Another year has come and gone with another birthday passing. You celebrate another year added to your chronological age. It’s easy to track our chronological age because all you need to do is count the time you’ve been alive. Unfortunately, our chronological age is nothing we can stop or slow down. As much as science has progressed in the few millenniums, we have yet to find the fountain of youth. However, that doesn’t mean we haven’t tried to search for longevity through science. Fortunately, we could start reducing the number of candles on our cake every year simply by an age we can control our biological age (also known as phenotypic age).
What Is A Phenotypic Age?
While our chronological age is only affected by the one variable of the day we were born, our phenotypic age is determined through many variables. The more changes to your lifestyle you make, whether positive or negative, affects your phenotypic age. While genetics plays a large factor in your phenotypic age that you ultimately cannot control, there are some factors you can control when attempting to influence your phenotypic age.
- Lifestyle changes
- Diet and nutrition changes
- Reducing stress
- Regular exercise
- Healthy sleep
- And other physiological factors
For example, if you’re a 54-year old female who doesn’t get enough sleep, doesn’t manage stress, doesn’t exercise, smokes, and eats five bacon strips a day, then you’re likely older when it comes to phenotypic age. However, before we determine our phenotypic age, we need to understand what happens to our bodies as we chronologically age naturally.
What Happens To Our Bodies As We Age?
No amount of exercise, lifestyle changes, or dietary changes will stop us from chronologically aging. All of us are going to die eventually. The reality is, we cannot stop this process, but we can slow it down to a snail’s crawl. When it comes to our hearts, our vessels and arteries eventually stiffen, making it work a lot harder to maintain healthy blood flow. This puts us at an increased risk of hypertension. Our bones also shrink and become weaker, which puts us at risk of bone fractures, joint problems, or balance issues. As we age, our skin becomes less elastic and dries easily. We also see a decline in our bladder, intestinal, and mental health. Our bodies begin to decline in our mid-twenties gradually. At some point, our bodies are more susceptible to diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, and more. That’s why we need to understand our phenotypic age.
Understanding Our Phenotypic Age
Understanding our overall health starts with understanding our phenotypic age, starting with a simple bio age test. Your chronological age might be a number, but it’s not an indicator of your health or mortality. For example, reading something in the news about a 26-year-old man dying in his sleep will make you question the “why?” more than a 96-year-old man dying in his sleep. Just because someone is chronologically 26-years-old, doesn’t mean they’re phenotypically healthy. The sad truth is, we don’t know when we’re going to die. That’s why understanding our phenotypic age is essential so we can do our best to slow our roll towards the inevitable.
The general rule of thumb is to follow the correlation between our phenotypic age and the likelihood of diseases. If you are 26-years-old with higher phenotypic age, then you’re at a higher risk of diseases and other health issues. Knowing we need to understand our phenotypic age to figure out if we need to start making lifestyle changes, we must understand how phenotypic age is estimated.
Clinical Biomarkers For Estimating Phenotypic Age
When it comes to calculating your phenotypic age, we need to look at specific biomarkers in various systems of your body, from your liver function to your immune system. The immune system alone is an important biomarker for validating our overall health and cell functions. After all, our immune system is responsible for fighting infections and harmful diseases. Fortunately, the nine required biomarkers for estimating our phenotypic age comes from a simple blood test to look at:
- A liver function test using the variables: Albumin and alkaline phosphatase
- A kidney function test using the variable: Creatine
- A metabolism test using the variable: Glucose
- An inflammation test using the variable: C-reactive protein
- An immune system test using the variables: Lymphocyte, mean cell volume, red cell distribution width, and white blood cells
An in-depth look into all of these variables helps estimate your phenotypic age and your risk of being diagnosed with age-related health issues. Your PhenoAge can also possibly determine how probably it is that you will die within the next 10 years. While this all sounds disheartening, you don’t have to lay back and wait for the inevitable. As mentioned before, you can influence your phenotypic age through simple changes.
Simple Changes to Influence Your Phenotypic Age
Even before you knew of the concept of the phenotypic age, you knew simple lifestyle changes can influence your health and longevity. These healthy behaviors do not change and will always be the best ways to live a long and healthy life:
- Stop smoking
- Limit alcohol and other substances
- Manage stress
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce sugar, salt, and intake of processed foods
- Regular exercise
When you’re ready to take your bio age test to determine your phenotypic age, visit www.agelessrx.com for instructions on taking your affordable blood test.
Phenotypic age was created by former UCLA professor Morgan Levine. More details about the calculation method can be found in her published scientific paper.