For centuries, humans have defined aging chronologically, with the help of an abstract concept of years, counting them as the earth’s orbit around the sun. However, with the recent advances in the anti-aging field, we are now able to look at tissue damage and cell accumulation to ascertain someone’s biological age. If we can accurately determine the factors that contribute towards a host of our age-related alignments, we can successfully work on addressing those issues to mitigate the impact of aging. Currently, the research revolving around aging is seeing rapid advances in furthering our understanding of the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of aging. We are beginning to understand the reasons behind our aging processes and finding out what exactly makes us age. That has also allowed us to produce a number of potential therapeutic options for aging.
How to Measure Biological Aging
In this article, you can find out about the vital biological concepts that are present at the heart of the study of aging. These include the study of changes in cells, chromosomes, DNA molecules, and tissues of the human body as it ages.
Research in aging has proposed that chromosomal instability is caused by DNA damage. Chromosome instability happens when the chromosomes no longer have structural integrity. It has been identified as a major cause of aging by researchers because it leads to a decline in the quality of proteins. Chromosomal instability is intensively exacerbated by mutational load where DNA mutations get accumulated over time. Research is still ongoing about the impact of mutational loads but the main idea is that, as humans age, they experience a deleterious and spontaneous build-up of DNA mutations that results in mutational load. DNA mutations are correlated with several aging issues such as aging of skeletal muscle tissue.
Research in biological aging is also focused on telomeres, the end lengths of chromosomes. Telomeres and are known to be affected by aging. Chromosomes undergo the replication process repeatedly over the years. During this replication process, telomeres get shortened progressively. Their repair process also becomes less effective with age, resulting in shortening. Telomerase is the enzyme charged with repairing telomeres but these enzymes cannot keep up with the decay happening in telomeres. Hence, the researchers have attempted to measure a person’s biological age with the help of the health of chromosomes. It remains unclear how aging is affected by the length of telomeres. Recent research has shown that the rate of telomere shortening has a strong correlation with the lifespan of different species.
One important thing that researchers have found about human aging is that human cells also experience aging, just as humans do. When cells age, they go into a non-proliferating state known as senescence. The senescent cells burden the human body when they accumulate but the exact mechanism that triggers cell senescence is not known.
Cell senescence is also linked to telomere shortening. The phenomenon of telomere shortening and its link to cell senescence is depicted in the following picture:
It is believed that quantifying cell senescence and studying its overall impact on the body can be an interesting opportunity for scientists to track biological aging. This method of quantifying biological aging is expected to enter medical practice and clinical research soon.
As you already know, a mitochondrion is considered “the powerhouse of a cell”. It is an important cell component because it provides energy for humans to use for their various activities and bodily functions. However, mitochondria might also help provide scientists with a way to measure aging. With age, mitochondria throughout our body experience a diminished ability to generate energy which results in disorders related to age and a feeling of fatigue. The anti-aging result has shown that taking supplements of NAD+ precursors improves mitochondrial function in the cells and helps improve energy levels. It also helps in reducing the impact of aging in the body.
Another important way of measuring biological aging is through vascular health i.e., the health of blood vessels. Using the knowledge of mortality risk and vascular health, scientists can get a better idea of the pace of aging in human beings. The different biomarkers that indicate vascular health include accumulation of calcium and plaque, stiffness of blood vessels, altered blood flow, and blood pressure. Interleukins can also help ascertain inflammation in the vessels. Other than that, protein-based indicators and DNA mutations can also be used to measure the health of blood vessels.
DNA Methyl Groups
Epigenetics also provides another way to measure biological aging by measuring the accumulation of methyl groups that adorn our DNA. Research has shown that people who have a higher accumulation of DNA methyl groups are at a higher risk of suffering from diseases associated with age. That is why scientists have discovered ways to measure the patterns of accumulating DNA methyl groups and analyze them to determine the risk of age-related ailments.
How to Reverse Aging?
