It is always fun to see medical research dive into the underlying causes of disease and now they are starting to look at the underlying causes of accelerated aging. Researchers from Buck and Stanford University have created an inflammatory clock of aging which measures inflammatory load and predicts multi-morbidity, frailty, immune health & cardiovascular aging. Becoming aware of your age marker they are calling iAGE helps bring light to areas you need to focus on to take control of your future. READ ON to learn more about the predictive value of the immune system in aging and this new test that you can order yourself ….
In the last decade more and more attention has been focused on the markers associated with aging. In 2013 a nice article laid out 9 areas that specifying the hallmarks of aging including altered intracellular communication, genomic instability, telomere attrition, epigenetic alterations, loss of proteostasis, deregulated nutrient sensing, mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular senescence and stem cell exhaustion. Obviously, this was a complicated theory without a way to directly measure the combination of all of these as well as not considering the aging process itself. While science has made many advances in several of these areas including being able to measure telomere length, looking at your genetic makeup & ability to assess nutrient utilization, the impact all of these have on aging was pieced together rather than looking at is as a whole. We know that all of our cells in our body talk to the other cells and isolating just one component often falls short of what would be expected. This is why so many medications in a research lab often fail during trials because of the way it alters other parts of the body creating untoward side-effects.
One of the key components to aging is inflammation. We can easily measure acute inflammatory markers but there is not a specific test that tells us about the burden of chronic inflammation. iAGE uses artificial intelligence methods to identify biomarkers of age-related chronic inflammation. They have also discovered a specific immune protein that they feel like is a significant marker in the inflammation/aging process. Using their iAGE score they combine this for a metric of age-related multi-morbidities which simply means many different health issues due to a variety of causes. They specifically focus on cancer, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, urologic, neurologic, endocrine metabolic, musculoskeletal, genital-reproductive and psychiatric and can also be used for early detection of immune decline and cardiovascular aging.
The test compares immune protein levels to people of the same age and then gives you an inflammatory clock of aging (your iAGE) which shows you how much younger or older you are with respect to your actual age. Then they take this information and give you steps to help combat your iAGE which may include supplements, life-style changes, medical foods as well as prescription drugs.
I have not tried this test out myself but am looking forward to doing it and seeing what information it provides. As always this is just a tool which might provide a few pearls for your health but does not take the place of medical care! Take a look at the test information yourself and decide if this is useful for you.
In the meantime, inflammation in your body directly impacts our aging process. If you have swelling in your fingers, rings are often tight, achy joints or muscles, have diabetes, plaque formation or any autoimmune issue then you most likely have a higher inflammatory burden. It’s time to make some lifestyle changes! Call us if you need help getting back on track.
To your health,