Biological Aging: Lifestyle Habits That Lead to Healthier Aging
Published by Dr. Venn-Watson
Dr. Eric Venn-Watson’s Highlights
Did you know it’s possible to take a cue from Benjamin Button and actually age in reverse? Well, it’s not quite the same — human aging is a complex science. That said, as our epigenetic clocks tick, research in the field of geroscience (aka the science of aging) is gaining traction in understanding predictors of aging as well as how we can up our quality of life on the further end of our lifespans.
Even if you aren’t familiar with biological aging, it’s not too late to start making changes that can affect your biological age and help your body age in reverse.
Let’s explore the possibility of reverse-aging, what it is, and how you can give your body the ability to stay healthier longer.
What Is Biological Aging?
Doctors who study the aging process refer to two different types of aging; chronological aging, and biological aging. Each type of aging plays a role in our health, but only one type of aging can be altered by events other than the passing of time.
Let’s look at the risk factors that contribute to each type of aging.
Chronological aging refers to the age you are because of your birthday. This is the age you turn each year you make another trip around the sun. There’s no slowing down or turning back your chronological age, and there are no other factors that contribute to it.
You can’t slow it down, but you also can’t speed up your chronological age.
However, with biological age, it’s possible to speed up, slow down, or pause.
While you age chronologically, your body ages biologically. Biological aging refers to the actual age of your body based on certain factors, including your chronological age.
Other factors of biological aging include:
- Diet and exercise
- Underlying medical conditions
Biological aging assesses the condition of your body relative to your age to determine if you are chronologically outliving your body or vice versa. Biological aging is the only kind of aging we can change to promote healthy aging.
What Happens to the Body as We Age?
The aging body is in steady decline, or at least that’s what we’ve been told. Aging means joint pain, mental fog, wrinkles and lines, and the breakdown of just about everything we enjoyed in our youth.
The harsh news is, some of this information is true; the body does begin to break down with old age, which is why frailty is assumed in our later years.
The good news, however, is that we can be proactive in the fight against premature aging and help keep our bodies from breaking down as quickly as they would without intervention.
Aging Starts in the Cells
The foundation of every system in our body is the cell. Our cells make up tissues, that make up organs, that make up the systems that keep us alive and functioning.
When our cells function properly, our organs and systems function properly.
As we age chronologically, our cells begin to lose some of their function. This is a natural process whereby cells become weaker and more fragile. The cell membranes that protect the cells become flimsy, and the mitochondria that provide the cells’ energy become sluggish.
The result is the onset of an aging process that affects every system in your body. Let’s look at just two.
When your cells begin to age, vital systems in your body begin to break down as well. Your cardiovascular system, for instance, becomes less efficient in pumping blood. Blood vessels begin to stiffen, making the heart work harder. This can lead to cardiovascular disease and/or high blood pressure.
Bones and Joints
Your bones, joints, and muscles change as you age. Bones lose density, muscles lose strength and flexibility, and tendons become tighter. As the cells that make up these tissues get older, you’ll find you have decreased muscular endurance. You may break bones more easily than you did in your youth. Your statute may even decrease due to normal, age-related bone shrinking.
Age Related Diseases
Possibly the biggest testament to aging is the development of age-related diseases. As cells break down and systems begin to falter, certain diseases become so common they almost seem unavoidable. What older adult over the age of 50 doesn’t take a pill for their cholesterol or constantly worry about their blood pressure?
Insulin resistance and obesity are age-related diseases that are so common they affect nearly half the population of people in later life (over age 60). It can seem like we are doomed to a life of progressively getting sicker, weaker, and more tired.
Thankfully, that isn’t the case.
How To Biologically Age Backwards
You may not be able to reset your birth date, but you can change the speed with which your body ages. By taking better care of your body and supporting your cells as they age, you can slow down the aging process and give your cells a fighting chance against aging.
Here’s what goes into healthy living and keeping a more youthful biological age.
Your diet plays a major role in how you age. The foods you eat contain vitamins and nutrients essential to keep your cells and your organs functioning properly. If you consume more processed foods and refined carbohydrates, you could be at risk of starving your cells of the ingredients they need to stay healthy.
