[Important]: Conditions that confuse biological age
As an introduction to this discussion about how best to assess human biological age, let’s consider how factors not related to age might affect assessment of biological age. This is a critical topic because if we want to test different interventions for their effectiveness at reversing biological age, we want to make sure those tests are not confused by other factors.
For example, inflammation is known to increase with age. C-reactive protein (CRP) is a common test for inflammation. However, like many assessments for inflammation, it can be elevated by numerous different conditions, such as an infection, cancer, or heart disease. If we assess a potential age-reversal intervention for its ability to reduce inflammation, we want to do our best to ensure there are no other causes of inflammation at work other than aging at the time of our inflammation measurements.
Another example is telomere length. Many people are interested in using telomere length for biological age assessment. However, at least one study found that weight loss in obese people was associated with a remarkable 56% average increase in telomere length. So for people who are overweight or obese, carrying those extra pounds, and not your age, may be reducing your telomere length.
Here is a list of conditions we suspect would confuse any assessment of biological age. We recommend that each person interested in participating in a study of an age-reversal intervention endeavor to address or resolve all of the following issues before joining a study, unless the study is specifically trying to reverse one of these conditions. In fact, many study coordinators might exclude you from the study because you have one of these conditions. We recommend:
- Reduce excessive body fat (body fat over 25% for men, and over 35% for women)
- Reverse clinical insulin resistance (prediabetes or type 2 diabetes)
- Reduce high blood pressure
- Stop smoking
- Resolve chronic infections (sinus infection, flu, bacterial/yeast infection, pneumonia)
- Resolve recent injuries (broken bone, recent surgery, or strenuous exercise)
- Meet the recommended daily intake for all vitamins and minerals for at least 1 month prior to beginning the study.
- Optimize all vascular disease risk factors including lipids, homocysteine, coagulation, blood cell, mineral, and glycemic markers
- Restore more youthful hormone balance if appropriate.
We think that accomplishing the above factors would make you a good study participant candidate for many age-reversal studies.
--The Rescue Elders Team