While the research about measuring biological aging in humans is fairly new, it certainly is promising. Anti-aging research has also given great hope to those who want to keep aging at bay and even reverse it. The biggest focus of anti-aging research is on increasing the supply of a molecule known as Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) to the cells. Other than that, getting rid of senescent cells and decreasing inflammation are key areas where anti-aging efforts are focused.
Research has shown that the level of NAD+ available to the body declines as humans age. That is a huge problem for the human body because NAD+ is a helper molecule charged with a range of functions in the body, the most important of which is activating sirtuins to regulate metabolism. NAD+ decline in body with age is fundamental to a range of age-related diseases such as cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, etc. Mitochondria also suffer due to NAD+ decline in the body because SIRT1 gets deactivated due to a lack of availability of NAD+. Mitochondrial function is severely reduced as a result of NAD+ deficiency.
Knowing what causes most of the age-related diseases, scientists have been working on different ways to increase NAD+ levels in our cells through different NAD+ precursors. Studies have shown that taking supplements of NAD+ precursors such as NMN and NR boosts defense against aging in several organisms. Human trials are still underway but the research looks promising. David Sinclair, a leading researcher in the anti-aging field, says in his best-selling book “Lifespan: Why We Age – and Why We Don’t Have To” that it is not only possible to slow down aging but also even reverse it. All of it is possible with the help of replenishing our body with the declining levels of NAD+.
Other than that, Resveratrol has been proven to have anti-inflammatory properties to fight aging while Fisetin removes senescent cells from the body. There are many other advances in anti-aging but the discovery of NAD+ as an essential substance to fight aging is the most important anti-aging discovery of our times and perhaps our best shot at reversing aging.
After discussing biological aging and reading about how aging can be kept at bay and reversed, it is important to look at what the industry has to offer in terms of products that are in line with our discussion above.
LIPO NAD+ Complete – Powdered Liposomal NAD+, NMN, & NR
The first product is powdered NAD+ and its precursors NMN and NR by Alive By Science. The product comes in powdered liposomal form. Liposomal delivery of substances to our bloodstream and tissues is an innovative way of keeping the supplements and medicines intact in the hostile environment of our stomach so that the actual product does not get damaged during the intake. It provides a higher bioavailability and makes the product more effective in small dosages.
The product contains 80 mg of NR, 95 mg of NAD+, and 125 mg of NMN in each capsule. The bottom contains a total of 90 capsules and costs a total of $94.95. The supplement combines the benefits of taking direct NAD+ with takings its precursors i.e., NMN and NR. The product is third-party tested for purity, stability, and availability of all the ingredients mentioned on the label.
Maximum Strength NMN Capsules, 500mg
Another NMN supplement is maximum strength NMN. These NMN supplements come in capsules form with each bottle containing 60 capsules.
The capsules are simple oral capsules without a liposomal delivery method but the supplements are light on pocked. The price of two bottles pack (i.e., 120 capsules in total) is $48.88.
Ultra-High Purity Resveratrol Capsules by Toniiq
Resveratrol has a range of anti-aging properties including anti-oxidation, anti-inflammation, and anti-cancer properties. It fights many age-related processes. These Resveratrol capsules by Toniq can help you fight aging effectively.
The product comes in a bottle of 60 capsules which costs $17.97. Each capsule contains 600 mg of resveratrol and is taken orally. The resveratrol offered in these supplements is sourced from the skins of red grapes. It can help lower inflammation and oxidative stress in aging individuals, protecting them from a range of age-related diseases.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it safe to take NAD+, NMN, NR, and Resveratrol supplements?
Studies have proven that intake of these anti-aging supplements is perfectly safe for you. Still, if you are pregnant or have issues with your kidneys and liver, you should consult your doctor before taking these supplements.
2. How soon can I see the benefits from NAD+ precursors?
That depends upon your goals and intake of supplements. These supplements can be more effective when taken over longer periods of time.
3. Are these supplements vegan and non-GMO?
Yes, the supplements mentioned above are all vegan, non-GMO, and non-fat products that have been ethically derived from food sources.