Boost your immune system to slow down effects of ageing

The new ‘inflammation clock and biological age’. Our eternal quest to slow, or even perhaps reverse the aging process has kept scientists and researchers busy over the past decades, more so since the discovery of the genome early this millennium.

One of the latest studies that has hugely interested me is the ‘theory of the immunological clock’. Study of immunology is currently a hotly discussed topic in the age of COVID-19 and other viruses like influenza and most recently the explosion of the RSV virus in New Zealand.

Inflammation is one of the key signs of aging because as we get older, our cells get progressively damaged and start emitting inflammation causing molecules. Those amongst us who have a healthy immune system are able to neutralise this inflammation to some extent, whereas others will develop disease and age faster.

Studies have previously shown that healthy centenarians show less damaged cells as compared to the younger population with normal aging individuals who also carry a disease burden.

The good news is that doctors are better able to treat inflammation using both pharmaceuticals and powerful natural methods to change these inflammatory pathways.

Exciting news for the science world; a new tool is currently under the final stages of development that will determine a specific protein in a blood sample.  This in turn can assess advanced markers of predicting someone at risk of developing age related disorders such as cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. This new ‘age clock’ will then be able to measure the ‘biological age’ which takes health into consideration and can be calculated to be high or low as compared to the individual’s actual or chronological age.

My one mantra remains; that of always doing what you can to promote a healthy immune function.  This equips us to counter the various environmental and health challenges we may face, both from a disease prevention and healthy ageing perspective.