There’s now a better, more accurate way to tell how much your body has aged and it may help slow down the aging process in the future.
A team of scientists in China designed a simple urine test that can tell how much our bodies have aged by measuring a marker of cellular damage.
The newly developed test could be a useful tool for calculating the risk of age-related illness and death. Though for some people, knowing the biological age of their body with precision may sound depressing.
Researcher Jian-Ping Cai, at the National Center of Gerontology in Beijing, China, led the research behind this new “aging diagnostic” tool, and the results were published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.
The aging test
Genetics, lifestyle, and other factors determine how much our cells get damaged with time.
According to a controversial “free radical theory of aging,” oxidative damage is the main cause of aging. As Cai explains, “Oxygen byproducts produced during normal metabolism can trigger oxidative damage to biomolecules in cells, such as DNA and RNA.”
According to Cai;
“As we age, we suffer increasing oxidative damage, and so the levels of oxidative markers increase in our body.”
One of these markers, called “8-oxoGsn” is the result of RNA oxidation.
Animal research carried out by Cai and his team previously discovered that levels of 8-oxoGsn appears to increase with age and can be detected with a simple urine test.
The team wanted to see if the same applied to humans in the new study. So, they used a rapid technique called ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography to examine urine samples from 1,228 Chinese participants aged between 2 and 90.
From the results, Cai said;
“We found an age-dependent increase in urinary 8-oxoGsn in participants 21 years old and older. Therefore, urinary 8-oxoGsn is promising as a new marker of aging.”
“Urinary 8-oxoGsn may reflect the real condition of our bodies better than our chronological age, and may help us to forecast the risk of age-related diseases.”
READ ALSO: DIY Anti-ageing Cream
Moreover, levels of 8-oxoGsn didn’t appear to differ among men and women. However, postmenopausal women had higher levels of the marker. So, the scientists suspected the drop in estrogen after menopause may be responsible.
From Cai’s conclusion, the test may offer a vital tool for evaluating how well our bodies manage aging.