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Biological Age VS Chronological Age

Updated on July 5, 2019
Pamela99 profile image

I spent 22 years in the nursing profession. I enjoy writing, reading historical novels, gardening, and helping people live a healthier life.

Fountain of Eternal Life in Cleveland, Ohio

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Chronologic Age and Epigenetics

Every person ages at a different rate. Some people seem to age very rapidly, while others seem to always look younger than their age. We have all met people who look younger or older than we expected, so why does this happen?

The years, months and days you have been alive is your chronological age, which does not change regardless of your lifestyle. Diagnosticians can measure age-associated diseases by measuring symptoms of the disease, which will depend on epigenetic and environmental risks. Chronological age to diagnose your health status does not work.

Epigenetics is a newer field of science based on the environment and lifestyle facts that can alter your genes. It is conceivable that if your grandparents lived through a famine, that it would be reflected in your DNA today. Scientists believe that something that occurs in one generation can affect the DNA for three generations.

Telomeres

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Biological Age

Your biological age is influenced by the environment, your genetics, behavior, lifestyle and other factors. Your biological age is a superior measure of your true age as it relates to your mortality and your health status. Scientists have searched for reliable predictors of the biological age for several decades. Your biological age will determine when you begin to show clinical symptoms of age-related disease.

A recent study found that using a blood sample will act as a future diagnostic tool for age-related diseases. It will be a guide for targeted preventive measures and for finding treatments for age-related diseases.

Other advances in artificial intelligence, in addition to large datasets, have increased the variety of biomarkers that may be used as age predictors. The goal is to fully understand the aging process, particularly healthy aging.

Telomeres and the Immune System

Aging Factors

Aging is primarily due to genetics, but there is a great deal of recent evidence that shows aging is influenced by external factors. Some of these factors include smoking, diet, exercise and stress. Gerontologists think chronological age is an incomplete number as it does not take into account the external factors.

Telomeres and DNA methylation play an important role in the aging process as telomeres are on the ends of chromosomes, and they deteriorate with age, then die. Therefore, the higher the chronological age, the shorter the telomeres. There is a study using 8,000 samples that showed living a healthy lifestyle actually reverse aging by lengthening the telomeres. Researchers used tissues and cells from different areas of the body. Some parts of the body ages faster than other parts. For instance, breast tissue is some of the oldest body tissue, and even healthy breast tissue may be up to three years older than the rest of a woman’s body.

Telomeres, Telomerase, and Stress Biological Aging

Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young.

--Ben Franklin

Ways to Reverse Chronological Age

Chronic stress is a major factor in aging, whether it is work, relationships or financial stress, the effect is the same. It is not the short term stress that most people have, but the longer term stress that causes physical problems.

Some ways to reverse the biological age include:

  • Managing stress can shear off ten years of the aging of your telomeres. Meditation and mindfulness help reduce stress.
  • Regular exercise can also take ten years of aging off your telomeres.
  • Eating a healthy diet can reverse aging by five years, which means five fruits and vegetables daily along with lean meats and fish.
  • It is important to maintain your ideal weight to shave nine years off your telomeres.
  • Sleep at least seven hours nightly as this gives your body time to go into a repair mode.
  • Avoid loneliness. It is important to have family and friends close by to fill the hours of the day with happiness and love.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Keep alcohol intake minimal.
  • Drink plenty of water.

A DNA Test Reveals our Body’s True Age

Conclusions

Many people are obsessed with how they look and with aging, however, the longest living people live in China. Their lifestyle is a very healthy one, and I would assume their telomeres are longer than the average of other people their age.

Since our telomeres get shorter and shorter as we age I imagine scientists will look at ways to at least slow this process. With all the new advances in science, it is conceivable that someday they will succeed. After all, we can already get a blood test that will give us our biological age.

Will the cure to aging be affordable to anyone but the rich? It is difficult to look into the future, but with the population of the world is now 7,714,576,923. I wonder what the population would be if people lived to be maybe 150 years old?

Old Woman

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My Biological Age

Can you take an educated guess as to your biological age?

