Biological age: 4 easy ways to determine and a recipe for how to slow it down

If everyone aged the same, then they would live an equal number of years. But this does not happen, because each organism changes according to an individual plan, that is, it lives by its own «clock» and has its own biological age, showing with what «achievements» a person has approached this or that milestone.

Passport doesn’t count
According to biological age, the degree of deterioration of the body is determined. In the 30s of the last century, American gerontologists discovered that someone in 40 feels 30, and someone in 30 has internal disorders, like 50-year-olds. And, accordingly, life prospects with such differences are not the same. It happens that at a particular point in time, one system of the body lags behind the biological age, and the other overtakes it. A comprehensive examination will help to notice dangerous trends in time. It lasts about 2 hours and consists of filling out a detailed questionnaire and passing 20 functional tests, including blood tests for sugar and cholesterol, ECG, spirometry (assessment of respiratory function), densitometry (determination of bone density), pulse measurement, cardiac and pulmonary stress tests.

Genetic history
While the body is developing, the regenerative processes occurring in it are ahead of the degenerative ones. This happens until the age of 25, then comes the period of «maturity» — the balance is established. It lasts about 5 years and is characterized by the fact that the number of dead and formed cells is approximately the same. After 30, age takes its toll: from that moment, aging mechanisms are triggered, which then only accelerate. It is clear that a person cannot live forever, but slowing down the destruction of the body is a feasible task. Several factors affect life expectancy: heredity, lifestyle and habitat.

Genetic problems can be detected with the help of a special analysis — genotyping. It consists in comparing pairs of DNA chromosomes. According to those who are in the same group, doctors determine all inherited diseases, and according to neighboring diseases, which are most likely to become active and affect the rate of aging. For example, the next of kin «passed on» to the heir both type I diabetes mellitus and coronary heart disease. But nature has decreed that the first disease will not develop in him, since the pancreas functions without failures, and the second will happen sooner or later, because there are all conditions for this: insufficient blood supply to the vascular walls, leading to their premature destruction, or an increased tendency to the formation of blood clots. And so that this «early» does not manifest itself for as long as possible, it is necessary to strictly observe medical prescriptions concerning the diet, work and rest regime, the amount of physical activity, taking prescribed medications and vitamin supplements.

Determine the degree of risk
Genotyping — a complex of analyses to determine the likelihood of developing a particular disease — is offered by many laboratories. Most often, this study is carried out 1 time at the age of 30, when the aging mechanisms are triggered in the body. First, doctors ask the patient about the diseases of the next of kin, measure his weight, height, blood pressure, pulse, then send him for blood and urine tests. Based on the information received, a list of potential diseases is compiled. As a rule, there are about 20 of them. Then this list together with biological material (blood or scraping from the cheek mucosa) is sent to the laboratory. After a month, it becomes clear how to live on: in the conclusion of geneticists, the degree of risk of its realization in the future is indicated in front of each ailment. It is evaluated on a scale from 0 to 6 and always correlates with the average indicators for the population. The next task is to find the cause of a possible breakdown. For example, with thyroid diseases, suspicions will fall primarily on iodine deficiency. Then doctors will have to find out why this element is not enough — due to the lack of iodine-containing products in the diet or the inefficient assimilation of this trace element. After a series of additional examinations, the causes of all other breakdowns will be identified and plans will be made to eliminate them.

Analysis for the «rest of life»
But not everything is so simple. A few years ago, British scientists learned to determine not just the biological age of a particular individual, but also the number of years measured to him in this world. An indicator of the duration of earthly existence was the length of telomeres — special structures located at the end of the chromosome. They are present in all cells of the body, but in some they are shortened, and in others (which are called stem cells) they are constantly lengthened, making the cell immortal. Stem cells are formed in the bone marrow and blood of peripheral vessels. Over time, each of them turns into a building material for tissues and organs — liver cells, dermis, epithelium, etc. In such a «reborn» form, they lose the ability to lengthen their telomeres and, having shared 50 times, die. In their place again come new cells formed from stem cells. But the supply of immortal cells is limited and depleted with age. Thus, the body’s renewal resources run out sooner or later.

From these observations, the scientists concluded: the shorter the telomeres, the less time left. The sensational discovery called into question the need for the prevention of hereditary diseases, because it turns out, no matter how much you take care of your health, the last hour will strike strictly according to schedule.

Biological age: 4 easy ways to determine and a recipe for how to slow it down

Alarming symptoms
Nevertheless, there are much more weighty arguments in defense of active actions than in favor of passive waiting and even more intense «burning through» the days released by the sky. The choice is extremely simple: take your ailments seriously or let everything take its course. The second option, among other troubles, promises premature aging. The first, on the contrary, allows you to avoid this sad fate. The thing is that a healthy lifestyle is a prerequisite for proper metabolism (metabolism). When this complex mechanism fails, the body’s systems stop working smoothly: the organs lack nutrients and lose the ability to function normally, and harmful substances accumulate in the cells, causing their premature destruction. The first alarming signs are fatigue for no reason, headaches, insomnia, excess weight and swelling that do not go away for 3-4 days. With these symptoms, you should be wary and first try to fix the problems yourself by changing the diet. It is recommended to eat 5 times a day, do not consume more than 250 ml of food at one time. The ideal schedule for taking liquids is a glass of water 30 minutes before a meal and a cup of green tea half an hour after a meal. The liquid is needed so that all waste and slags are removed from the body in a timely manner. Stick to these rules for a month. If a surge of cheerfulness does not happen, consult a doctor.

On average, women live longer than men for several reasons. First: they have a pair of identical chromosomes — XX, which increases the body’s resistance to negative changes. Second: impressive reserves of estrogen, a hormone that reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. But there are still more men among centenarians. Why — science is still puzzled.

How to slow down aging
The diet is far from the only saving measure. It is equally important, for example, how thoroughly we grind food with our jaws, because the health of the gastrointestinal tract directly depends on this condition. According to the norm recommended by the Federal Scientific Center of Hygiene. Erisman, each piece sent to the mouth must be chewed 33 times. Then, under the action of saliva enzymes, it will be processed to such an extent that the stomach will no longer have to spend additional resources on digesting the food lump, which means that its wear rate decreases. It is clear that not every modern person can afford to spend so much time on food, but if youth is at stake, you can try.

No less effort will have to be made by those who want to observe another rule that is difficult to implement in our age: wake up in the morning, without hurrying anywhere. In order to smoothly tune in to work after a night’s rest, the body needs 2 hours. During this time, the production of cortisol, a hormone that inhibits activity, slows down at a natural pace, and the level of adrenaline, a hormone that stimulates the nervous system, increases. If you accelerate these processes artificially — by taking a cold shower, doing intensive exercises, eating a portion of raw vegetables for breakfast — the body will experience stress. If such overloads become daily, aging will be premature.

Your biological age
You can calculate your approximate biological age by three key indicators that reflect the current state of the main body systems (devices for measuring lung volume are portable, and you can use them yourself at home):

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