In this recent reverse aging study, researchers show us how certain interventions help turn back the hands of time. Read on to learn all about it.
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In This Article:
- The Epigenome and Epigenetic Clock
- TRIM Trial
- From Afterthought to Viable Aging Intervention
- Larger Studies in the Future
Promising Results from New Reverse Aging Study
The Epigenome and Epigenetic Clock
Epigenetic scientists are learning more about the epigenome and its impact on the healthspan.
What is the epigenome? This refers to chemical tags, like DNA methylation, that attaches themselves to DNA. Changes in these chemical tags can regulate DNA activity, causing the expression of genes to be either switched on or off.
The epigenome changes as individuals age. Doctors use the pattern of epigenome changes to determine an individual’s biological age.
What is the biological age? It assesses an individual’s physical and mental functions. Researchers also refer to it as an individual’s functional or physiological age.
Chronological aging is inevitable, but an individual’s biological age can be younger or older than their actual chronological ages. A variety of factors can impact biological age.
Epigenetic researchers measure chemical tags, like DNA methylation, across different genome sites to measure an individual’s biological age or epigenetic clock. Biological age tests differ depending on the number of genome sites analyzed.
With these advances, the field of epigenetics has shed light on the process of aging. Many epigenetic researchers are looking into the link between changes in the epigenome and age-related illnesses.
TRIM stands for the Thymus Regeneration, Immunorestoration, and Insulin Mitigation Trial. In this trial, a research team was interested in restoring tissue in the thymus.
The thymus gland is a small organ located in the chest behind the breastbone. It plays a vital role in the endocrine system and immune function.
When the bone marrow makes white blood cells, they turn into specialized T cells inside the thymus gland. The body uses these specialized T cells to fight infections and diseases like cancer.
Unfortunately, there are age-related changes in the thymus gland. After puberty, the thymus gland begins to decrease in size. On top of that, it also accumulates fat over time.
Studies show that certain growth hormones can help the thymus gland regenerate. Most of the previous work on thymus regeneration was done on animals, so the researchers wanted to see if they could safely use the same growth hormone on humans.
Before they began the trial, the researchers knew that the growth hormone might trigger diabetes, so they added other drugs to counteract this. On top of the growth hormone, they added two anti-diabetic drugs:
- Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
Nine white men between the ages of 51 and 61 were given the drugs. The men took the drugs for one year.
During the treatment period, the researchers got blood samples from the participants. They also ran magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests to examine the thymus gland at the beginning and the end of the study.
The results of the trial were promising. Here are their main findings:
- A blood test shows that there was a rejuvenation of blood cell count in all of the participants.
- In seven participants, fat accumulation in the thymus gland was replaced with regenerated tissue.
These results show that there was a rejuvenation of the immune system. As an afterthought, though, the researchers decided to run additional tests, which led to even more promising findings.
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From Afterthought to Viable Aging Intervention
One member of the research team, Steve Horvath, is one of the leading pioneers in epigenetic-clock research. As an afterthought in the TRIM trials, he proposed to run epigenetic clock tests on the participants.
The research team ran four epigenetic clock tests. Here are some of their findings:
- There was a reversal in the biological age of all of the participants.
- After one year of treatment, the participants lost an average of 1.5 years in their biological ages.
- There was also a decrease in risk indices for a variety of age-related diseases.
- For six participants, the reversal effects continued even after the study ended. The team got blood samples six months after the end of the trial.
These are the first human results to show an increase in predicted lifespan through a convenient aging intervention.
Larger Studies in the Future
The researchers admit that there’s still a lot of work ahead of them. This initial study only had nine participants, so they need to conduct a larger-scale study.
The researchers plan on conducting a more extensive study with a broader age range. They also intend to include women and other ethnicities in the next phase.
As we wait for the scientists to test this new age reversal cocktail on a larger sample, you can already make the most out of epigenetic applications. Similar to the one used in the study, TruDiagnostic offers the world’s most advanced epigenetic test.
The TruAge test analyzes 900 spots on your genome to give you accurate and useful information about how your body is aging. Visit their website If you’re interested in learning more about this test and how it can help optimize your healthspan.
What are your thoughts on this new reverse aging study? Please share them with us in the comments section below.
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