The Difference Between Chronological Aging and Biological Aging

The Difference Between Chronological Aging and Biological Aging

If you want to improve your health and longevity, it is essential to understand the difference between chronological aging and biological age.

Your chronological age is your age in years, while your biological age is a number that reflects your health and condition at a cellular level.

Scientists use a variety of approaches to determine biological age, such as measuring blood-based markers and telomere length. Horvath's approach, called the "epigenetic clock," analyzes chemical changes to genetic material, a process called DNA methylation.

Biological age is a more accurate measure of health

Biological age is an aging measure that is more accurate than chronological age because it considers your health status. Aging scientists believe that if you know your biological age, it can help you avoid illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease or cancer.

Unlike chronological age, biological age can be changed by making changes to your lifestyle. For example, eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of sleep can improve your biological age and reduce your risk of illness.

Scientists have also found that chemical changes to your DNA, called DNA methylation, are a good indicator of your biological age. This process occurs when your body changes the way it binds to chemicals in your environment.

Several factors affect your biological age, including your lifestyle, nutrition, and genetics. You can improve your biological age by reducing your stress level and improving the quality of your sleep.

Biological age is more accurate than chronological age

Your age isn't the only way to determine your health, fitness, vulnerability to injury or illness, or cognitive function. That's why a growing number of health experts are looking to "biological age" - your body's function relative to your calendar age - as a more powerful indicator of overall wellbeing and resilience.

Biological age is also more accurate than chronological age for predicting the onset of disease and death. This is because biological age reflects a combination of your genetics, lifestyle factors and other aging-related determinants.

Scientists can determine your biological age by measuring telomere length or biomarkers of DNA methylation. These are currently the best estimates of your biological age, but more sophisticated tests are on the horizon.

Biological age is a more accurate predictor of mortality

Biological age can represent a person's health status more accurately than chronological age because it considers how the body is functioning. Various biomarkers can be used to calculate biological age. Some of them include glucose, mean red blood cell volume, white blood cell count, C-reactive protein among others.

Many studies have been conducted to measure biological age using measurable biomarkers since 1969. However, some of them have been less effective than others to predict disease-related mortality.

The majority of these studies have been performed on a group of physiological biomarkers that are easy to measure and interpret, mainly albumin, creatinine, alkaline phosphatase, urea, hemoglobin, serum glucose, and thyroid hormone levels. Some of these biomarkers are also used in clinical settings for predicting the risk of death for patients with multi-system organ failure.

Several algorithms have been developed and validated in large human cohort studies for a panel of physiological biomarkers6,7,8, differentially methylated sites in DNA (DNAm age)9,10, circulatory metabolites (metabo-age)11,12, the levels of messenger-RNAs11 and microRNAs (miRNAs) in whole blood and plasma samples. The most promising biological age algorithms are those that condense aging signals into a single composite marker and have the capability to predict all-cause mortality4.

Biological age is a more accurate measure of resilience

Biological age is the number of years your cells and tissues have been in existence. Depending on your lifestyle and overall health, your biological age may be lower or higher than your chronological age.

If you have a lot of stress in your life, your biological age can increase rapidly. This is due to the fact that when you experience a stressor, your DNA methylation increases.

This can lead to a decline in your overall health and even death. However, if you are able to cope with stress and improve your resilience, your biological age can decrease.

Studies have shown that people who are emotionally resilient can avoid the aging effects of stress. They can also reduce their biological age by reducing their stress levels and improving their sleep quality.

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