Tag Archives: Epigenetic Aging

Epigenetic Aging: Inflammation, Exercise, Smoking

Besides diet (https://michaellustgarten.wordpress.com/2019/12/07/slowing-epigenetic-aging-with-diet/), are there other factors that may impact epigenetic aging? First, let’s have a look at clinically relevant variables, including inflammation, the lipid profile, kidney function, blood pressure, and body size/dimensions (Liu et al. 2019):

EA crp.png

One of the strongest correlations for the clinical variables with epigenetic aging (AgeAccelGrim) is found for C-reactive protein (CRP), with higher CRP being associated with an older epigenetic age. This data supports the hypothesis that CRP levels as low as possible may be representative of biological youth, which I’ve previously written about (https://michaellustgarten.wordpress.com/2019/10/19/optimizing-biological-age-crp/). Similarly, higher values for insulin, glucose, triglycerides, systolic blood pressure, BMI, and the waist/hip ratio were correlated with an older epigenetic age, whereas higher HDL was correlated with a younger epigenetic age. Significant correlations were not identified for total or LDL cholesterol, creatinine, or diastolic blood pressure.

Investigating further, the strongest correlation for epigenetic aging was found for smoking, as current smokers had an older epigenetic age. In contrast, those who exercised, drank alcohol, and that had higher levels of education and income had younger epigenetic ages (Liu et al. 2019):

exerc ea

 

References

Lu AT, Quach A, Wilson JG, Reiner AP, Aviv A, Raj K, Hou L, Baccarelli AA, Li Y, Stewart JD, Whitsel EA, Assimes TL, Ferrucci L, Horvath S. DNA methylation GrimAge strongly predicts lifespan and healthspan. Aging (Albany NY). 2019 Jan 21;11(2):303-327. doi: 10.18632/aging.101684.

If you’re interested, please have a look at my book!

Epigenetic Aging: Can It Be Slowed With Diet?

Having a faster rate of epigenetic aging, as measured by the epigenetic age metric, AgeAccelGrim, is associated with a significantly increased risk of death for all causes in a variety of cohorts, including the Framingham Heart Study (FHS), the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study, the InChianti study, the Jackson Heart Study (JHS), and collectively, when evaluated as a meta-analysis (Lu et al. 2019):

Screen Shot 2019-12-07 at 2.23.27 PM.png

With the goal of minimizing disease risk and maximizing longevity, can epigenetic aging be slowed? Shown below is the correlation between dietary components with AgeAccelGrim. Dietary factors that were significantly associated  (the column labelled, “p”) with a younger epigenetic age were carbohydrate intake, dairy, whole grains, fruit, and vegetables. In contrast, dietary fat intake and red meat were associated with older epigenetic ages (Lu et al. 2019):

Screen Shot 2019-12-07 at 2.34.50 PM.png

Note that dietary recall data as a means for identifying nutrient intake can be unreliable-a better measure of dietary intake is circulating biomarkers. Are there associations between circulating biomarkers of nutrient intake with epigenetic aging?

Higher blood levels of carotenoids, including lycopene, alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein+zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin were associated with a younger epigenetic age (Lu et al. 2019):

epi veg

If your goal is optimal health and longevity, eating foods that are rich in these nutrients may be an important strategy for slowing epigenetic aging. Which foods contain these nutrients? Carotenoids are found almost exclusively in vegetables and fruits. For example, lycopene is enriched in watermelon and tomatoes, alpha- and beta-carotene is high in carrots, orange vegetables (sweet potato, squash, pumpkin) and greens, lutein+zeaxanthin is prevalent in greens, and beta-cryptoxanthin’s highest levels are found in butternut squash and red bell peppers.

If you’re interested, please have a look at my book!

References

Nutrient composition data: https://reedir.arsnet.usda.gov/codesearchwebapp/(S(ujsr52ygvp0tw13m1luk0rny))/CodeSearch.aspx

Lu AT, Quach A, Wilson JG, Reiner AP, Aviv A, Raj K, Hou L, Baccarelli AA, Li Y, Stewart JD, Whitsel EA, Assimes TL, Ferrucci L, Horvath S. DNA methylation GrimAge strongly predicts lifespan and healthspan. Aging (Albany NY). 2019 Jan 21;11(2):303-327. doi: 10.18632/aging.101684.