For thousands of years, people have pursued the desire of eternal youth. The so-called biological age plays a decisive role here. Longevity hackers want to avoid the aging process and strive for an optimal body condition. You can learn everything you need to know about biological age in this article.
What is biological age?
Biological age is not only measured by the months or years a person lives (this is chronological age), but refers to the physical and mental condition. In concrete terms, this means that a person is 40 calendar years old, but his biological age can be less or greater than 40. The more the biological age differs from the chronological age, the younger or older one is at the cellular level. A baby is born with a biological age of 0 years. However, as time passes, the biological age of each person increases. Some individuals manage to "keep well" colloquially. In other words, this expression describes that their appearance seems younger than the actual chronological age. Likewise, there is the opposite case, where people look significantly older or sicker than they actually are.
Let's face it: who doesn't always want to have a healthy glow and feel as fit as in their prime?
Before we get started, here's a quick fun fact: Did you know that there's an "Epigenetic Leaderboard" at the so-called Rejuvenation Olympics? There, participants compete to see who can lower their biological age the most. The founder is Bryan Johnson, a biotech entrepreneur who invests several million dollars a year in rejuvenation therapies. There is no German equivalent (yet).
What role does biological age play in longevity?
Biological age is directly related to the longevity of a person. The goal of every longevity hacker is to keep all organs healthy for as long as possible. Doctors like Oliver Zolman, founder of the Longevity School and Zolman Clinics, among others, are working on this. With his approach, he wants to turn the biological clock of 80-year-olds back to that of a 60-year-old by 2030. Sounds exciting, but also a bit surreal at first. But there will certainly be significant breakthroughs in the field of longevity research in the coming years - and all of them are directly related to biological age.
How can I determine my biological age?
Especially in the context of the aging process, there are several clues that can be used to evaluate biological age, among other things. These include the determination of telomere length or the evaluation of certain biomarkers in the blood. Probably the best-known method currently available for determining biological age is a so-called "epigenetic test". The basis for the Horvarth Clock, which was presented in 2011, comes from epigenetics, which uses individual chemical and structural changes in the genome (genetic material) to obtain specific information. With increasing age, for example, characteristic epigenetic changes such as methylations occur, which allows conclusions to be drawn about a person's biological age. From this information, Horvath and his colleagues have been able to develop a special algorithm that can be used to determine biological age.
Why should I lower my biological age?
A high biological age is associated with many diseases such as cancers, cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia. Researchers have developed algorithms to statistically evaluate the influence of biological age. In addition to the epigenetic clock, telomere length has also become a focus of longevity research. For example, one study showed that telomere length is inversely associated with cardiovascular disease. This means that the longer the telomeres, the lower the probability of suffering from cardiovascular diseases. A similar relationship has been found between telomere length and Alzheimer's disease. It therefore makes perfect sense to keep one's biological age as short as possible. Extreme longevity hackers want to reset the biological clock all the way back to the beginning. Then one could live theoretically infinitely long! When and if this state will ever be possible through rejuvenation therapies remains to be seen. However, there are some things you can do today to lower your biological age.
How can I lower my biological age?
There are a variety of methods and strategies to lower biological age. Some of them are based on the abandonment of certain habits or a change in lifestyle. Oliver Zolman has also compiled scientific figures on this. According to experts, not smoking compared to smoking, can extend life by up to 12 years. Sports and exercise would potentially extend life by 8 years. Other measures include a calorie-reduced diet (Read more here), a healthy BMI between 18.5 and 22.5, and, paradoxically, consuming half a glass of wine because of the polyphenols it contains. One of the potentially interesting ingredients in wine is the so-called resveratrol (here you can read the article "What is resveratrol?"). To absorb increased amounts of resveratrol, you don't necessarily have to drink wine. With us you can find high-purity resveratrol in capsule and powder form!
Bryan Johnson, the biotech entrepreneur and longevity hacker mentioned earlier, also relies on a sophisticated longevity plan to lower his biological age. To do this, he eats 3 vegan meals and fasts for 16-18 hours. We also wrote about the benefits of a plant-based diet and interval fasting in a past post: Click here Click. Johnson's diet consists of larger amounts of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables and plant-based protein. In addition, he takes plenty of supplements daily. His daily supplement routine includes vitamin D, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and creatine.
In addition, he takes certain potentially life-prolonging drugs in consultation with his doctor. However, we do not want to and are not allowed to give any recommendation on this at this point, as this area is still in its infancy or animal testing.
Biological age is a decisive factor when it comes to longevity. Therefore, you should try to keep it as low as possible. According to the motto "Healthy Ageing", which means nothing other than that you age healthily or that your chronological age is higher than your biological age. In the future it remains exciting if and when there will be rejuvenation therapies that can drastically reset the biological age. But as long as you continue your education on our MoleQlar Info Hub, you'll always be up to date!
- Horvath S, Raj K. DNA methylation-based biomarkers and the epigenetic clock theory of aging. Nat Rev Genet. 2018 Jun;19(6):371-384. doi: 10.1038/s41576-018-0004-3. PMID: 29643443.
- SWu JW, Yaqub A, Ma Y, Koudstaal W, Hofman A, Ikram MA, Ghanbari M, Goudsmit J. Biological age in healthy elderly predicts aging-related diseases including dementia. Sci Rep. 2021 Aug 5;11(1):15929. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-95425-5. PMID: 34354164; PMCID: PMC8342513.
- Lohman T, Bains G, Berk L, Lohman E. Predictors of Biological Age: The Implications for Wellness and Aging Research. Gerontol Geriatr Med. 2021 Sep 26;7:23337214211046419. doi: 10.1177/23337214211046419. PMID: 34595331; PMCID: PMC8477681.
- Zolman ON. Longevity Escape Velocity Medicine: a new medical specialty for longevity? Rejuvenation Res. 2018 Feb;21(1):1-2. doi: 10.1089/rej.2018.2055. PMID: 29378482.
- Bryan Johnson: https://blueprint.bryanjohnson.co
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