Biological Age Defined
Likely not known to many is that people possess two ages. Of course, everyone is familiar with chronological age, which refers to the number of years that have passed since a person’s birth. However, there is also something known as biological age, which is how old a person would appear to be based upon certain biological criteria.
Biological age, which is scientifically classified as the physiological age, is calculated after weighing several factors such as an individual’s diet, physical fitness level, lifestyle, exposure to stress and sleeping habits. Moreover, a person’s actual internal health is significantly influenced by his or her genetic makeup. Should the individual not possess any genetic flaws or family history of potentially life-shortening health maladies, he or she will be of a younger biological age.
The Dangers of a Higher Biological Age
Naturally, an individual who consumes a poor diet, is exposed to excessive, chronic levels of stress, engages in potentially dangerous lifestyle vices like cigarette-smoking and excessive drinking, leads a sedentary lifestyle and possesses numerous genetic issues stand at an increased risk of increasing his or her biological age.
Those with poor physiological ages are often candidates for a number of potentially life-threatening conditions and diseases like high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Lowering the Biological Age
Many people wish they could slow their chronological age. While that may not be possible, scientists opine that individuals might be able to lower their biological age. Of course, leading a healthy lifestyle and receiving medical monitoring are two ways.
That said, increasing one’s systemic concentration of sex hormones might be another method. A team of Australian researchers drew this conclusion, and their findings were chronicled in Clinical Endocrinology.
Study Results Linking Male Sex Hormones to Reduced Biological Age
Scientists’ measure an individual’s biological age by examining the person’s telomeres, which are small caps situated at the end of larger genetic material, chromosomes. These structures are thought to shorten as time progresses and their length is typically a solid indicator of a person’s biological age.
The study examined more than 2,900 aged men. The researchers discovered that the men who had the least telomere deterioration possessed increased systemic concentrations of a sex hormone known as estradiol. Though a derivative of estrogen, the primary female sexual and reproductive hormone, estradiol is also a key sex hormone in men. In fact, scientists opined that these subjects’ biological age was, on average, roughly four years less than their chronological age.
It is important to note that estradiol in a man’s body is usually produced from testosterone, the chief male reproductive and sexual hormone. However, the team of Australian scientists did not examine the impact testosterone had on telomere length or biological aging in general.
In drawing a conclusion, the researchers found these results promising and opine that estradiol may one day be used as a therapeutic protocol for addressing poor biological age. However, they also suggest that more research needs to be performed before any firm conclusions can be established.