Biomarkers, short for biological markers, are measurable indicators of an individual’s biological state or condition. They have been widely studied and utilized in medicine and longevity since the 1960s. A biomarker can be a molecule, gene, or characteristic that indicates a change in one’s health or response to interventions promoting longevity.
Various biomarkers hold significance in the pursuit of a longer and healthier life. Telomeres, for instance, protect the ends of our chromosomes and gradually shorten with each cell division, acting as indicators of cellular aging. Inflammation markers such as C-reactive protein (CRP) or interleukin-6 (IL-6) signal an immune response and could indicate age-related chronic inflammation. Oxidative stress markers, such as glutathione or superoxide dismutase, help assess an individual’s antioxidant defense system, while insulin/IGF-1 signaling is linked to longevity in several species. Other relevant biomarkers include heart rate variability, blood pressure, and lipid profiles.
Biohackers and longevity enthusiasts often monitor their biomarkers to gauge the impact of lifestyle changes, supplements, or therapies aimed at extending their lifespan. Standard methods include regular blood tests, genetic testing for specific genes associated with longevity, and wearable devices that track heart rate variability, sleep patterns, or other vital signs. By closely monitoring these indicators, individuals can adjust their approach and optimize interventions for maximum benefit.
Dr. Rhonda Patrick Interviews Dr. Peter Attia on tracking Longevity Biomarkers, a great video that I enjoyed and believe is one of the best source of biomarkers.
Several popular books on longevity discuss the importance of monitoring biomarkers. These include:
- “Lifespan: Why We Age—and Why We Don’t Have To” by Dr. David Sinclair.
- “The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer” by Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn and Dr. Elissa Epel
- “The Longevity Diet: Discover the New Science Behind Stem Cell Activation and Regeneration to Slow Aging, Fight Disease, and Optimize Weight” by Dr. Valter Longo.
These books delve into various aspects of longevity and offer evidence-based strategies to manage biomarkers effectively.
Biomarkers offer a valuable window into understanding biological aging and predicting the risk of age-related diseases. They also help validate interventions that aim to extend health span and lifespan. As ongoing research expands our understanding of these indicators, personalized approaches to longevity may become increasingly influential, empowering individuals to optimize their health and well-being.« Back to Glossary Index