The majority of us will be completely unaware that we actually have two ages: Chronological age and biological age.
Chronological age refers to the exact number of years that you have been alive while biological age is a true reflection of how your cells are ageing and how they have been affected by your diet, exercise, lifestyle and environment.
Muhdo’s bioinformatics and science teams have identified the genes – as well as the specific biomarkers which sit upon them – that correlate to cellular ageing.
This allows you to see a true representation of how your diet, lifestyle and environment has been affecting you at a cellular and genetic level, as well as the current status of your internal health.
Biological ageing has a massive effect on the proteins within your body functioning correctly.
When proteins lose their ability to work correctly, they cannot carry out the necessary tasks within your body – for instance, memory, eyesight, hearing, ability to properly digest foods/nutrients as well as fight disease such as cancer, etc.
It will also cause a lack of energy production in the body, loss of circadian rhythm and new cell regeneration, increase inflammation, as well as a host of other factors.
Clearly you should never judge a book by its cover, and the same can also be true when it comes to judging your health from an external point of view.
While external characteristics can sometimes give us an insight into our internal health, in many instances we can simply misinterpret external factors such as bigger muscles, faster running times or eating a certain type of diet as they do not actually actuate to being healthier.
Epigenetics allows us to cut through the media noise of the latest hyped training style or fad diet to enable us to better ascertain which lifestyle changes we must make individually. These alterations are to provide our “genetic hardware” with the specific “lifestyle software” our body needs to nourish our internal health and, ultimately, live a healthier, happier and longer life.
Trying to improve your Biological age will have huge benefits on your health and wellbeing.
As we age our capacity to cope with lifestyle, environmental and physiological challenges diminish. In addition, important assets such as hearing, sight, memory and mobility also deteriorate as we age.
A variety of factors can contribute towards us ageing at an accelerated rate, such as nutritional deficiencies, stress, poor sleep and the pollution levels where we live and work.
Ageing is not a simple process to understand, it is like a jigsaw puzzle where analysing just a few pieces will not provide you with the complete picture.
There are various aspects that contribute towards ageing, from the genetic cards you have been dealt from your parents to the lifestyle that you choose.
No one wants to become ill at any stage in life and, unfortunately, with the gap between life expectancy and health expectancy seemingly being pushed further apart each year, understanding your biological age will become the new currency of health.
Muhdo provides you with the ability to track your biological age over time and recommend tweaks to your diet, exercise or lifestyle to help improve your internal health.
There have been a variety of studies conducted over the last decade specifically looking at ways to improve longevity and biological health.
Outlined below are a few of the main areas, which, if incorporated into your day to day life, could help improve the genetic markers that we have identified to calculate your biological age and that are key to your health and wellbeing.
• Vitamin D
• Calorie restriction
• Lowering metabolic rate (meditation)
• Increase antioxidant levels
• Physical activity
Vitamin D has many positive anti-ageing health benefits as it is a key regulator for around 900 genes, or 1/24 of your entire genome.
It is responsible for keeping your nerves healthy and cells functioning correctly throughout the body, especially the brain.
It is of paramount importance for various enzymes within the brain that have a major role to play with different neurotransmitters.
The anti-ageing properties come from the fact that vitamin D helps slow down the death of cells and improve the length of telomeres, which act as protective caps at the end of your chromosomes, reducing the risk of damage to your DNA.
Various studies have shown a clear correlation between calorie restriction and improvements to the life span of a variety of species including rats, fish, yeast and worms.
While the pathways through which this occurs is still unclear, calorie restriction and eating less will reduce your metabolic rate/metabolism, free radicals and oxidative stress (damage caused to cells by chemically reactive molecules containing oxygen). This will accelerate ageing and cause damage to your DNA.
In many ways reducing your metabolic rate ties into a reduction of food and calories that you are consuming, but it can also be achieved by incorporating yoga or meditation style exercises to help slow the metabolism, heart rate and breathing, which will help to reduce oxygen intake and body temperature.
External temperatures can also be stronger triggers to either increase or reduce metabolism, for instance saunas and increasing your body temperature over an extended period of time will reduce your metabolic rate.
Oxidative stress leads to ageing and underlies all disease processes, including cardiovascular disease, dementia and diabetes and plays a role in the development of cancer. Luckily your body produces antioxidant enzymes, which will remove these reactive oxygen species (ROS) from significantly damaging your cells.
Genetically, some people do not produce sufficient levels of these antioxidant enzymes and are at risk of increased oxidative damage, which then asks the question: how can you improve your antioxidant status?