Dr. Nathan Goodyear, MD was featured in Medical News Today about aging and “epigenetic clocks.”
Dr. Nathan Goodyear, MD, MDH is the Medical Director at Brio-Medical and has practiced integrative medicine since 2006.
You can read our written summary of the article below.
Medical News Today Summary – Aging and the New Epigenetic Clock
The way we look at aging is divided into two aspects: the age we count by years (chronological age) and the age indicated by our body’s function (biological age).
A promising area in aging science revolves around the “epigenetic clock” – a tool that inspects DNA to identify aging markers and contrast these with one’s age in years.
Scientists from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the University of Glasgow in Scotland have pioneered a more refined epigenetic clock tailored for individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD).
CKD was chosen for the study because its symptoms often mimic accelerated aging.
The research, featured in the Journal of Internal Medicine, emphasizes that our biological age can be a more insightful gauge of our overall aging trajectory than merely counting years.
Key Research Points:
- The team studied 400 CKD patients and had a control group of 100 individuals. An additional 47 participants were monitored after undergoing kidney treatments. Their data was set against healthy samples from 48 individuals of the same age range.
- Results showcased that those undergoing dialysis showed a quicker ticking of their biological clock compared to transplant recipients or individuals without CKD. The reasoning is that while dialysis is a stopgap measure, a successful transplant might actually turn back some effects of the disease on aging.
- Yet, a different viewpoint from Dr. Nathan Goodyear suggests that the transplantation procedure’s inherent stresses might initially accelerate aging. However, the restored detoxification capacity from a new kidney might counteract this effect over time.
Initial results from epigenetic clocks confirmed accelerated aging in CKD patients, but there were inconsistencies. To address this, the researchers fashioned a new epigenetic clock using a process called “methylation tagging”.
This method hinges on methylation, an age-related process where specific chemical groups accumulate in DNA, leading to gene expression changes and visible physical alterations.
This innovative clock could be instrumental in assessing the age-impact of various lifestyle choices, including dietary habits.
Further Observations and Critiques:
While there’s a buzz around this new clock, experts like Dr. Charles Brenner believe its practical use is limited. He suggests that actual physical functionality is a more direct measure of biological age.
Dr. Brenner and Dr. Gil Blander both stress the significance of lifestyle choices, from diet to social interaction, in influencing the aging process.
Furthermore, Dr. Brenner hints at the potential benefits of nicotinamide riboside (a variant of vitamin B3) in preserving the body’s youthful vigor, though further studies are needed.
The novel epigenetic clock, developed for CKD patients, offers a deeper dive into understanding biological aging.
However, it’s essential to recognize the pivotal role lifestyle plays in the overall aging journey. Both age-old wisdom on health and modern molecular insights offer valuable perspectives on this intricate subject.
Dr. Nathan Goodyear’s Perspective
Dr. Nathan Goodyear had the following to say when asked about “biological clocks.”
“The surgical-associated stress, immune dysfunction associated with surgery, and the chronic immune suppression from the chronic immunosuppression required post transplantation would likely accelerate epigenetic modification, aging, and its associated biological aging. Yet, the restoration of the ability of the body to restore optimal detoxification oxidant/antioxidant balance [via a new kidney] to maintain optimal mitochondrial energy production slowed epigenetic modification and slow epigenetic aging — and biological aging as a result.”
For more information on this article, refer to the original story on Medical News Today.
Learn More About Dr. Nathan Goodyear
Patients interested in pursuing their cancer healing journey can visit Dr. Goodyear at Brio Medical in Scottsdale, Arizona.