What's your 'ageotype'?: New study reveals the four main ways we age other than ... trends now
Aging is an unavoidable part of the human experience, but not all parts of the body age in the same way at the same pace.
Researchers at Stanford University identified four biological aging patterns, or ageotypes, that explain why certain parts of some people’s bodies change with time differently than others.
The four types involve the metabolism, immune system, liver and kidneys.
Someone may have a chronological age of 40 but an immune system age of 45 that puts them at higher risk of getting an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis, while a hepatic ageotype will likely have a higher risk of liver diseases such as cirrhosis.
The team of genetics experts set out to understand why certain people are more susceptible to different aging-related disorders throughout their lives, information which they say could give people a better chance at preventing those health problems as they get older.
To determine the four classes of aging, researchers at Stanford took blood, fecal, genetic material, metabolite, protein and lipid samples over the course of two years to see how people's bodily systems aged
Researchers believe that by identifying ageotype, people will become empowered to seek the best preventative healthcare for them, whether that means exercising more to stave off age-related metabolic disorders, or limiting alcohol intake to prevent liver disease
Researchers at Stanford University set out to determine how individuals age on a molecular level over time in one of the only studies of its kind to follow the same subjects and the ways their bodies change over time.
Dr Michael Snyder, chair of genetics at the Stanford University School of Medicine and lead author of the ageotypes report, said: ‘Our study captures a much more comprehensive view of how we age by studying a broad range of molecules and taking multiple samples across years from each participant.
‘We’re able to see clear patterns of how individuals experience aging on a molecular level, and there’s quite a bit of difference.’
They were able to pinpoint four main biological pathways that could explain why some parts of people’s bodies deteriorate faster than others and how they can take preventative action earlier in their lives.
The team followed 43 healthy men and women ranging in age from 34 and 68 for two years. Researchers took samples of feces, blood, genetic material, microbes, proteins, and other byproducts of metabolic processes over the course of at least five well visits and tracked levels of biological molecules over time.
In tracking how samples changed over time, the team identified 608