Have you ever been skeptical when people affirm that they feel 20 years younger than their true age? It turns out this might be possible. Chronological age, the number of years we’ve been alive, and biological age, the amount of damage accumulated in cells and tissue over our lifetime, do not always match. People with a healthy lifestyle often have a lower biological age compared to their chronological age, as determined by methods that measure molecular aging in humans at a whole-body level. However, aging occurs at different rates across tissues in mice, raising the possibility that aging is a heterogeneous process in humans too.

To investigate this question, researchers at Stanford University developed models that infer the biological age of 11 organs by analyzing protein patterns found in the blood. Through this non-invasive approach, they found that people with the same whole-body biological age displayed different rates of aging across tissues. In most cases, whole-body aging was driven by one single organ rather than multiple organs. Furthermore, single-organ aging models of the heart, kidney, and brain accurately predicted the presence of their respective diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.

These findings suggest that aging models derived from organ-specific plasma proteins can capture the disease-relevant heterogeneity of aging, which is not captured by whole-body aging models. This method could be leveraged to predict more accurately the risk of a specific disease, allowing people to adopt targeted lifestyle interventions to improve their health.

This study was performed by PhD student Hamilton Oh and postdoctoral scholar Jarod Rutledge, and led by Tony Wyss-Coray, Distinguished Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University.

Managing Correspondent: Allegra Carlotta Scarpa

Press Article: Are your organs ageing well? The blood holds clues (News from Nature)

Original Journal Article: Organ aging signatures in the plasma proteome track health and disease  (Nature)

Image Credit: Freepik

One thought on “Your Liver is a Teenager and Your Heart is a Grandmother

  1. A healthy liver is the key for health and sexual functions. Poisoning or overloading your liver with the good, the bad or the ugly will damage your brain and nervous systems, resulting in brain’s/nervous malfunctions. Liver is literally the chemical factory of our bodies; an extremely crucial component of all bodily functions including endocrinal and neural functioning. There will be no health and and ample restorative & regenerative processes without a powerful liver function in supporting the synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters. Translation of the intake nutrients into useful hormonal precursors and hormones themselves, or neurochemicals and neurotransmitters can be considered as a part of the”Liver Detoxification” processes. When there are too much good things loaded into the liver, the excessive good things become toxins too! In this overloaded state, the liver can not distinguish the good, the bad, and the ugly! You can try to eat 2 or 3 pounds of shrimp every day for a week and see how your liver respond to the shrimp nutrients.

    Along all the potentially harmful substances which damages liver functions, alcohol is the prime of evils. Alcohol itself will keep the liver P45 detoxification very busy and eventually exhaust the liver, resulting in hepatic encephalopathy where “hepatic” means “liver” and “encephalopathy”, “brain malfunction.” The most common side effects of alcohol on the liver is to trigger the excessive release of the enzyme Aromatase which converts testosterone into estrogen. That is why the chronic beer drinkers generally have big beer bellies. Heavy drinkers generally damage their liver gradually. Mixing high doses of herbs with heavy alcohol can be deadly beyond the liver damage.

    In essence, the better our liver functions, the longer and better we live. Optimal liver function is the key to sheer longevity

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *