Epigenetics 10/21/2020

Biological Age

What is my biological age?

This course will help you understand how your age on the inside can be different than your calendar age.

30 Cards

Most people love to hear the words, “Wow, you look so much younger than your age!”

If you hear this often, there might be truth to it - even down to the level of your DNA.

There is real science behind the idea that you can be younger than people your age.

Your biological age describes how time and injury have impacted your body.

Your biological age doesn’t have to match your age in years.  It can be older - or younger!

To better understand biological aging, let’s look at an example from the animal kingdom - the immortal jellyfish.

The curious immortal jellyfish takes the idea of being younger than its age to an extreme.

Under extreme stress, like starvation, an old jellyfish can revert to being a juvenile polyp!

The immortal jellyfish’s gut cells can regenerate and transform into other cells, like nerve cells.

This ability to regenerate allows the immortal jellyfish to essentially “start over” in its life.

You might not be able to age in reverse like the immortal jellyfish, but you can slow your biological aging.

Inflammation and injuries to your DNA and proteins contribute to your biological aging.

A critical part of this aging is cell senescence, when injured cells become like zombies!

Senescent or zombie cells eat and grow but can’t reproduce (divide into new cells) or function properly. They also create inflammation.

Biological aging takes place at the level of your cells, but it shows up as symptoms of aging.

In the next few cards, we will look at some symptoms of aging and how you can avoid them.

As you age, your immune system fails to fight off viruses when too many of your immune cells become “zombies” or senescent.

As more cells get injured and become senescent, it also takes more energy to keep your body in working order.

Your aging body works harder, not smarter, leading to more inflammation and zombie cells.

Symptoms of aging tend to show up together, as aging spreads in the body.

To quote Shakespeare, zombie cells “come not single spies, but in battalions.”

You might even be feeding your zombie cells.  Inflammation from high blood sugar can speed the spread of zombie cells in your body.

This is why a healthy lifestyle can prevent many of the usual symptoms of aging.

How old are you, really?  Swipe to learn how to slow your biological aging.

You can measure your biological age by how healthy various systems of your body are!

Don’t smoke and have healthy lungs?  You are helping yourself to age slowly!

Are you overweight or have a large waist for your height?  You may age prematurely.

Do you have prediabetes or diabetes?  You may age prematurely.  A healthy diet and exercise can help prevent diabetes.

Do you exercise?  Can you squat to just off the ground and back up?  You are helping yourself to age slowly!

Stay young in your body and brain:  Exercise, eat fruits and veggies, limit your sugar intake and connect with others!

Optional Feedback

What did you think of this course?


Share
Sources
Learn more
Lifeology is on a mission to make learning science and health fun and approachable through art and storytelling.

Lifeology is a platform that combines science and art in illustrated mini-courses that anyone can enjoy! We also have a community space that brings together experts, creators and readers to innovate science and health communication.

Visit Lifeology.io to learn more.