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Blood test reveals how old your body really is

2015-12-01

Now a simple blood test can reveal your biological age—how old your body really is. This was found in a new study from Uppsala University, the results of which are now being published in the open-access journal Scientific Report (Nature Publishing Group).

‘With this knowledge, it may be easier to motivate medical treatments or get a patient to change lifestyle and monitor the effect,’ says Ulf Gyllensten, Professor at the Department of Immunology, Genetics, and Pathologyone and of the authors of the article.

With time the body and the different organs age. Lifestyle factors such as smoking or stress affects molecular processes and thus how quickly we age.

Now researchers at Uppsala University have found that a simple blood test can reveal how your lifestyle affects the body's age. They analysed a number of proteins in blood samples from 1000 people.

‘By analysing proteins in the blood one can estimate a person's biological age, as well as weight, height and hip circumference. The protein profile is influenced by a number of lifestyle choices and certain factors accelerate the body's biological aging, while others slow it down,’ says Ulf Gyllensten.

‘For example, smoking and soda increases the biological age up to 6 years, while consumption of fatty fish and coffee as well as exercise counteracts the aging process to the same extent,’ says Ulf Gyllensten.

Having knowledge of an individual's biological age and monitoring changes in it during medical treatment or after lifestyle changes can make it easier for doctors to motivate a patient to complete the treatment, or to stick to the new lifestyle.

It is also possible to analyse the protein profile in dried bloodstains, which opens completely new opportunities to use the protein profile in forensic investigations to create a ’phantom picture‘ of basic body features of an offender, based on a biological sample from the crime scene.

Enroth, Bosdotter Enroth, Johansson & Gyllensten (2015):

Protein profiling reveals consequences of lifestyle choices on predicted biological aging

Scientific Reports 5:17282 DOI: 10.1038/srep17282