They say “age is just a number”, but it might be more than just that as far as health and science are concerned. So now what makes age more than just a number? Here’s a guide to get down to the significant points.
What is Biological Aging?
Biological aging occurs based on a number of factors considered beyond your date of birth. It happens as you gradually pile up damage to various cells and tissues in the body. It is also known as physiological or functional age. Some of the factors that determine one’s biological age are chronological age, genetics, lifestyle, nutrition, diseases, and other conditions.
Chronological Age and Biological Age Compared
So what’s the difference between these two types of age - chronological age and biological age? While chronological age is simply the number of years since you were born, biological age is how old a person is when looking at their cells, DNA, or tissues. Unlike chronological age, biological age can change depending on various lifestyle factors such as exercise, diet, sleep, stress, smoking, and the environment.
Importance of Biological Age
Unlike the number of candles on your birthday cake, your biological age depends on your genetics and lifestyle habits (diet, exercise, sleep, attitude, stress, etc.). This will determine whether your biological age is higher or lower than your chronological one. Ultimately, having a younger biological age compared to chronological age is at a lower risk of suffering from age-related diseases and mortality. In this case, biological age is an important matter and something that you should be paying attention to. This single number could make you stay healthier and younger, for a longer time.
Introducing the GlycanAge Test
Is there anything you can do with your biological age so that you can stay at a lower risk of illness? The answer from experts is a big YES! Biological age can be improved with as little as few changes in your lifestyle, with determination and effort.
Standard diagnosis detects problems when it is already too late, and the GlycanAge Test gets you past this barrier. It is a patented science-based test that accurately determines your biological age. This innovative test has been developed by researching over 80,000 people worldwide. An international team of award-winning scientists spent the last 20 years gaining a deeper understanding of the factors that influence and shape the aging process.
There are four building blocks of life: Nucleic Acids (DNA & RNA), Proteins, Lipids, and Glycans. These are complex sugars that are involved in almost all processes in the human body. Glycans, unlike DNA, can be affected as to whether we improve our health and lifestyle or not. After extensive research on more than 80, 000 people globally, the team is able to figure out that GlycanAge is the most accurate biological age to measure.
Glycans are biomarkers and functional effectors of cardiometabolic and inflammatory diseases such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 Diabetes, Inflammatory bowel disease, and more. Glycans also regulate a variety of processes, and one of them is immunity.
In the figure above, we could see how lifestyle factors, namely stress, fitness, sleep, and diet play a vital role in determining your Glycan Age.
GlycanAge integrates genetic, epigenetic, and environmental aspects of aging.
According to this study, epigenetic and glycan clocks are the most prominent ones among the number of biomarkers developed in the past years to aim at an objective estimation of biological age.
Why are Glycans Significant?
Glycans have a lot of vital functions in your body. First, more than half of all the body’s proteins are glycosylated. Second, Glycans attached to the antibodies modulate their activity and determine if they will have a pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory function - which makes them important for the functioning of the immune system. These points make GlycanAge a good measure of your biological age.
Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is being analyzed
Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is the most common type of antibody and plays a vital role in protecting the body against different kinds of harmful substances. Your IgG glycans are being analyzed by this test using cutting-edge technology to measure your biological age. Compared to other biological age markers, the GlycanAge test provides more predictive and accurate information.
How is the GlycanAge test done?
- Choose your plan and place your order online. For safety and convenience during the pandemic, the GlycanAge Test starts with a testing kit that you can purchase online and have delivered to your door.
- Collect a few drops of blood with a quick finger prick test. GlycanAge is based on the analysis of glycans attached to immunoglobulin G, which is one of the most abundant antibody types in our blood. These Glycans are capable of changing igG’s function from pro-inflammatory to anti-inflammatory. The balance between these functions determines general health status and biological age.
- Send to our lab for analysis. It only takes 2-4 weeks.
- View your results in your personal online dashboard. Results available have lifetime monitoring & feedback loop.
- Consult with health experts throughout your journey. This is a teleconsultation with a prevention specialist.
Glycans and COVID-19
Recent studies on the development of COVID-19 vaccines focus on Glycans after having found its potential active role against the coronavirus.
Many studies are focusing on the coronavirus spike protein, which binds to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) on human cells. Before the spike protein can interact with ACE2, it has to change its shape to expose its receptor-binding domain (RBD).
A study from the ACS Publications discussed “The Roles of Glycans in the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein”. The coronavirus spike protein has a thick coat of glycans on its surface, and these Glycans help shield the viral proteins from the host’s immune system. Results from building molecular dynamic simulations of the spike protein and other related studies show some important points:
- N-glycans connected to the spike protein at certain sites (N165 and N234) helped stabilize the shape change that exposes the RBD (receptor-binding domain).
- Regions of the spike protein that weren’t coated by glycans could be vulnerable to antibodies.
- The spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2, as well as its glycan coat, has “hitherto unseen functional and structural” properties, providing a strategy to control the conformational plasticity of the RBD that could be harnessed for vaccine development”, the researchers wrote.
- Glycans determine a significant part of the overall structure and function of many glycoproteins.
- Understanding the role of glycosylation is necessary for the development of potential new treatments and especially for new vaccines. Each vaccine induces different glycosylation patterns of antibodies, which affect their ability to affect and protect against infection.
While this is still ongoing research, the focus of experts is to eventually unravel the mechanism of the earliest stages of infection, so there could be new knowledge and understanding of which of the targets for anti-viral treatments is more likely to work.