We’ve all looked in the mirror and seen the signs: the edging of crow’s feet at our eyes, the soft wrinkles that form when we smile, or maybe it’s the crackle of joints when we stand up or sit down. We all grow older, it’s a fact of life. It’s impossible to fight… but is that really true?
It all starts with understanding that chronological age doesn’t always determine what the age of our body is, or biological age.
So, when we talk about aging, what does that really mean? Let’s take a quick look at how scientists view the process of aging.
What is Aging, and How It Works
Aging can be defined as, the time-related deterioration of the physiological functions necessary for survival and fertility. There you have it, “time-related” – with each passing year our body’s natural processes slowly decline. And yet, that’s not always the case.
The processes most scientists consider an essential component in aging are the ability for a cell to keep itself healthy (by recycling old parts and building new ones) and to replicate and produce more cells (like when you cut yourself and your body regenerates skin cells to close the wound). The older we get, the more difficult it is for our cells to do these main two jobs. This cellular condition is called senescence, and results in the deterioration of our body over time. When cellular senescence occurs, we end up with depleted, older cells that don’t have healthy organelles to keep up with normal wear-and-tear and can’t create newer, younger cells to heal and carry on the family line.
When we accrue enough of these worn-out cells, that’s when we begin to see signs of physical aging. Those crow’s feet and wrinkles are just the last of a long list of indicators finally rising to the surface.
The key is to understand what biological processes trigger this change.
Free the Radicals
The accumulation of DNA damaging particles that interfere with genetic replication and expression are held responsible for cellular aging. Toxic particles known as “free radicals” or “radical oxygen species” are byproducts of normal energy production. Normally, our body acts to neutralize them before too much damage is done. However, if our nutrition isn’t up to par, our body can’t facilitate enough antioxidants to counter the damage. Instead, these toxic agents break out and wreak havoc on our cells.
Free Radicals can occur from other external or environmental stimuli as well. Ultraviolet rays from the sun, chemotherapy, cellular decay, and cells that replicate too much all can promote damaging radical oxygen species. As in the case with most diseases – it’s often not just one thing but a combination of many assaults that cause disease.
And there are a whole class of diseases associated with aging.
Over time, small decisions can develop into large repercussions. Not wearing sunblock when you’re out in the sun, eating a nutrient-poor diet, and not properly hydrating can have long-lasting and lingering effects.
Cells that no longer function normally because of repeated damage from radical oxygen species can have difficulty healing. Eventually, they can start to die, and where one cell struggles, those in proximity start to face the same issue. Soon, whole tissues might suffer, causing diseases such as osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, and many others.
Alternatively, the normal processes that tell a cell to only replicate as needed might also get harmed. This can cause over-replication. If this continues on, a large grouping of cells that replicate unnecessarily at rapid speed can develop into a mass of cancerous cells, eventually leading to a tumor. Thus, cancer is often considered an age-related disease.
Improving Your Biological Age
Just like the number on a scale, your chronological age doesn’t always do a great job of predicting your health, or how you feel. In fact, there are many ways you can fight back against signs of aging and keep your health in check. Keep in mind just a few of these things:
Healthy cells require all the little micro-building blocks they need to keep operations running smoothly. Consuming the right foods for your body helps your cells stay refreshed and resilient against disease.
Consuming antioxidants is a great way to improve your position against free radicals. Many fruits and vegetables and other interesting herbs (like ginger, green tea, rosemary, and oregano) are rich in antioxidant potential. You can find out your precise recommendations with our world-first Viome Precision Supplements recommendations that are now included in your Health Intelligence results & recommendations. If your test results show you need antioxidants to help support your body against signs of aging, they will be listed here – and available for you to subscribe directly from your Viome app! Find out more about Viome Precision Supplements right here!
Identify what your needs are. Each food we consume interacts differently with each person. Rather than indiscriminately trying out one antioxidant rich fruit that could potentially interact with your gut microbes in a negative way - learn more about what your individual needs are.
Viome’s new Biological Age score!
Your Biological Age assesses the efficiency of your cellular activities and your gut microbial activities in order to determine how well you are aging in comparison with your chronological age. If your Biological Age is substantially higher than your chronological age, this means that at a molecular level, your body is aging faster compared with other people your age. Your food and supplement recommendations will target the underlying causes detailed in your other Integrative Health scores.
Viome’s comprehensive AI has analyzed data from more than 100,000 people to be able to match the molecular patterns from your data to people of different ages, which we use to predict your approximate biological age.
In addition, our Science Team at Viome created a proprietary, clinically-validated, human capillary blood transcriptome test for global systems biology studies, which is used to test, sequence, and create the results for the Health Intelligence service. You can find out more in our recent peer-reviewed research paper
In case you haven’t heard, we’re all unique. And that doesn’t stop with how old you feel. Age is just a number, but that’s not to say it has the final word. Empower yourself now and learn how satisfying it can feel to watch your biological age shrink, even if your “TRUE” age might be on the rise!
Get started on your health journey to more energy, better focus, clearer skin, better sleep, and more. Find out the right nutrients your body needs to get healthier and fight off signs of aging— plus learn what your Biological Age is — with our new Health Intelligence service!
The information on the Viome website is provided for informational purposes only and with the understanding that Viome is not engaged in rendering medical advice or recommendations. Viome provides this educational information to share the exciting developments being reported in the scientific literature about the human microbiome and your health. Viome products are not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.