The aging paradox: eat healthy, exercise, avoid tobacco, and die young

Age, gender, smoking, blood cell counts, disease history and body weight are not predictive of a person’s life expectancy.

According to researcher Steve Horvath at UCLA, an internal genetic biological clock determines longevity rather than chronological (calendar) age.  Horvath found 5% of the population ages at a faster rate, which results in a shorter life expectancy.  These “fast agers” have an increased risk of dying at any age!  Horvath cites epigenetic factors, a dynamic genetic factor, for premature aging.  A process called methylation that controls the on-off gene switches (called epigenetics) is what determines prolonged healthy aging.  By measuring DNA methylation the effect of any anti-aging therapies could be determined in just three years, says Horvath. [Science Daily Sept 28, 2016]  Resveratrol, a molecule found in red wine, positively influences DNA methylation and molecularly mimics a life-prolonging calorie restricted diet. [Age 2009]

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