Longevity

Longevity Briefs: Elite Athletes have higher Epigenetic Age than controls

Posted on 16 September 2020

Longevity briefs provides a short summary of a novel research, medicine, or technology that caught the attention of our researchers in Oxford, due to its potential to improve our health, wellbeing, and longevity.

Why is this research important: Elite athletes are considered to be some of the healthiest people on the planet. With their intense workouts, strenuous exercise regime and optimal diet they will live far longer without the risk of developing age-related disease, right? When it comes to epigenetic aging, maybe not.

What did the researchers do: Researchers from Warsaw, Poland, developed an epigenetic age clock to input epigenetic profiles of 176 professional athletes and 128 control subjects calculating their epigenetic age. The study aimed to observe whether intense physical exercise can alter epigenetic profiles and lead to changes in the rate of aging.

Key takeaway(s) from this research: The investigation revealed that the elite athletes were found to have higher epigenetic age than the controls in the study, which is contrary to epidemiological data showing longer life duration of athletes. These findings allude to the complex relationship between vigorous exercise and aging. On the other hand, some have postulated that the conflicting data reveals that using epigenetic age as a measure of longevity is still not wholly accurate.


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