Similarly, if you perform extreme caloric restriction, you can miss the essential micronutrients and macronutrients necessary to fuel your cells.
It goes without saying your diet is also a big determining factor in your weight. Excess weight (especially around the midsection) has been linked to numerous diseases, most notably metabolic syndrome, which affects nearly 19% of all people aged 19-39, and nearly 50% of those aged 60 and above.
Metabolic syndrome is characterized by:
- Insulin resistance
- High blood pressure
- Unregulated blood sugar (glucose)
- High cholesterol
- Excess weight around the midsection
Eating a balanced diet not only helps give your cells what they need to stay healthy, it also lowers your risk of developing this age-related condition.
A body in motion stays in motion. Newton’s law applies to your body as you age. Staying active helps keep your muscle, joints, tendons, and bones loose, flexible, and strong. As we age, it can be common to switch from an active lifestyle to one that is sedentary. This switch ages the body more rapidly and causes us to experience injuries more frequently.
Exercise benefits your physical functioning, bones, joints, and muscles, but it’s also a crucial part of keeping a healthy weight and improving your cardiovascular health. Just half an hour of heart-pumping exercise per day can keep your heart healthier and improve its ability to pump blood efficiently.
Your lifestyle choices also play a role in your biological age and lifespan. We all know there are choices we make that are good for our health and some that up our mortality risk. No one is going to make the right choice every single time, but consistent, habitual choices that have a negative impact on our health can be damaging to our biological age.
Some lifestyle habits that can have devastating long-term results are:
- Excessive alcohol use
- Unprotected sun exposure
- Working in unhealthy or unsafe conditions
- Unregulated chronic diseases
Making sure you are choosing healthier options at least 80% of the time can decrease your biological age and help keep your body functioning younger than your chronological age.
Using supplements can help support the body as we age. Whether you use a supplement to fill in dietary gaps or support a particular bodily function, supplements can help assist your body in staying healthy.
While there may not be a magic pill that can arrest the hands of time, there is a pill that can support your cells and give you the capability to biologically age on your own terms.*
Fatty15 and Your Biological Age
If we told you taking in more fat was the key to lowering your biological age, you’d probably scoff, and with good reason. For decades we’ve been given some very misleading information about fat.
What started as a campaign against heart disease in the 1970s led to the majority of us growing up in low-fat households. Full fat milk and dairy products weren’t a staple, and we likely didn’t eat much red meat.
As it turns out, not all fat is bad for us.† Some fats are actually important in keeping us healthy. Pentadecanoic acid (also known as C15:0) is an odd-chain, saturated fatty acid that research supports can help keep your cells sturdy and strong, giving you a better chance to feel sturdy and strong as you age.†*
Fatty15 is the once-a-day C15:0 supplement that can help:†*
- Support cellular health. Fatty15 is the pure, vegan form of C15:0 (known as FA15™ ). It helps strengthen cell walls and encourage mitochondrial function.
- Fuel your metabolism. Fatty15 helps support your metabolism so you can be more successful with a healthy diet and exercise.
- Balance your immunity. No more getting sicker as you get older. Fatty15 helps support a balanced immunity that keeps you well.
You can take a simple little fatty acid each day and actively pursue a biologically younger age by supporting your cells and keeping them healthy.
You’re As Young As Your Biological Age
You’re no longer as young as you feel, you’re as young as your biological age. Taking care of your body and supporting your cellular health with fatty15 is the smart choice of people who want to fight back against the theory that turning a calendar year older means feeling a calendar year old.
Act your biological age, with good choices and fatty15.
Sources:Prevalence of the Metabolic Syndrome in the United States, 2003-2012|Jama Network
Eric Venn-Watson M.D.
Senior Scientist, Co-Founder
Eric is a physician, U.S. Navy veteran, and Co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics. Eric served over 25 years as a Navy and Marine Corps physician, working with the special forces community to improve their health and fitness. Seraphina Therapeutics is a health and wellness company dedicated to advancing global health through the discovery of essential fatty acids and micronutrient therapeutics.
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