Biomarkers and Aging: What is the connection?

June 19, 2023

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by: Dr. Paul Savage

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Biomarkers and Aging: What is the connection?

What are biomarkers? 

Simply put, biomarkers are measurements of a biological process. 

In this article, we are going to review: 

  • What do biomarkers say about your health? 
  • Can biomarkers change? 
  • How do doctors measure biomarkers and aging? 

 

What Do Biomarkers Say About Your Health?

Think of a biomarker report like looking at the dashboard of a car. A car has gauges that can measure the air pressure of the tires, the amount of gas in the tank, the temperature of the engine, and the quality of the oil in the filter, just to name a few.   

Your doctor has gauges that can measure the pressure in your arteries, the amount of blood sugar in the cells, the temperature of the body, and the quality of the plasma in the blood, just to name a few.

When talking about the human body, these measurements are called biomarkers. More examples of biomarkers are: 

  • Amyloid beta and tau proteins for Alzheimer’s disease 
  • CA-125 for ovarian cancer 
  • Antinuclear antibodies for autoimmune illnesses 
  • Serotonin levels for depression 
  • Vitamin D3 for bone health.
     

Biomarkers are used in clinical practice and research to diagnose diseases, monitor disease progression, assess treatments’ effectiveness, and predict patient outcomes.  

For example: 

  • If your C-reactive protein exceeds 3 mg/L, you are at higher risk for heart disease.
     

Just as you rely on your car’s dashboard to give you a clue on the health of your vehicle, whether it needs more air in a tire or an oil change, your doctor relies on biomarkers to give a complete and clear view of the health of their patients.

 

Can Biomarkers Change?  

Reversing the biomarkers may require a combination of traditional medicine and non-traditional methods, which may involve medications, surgery, or other medical interventions. 

For example, to help lower blood pressure, you may be prescribed ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, or diuretics for high blood pressure. In addition, you may be enrolled in a meditation program, a weight loss program, or undergo testing for sleep apnea. 

In many cases, reversing the biomarkers does not require managing the underlying cause of the disease but simply changing a person’s daily routine. Actions like lifestyle modifications, such as not smoking, not drinking alcohol, managing stress, improving your sleep, eating nutritiously, and exercising daily, can have a profoundly positive impact on most biomarkers associated with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and blood pressure. 

Another option to reverse biomarkers is a new game-change therapy, Therapeutic Plasma Exchange. This procedure removes harmful toxins and abnormalities from your bloodstream, reducing inflammation and improving your body’s overall health. Recent studies have proven Therapeutic Plasma Exchange has reversed several biomarkers of aging.  

  

How Doctors Measure Biomarkers and Aging  

Recently, researchers and clinicians have begun to view Aging as a disease. Many of the biomarkers used to monitor aging are those targeted for known diseases.  However, simply having your biomarkers below the target for the disease does not automatically imply that you are healthy.  More often than not, when your biomarkers are below the target for the disease, it just means that you are “not sick yet.”

Researchers and clinicians interested in longevity are searching for a range of known biomarkers that reflect being healthy, aka not sick. For example: 

  • Hemoglobin A1c above 6.5% means you have diabetes 
  • Hemoglobin A1c above 5.7% means you are prediabetic 
  • Hemoglobin A1c below  5.0% is considered optimal for health and aging 

This paradigm of disease biomarkers also being health biomarkers is established but relatively unknown. More research must be performed to verify the optimal range of biomarkers for health, which is also the same as being the biomarkers of healthy aging. 

Biomarkers are needed to define a disease, pre-disease, and optimal health.  When we start looking at the complete spectrum of biomarkers, we, as a community, can understand all the therapies that take you from sick to well and from well to optimal health. 

Biomarkers are measurements of a biological process. Biomarkers are helpful to diagnose diseases, monitor disease progression, assess treatments, and predict patient outcomes. Biomarkers will require a deeper understanding of what it is to be healthy and the causes of aging. We can monitor actions and choices and monitor the effects on our health, aging, and longevity.

 

Do You Want To Have Your Biomarkers Tested? 

MDLifespan is happy to help order your labs and review the results with you virtually! We also offer Therapeutic Plasma Exchange and various other therapy options to reverse any unfavorable biomarkers. Schedule a call with one of our Patient Service Advisors to get started today!