Winning at aging – Part 1
Feeling young (or old) has always been an abstract notion for me. I hoped exercise and eating right really did make a difference but it’s hard to know how it was really effecting my health and youthfulness. My views on this changed recently while reading Lifespan by David Sinclair PhD. I learned of some new breakthroughs in longevity research – or as Dr Sinclair writes, “health span.” One of the new developments is a test called the Horvath Clock or epigenetic clock which indicates a person’s precise biological age and a very close estimation as to the time until death. It does this by measuring the cumulative effect of an epigenetic maintenance system. While a little pricey now, Sinclair states this test is going to become commercially available very soon at a very affordable cost. Feeling young or old isn’t this abstract notion anymore. Depending a bit on genetics and 80% on lifestyle, as individuals, we very well be measurably younger or older than our calendar years.
Dr Sinclair and his follow researchers at Harvard Medical School have found many foods, strategies, and drugs that increase the length of time test animals stay young. Things like time restricted eating (basically skipping breakfast and possibly lunch), exercise, fasting for a few days every so often, Resveratrol (the compound produced from grapes).
We will soon be able to measure in a concrete test, our biological age giving us feedback on our lifestyle. So when we say staying young, it really does in a measurable way mean slowing down – way down in some cases – aging. By the time an athlete reaches 40 and even more in the next decades, racing results will be more and more heavily determined how well he/she is slowing down the aging process. So besides the obvious upside of living longer, by actively doing things research indicates will slow down aging, we very well may become even more competitive in our age group.