New Study Hints at Body’s Ability to Re-Calibrate Biological Age

Written by Dr. Jonathan Peterson, Updated on May 22nd, 2020

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As life expectancies continue to rise across America, medical researchers confront new roadblocks with every new discovery and cure. Many diseases and conditions that were fatal just a generation or two ago are now easily treatable. Other conditions, such as Alzheimer's and dementia, must be reckoned with as men and women are living longer. Every step we take to improve and lengthen the lifespan leads to a new restriction. DNA analysis is critical to advanced life-extension.

What is the Epigenetic Clock?

The epigenetic clock represents the human lifespan as it is related to DNA methylation and other genetic processes. Scientists have determined that by analyzing an individual's DNA, it is possible to produce a surprisingly accurate approximation of a person's age. DNA methylation helps to modulate genetic expression. When we get older, DNA methylation is less pronounced.



This activity is so connected to physiological age that it likely provides an accurate portrayal of mortality risk and well-being that is more accurate than biological age. Researchers are just beginning to explore the ramifications of the epigenetic clock. Dr. Steve Horvath of the University of California is a geneticist at the forefront of the field and has been the most successful at creating tests that accurately determine epigenetic age.

Epigenetic age acceleration occurs when men and women suffer from conditions that cause epigenetic age to increase at a rate faster than customary life-expectancy. When life-expectancy indicated by DNA-methylation is shorter than average, an individual has a positive epigenetic age. Researchers have pinpointed that many cardiovascular complications result in epigenetic age acceleration.

Is It Possible to Extend the Epigenetic Clock?

Epigenetic aging is a new and exciting concept, which means that research is still in its infancy. It makes sense that effectively treating a condition that increases epigenetic age reduces mortality risk and increases lifespan. One may hypothesize that with the correct treatment, it may be possible to turn back the clock on epigenetic age and extend the lifespan.

One modest study conducted in California provides novel evidence that it's possible to dial back epigenetic age. In this study, nine participants agreed to take a combination of three medications for a year. Volunteers took bio-identical HGH in conjunction with two other prescriptions (Metformin and DHEA).

Both human growth hormone and Metformin have shown great promise in helping improve the lives of aging men and women. Because HGH can have a negative impact on insulin resistance, growth hormone was combined with DHEA and Metformin to counteract these negative effects and maintain optimal hormone balance. After a year of treatment, the participants underwent genetic analysis.

Epigenetic Clock Reversal Indicated After One Year of Drug Cocktail

On average, the epigenetic age of the patients reversed by around 2.5 years, results much more pronounced than hypothesized. Steve Horvath believed that the drug cocktail might slow down epigenetic aging, but did not predict epigenetic reversal. While more studies must be conducted with additional rigor to ensure the accuracy of this preliminary research, the results are quite promising.

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