We tend to think of age in terms of the number of years we have been alive – meaning our chronological age. But the year that you were born is not necessarily an accurate measure of your health or your life expectancy. We are coming to realize that a better predictor is your biological age – and that can be quite different from your chronological age. So how do you learn your biological age? And what can you do with this information?
In this episode of humanOS Radio, I speak with Ken Raj. Ken is a Senior Scientific Group Leader at Public Health London, and has worked extensively with Dr. Steve Horvath of UCLA in developing and interpreting genomic biomarkers of aging. They are best known for developing the “epigenetic clock,” a tool that predicts life expectancy by examining age-related changes to DNA methylation, then using that information to calculate biological age in relation to chronological age. The epigenetic clock is able to predict life expectancy with remarkable accuracy, with a margin of error of plus or minus three years.
In this podcast, we discuss:
-How the epigenetic clock uses DNA methylation to compare biological to chronological age.
-Whether DNA methylation changes are the “drivers” or the “passengers” of biological aging, and how direct a role they play in the aging process.
-Whether or not epigenetic changes can be passed down from generation to generation.
-Whether or not someone with a biological age greater than their chronological age is more likely to develop certain pathologies.
-What diet and lifestyle factors have been researched to show an impact on epigenetic aging.
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