means that there has been a lot of damage to the cells of the body. Then, the body is aging more rapidly than someone of the actual age.
What is epigenetics?
Genetics is the study of DNA and DNA is a personalized string of code that produces all the cells in your body. Epigenetics studies the changes to your DNA and how this affects your body and health. It controls which parts of your DNA code are supposed to be turned on or off. Epigenetic changes can be activated by many things, most of which are lifestyle factors. Modifications in epigenetic are chemical changes that occur to the DNA code contained within your cells as you age. The changes are called methylation. Methylation in increased can disrupt the normal function of the cell so that the cell cannot efficiently do its job. This decline in the efficiency that is caused is the underlying reason for the signs of aging. This is what we see - changes in hair color, the appearance of wrinkles, increased joint pain, and so on.
Does Epigenetics Matter?
Absolutely! More than 99% of one's cellular DNA is identical to everyone else's. However, a small part of the DNA, which varies from person to person, is what makes them unique. Epigenetics reveals a revolutionary understanding of cellular DNA and genetic code. These genetic "variants" can identify specific diseases one might be at risk for. It also enables one to either fix, change or avoid them. Epigenetics really holds the key to overall health and well-being. The new findings that have emerged around this subject will also pave the way for groundbreaking treatments and drug predicting for curing cancer, Alzheimer's, Diabetes, Addiction.
How to calculate my actual age?
We have more control over our own aging process than we think. There are a lot of things that affect biological age that aren't genetics. However, the most major factors that are within our control are diet, exercise, stress management, and sleep.
- Diet: People who eat a Mediterranean diet, in addition to being tasty, have a 30% lower chance of having vascular problems. This diet reduces oxidative stress and inflammation thanks to a high antioxidants content, such as Omega-3, which directly impacts telomere length.
- Workouts: Studies support the beneficial effect of moderate exercising (45 minutes, 3 times a week) to protect telomeres from shortening, especially in adults. Furthermore, studies point to aerobic exercise as the best option to fight to age and protect telomeres.
- Stress Management: Stress affects telomere length in a rather negative way. Acute and chronic anxiety and perceived stress and stress management are not allying with cell longevity. People who have psychological problems caused by unbalanced emotions have shorter telomeres than people who don't have these problems. This is evident in the case of depression.
- Sleep: If you sleep less than 8 hours a day, then you have to be careful. Various studies correlate less quality sleep with accelerated telomere shortening, especially in children. Adults with insomnia and over 70 years of age had the shortest telomeres.
How to calculate your Biological Age?
If you're looking to know how calculate your biological age, head on to a convenient and efficient Biological age test - from Purovitalis in cooperation with Epiage. A special lab has processed hundreds of published DNA methylation data to find age-related methylation sites. With the saliva samples they can accurately predict your biological age. When your sample is sent to the lab, it takes about 4 to 6 weeks for the lab to process it. Customers get a private PDF with a consultation about anti-aging that they can read at their own pace.