Scientists have already discovered how to determine your organic, biological age but how will this knowledge aid and better educate us? An ever-growing database of evidence is linking our quality of life to our natural biological age. Therefore, this information can help an individual make proper, healthy lifestyle choices that may halt the aging process and result in a better overall quality of life.
A group of scientists from the Central Forensic Laboratory of the Warsaw Police collaborated with the universities of Poland and Spain to provide further scientific evidence in order to prove their claims
DNA methylation of the genes associated with biological age was measured in 176 athletes and compared to 128 healthy individuals that agreed to partake in the control group.
Astonishingly, the biological age of athletes was substantially accelerated compared to the control group. In other words, the biological age of the athletes was older than their chronological age. This goes against the theory that physical activity improves cardio-vascular parameters, reduces the risk of cancer, and generally increases life expectancy.
How can this contradiction be explained?
It turned out that the most notable changes occurred in two (TRIM59 and KLF14) out of five studied genes associated with biological age. Both genes were known for their functions in the development of cancer and in the anti-inflammatory processes. TRIM59 is an oncogene, and KLF14 is an anti-inflammatory activity. Scientists hypothesize that a change in the activity of these genes, as a result of physical activity, can lead to an increase in life expectancy as a direct result of the decrease in the risk of cancer and chronic inflammation in patients.
This finding provides scientific evidence that epigenetic mechanisms may underpin the association of physical activity and longevity.
It is also an important step towards a more comprehensive and thorough understanding of the complex relationships between lifestyle and environmental influences on the biology of a human.