Getting youthful: Does chronological age matter?

As a regulation change in South Korea means its residents will grow to be a 12 months or two youthful, we discover what measuring age actually seems to be like.

One other orbit around the Solar, one other cake on the candle, one other 12 months on the clock… everyone knows about growing older – however this, within the longevity biz, it’s what’s generally known as chronological age.

Chronological age refers back to the variety of years you’ve lived, how outdated you’re legally, however there may be one other, maybe extra pertinent, measure of how outdated you’re – organic age. Your organic age refers back to the age of your cells and tissues based mostly on physiological proof.

Your organic age could also be decrease than your chronological age when you’re fairly wholesome and match. In distinction, your organic age could also be larger if you’re sedentary, chronically unwell or in poor bodily situation. And genetic, environmental and epigenetic components have a job to play as properly. Oh, and totally different organs and tissues can have totally different organic ages as properly!

A brand new system for age in South Korea

In South Korea, the federal government has handed legal guidelines to switch its conventional strategies of counting ages with a global customary. This may have the fascinating results of many South Koreans changing into youthful by a 12 months or two.

Presently, South Koreans have Korean age, which suggests an individual is one at beginning and beneficial properties a 12 months on every New 12 months’s Day. Because of this a toddler born on thirty first December can be considered two years outdated the next day.

To compute the authorized ingesting and smoking age, a distinct technique is used. The age of an individual is calculated from zero at beginning, and one 12 months is added on 1st January.

Along with this, South Korea additionally makes use of the worldwide technique to calculate age, beginning at zero at beginning and including one 12 months for every birthday afterward. To make clear any confusion, the nation will formally undertake the worldwide customary from twenty third June subsequent 12 months – at the very least on official paperwork [1].

The transfer goals to standardise how age is calculated within the nation.

Yoo Sang-bum, of the ruling Folks Energy Get together, instructed parliament: “The revision is geared toward lowering pointless socio-economic prices, as a result of authorized and social disputes in addition to confusion persist because of the alternative ways of calculating age.”

The cope with organic age vs chronological age

In distinction to chronological age, organic age refers to epigenetic alteration and DNA methylation, which point out the aptitude and functioning of a person and whether or not or not they’re prone to illnesses related to outdated age [2]. 

There’s proof to again up the conclusion that organic age is a extra correct predictor of illness onset and demise than chronological age [3]. When it comes to longevity, we may work with “winding again” our organic clock by making life-style modifications.

What determines organic age?

Your organic age might be lowered in quite a lot of methods. On the whole, they’re the precise choices you’ve heard about for staying wholesome:

Weight loss plan

In a 2018 research on diet and organic age, it was discovered that consuming a high-nutrient food plan can scale back your organic age [4]. Vitamin knowledge was examined as a consider individuals’s meals choice choices. 

The extra consideration paid, the decrease the organic age. There was a larger distinction amongst those that:

  • Are chronically unwell
  • Are overweight
  • Are older
  • Have a household background of power illness
  • Have a decrease training degree

When it got here to picking meals, additionally they discovered a sex-based distinction: just below 13 % of males considered diet knowledge, in comparison with 27.5% of females. Different research on food plan and organic age counsel the best food plan is:

  • A Mediterranean food plan
  • Excessive in fish
  • Low in energy
  • Plant-based


In accordance with analysis on organic growing older, larger exercise ranges correlate with a youthful organic age [5]. Elevated train doesn’t have an effect on organic age in all research. Nevertheless, a rising physique of analysis helps the concept it does:

  • A number of biomarkers of growing older and illness, together with most cancers, slowed down in post-menopausal girls in 2021 [6].
  • In 2022, a research discovered that altering your food plan and rising your train reduces your organic age greater than both dietary modifications alone or rising train alone [7].
  • Researchers discovered that cardio exercisers have been nearly 5.5 years youthful than sedentary individuals in a research printed in 2020 [8].

The bodily surroundings

The place you reside, work, and spend most of your time is your bodily environment. Environmental components decide how a lot air air pollution and different pollution or dangerous supplies you’re subjected to.

Your organic growing older might be accelerated by these toxins however taking steps to scale back your publicity is one approach to keep away from it. This might be able to reverse the results, in line with analysis.

However, a few of these hazards could also be difficult to get rid of. The excellent news is that different wholesome modifications, comparable to sleeping extra or higher, can reverse pollution-induced growing older [9].

Sleeping habits

Along with affecting your well being and longevity, poor sleep additionally will increase your organic age. It’s endorsed that adults get seven hours of sleep every night time [10]. 

Nearly all of individuals, nonetheless, don’t. Life-style components or sleep issues could also be accountable for this. Your well being additionally will depend on the standard of your sleep.

Researchers have discovered that when you sleep extra and higher, you possibly can reverse organic growing older. Make easy modifications to enhance your sleep, like going to mattress earlier, turning off screens earlier than mattress or lowering distractions.


There’s proof that bodily and psychological stress can reverse organic growing older. Researchers in 2022 examined the results of stressors comparable to [11]:

  • Being pregnant
  • COVID-19 an infection
  • Trauma
  • Surgical procedure

By measuring DNA methylation, they discovered that organic age will increase quickly throughout annoying instances. After the stressor was eliminated, it returned to baseline inside a couple of days.

Researchers discovered that people who’re emotionally resilient and may regulate their feelings can keep away from the growing older results of psychological stress in a 2021 research [12].

Converse to a healthcare supplier when you’ve got vital bodily or psychological stressors. An appointment with a psychological well being skilled could also be helpful to you.

Tobacco use

There is no such thing as a doubt that smoking causes critical well being issues and shortens your life. Smoking will increase your organic age [13].

The results of smoking on growing older, nonetheless, look like considerably reversible, as is the case with stress. In research evaluating present people who smoke, former people who smoke and non-smokers, researchers discovered that former people who smoke have the identical organic age as non-smokers. However actually, it’s higher to have by no means smoked in any respect.

Time to make a change

Your chronological age signifies how lengthy you’ve lived. An individual’s organic age determines how lengthy they’ve left and the chance that they’ll grow to be chronically unwell.

An expert medical check for telomere size and biomarkers of DNA methylation is required to find out your organic age, however these are more and more changing into extra accessible, though industrial exams and on-line calculators that declare to measure organic age might have validation.

An individual’s organic age might be modified, in contrast to their chronological age; as with so many issues in longevity, altering your habits could make an enormous distinction, and making sensible life-style decisions with regard to dietary habits, train, stress ranges, sleep high quality and smoking could make all of the distinction. South Korea could also be passing a regulation to vary its residents’ ages, however relating to organic ages, it’s all all the way down to the person.

[11] material/10.1101/2022.05.04.490686v1
[13] content

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