Reversing age with stress recovery

Jan 17, 2024

Biological age is dynamic and can rapidly change in response to stress, as observed in young mice and humans. Stress increases biological age, but this effect can be reversed upon recovery. This phenomenon is evident at epigenetic, transcriptomic, and metabolomic levels and is also seen during major surgery, pregnancy, and severe COVID-19. This suggests that managing stress-induced ageing could be a target for future interventions.

May 2023 – Cell Metabolism


Key takeaways


  • Biological age fluctuates: The concept of biological age being fluid is a significant finding. Unlike chronological age, biological age can vary, increasing or decreasing in response to environmental and physiological factors. This indicates that our biological ageing process is more dynamic and adaptable than previously understood
  • Stress accelerates ageing: Stress, in various forms such as illness, physical exertion, or emotional strain, has a direct impact on accelerating biological ageing. This effect is measurable and significant, suggesting that managing stress could be crucial in controlling the pace of biological aging
  • Recovery reverses ageing effects: The study highlights a hopeful aspect of ageing – the reversibility of stress-induced ageing effects. Following periods of stress, adequate recovery can lead to a decrease in biological age, implying that the ageing process can be, to some extent, controlled and reversed


Understanding that biological age can be quantified and is responsive to external factors opens up new avenues for anti-ageing interventions. This could lead to the development of targeted therapies or lifestyle modifications aimed at managing the biological ageing process, potentially improving longevity and health in later life.


Read the article at: Poganik, Jesse R et al. “Biological age is increased by stress and restored upon recovery.” Cell metabolism vol. 35,5 (2023): 807-820.e5. doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2023.03.015