Keywords: age, methylation, DNA, biological age, longevity, healthy aging, genes, optimal longevity, joy, brain health
Age isn’t “just a number,” but it isn’t the number of birthdays you’ve enjoyed, either. Biological age, as new studies have explored, is a number, and it’s one that can be adjusted with a long-term health plan. You have the power to understand, and alter, your body’s age by taking steps in your physiological health that correlate to biological age.
What is biological age?
Biological age is in our genes. Researchers have come to understand the body’s biological clock as separate from the time-based chronological clock we typically reference when we’re thinking about our health. While theories continue to be tested, and we know that myriad factors including psychological health interact in our physiological health, it’s possible to calculate a “biological age” by referencing DNA methylation data.
DNA methylation is one factor in our body’s epigenetic systems, an element of the physiological systems that determine characteristics of our cells’ replication process. Understand these as “longevity genes!” These characteristics can go through changes during our lives, but the more efficiently the methylation cycle is able to occur, the younger our calculated biological age.
What does the research say?
Observing these physiological markers is important to understanding our bodies, but on its own, knowing biological age does not help us become biologically younger. The good news is, and you know from my work, that longevity interventions do exist. We can “turn on” our longevity genes, and it doesn’t matter what stage of life we choose to do that. The interventions are for all of us, at any age.
Dr. Kara Fitzgerald et al. recently studied biological age interventions, finding a 3.23 years decrease in biological age in participants who experienced a change in diet and lifestyle. This means that, like other aspects of the aging process including reducing dementia risk, we can have a direct impact on the ways our bodies internally communicate by following a straightforward intervention plan.
The following interventions were part of the research conducted by Dr. Fitzgerald et al.
It’s important to remember that any of these interventions in isolation are important health decisions, but tying them together, and to an overall integrative health plan, makes it possible to address the physiological and emotional health factors that deeply affect your longevity.
Diet: A vegetable-rich diet, also including foods such as liver and eggs. The study also emphasized avoiding grains, dairy, beans, sugar and plastic containers.
Supplements: Vitamin D3, Folate, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin B-6, Choline. Dr. Fitzgerald et al. found the most significant results with Vitamin D3 and Folate, but previous research has recommended additional important nutrient intake for methylation support.
Exercise: 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. Consider taking walks to address additional psychological aspects of the aging process.
Sleep: At least 7 hours of sleep per night. Sleep affects emotional health, gastrointestinal health, brain function, and more. Read more and view sleeping tips on my blog at ilenenaomirusk.com/.
Stress Management: Breathing exercise. The recommended exercise is based on Dr. Herbert Benson’s book.
These are not the only ways to intervene in your body’s aging process. I have recently discussed how spiritual fitness can enhance brain health, as well as loads of other fun ways to enhance purpose in your life! You can find ways to do this on my website at ilenenaomirusk.com/, along with another important factors you can change as you tune into the inner workings of your body’s biological clock.
To discuss a detailed, personalized plan to support your longevity, please reach out to me at email@example.com to discuss your plan and sign up on ilenenaomirusk.com for some free brain health tips!