Our everyday-choices are contributing to our aging process. Unhealthy lifestyle, high-stress levels, and lack of sleep seem to impact on the speed of aging. Increasing age is also the largest risk factor for many chronic diseases. Therefore, quantifying the biological age is a fundamental step of understanding diseases and designing an anti-aging intervention. Modifications in the DNA methylation pattern can be used to track a person’s biological age, which can lag behind or exceed chronological age. Accelerated epigenetic age has been associated with a lot of age-related conditions and diseases by independent research studies. The reversible and dynamic nature of epigenetic modifications make epigenetic tests to monitor lifestyle interventions.
The epigenetic clock
It is remarkable that aging is associated with highly reproducible epigenetic modifications. Using a broad range of DNA-methylation profiles we elaborated an Epigenetic-Aging-Signature based on three specific CpG sites in the genome. DNA-methylation levels of these sites can be integrated into a mathematical model to predict the donor age with a mean average deviation from the chronological age of only about 5 years. The deviation can at least partly be attributed to life-style parameters, gender, and disease. Thus, the Epigenetic-Aging-Signature is indicative of the biological age of blood.
We have recently published new targeted assays for epigenetic age predictions. Based on this, we have established a new three CpG aging signature where the correlation with chronologial age in an independent validation set of 40 blood samples was R² = 0.89.
Area of application
This epigenetic aging signature is a blood test (venous or capillary). It is not a medical device and not intended to screen, diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition or assess the risk of any disease or condition. Unless advised by any healthcare professional, biological age should not be used to determine or alter any chronological age-related health or medical treatments.
Han Y et al. New targeted approaches for epigenetic age predictions. BMC Biology, 2020.
Weidner CI et al. Aging of blood can be tracked by DNA methylation changes at just three CpG sites. Genome Biology, 2014.
Patent application: 2012; EP12185698.3