The Biomarkers of Aging – How to Manage Aging

Posted on January 20th, 2017

What is measurable is manageable: tracking and managing the biomarkers of aging means longer health span.

At MaxWell Biosciences, we are aware that the longevity of human aging has dramatically changed throughout the evolution of the species. In order to track these ongoing changes in the rate of aging we must establish pathological biomarkers. Biomarkers of aging are changes in the body that are objectively measurable and show significant differences throughout the chronological stages of human life.

What is measurable is manageable. Ideally, we will use these biomarkers to identify and prevent disease, associated impairment and other symptoms of aging. These symptoms are unrecognizable in the early stages because the young, healthy body is able to adapt to suboptimal conditions. Eventually, the internal conditions degrade to a point that the body is no longer able to adapt and symptoms present themselves functionally.

In inflammatory disease states, the symptoms usually present themselves first in depression, anxiety or other cognitive impairment. If this happens early in life, we call it cognitive impairment or brain fog. If this happens later in life we call it dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. [R]

Live Document

As we make add biomarkers and information, we date stamp the information added or changed. This document was first published on January 20, 2017. It was updated as follows:

  1. Jan 31, 2017
  2. Feb 15, 2017

 Isolated Islands and Valleys of Extraordinary Human Longevity

Okinawa

A healthy cardiovascular system, with minimal arteriosclerosis, good endothelial function and well-compensated ventricular function has been observed at advanced ages, and linked to a healthy lifestyle. This has consisted of a plant-based diet, low in salt and saturated fat, with monounsaturates as the principal fat. Other healthy lifestyle factors include regular physical activity (farming and traditional dance) and minimal tobacco use. The associated negative risk factors are low homocysteine, healthy cholesterol profile (Total:HDL ratio less than 3.5) and reasonable blood pressures throughout the life cycle. Hormone-dependent cancers including breast, ovary, prostate and colon and osteoporotic complications, such as hip fracture rates, are also less frequent compared to the west. Protective factors may include high anti-oxidant consumption, mainly flavonoids and carotenoids, through a high vegetable (e.g., onions) and soy intake. Related biological observations include low lipid peroxide, high superoxide dismutase activity and high serum hydroxyproline, a marker of bone formation. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its hormonal byproducts testosterone and oestrogen appear to be high in Okinawan serum compared with age-matched Americans, possibly reflecting a slower age-associated decline in the sex hormone axis in Okinawans. This may be linked to better cardiovascular and overall health. Further study is needed to delineate the reasons behind the impressive cardiovascular and overall health of the Okinawans.

[Suzuki et al, R] – Feb 15, 2017

Warning: Traditional soy is a different plant, chemically, than the Monsanto soy that is the predominant form of soy in America. Monsanto soy does not produce seeds and contains pesticide in the food portion of the plant. Monsanto soy may cause cancer and is associated with many negative health outcomes. [R] – Feb 15, 2017

The Biomarkers of Aging

Hormones

Metabolism

Increase in Inflammation

Franceschi et al coined the term “inflammaging” to describe the chronic increasing level of inflammation that is characteristic of aging.  So, the beneficial effects of inflammation meant to defend the body against pathogens early in life, becomes detrimental later in life and is a secondary driver of age-related vulnerability to disease and death. [R] Fighting inflammation is not enough to reverse aging, only to delay it, to reverse aging the cause of the inflammation must be discovered and repaired. – Feb 15, 2017

Inflammatory Markers in Cerebrospinal Fluid aka “CSF”

Visible Changes in Brain MRI

Accelerating Factors

There are factors that accelerate the degenerative nature of aging. The factors can be environmental factors or genetics.

Genetics

ACE – A common risk factor for vascular disease. [R] – Jan 20, 2017

MTHFR – A common risk factor for vascular and connective tissue diseases. Polymorphisms in the gene that controls methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) results in reduction in the patient’s ability to absorb methylcobalamin (B12) vitamins and folate. Warning: supplementation with synthetic replacements like cyanocobalamin and folic acid can cause a toxic effect. Be sure to only use methylated forms like methylcobalamin and folate. [R] – Jan 20, 2017

Factor V Leiden (FVL) – A common risk factor in vascular disease. – [R] – Jan 20, 2017

Apolipoprotein E ε4 (ApoE4) – APOE4 homozygous (both alleles) is the highest risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease. The blood–brain barrier leakage may be more common in patients with at least one APOE4 allele. [R] – Jan 20, 2017

Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) – Due to irregular deposition of collagen, blood–brain barrier leaks may be more common in patients with EDS due to thinning and discontinuities within the vascular basement membrane (VBM). Involved genes: COL5A1, COL3A1 (type IV), PLOD1 (kyphoscoliotic type).

References

  1. Nikolich-Zugich, Janko. “The aging immune system: challenges for the 21st century.” Seminars in immunology. Vol. 24. No. 5. NIH Public Access, 2012. [R]
  2. Schneider, Philine, Harald Hampel, and Katharina Buerger. “Biological marker candidates of Alzheimer’s disease in blood, plasma, and serum.” CNS neuroscience & therapeutics 15.4 (2009): 358-374. [R]
  3. Zipser, B. D., et al. “Microvascular injury and blood–brain barrier leakage in Alzheimer’s disease.” Neurobiology of aging 28.7 (2007): 977-986. [R]
  4. Chapman, Joab, et al. “ACE, MTHFR, factor V Leiden, and APOE polymorphisms in patients with vascular and Alzheimer’s dementia.” Stroke 29.7 (1998): 1401-1404. [R]
  5. Simons, Mikael, et al. “Cholesterol depletion inhibits the generation of β-amyloid in hippocampal neurons.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 95.11 (1998): 6460-6464. [R]
  6. Sano, Mary, et al. “A controlled trial of selegiline, alpha-tocopherol, or both as treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.” New England Journal of Medicine 336.17 (1997): 1216-1222. [R]
  7. Suzuki, Makoto, Bradly J. Wilcox, and Craig D. Wilcox. “Implications from and for food cultures for cardiovascular disease: longevity.” Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 10.2 (2001): 165-171. [R]
  8. Marshall, Andrew. “GM soybeans and health safety—a controversy reexamined.” Nature Biotechnology 25.9 (2007): 981-987. [R]