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Pamela Oglesby

Comments

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  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Paula, Years. u are fortunate to have a history of great genetics in your family. And, I love your attitude. Not going down without a fight is the attitude that may give you extra years. Thanks for your "young at heart" comments!

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 

    6 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Pam..."aging"...it's inevitable, we know. However the effects of aging can be avoided, repaired and/ or DEFIED! LOL. I love your article.

    I've always relied heavily on Genetics. Both of my parents (and even my grandparents) seemed to belie their chronological ages, quite well! I also believe that being "Young-at-Heart", may be a huge factor!

    In any event, Pam...I'm not going down without a fight!! Great read!! LOL...Peace, Paula

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Maria, I have met people that had stress lifted and noted how much better they look also. I do think the way we handle stress is very important to our overall health. Your comments are appreciated as always. I hope you are doing well. Hugs, Pam

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 

    6 weeks ago from Jeffersonville PA

    Your list of "Ways to Reverse Chronological Age" is especially meaningful - great and doable suggestions.

    I marvel at folks whom I run into, even a couple months after retiring from a stressful job and remarking on how much younger they look.

    I love the beautiful older woman in the last photo - she exudes beauty from the inside out with her smile. Hugs, Maria

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Yves, We all do our best to be healthy, I also drink a lot of water and try to avoid stress. I am glad you found the article helpful, and I appreciate your comments.

  • savvydating profile image

    Yves 

    2 months ago

    Hi Pamela,

    Fantastic list! One thing I have always done right is to drink plenty of water. I think that has helped me tremendously. Also, I do my best to avoid stress. But I admit that I don't love exercise. Sigh. I'll try to work on it.

    I plan to come back to this article. It is definitely worth reading!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Peg, I would say you are fortunate in the DNA department. I agree that our minds are a big influence. I think we can speak our own destiny, for instance, if we are always negative.

    Since married couples often die within 3 months of each other, I imagine your mother's passing 45 days after her sister was due to her grief. Thank you for your condolences and your comments.

  • PegCole17 profile image

    Peg Cole 

    2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

    Hello Pamela,

    This interesting article certainly points out the differences we can make in our outcomes by our choices despite the DNA influences. I'm fortunate to be from a family with members on both sides who've lived well into their nineties.

    I believe also that our minds influence our longevity, too. When my mother passed, having spent the previous 12 years sharing a home and later a room with her elder sister, my mom's sister passed within 45 days of Mom. Speaking of that, my heart goes out to you on your recent loss. So very sorry, dear one.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Chitrangada, Thank you so much for your kind comments. You listed the behaviors that will keep you healthier, and I am glad you liked the article.

  • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

    Chitrangada Sharan 

    2 months ago from New Delhi, India

    Great article and a very useful read. Thanks for the reminder, that age is just a number. As we age, it becomes even more important, to lead a healthy lifestyle. Eating right, stress free life, regular exercises and keeping ourselves busy and productive are some of the basic things to follow.

    Thanks for sharing this well written and valuable article.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi RTolloni, I am glad you found this article interesting. I agree with your comments, and they are much appreciated. I believe in God's word, and I think it always holds true.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 

    2 months ago from the short journey

    How interesting to learn about epigenetics. Though we are non-smokers we both come from a long line of smokers and I've always wondered why docs are so dismissive of that fact. Thanks for tips on how to take care of our telomeres. Though it is mocked, God's Word stands true and an unhealthy lifestyle takes its toll on us. It must be hard for healthcare professionals not to tell people they've done this to themselves when their poor health is clearly from unhealthy living.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Bronwen, I can see where looking younger could be an occasional problem, but you do look good. I am judging by your picture. Thank you so much for your comments.

  • BlossomSB profile image

    Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

    2 months ago from Victoria, Australia

    What an interesting article. Like my mother, I look younger than I really am and sometimes that can be a drawback, as other people expect more from us. Recently, I had a check-up with my orthodontist and later he said, "You're good for another twenty years." I replied, "One hundred and seven? I don't think so!"

