Did you know that the number of candles on your birthday cake might not reflect your body’s true age? Stanford researchers have uncovered some fascinating insights about aging. Let’s find out!
Instead, researchers have identified four distinct “age-o-types” that shed light on how different parts of the body age at varying rates and how these changes can serve as early indicators of future health concerns.
Snyder’s team closely examined 43 individuals aged between 34 and 68 over a span of two years, conducting multiple wellness checkups and collecting samples of various bodily substances, including blood, feces, genetic material, microbes, and metabolic byproducts.
Through this comprehensive analysis, they identified 608 molecules that could predict the body’s true age and classified them into four age-o-type categories:
- Metabolic Age-o-Type: Individuals falling into this category experience rapid aging in their metabolism, increasing their risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Surprisingly, some with this age-o-type may still possess a robust immune system.
- Immune Age-o-Type: This age-o-type signifies an accelerated aging of the immune system, leading to systemic inflammation and an elevated risk of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis.
- Hepatic Age-o-Type: People with a hepatic age-o-type face the challenge of a fast-aging liver, compromising its detoxification abilities. This makes them highly susceptible to cirrhosis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease as they age.
- Nephrotic Age-o-Type: For individuals with a nephrotic age-o-type, the kidneys age more rapidly, which can result in high blood pressure and renal failure in later years.
Despite these potential grim health realities, Snyder emphasizes that one’s age-o-type doesn’t determine their fate but provides an opportunity for healthy lifestyle improvements. Changes like weight loss, quitting smoking and alcohol, and managing blood pressure and glucose levels can positively impact the rate of aging.
Intriguingly, the pursuit of reversing biological age has gained popularity, as seen in the endeavors of tech mogul Bryan Johnson, who invests $2 million annually in a regimen aimed at bio-hacking his way into an 18-year-old’s biological makeup. This trend has inspired others, like 23-year-old YouTuber Andrew Boyd, who experienced a 30-pound weight loss and reduced his biological age to 19 through a similar regimen.
Even Michael Snyder, the lead researcher, has altered his lifestyle after assessing his own biological aging patterns. He’s optimistic about the potential for these discoveries to influence his own aging pathways, especially since he began weightlifting during the study.
In summary, age is indeed more than just a number, and understanding one’s age-o-type can help individuals take proactive steps towards a healthier and more vibrant life.