Why Do We All Age Differently?
Ever wondered why we age differently? Few researchers have highlighted what we called four ‘ageotypes’ or biological pathways that could be responsible for the aging process. What made them largely curious was how getting older implied coping with multiple health issues. And if that’s the case, then why would people at all face different problems. Here’s what proceeded.
All About The Findings
So a team of researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine, California, had begun with this new study, where they chose a group of 43 healthy participants. All of them were aged between 34 and 68 years who underwent assessment for molecular biology markers, no less than 5 times and for a period of 2 years. This longitudinal approach was a path-breaking method for they found detailed aging profiles that assisted them in ‘mapping’ individuals’ varied aging parameters.
For example, high cholesterol is a common aspect found in older people, but there’s something more than mere ailments that could be gained from getting population averages. After all, looks don’t stay the same for even two people in a similar age category. Herein came the 4 different biological pathways, which proved as essential findings in characterizing aging and its types.
The Four Ageotypes
One good thing about the study was the comprehensive view about aging after delving into broad-ranging molecules and even gathering multiple samples across the years from almost every participant. Aging at the molecular level is quite complex and varies from man to man. Researchers even checked few biological samples, like the blood and stool of participants.
Now the question arises why these? The presence and even activities of microbes would change as much as the molecules, including proteins, fats (lipids), and metabolites. After careful analysis, researchers found the four different ‘ageotypes’ or aging pathways- metabolite (meaning build-up and breakdown of bodily substances), immune (connected to immune responses), hepatic (all about liver functions), and nephritic (about kidney functions).
Researchers explained that people having a strong predisposition to metabolite aging ran high risks of diabetic conditions, for example. Also, it can’t be ruled out that an individual who’s predisposed to one condition doesn’t develop a couple or more types of aging, since combinations often result in multiple health issues.
Added to aging types, there were obvious differences in aging rates present in individuals. These findings proved amazing when it came to alerting people about how and when they should exert more control on their lives. Truly, the sooner we get to know what types of aging we’re predisposed to, the better and more empowering it will be to chalk out a strategy to minimize the health problems that we are likely to face. Thereby, we can also slow down the aging process.
Slowing Down Ageing? That’s Possible!
Not that research has unveiled the miracle totally, but there are possibilities that you can slow down aging. The team of researchers looked for underlying factors that propelled aging. Specifically, they compared aging profiles of people who were otherwise healthy but insulin sensitive and those who were insulin resistant but the bodies have lost their usual effective capacities of processing blood sugar. No less than 10 molecules were found to be significantly different between the younger and older participants. But amazingly, the study continued for a couple of years and data collection results revealed that not everyone reflected similar changes in ageotype markers.
What is even more interesting is that individuals who made noticeable changes in their lifestyles (especially diet) were found to have decreased ageotype markers for a certain period of time. Certainly, that indicates these individuals were aging slowly. Few participants also showed age-related transformation in hemoglobin A1c and creatinine that’s connected to the kidneys’ functioning. That occurred at lower rates too. Though people who made immediate lifestyle changes did not show improvements when the study was in progress, it all happened gradually.
The team of researchers hoped to find some more amazing results in due course of time. Since the findings are recent and it marks the beginning of quite a complex journey towards deciphering how aging actually works, it will indeed reflect solid results with time. Mysteries abound everywhere and perhaps research will unmask several such interesting details. If that happens, we can possibly find that fabled Fountain of Youth too!
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