Americans are Aging More SlowlyFebruary 2019
By William Faloon
A landmark study published in 2018 reveals that certain Americans are delaying their rate of aging.
This study reviewed biological age measures in large U.S. population groups during years 1988-1994 and then compared them to years 2007-2010.
The results showed that aged-matched participants were biologically younger in years 2007-2010 compared to people of similar age in 1988-1994.1
Females aged 60-79 had a beneficial 3.63-year decrease in biological age measures. Men in this age group had a 4.29-year decrease in biological age.
When discussing biological age, a decrease is beneficial as it indicates more youthful functionality and implies greater longevity potential.
What you need to know
A new study reveals that certain Americans are delaying their biological rate of aging compared to their age-matched counterparts several years ago. There are many factors involved in this improvement, however, one correlation is the stark increase in supplement use, which has increased over 70 percent within the parameters of this study.
This 2018 study found that the degree of age delay has a lot to do with modifiable health behaviors.
For example, obese individuals often aged faster, but their biological age was still lower in 2007-2010 compared to the 1988-1994 period. Reasons include greater use of interventions to treat pathologies related to excess body weight.
In the concluding remarks from the study paper, the authors wrote,
“We showed that the biological age of the population has improved over the past 20 years in the United States and that the largest improvements have been for males and older adults.”1
What impressed me about this data emanating from prestigious medical centers was recognition that biological aging can be measured and delayed utilizing existing approaches.
For the past four decades, Life Extension® has argued that research aimed at gaining control over human aging should be this nation’s top priority. Until recently, our views were met with skepticism and persecution.
Our many supporters should feel vindicated that many interventions they practice today are proving to delay pathological aging as measured by conventional standards.
This issue of Life Extension Magazine® describes methods to help decelerate biological aging, including reducing cravings for high-fat and high-sugar foods that contribute to accelerated senescence.
Life expectancy in the United States has increased rapidly over the past 60 years.
Longer lifespans, however, are not necessarily a reliable indicator of population-wide rates of biological aging.
For instance, many elderly are kept alive by aggressive medical interventions aimed only at treating their degenerative disorders, as opposed to slowing their biological aging rate.
If people in poor health are being kept alive longer, this places a severe financial strain on entitlement programs such as Medicare, and does little to alleviate chronic suffering.
A number of measures have been developed to quantify an individual’s biological age status. These include comprehensive blood tests that readers of this magazine do annually.
In a national sampling of Americans published in 2018, clinical measures used to assess health status included blood pressure, lung capacity, and blood tests such as:1
- C-reactive protein
- Hemoglobin A1c
- Kidney/liver function
When combining these tests using an algorithm developed to estimate biological age, these markers predicted all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality.
The findings reveal that today’s longer lifespans may be partially due to a slowing of aging processes, rather than merely keeping ailing people alive.
Obesity Can Accelerate Aging
Is 60 the New 50? Examining Changes in
Biological Age Over the Past Two Decades.
Demography. 2018 Apr;55(2):387-402.
When comparing the periods of 1988-1994 with 2007-2010, there was a marked decline in tobacco use. This had a favorable impact on biological age measures.1
The benefits of reduced tobacco use, however, were partially offset by surging rates of overweight and obese Americans in most age groups.
In younger adults (aged 20-39), if BMI (body mass index) had not increased between the periods of 1988-1994 and 2007-2010, biological measures of aging would have beneficially decreased.
These disparities were less pronounced in older age groups, with little or no effect of BMI on biological age measures seen in men aged 60-79 years.
Favorable Impact of Medical Interventions
Blood pressure and cholesterol were some of the biological aging markers used in the 2018 study.
In all age groups, those who used medications to control blood pressure and lipids had decreased rates of biological aging.1
In people aged 60-79, medication use for high blood pressure and high cholesterol was associated with about 72% of the biological age decrease.
This makes sense because the impact of elevated blood pressure and lipids is most pronounced in older individuals.
Use of these medical interventions may have helped offset the adverse impact of higher BMI in older men.
What Was Unaccounted For?
In this 2018 study showing a delay of biological aging measures, behavioral factors such as smoking, obesity, and preventive medication use helped explain who was benefiting from these improvements.
The authors of the study made it clear, however, that “a significant proportion of the decreases [in biological aging] over time were unaccounted for.”1
The authors stated there may be “other explanations” for the improvements in the general public health that were not tested for in their study.
Long time readers of this magazine may realize what these “other explanations” might be.
