Specific Diet and Lifestyle Interventions May Reverse Epigenetic Aging in Healthy Adult Men
Aging published “Potential epigenetic age reversal using diet and lifestyle intervention: a randomized pilot clinical trial“which reported on a randomized controlled clinical trial involving 43 healthy adult men aged 50 to 72. The 8-week treatment program included advice on diet, sleep, exercise and relaxation, as well as additional probiotics and phytonutrients.
Genome-wide DNA methylation analysis was performed on saliva samples using the Illumina Methylation Epic Array and DNAmAge was calculated using the online Horvath DNAmAge clock (also published in Aging).
Treatment of diet and lifestyle was associated with a 3.23 year decrease in DNAmAge compared to controls.
The DNA of those in the treatment group declined an average of 1.96 years at the end of the program compared to the same individuals at the start with a strong tendency towards significance.
This randomized controlled study, published in Aging, suggests that specific diet and lifestyle interventions may reverse Horvath DNAmAge epigenetic aging in healthy adult men.
Advanced age is the greatest risk factor for impaired mental and physical functions and for many non-communicable diseases, including cancer, neurodegeneration, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.. “
Kara Fitzgerald, ND IFMCP, lead study author, The Institute for Functional Medicine
Methylation clocks are based on systematic changes in methylation with age.
The DNAmAge clock specifically demonstrates approximately 60% of CpG sites losing methylation with age and 40% gaining methylation.
Almost a quarter of DNAmAge CpG sites are located in glucocorticoid response elements, indicating a likely relationship between stress and accelerated aging. Lifelong cumulative stress has been shown to be associated with accelerated aging of the methyloma.
Other findings include that PTSD contributes to an accelerated methylation age; and that greater infantile distress is associated with an underdeveloped and younger epigenetic age.
That is, the authors tentatively accepted the hypothesis that the methylation model from which the DNAmAge clock is calculated is a driver of aging, so they expect that attempting to directly influence the DNA methyloma using diet and lifestyle to reduce DNAmAge will lead to a healthier, more “juvenile metabolism.
The Fitzgerald research team concluded in their Aging Search results, “emerging “omics” approaches may continue to advance our understanding of the biological prediction of age and inversion beyond DNA methylation alone. Integration of our future understanding of multi-omics data should therefore be considered in future trials of candidate age-delaying interventions. “
Fitzgerald, KN, et al. (2021) Potential epigenetic age reversal using diet and lifestyle intervention: a randomized pilot clinical trial. AGING US. doi.org/10.18632/aging.202913.