Biological vs. Chronological Age
by Mark Houston, MD, MSc, SCH, ABAAM, FACP, FAHA
Have you ever met someone who looks and acts much younger than they really are? Their skin looks healthy, their energy levels are high, and you think, gosh they seem twenty years younger than you know them to be. Well chances are, this is more accurate than you think. There is a blood test available that can measure your true biological age and help you determine what treatment and preventive measures that you should incorporate into your new lifestyle. The test works by measuring the length of the telomere, the end cap on your DNA. Picture your child’s shoelaces, the ones with the little plastic cap to stop it from fraying. This plastic cap is like the telomere on the DNA- it protects your genetic material in the DNA from oxidative and inflammatory damage. This allows the cell a better chance of reproducing without progressive damage and keeps your DNA healthier.
Personally, my biological age (how old your body is from a health perspective, not your actual age in years) is more than twenty years younger than my chronological age (the number of years from the time of your birth) age, and I feel fantastic! I am able to see nearly 80 patients a day in my practice and still find time to fly all over the world presenting lectures to fellow practitioners. If you find that your biological age is worse than your chronological age, don’t dismay. There are nutrients that can help slow down or stabilize your aging. by protecting the telomere. The main nutrient is resveratrol, the extract found in red wine and one of the most important nutrients which makes red wine so healthy. I love resveratrol! Resveratrol not only protects the telomeres from premature breakdown due to oxidation and inflammation but has actually been shown to help repair them, effectively slowing down or stabilizing your biological aging. Therefore, resveratrol can be taken for both treating and preventing the aging process and hopefully help you to look and feel younger. Knowing your biological age is a great place to start when mapping out your nutritional regimen with your healthcare provider.
Dr. Houston graduated from Vanderbilt Medical School and completed his medical training at the University of California, San Francisco. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, the American Society of Hypertension (ASH) and the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine (ABAAM). He also completed a Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut.