Reversing “Biological Age” May Become Possible

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Every year when people say "happy birthday" to you, you are one year older than yesterday. Birthdays determine how old you are, which you cannot change. But it may be possible to change your biological age.

    

    

Epigenome marks your biological age

    

Biological age can be measured by examining epigenome in your DNA. Epigenome is the complete description of all the chemical modifications to DNA and histone proteins that regulate the expression of genes within the genome.

    

During the course of your life, the pattern of epigenome changes and tracks your biological age, which can lag behind or exceed your chronological age (how many birthdays you've had).

    

    

People all want to reverse their aging process, and the resent study published in the journal Aging Cell shows first hint that reversing "biological age" may become possible.

    

About the study

    

In the one-year trial, nine healthy white men aged between 51 and 65 took a cocktail of three drugs — one common growth hormone and two diabetes medications — to see whether they would slow down their biological clock.

    

The trial targeted the thymus gland, a small gland in the chest that matures white blood cells to help the body fight infections and cancers. Previous studies have shown that the gland starts to shrink after puberty.

    

    

Evidence from animal and some human studies shows that growth hormone stimulates regeneration of the thymus gland and promotes diabetes, that's why the trial included one common growth hormone and two diabetes medications, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and metformin.

    

About the results

    

The results were astonishing:

—The participants regained 2.5 years of biological age on average.

—Seven participants regenerated thymus tissue and showed a rejuvenated blood-cell count.

—Six participants had persisted effect six months after stopping the trial.

    

    

The results surprised even the trial organizers. "I'd expected to see slowing down of the clock, but not a reversal," said geneticist Steve Horvath, who conducted the analysis. "That felt kind of futuristic."

    

Future expectations

    

Horvath is quite excited about the future. "Because we could follow the changes within each individual, and because the effect was so very strong in each of them, I am optimistic," he said.

    

Cancer immunologist Sam Palmer also said this "has huge implications not just for infectious disease but also for cancer and aging in general."

    

    

Although a larger study is still needed as some scientists pointed out that the trial was small in scope and did not include a control arm, regenerating the thymus may be useful in the future to protect against common age-related diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.

    

8 Answers

Id love to be a part of this study as ive been through health issues that have added 15 plus yrs to my life. A reversal would help me tremendously.
Ditto
kind of hope that the future can come sooner
Aging is a normal human process. Relying on drugs to change it really has no negative effects?
Good to hear this news. I always believe that the day will come, hope my parents can live longer.
its more than immortal its reverse dear me
im afraid my skin processes faster than body so one day i will have face for 80 and body for 20?
You wish! Your skin ages along with your body. They will die at the same time.
If there's life there is a way. hold on buddies.
Good job. I want you guys work even harder, yeah! I would be happier if I can just earn one more day to my life.
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