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How blood metabolites can reveal your true age

Apr 25, 2024

A new molecular index based on blood metabolites can measure biological age, which may reflect health better than chronological age. This index helps distinguish between individuals ageing at different rates and suggests that lifestyle changes could potentially influence one’s biological age.

March 2024 – Aging Cell


Key takeaways


  • Biological vs. chronological age: The research highlights that biological age, inferred from molecular signatures in the blood, is a more robust indicator of overall health than merely the number of years lived. This differentiation is crucial for understanding how well someone is ageing internally, irrespective of their chronological age
  • Metabolites as health indicators: The study identifies clear differences in the metabolomic profiles between those ageing healthily and those ageing rapidly. These profiles consist of metabolites—small molecules resulting from metabolic processes—which act as direct markers of physiological states and changes, offering insights into an individual’s health and ageing process
  • Lifestyle impact: Findings suggest that because metabolites reflect real-time biological conditions and respond to lifestyle choices, they can be influenced by factors such as diet, physical activity, and environmental exposures. This means that proactive lifestyle adjustments could potentially decelerate one’s rate of biological ageing and improve quality of life
  • Predictive value of the HAM Index: The Healthy Aging Metabolic (HAM) Index, developed through this research, successfully differentiates between healthy and rapid agers with a significant degree of accuracy. This index could be used for early detection of accelerated ageing and might help in designing personalised interventions to extend healthy lifespan and delay the onset of age-related diseases


Read the article at: Hamsanathan, Shruthi, et al. “A Molecular Index for Biological Age Identified from the Metabolome and Senescence-associated Secretome in Humans.Aging Cell, vol. 23, no. 4, 2024, p. e14104,