Scientists Dig Out Why You May be Aging Faster than Your Friends
Aging, well, it kind of sucks. One day you just look in the mirror and it’s kind of happening. It’s more than kind of happening, it is!
So what’s the normal age to start aging? Some people think they are older way before their time and thus they carry themselves at an aging progress. But what if it’s not even that? What if, biologically speaking, some of us just age faster than others?
According to US Scientists that conducted a study on a group of people, aged 38, a study found that the biological ages of the participants ranged anywhere from 28 to 61. These are some startling statistics!
The participants in the study also had been previously enrolled in the Dunedin Study, which has documented the health of approximately one thousand New Zealanders born between 1972 and 1973. The study found that while the majority of participants had a biological age that matched their chronological age, some aged three times faster, while others did not age at all in the eight year period. You’ll note that scientists measured some 18, (what they call) ‘bio-markers’ of these individuals at ages twenty six, thirty two and thirty eight years old.
In another recent study conducted at UCLA, it was uncovered that there is a biological clock embedded in our genomes that may shed light on why our bodies age and how we can slow the process.
Steve Horvath, a professor of human genetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and of biostatistics at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health states that “to fight aging, we first need an objective way of measuring it. Pinpointing a set of biomarkers that keeps time throughout the body has been… a challenge.” The goal in inventing this clock, he says, “is to help scientists improve their understanding of what speeds up and slows down the human aging process.”
So, let’s break some of this down for the sake of each study.
Accordingly, there have been four independent studies led by scientists from various universities that have followed some five thousand subjects over the course of fourteen years. These researchers say that they can identify a person’s biological age – as opposed to the chronological age – by studying the decay of a chemical process called methylation. Methylation is truly a multi-tasking marvel that allows us to be “healthy and human.” Though this highly is a highly intricate process that occurs within each cell as well as in the fluid supplying the brain and within the liver, it is also responsible for the most vital undertakings throughout the body chemistry. Accordingly, the patterns of this decay, says a new study in the journal Genome Biology, are unmistakable.
The breakdown of these findings comes down to the basic discovery that parts of our bodies age at different rates. Particularly, women’s breast tissue. And there is much more to be said about aging in general.
Even while these recent reports indicate the findings in these studies as new, this is not the first time that biologists have developed a mechanism for assessing age. Take note that earlier “biological clocks” have been derived from data drawn from saliva and hormones. Then there are what we call telomeres… an essential part of human cells that affect how our cells age. Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes, like the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces.
Then, let’s talk about why you’re aging faster than me.
Chronological Age versus Biological Age
In Horvath’s studies, he compared various tissues’ chronological age with its biological age. As was mentioned, for the most part, the chronological age of our body parts matches its biological age. But, for example, Horvath explained, “Healthy breast tissue is about two to three years older than the rest of a woman’s body.” He also discovered that tumor tissues are an average thirty six years ‘older’ than healthy tissue. This is an important piece of information that could explain why age is such an important risk factor for many cancers in both sexes.
Otherwise, what does this mean?
The Epigenetic Connection
According to one report, this new research (conducted by Steve Horvath), is the first to show an internal clock able to accurately assess the age of various human organs, tissues, and cell types. Surprisingly, certain parts appear to age faster than others.
There is a genetic pace by which each individual ages.
Ever heard of Werner Syndrome? …
This is a rare disorder characterized by the dramatic, rapid appearance of aging. Individuals with this syndrome typically grow and develop normally until they reach puberty. While this is not necessarily your reason for aging faster than your friends, it’s worth mentioning for the research that’s come out of it.
From a paper published related to a study done at the Salk Institute and the Chinese Academy of Science, Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte states, “Our findings show that the gene mutation that causes Werner syndrome results in the disorganization of heterochromatin, and that this disruption of normal DNA packaging is a key driver of aging. He further states that “this has implications beyond Werner syndrome, as it identifies a central mechanism of aging – heterochromatin disorganization – which has been shown to be reversible.”
“Our study connects the dots between Werner syndrome and heterochromatin disorganization, outlining a molecular mechanism by which a genetic mutation leads to a general disruption of cellular processes by disrupting epigenetic regulation,” says Izpisua Belmonte. “More broadly, it suggests that accumulated alterations in the structure of heterochromatin may be a major underlying cause of cellular aging. This begs the question of whether we can reverse these alterations – like remodeling an old house or car – to prevent, or even reverse, age-related declines and diseases.”
Take note here about the defining factor of heterochromatin. There are two types –
The chromatin in regions of the chromosomes that are invariable heterochromatic; it contains highly repetitive sequences of DNA that are genetically inactive and serves as a structural element of the chromosome
The chromatin in regions of the chromosomes that become heterochromatic in certain cells and tissues; for example, it makes up the inactive X chromosome in female somatic cells.
Take further note that Somatic Cells are any cells of a living organism other than the reproductive cells.
The bottom line here is, scientists are breaking this down a little at a time and they’re coming up with ideas on how to accurately answer these questions. The answers, however, are in the research:
It is stated that the Salk researchers discovered that deletion of the WRN gene leads to heterochromatin disorganization, pointing to an important role for the WRN protein in maintaining heterochromatin… In further experiments, they showed that the protein interacts directly with molecular structures known to stabilize heterochromatin. This means that for the first time, there was a direct link between mutated WRN proteins to heterochromatin destabilization.
This all sounds a little complicated by this point. Perhaps this last study can clear things up a bit:
Researchers at Stanford University Baxter Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology have found a viable way of producing anti-aging properties in cells producing a biological fountain of youth.
Back to the Telomeres
Also we must consider nucleotides – recognize them as the string that holds our DNA together When they reach their maximum division, cells die, which is the internal aging clock for humans and other life. These are the links to our telomeres- briefly mentioned above as hormones which control our aging process.
It is finally stated that researchers propose that “the development of telomere extension [could] improve cell therapies and to possibly treat disorders of accelerated aging in humans.”
That’s the wrap folks. Some of us just age faster than our friends and family. Most of us are looking forward to that fountain of youth manifesting in some way, some day. Follow the research in the works cited to find more relative topics telling about the real fountain of youth – yet another little blue pill that is cited to change how you get older, with the backing of some these foremost authorities on aging, in fact.
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source : consumerhealthdigest.com