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Peggy, I find genetics quite interesting also. I don't always completely understand it, and I was also surprised to read about the DNA could be affected up to 3 generations. Thank you so much for your kind comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Heidi, I think if we are happy and smiling most of the time, we may have a lower biological age. Attitude or response to stress is huge. I was surprised to read that breast tissue was older than other tissues as we have blood vessels that go everywhere.

    I appreciate your comments and thoughts on this subject.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    2 months ago from Houston, Texas

    That is very interesting that the effects of famine (as an example) can affect up to 3 future generations! I had no idea that breast tissue is older than in other parts of the body. Your articles are always so interesting and informative. Genetics is a fascinating subject with regard to aging and other factors.

  • heidithorne profile image

    Heidi Thorne 

    2 months ago from Chicago Area

    I've seen documentaries about tests where you can figure out your biological age. And some parts of your body may be aging faster than others! So strange. But I would be curious to do one of those tests one day. In some ways, I feel as young or younger than earlier in my life. In others, I'm feeling the years.

    I do think that I have some control over how "old" I really am. Trying to keep that on the younger side.

    Thanks for starting a thoughtful discussion!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Clive, Thanks for commenting and glad you enjoyed the arrticle.

  • clivewilliams profile image

    Clive Williams 

    2 months ago from Jamaica

    interesting read indeed

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Doris, Even if your jobs were stressful, if you loved what you were doing, then I think that is different than the kind of stress that is almost painful when someone is looking hard for a solution. I guess we will know someday. Thanks for sharing and commenting.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Linda, I am glad you found this article useful. Thanks for your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Ms Dora, I am glad you found this article has good information and I do think stress is major impact on our bodies. I appreciate your comments.

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    Doris James MizBejabbers 

    2 months ago from Beautiful South

    Pamela, everybody is saying that 40 is the new 60, but with rotations of the heavens and the earth speeded up, maybe we are only the 40 that we would be under the old slower rotations. I know some spiritual groups have meditations that are supposed to lengthen telomeres. Now I know what they are. Some experts are saying that so called "good" stress doesn't make one age any faster. I've had two stressful careers, and I've loved both of them. I guess I'll know someday whether it aged me, if I live long enough. :)

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 

    2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

    Biological age versus chronological age is a very interesting topic to consider. There are a few things that I should do to improve my daily routine. Thank you very much for the reminder, Pamela.

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Weithers 

    2 months ago from The Caribbean

    Thanks for the introduction to Epigenetics. Glad that you underscored the impact of stress on aging. Good information.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Pop, I also think stress is a huge factor in aging us. So, don't worry, be happy. :) Thanks Pop.

  • breakfastpop profile image

    breakfastpop 

    2 months ago

    Wow, this a great deal to worry about, which is ironic because I believe nothing will age you faster than stress!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Bill, It is great that you are healthy and seem to have very healthy habits. Stress is a big factor, so maybe your biological age is 60. I appreciate your comments.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    2 months ago from Olympia, WA

    It's a fascinating subject, Pamela. I am seventy but I'm told I move and act like I'm sixty....I do know I'm ridiculously healthy, that I walk daily, and that i refuse to allow stress into my life. Maybe there's something to it, eh? :)

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Liz, I never heard that statement before, and it is funny. I am glad you liked the article. Thank you for commenting.

  • Eurofile profile image

    Liz Westwood 

    2 months ago from UK

    This is a fascinating article. As far as chronological age goes, my grandmother used to say "I am as old as my tongue and a little older than my teeth."

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Lorna, I agree stress can be very difficult to overcome. Thank you so much for your kind comments.

  • Lorna Lamon profile image

    Lorna Lamon 

    2 months ago

    Such an interesting article Pamela which gives a whole new meaning to "Growing Old Gracefully". Stress plays a major part in so many illnesses and is not always easy to manage. Great tips and a really insightful read.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Alyssa, I am so glad you enjoyed this article. It is amazing what they have learned about our bodies and a single blood test is amazing. It is funny how it does boil down to the simplest solutions. I wish I had known this when I was young. LOL Thank you so much for your very nice comments.

