We are used to measuring our age in years but as research delves deeper into the science of aging we become more aware that biological age can be very different from your actual chronological age.
The two main players in biological age are things called Telomeres and a molecule called NAD+. In this article we take a look at both and see what you can do to beat the effects of aging.
Grand Theft Auto versus Driving Miss Daisy
Think of owning and running a car as a great analogy for your biological age. Two people can buy the identical brand new car on the same day but 10 years later they can be in very different condition. One car may have been serviced regularly, driven carefully and low levels of oil or washer,brake and clutch oil topped up whilst the other car could have been thrashed and ignored.
Ten years on one car is worthless and undriveable while the other one is nearly as good as the day you bough it. This difference between the chronological age of the two cars ( identical) and the condition they are in gives you an idea of the differences.
What Causes Biological Aging?
There are a number of main reasons your body ages with time, and it may surprise you to know that some of them can potentially be reversed. Many of these causes all build up over time, some as a result of bad diet and lifestyle (like not driving a car well) and some from inevitable wear and tear like rust or tire wear that we can choose to work on or ignore.
Every single cell in our body has the DNA information inside it to make more of ‘you’. The DNA is packaged up in the central part of each cell into tight bundles that we know as chromosomes. Every time your body makes copies of cells to make new ones ( like when we make skin cells) we also make copies of the DNA.
In 1977 Elizabeth Blackburn at Yale University discovered that ‘caps’ exist on the end of chromosomes called telomeres and they play a vital role in aging. Every time we make a copy of our chromosomes the telomeres get a little bit shorter, in a way like using up a ‘copy credit’ each time, and the process of cell aging is directly linked to the length of a persons telomeres. Dr Blackburn went on to get a Nobel Prize for her discovery.
The bad news is that short of actually genetically manipulating our own DNA ( something we don’t have the technology or moral agreement on yet) there isn’t much we can do to lengthen these telomeres. This is an important explanation to why someone can have a biological age that’s different to their chronological age and it wont come as a surprise that some people are genetically luckier than others as this recent research shows that some people are simply born with a longer telomere stack than others.
NAD+ levels drop with Age
The good news is there are some areas of your body that you can cheat aging with. It wont come as any kind of surprise that they include getting plenty of sleep, exercise and reducing stress in your life, but there is also a molecule that declines as you get older that plays hundreds of vital roles in your body and has been linked with aging in almost all of them.
This molecule is known as NAD+ and we cover its health benefits and roles in aging in much more depth in other blogs. Its even being linked in recent research as playing a key role in explaining why being older makes people more susceptible to complications with Coronavirus. We also go in to more depth about what NAD+ is here.
in this research paper we can see that the naturally falling levels of NAD as we age play a role in our aging and go a long way to explaining the signs of aging we are all familiar with such as reduced energy levels, more ‘brain fog’ and lowered ability to fight off illnesses quickly.
We’ve recently launched a product called Clockwise that boosts NAD levels in your body in 3 ways
- Boosting the ingredients your body needs to make NAD itself
- Boosting NAD levels directly
- Boosting your body to recycle more used up NAD