Can you influence your biological age?

29 January 2024

The short answer is: “Yes. Of course you can.”
The difficult question is: “How much?”

It is not rocket science to figure out that you reduce your chances of a long and good life if you sit in solitude on the sofa all day, smoking, eating chips and drinking cola, sleeping too little and weighing too much. You age faster. It seems to be common knowledge.

Therefore, it is right up our street to start changing such habits if you want to increase the chance of a good and long life, i.e. slow down the speed at which you age. This is what is popularly called lowering one’s biological age.

This question is brought up to date by a popular Danish TV broadcast with mention of research done at the Danish state hospital, Rigshospitalet, where researchers are trying to influence the rate of aging so that you age more slowly or may become a little younger from a biological point of view.

And here they have also tackled the above-mentioned, specific bad habits, after which they “calculate” the biological age before, during and after the intervention.

So how do you calculate this biological age? It is, of course, a purely theoretical age, based on expected remaining life, calculated from an algorithm which is constructed according to the parameters that are now believed to affect life expectancy and the speed of aging in 2024.

The same persons may have a completely different biological age in 5 years, when science has exposed completely different parameters that affect life expectancy even more strongly. This particularly concerns various blood tests, i.e. biochemical parameters, where we are constantly getting smarter.

One of the most reliable measurements of a person’s biological age is probably the measurement of the remaining telomeres in the genetic material of the cell nuclei. These telomeres shorten during cell division, and when we have no more, we die. Many international researchers have been interested in this for the past 20 years, including the Swedish professor Urban Alehagen, who, as mentioned in a previous newsletter has researched the life-extending effect of Q10 and selenium.

In the above-mentioned TV broadcast, the various lifestyle measures have been supplemented by taking a pill with Nicotinamide Riboside, which supports the cells’ energy production.

Many have asked me what it is, and to bring clarity to the many abbreviations and biochemical contexts, I have made a small presentation which can be viewed on Youtube. It is difficult to describe these biochemical processes in a newsletter, which is why we supplement with this video.

Nicotiamide Riboside is only one of many forms of vitamin B3, all of which contribute to increased energy production in the cells’ power plants, where the cell makes its energy, the so-called mitochondria.

We consume vitamin B3 as nicotinic acid or nicotinamide, after which it is converted to nicotinamide riboside (NR) and then to nicotinamide mononucleoside (NMN), which is then converted to what it is all about, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) in the cells .

(NAD has the property that it can alternate between two oxidation stages NAD+ and NADH, thereby contributing to energy production together with Q10.) This takes place in the inner membrane of the mitochondria.

Whether you consume NR or NMN or Nicotinamide is a question of how far down the synthesis pathway you want to start. Overall, the end result will be roughly the same, just with a difference in the amount of NAD formed.

I apologize for the many abbreviations and the somewhat difficult explanation, which I hope my little video can make up for.

Supplements can be exciting and good, and even life-prolonging. But don’t forget the most important things:

A healthy diet, daily exercise, a good night’s sleep, avoid being overweight and stick with your friends from your youth. You won’t get new ones. Stop smoking and moderate your alcohol consumption. It all helps to raise your quality of life and slow down the aging process.

Take care of yourself and others.

Claus Hancke
Specialist in general medicine

The Vitality Council’s 7-minute video about NAD can be seen here:
However, Danish is spoken and it is unfortunately not subtitled.