In July, Nature published a study showing that one of the latest features to boost longevity may be an inflammation clock.
You may be older or younger than your chronological age, based on your “biological age.” 25-year-olds may have inflammation clocks similar to those of 50-year-olds, for example. Unless it could be revealed early (like an inflammation clock) to aid in future prevention.
One hundred and one people, aged from eight to 96, were studied and blood protein markers were identified, which signal age-related inflammation.
Chris Airey, MD, medical director at Optimale and practicing physician with the NHS, explains that the inflammation clock, iAge, uses protein markers to detect risk of age-related diseases that could shorten a person’s lifespan.
CXCL9, a chemokine linked to heart aging and a higher likelihood of developing heart disease in later life, is one of these markers that would make up iAge.
According to Dr. Airey, the cells that had become dysfunctional due to the higher levels of CXCL9, regained some of their function when the gene that encodes CXCL9 was silenced. The result is that you hope to live longer and to reverse the damage you’ve done.
The iAge inflammation clock works
iAge uses a protein marker that signals inflammation in the blood to establish a person’s risk of developing age-related disorders, which is based on the theory that as people age, their bodies experience greater inflammation and cell damage.” says Dr. Airey.
Even though the study does not give us a complete picture of how these protein markers may influence the risk of age-related disease and longevity, it certainly contributes to our understanding of inflammation in the human body.
He says his research could help people understand their levels of inflammation and thus take steps to lower inflammation earlier before they experience age-related disorders.
As a warning when you are young—if you know you are predisposed to certain complications that will reduce your lifespan, you can take measures to prevent such damage and increase your lifespan through healthy, daily measures, while limiting adverse habits as well.
Despite the need for further research to verify the usefulness of iAge, Dr. Airey believes it could be incorporated into health screenings to detect those at greater risk of age-related diseases early so they can take actions to reduce inflammation in the body.
It would be beneficial for people as they age to use this feature at a doctor’s appointment as a regular check-in so they are aware of any biological factors that might harm them.
Reduce inflammation by following these steps
Until more research is done, a balanced lifestyle and healthy, daily habits, such as a clean diet, regular exercise, and sleeping seven to nine hours a night can keep inflammation at bay and lower your iAge.
People who live longer and healthier lives, such as centenarians, had more youthful inflammation clocks. iAge was 40 years lower on average than the centenarians’ actual age, according to the press release. Because of their lifestyle and diet, these groups have been shown to live longer, which makes sense.
Diet and exercise are important, but keeping stress levels down can also reduce inflammation, since more stress will raise cortisol levels. Meditation, yoga, journaling, exercise, napping, and spending time outdoors can all help you relax.
As Dr. Airey points out, refined carbohydrates, soda, fried foods, and trans fats contribute to inflammation in the body.
Exercise for 1.5 hours at least once a week, he says. Consider a variety of cardio exercises: cycling, walking, running, boxing, high-intensity interval training, and dancing. Maintain your bones and muscles by exercising three to four times a week as well.
Lastly, Dr. Airey encourages patients to stop smoking, since current smoking habits can directly cause age-related conditions and shorten lifespans. Breaking this bad habit will take a lot of effort, but it will be worth it in the end.
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