  • Alyssa Nichol profile image

    Alyssa 

    2 months ago from Ohio

    What a fascinating article! I definitely feel a lot older than I actually am some days. haha! I love reading about the advances in science.. it's so cool what can be done nowadays that just 10 or 20 years ago seemed impossible.. for example, being able to tell how old someone is just from a simple blood test. It's also interesting how different cultures approach aging and what can be done to slow down the process. So many people seek out the latest and greatest when it comes to anti-aging, but it seems like it always comes down to the simplest solutions: reduce stress, get enough sleep, eat healthy, and move your body. Excellent article, my friend! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Flourish, I love curing up with my cat also. Yes, there are several places online that will let you complete a test to try and measure your biological age. They are probably not as accurate as the blood work, but they could sure give you an idea of your biological age. Thank you for commenting.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Lora, I was surprised when I found the information about 3 generations later our DNA can be affected also. I had been thinking about writing this article for a while, then when I do some research I always find something unexpected. I appreciate your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Linda, You are obviously being successful with your weight loss. Did you just decide coffee wasn't healthy? I only drink one cup of black coffee every morning and I quit eating anything between meals at the first of the year, which helped my lose weight.

    It sounds like you are now doing everything right. I think it would be hard to turn down a second helping at your house! Thanks for sharing your experience and commenting.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Eric, I agree with you about the brain willing and the flesh being weak. LOL I appreciate your comments my friend.

  • FlourishAnyway profile image

    FlourishAnyway 

    2 months ago from USA

    I have always been an advocate of the restorative value of sleep, especially if you’re curled up with a favorite cat. There are sites that offer biological age assessments based on your lifestyle and other factors and give you pointers on how to specifically improve.

  • Lora Hollings profile image

    Lora Hollings 

    2 months ago

    Great article, Pamela, on aging and on how to slow this process down! I really enjoyed reading on what is happening on the cellular level when we age and how the telomeres help determine our biological age versus our chronological age. But by living a healthier lifestyle and maintaining good relationships we can improve our biological age which really is the age we need to focus on if we want to live longer. I found the section on epigenetics very illuminating especially when I learned that something which occurred in one generation can effect the DNA for the next three generations. Thank you for sharing!

  • Carb Diva profile image

    Linda Lum 

    2 months ago from Washington State, USA

    Hi Pamela. I'm glad that you wrote this article. One month ago I began a journey and I am hopeful about the outcome. I woke up, weighted myself, and saw a higher number than I have EVER seen before. It was a wake-up call and I vowed to change my ways.

    Despite my writing about eating and living healthy, I had slipped into a bad habit of "rewarding" myself between meals, allowing 2nd helpings (gosh that food is SOOO good), and drinking several glasses of wine every day. No more.

    Modest breakfast and lunch every day. Normal dinner with my family, but I don't reach for the breadbasket. Second helpings are no more. No snacking and no wine at all. I've lost 10 pounds and my goal is 15 more. That will put me back to pre-babies weight and will match the number on my drivers license.

    I've also given up coffee.

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 

    2 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    Every time I turn around I take out something that makes me older. The brain is willing but the flesh is weak. This is a great area of understanding.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Kaili, I don't think even a glass of wine a day would hurt. I have seen articles that ssay wine is healthy, I appreciate your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Vivian, The telomeres were not something I understood, although I had heard the term before. Medicine is advancing so fast anymore! Thanks for your comments.

  • Kaili Bisson profile image

    Kaili Bisson 

    2 months ago from Canada

    Fascinating article Pamela. My only bad habit is drinking (moderate amounts of wine), so hopefully I am adding years to my life!

  • Noelle7 profile image

    Vivian Coblentz 

    2 months ago

    Interesting article! It truly is amazing to see people who defy age and those who appear 20 years older than they really are. Regardless, I found a meme on Facebook that said, "60 might be the new 40, but 9pm is the new midnight," LOL! Very informative--I had never heard of telomeres, but it's hopeful there are ways to lengthen them.

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