Our chronological age is measured in years, but our biological clock is measured in our cells. Do you know your epigenetic biomarkers and how to turn back your clock?
Why do some people at 50 seem like they’ve entered old age already while others are moving through their 60s with as much strength as most people have in their 30s? Attitude certainly has something to do with it, but one of the primary explanations is the difference between our chronological and biological clocks.
In this article:
How Your Epigenetic Biomarkers Influence Your Biological Clock
What is a biomarker? Something we’re able to measure in our cells, and by its presence, we can identify issues like infections, diseases, and what environmental toxins one has been exposed to
By measuring key biomarkers, we can tell how old we are, not in years, but by how quickly our physiology is deteriorating.
The good news is that certain things affect this aging process, and every day we learn new things about how it works and how to slow this aging down, or even reverse it. But it starts with knowing about biomarkers.
Our blood biomarkers are easy to measure, and they are strong indicators of our overall health and where our biological clock sits. They’re less significant than DNA markers, however.
Albumin is a protein that occurs in our blood, and we gain it by eating quality proteins. When there’s not enough albumin in someone’s blood, he or she may be suffering from a chronic or acute inflammatory response.
Inflammation is one of the key drivers of the aging process, and it is implicated in the development of everything from heart disease to stroke, cancer to diabetes, arthritis to Alzheimer’s. One can improve his or her albumin levels by targeting the inflammation and including more high-quality protein sources in one’s diet, like fish, Greek yogurt, grass-fed beef, and free-range eggs.
2. Alkaline Phosphatase
Alkaline phosphatase is an enzyme. Whenever someone’s body’s pH balance falls a little out of whack, his or her body will produce this enzyme.
It splits off acidic phosphorus from the material used to repair bones and cartilage and use them to restore pH balance.
When someone breaks a bone, it’s normal for his or her alkaline phosphatase levels to be elevated temporarily, good to have these elevated levels all the time, as it usually shows a deficiency in vitamin D, zinc, or folic acid.
Usually, poor dietary choices are to blame, and this can be fixed by eating plenty of foods that contain these substances, such as fatty fish, nuts, berries, green leafy vegetables, and unprocessed pork products from pastured pigs.
What are erythrocytes? Red blood cells that carry the pigment that gives blood its color and are essential for moving oxygen and carbon dioxide back and forth through the human body
To survive, humans need plenty of these because, without them, lungs won’t be healthy, cells won’t get the oxygen they need, the cardiovascular system underperforms, and the risk for cancer increases. You can give your red blood cells a boost by eating foods rich in bio-available iron.
Remember, not all iron is the same, and just because a nutrient is in something doesn’t mean your body can process it efficiently.
Spinach, for example, is rich in iron, but it’s not the ideal type of iron for humans. Spinach isn’t nearly as good of a source of iron for humans as liver, shellfish (like oysters and clams), beef, and sardines.
Copper, folic acid, vitamin A, and vitamin B12 are also good for your blood cells, so consume plenty of eggs, free-range beef, green leafy vegetables, cherries, chocolate, and nuts.
Epigenetics really shines when it comes to measuring genetic biomarkers. These are more accurate measurements of our true age than blood markers, as important as those are, and as we learn how to affect them, we learn more about how to turn back the biological clock.
1. Telomere Length
What are telomeres? The caps on the end of human chromosomes that protect one’s genetic code from damage during cell division
Over time, telomeres become shorter, and in the average person, telomere length correlates very closely with chronological age, but what they really reveal is the age of the cells. This is a more difficult biological marker to measure than the ones mentioned previously, and it’s also more difficult to do anything about, but there are things you can do to protect telomeres.
A substance known as NAD+ is essential for telomeres (and for doing just about everything else we need to protect ourselves from aging degeneration), and it may be possible to slow, and even reverse telomere degeneration with nicotinamide riboside or NR. This substance promotes the formation of NAD+ and helps it to work more effectively.
What is NAD+? A coenzyme or non-protein substance responsible for keeping our DNA healthy and cell metabolism well-modulated
What is nicotinamide riboside? One type of B3 vitamin
NR supplements are readily available and have been shown to boost NAD+ levels.
2. DNA Methylation
What is DNA methylation? The addition of a methyl group to DNA, modifying DNA expression and function
This is perhaps the most significant of all the biological markers.
Methylation occurs when a methyl group is added to DNA, which modifies the function of a gene and the way it expresses. It occurs in waves at specific stages of human development, starting when one’s father’s sperm fertilizes his or her mother’s egg in the womb.
While methylation is a key biomarker and can tell us someone’s true biological age better than almost any other biomarker, it’s also not as well understood.
NR and NAD+ are as important here as with telomeres. In fact, telomere length and DNA methylation are closely linked, so NR supplements are a good place to start in controlling methylation and slowing the aging process.
However, there are also lifestyle and environmental factors that one can control, which are believed to have a strong effect on deterring aberrant DNA methylation. One such study is already underway and seeking to see if changes in diet, exercise, tobacco use, and stress management are as effective as suspected.
Checking Your Biomarkers
It’s easier than ever to find your true biological age with the TruAge testing kit.
Though scientists are just starting to explore this new frontier in human development, what we know so far indicates that a healthy diet, plenty of exercise, NR supplementation, stress management, and avoiding toxins like nicotine do more than just help us lose weight or feel better. Thes factors affect us down to the cellular level. To keep up with all the latest news in epigenetics, contact TruDiagnostic to learn more.
Would you consider taking NR supplements to reverse your biological clock? Share your opinion with us in the comments below!