Researchers have discovered that a substance that indicates oxidative damage increases in the urine of human beings as one gets older. This new indicator potentially offers a process that can determine how much our body has aged; it determines our biological age and not chronological age. This could further assist in the prediction of our risk of developing various age-related diseases, and even our death risk.
Oxidative Marker to Determine the Biological Age
Whilst chronological age is the same for everyone who is born in the same year, the bodies of different individuals age at different rates. This, however, means that although the risk of many diseases increase with our age, the connection between our health and lifespan and our age in years is relatively loose. Whilst many people enjoy long, healthy lives, many others suffer from premature death and chronic illness.
A few of the researchers refers to normal aging as a form of disease and in this process our cells gather damage over the years. The rate at which this cellular damage occurs can vary from one individual to another and could be determined by the environment that we live in, our lifestyle and genetics. This cellular damage could be the more accurate and precise indication of our biological age as opposed to the number of years that we have lived since we were born.
One method that is being considered for the purpose of determination of biological aging involves a molecule that is crucial to our survival i.e. oxygen is known as the free radical theory of aging.
As explained by researcher who is involved with the study, Jian-Ping Cai, oxygen by-products that is produced during normal metabolism can lead to oxidative damage of biomolecules in cells, like RNA and DNA. He further said that as individuals age, there is a rising oxidative damage, and as such, the levels of oxidative markers also increase in our body.
One such oxidative marker comes with the name of 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanosine or in short 8-oxoGsn and it results from the oxidation of a vital molecule in our body cells known as RNA. In earlier studies that were conducted on animals, researchers discovered that as we age, 8-oxoGsn levels rise in urine.
The said study has been published on Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, today in open-access journal.