|What is Your Biological Age?|
Do You Compare Your Looks to a "Photoshopped" Magazine Cover Picture?
By "aging" we usually allude to the biological process of growing older in a deleterious sense. That is why - the longer we have aged, the more we seek to forestall agings terminal effect.
The science concerned with Aging has yet to produce a generally accepted model to determine the rate of aging and the discrepancy between the biological age and chronological age at a specific time. A theoretical, mathematical approach is the Gompertz equation, which describes the increase of mortality over time, is often used to measure the rate of the aging and lifespan in population studies. The Gompertz relationship can be used to calculate the change in life expectancy corresponding to a particular standardized mortality ratio "SMR" over a greater range than have previous methods, and, although subject to some uncertainties, can provide a quick method of judging the change in life expectancy that is associated with a given SMR value. Obviously, this model may be useful in population studies, but is useless for the individual's desire to know their relative age and their rate of aging.
Skin elasticity measurement as a biomarker for biological age determination is widely used, most notably within the Beauty Industry for obvious reasons. The Aging of Skin connective tissue is the most visible marker for aging and that explains its popularity: The connective tissue of the skin is composed mostly of collagen and elastin. Collagen makes up 70-80% of the dry weight of the skin and gives the dermis its mechanical and structural integrity. Elastin is a minor component of the dermis, but it has an important function in providing the elasticity of the skin. During aging, the synthesis of collagen gradually declines, and the skin thus becomes thinner in protected skin, especially at about retirement age. Mechanical properties of skin (e.g., elasticity of skin) will change due to lifestyle and environmental exposure factors, such as disease, stress, or dehydration. Several factors contribute to the aging of the skin. where collagen or elastin are deficient, leading to accelerated aging, evident by wrinkles and sagging of the skin. Excessive tanning and exposure to ultraviolet radiation causes skin to look prematurely aged. These photoaging effects can be seen as early as the second decade of life. There is another problem with this highly subjective method of age interpretation: when the body becomes dehydrated as a result of an illness (e.g., ones that cause diarrhea) or reduced liquid intake (e.g., famine or marathon running), the skin becomes “plump and does not snap back when pinched.
Telomeres are the latest subject of scientific - and Media - enthusiasm: a predictor of health and aging, a comparatively obscure enzyme called telomerase might eclipse the importance of much more famous molecules – cholesterol, for instance. Telomerase acts on DNA at the ends of chromosomes, called telomeres. Telomeres might be a link between stress, diseases associated with aging and aging itself. The level of telomerase activity is important in determining telomere length in aging cells and tissues. Senescence is the scientific term for cellular aging, the process by which a cell becomes old and dies. It is due to the shortening of chromosomal telomeres to the point that the chromosome reaches a critical length. In a body of vitality a cell becomes immortal and constantly produces new cells. When the body loses its vitality (aging), the cell stops producing new cells and dies. Being able to make the body's cells live forever certainly creates exciting challenges and fuels yearnings for immortality. However, the science has not yet progressed to the point where we can measure our telomere lengths and thereby derive our biological age relative to chronological age.
Lab tests are the most common approaches to determine age and aging; they are favored within the clinical realm, again for obvious reasons. However, these are not at all new and there is neither an unequivocal understanding of which biomarkers to use, nor how to evaluate these in a normative fashion. Typical indicators used are CRP for Inflammation, cholesterol, hormones, blood sugar, cell function, blood pressure, There are almost unlimited other available analytes, such as Homocysteine, kidney and liver function, brain function and so forth. One can easily imagine the challenge put on the medical community to agree upon which markers to use and to establish a normative measuring and scoring system such that adding up all of the results for a complete body of tests could produce a “biological age”. But that would requires the medical disciplines to unite in weighing and validating each of these factors and agreeing on a benchmark “age index”.
However, some scientists from The University of North Carolina believe to have found the “silver bullet” in a single
Blood test that can measure the body's rate of aging at a molecular level . According to their research, the concentration of a protein named "p16INK4a" significantly increases in aging tissue. Though even if this method will establish itself as a method for assessing the rate of aging, determining a person's biological age versus their calendar age is a different challenge - but that is what people want to know.
The fact that we can't agree on the standard or method to articulate a biological age shouldn't surprise anyone, until now, we haven't even been able to reach a global agreement on the spelling of the term, are we Aging or Ageing?
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|最終更新日 ( 2011/08/17 Wednesday 11:41:15 MDT )|