Shortly after years 1988-1994, there was a substantial increase in the number of Americans who practiced healthier lifestyle choices. These include avoiding known toxins, eating healthier foods, and increased use of dietary supplements whose mechanisms have been shown to help thwart pathological aging processes.
Government Data Reveals Increased Supplement Use
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) is a government-funded program that assesses the health and nutritional status of people in the United States, and tracks changes over time. The survey combines interviews, physical examinations , and laboratory tests.2
The researchers who conducted the 2018 study showing delayed biological aging utilized NHANES statistical data.1
Omitted from this 2018 study, however, was data from the same NHANES registry showing surging use of dietary supplements among Americans after 1988-1994.3
This happens to be the same period when biological age measures began to improve.
For example, NHANES data indicated that vitamin D and fish oil supplementation substantially increased from 1999 to 2012.4
Vitamin D 5,6 and fish oil7,8 have been shown to favorably modulate genes associated with biological aging.
Comparing Supplement Use in Earlier Periods
The NHANES database provides an abundance of knowledge that has been used to identify longevity factors affecting public health.
In the 1971 to 1975 period, NHANES began monitoring dietary supplement use amongst Americans.9
Back in those early days only 28% of adult men and 38% of adult women took a supplement.
It was not until after passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act in late 1994 that Americans were allowed to learn about scientific evidence supporting the health effects of supplements.
The increased use of supplements after 1994 coincides with the delay of biological aging that was measured using NHANES data comparing the period of 1988-1994 to 2007-2010.
A 2016 survey published by the Council for Responsible Nutrition found supplement use grew to over 70% in American adults. This is approximately double the number of Americans using supplements compared in earlier periods when people were aging faster! 10
Vitamin D Blood Levels From 1988 to 2010
A separate study published in 2016 looked at vitamin D blood levels using NHANES data over a 22-year period (from 1988-2010).11
During the 1988-2006 period there was no measurable difference.
This changed after 2006 as more Americans started supplementing with higher doses of vitamin D. This increased use was in response to published studies indicating most people require higher doses of vitamin D for optimal health.
In this separate study published in 2016, there was a modest increase in 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood levels in 2007-2010 that coincides with higher vitamin D supplement doses.11
These higher vitamin D levels, across a broad-spectrum of the American population, match the same period (2007-2010) where measures of biological aging improved.
Readers of This Magazine Are Not “Average”
Everything you’ve read so far pertains to the health status and lifestyle practices of “typical” people.
It categorizes a person who takes one dietary supplement a day as a “supplement user.”
As most of you know, it is not possible to fit needed nutrients into a single daily pill.
The NHANES data used in the 2018 age-delay study covers the entire spectrum of American lifestyles, from obese smokers to health-conscious fanatics and everything in between.
The fact that the average American has enjoyed about a 4-year biological age delay may mean that those engaging in more aggressive interventions are aging even slower.
The landmark 2018 age-delay study is compelling because it represents the first large-scale evidence that humans are succeeding in what was previously thought impossible.
When Life Extension published its first newsletter (in 1980) degenerative aging was thought inevitable. We knew back then that individuals exert a degree of control over their rate of biological decay.
Our concept has been validated with the 2018 landmark study showing that most Americans are postponing aging and most don’t even know it yet.
The delayed biological aging shown in years 2007-2010 (compared with the 1988-1994 period) correlates with surging dietary supplement use after year 1994.
This intriguing association with increased population-wide supplement use may indicate a degree of efficacy never before accounted for.
New Method to Reduce Calorie Cravings
The American public is increasingly addicted to excess calories, especially foods that spike glucose/insulin and contribute to unwanted weight gain.
A novel spinach extract has been shown in several clinical trials to reduce unhealthy food cravings, while supporting early satiety.12-17
One of these human studies found that eating this spinach extract had the following effects:14
- 36% decrease in wanting fat and sweet foods
- 38% decrease in wanting sweet snacks
- 36% decrease in wanting all snacks
I am pleased to announce this unique spinach extract has been incorporated into a nice-tasting nutritional bar designed to enable people to reduce their over-consumption of unhealthy high-fat, high-sugar foods.
A full description of this new nutrient bar can be found on page 45 of this month’s issue.
“This is the first evidence we have of delayed “aging” among a national sample of Americans”18
-Eileen M. Crimmins, University Professor and AARP Professor of Gerontology, University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
Lowest Prices of The Year!
Just once a year, we discount prices on all of the nutrients used by our supporters.
These discounts apply to updated versions of popular formulas that are designed to delay many underlying mechanisms of biological aging.
Of greater interest is data indicating that certain interventions (such as boosting cellular NAD+) might help turn back the clock of certain aging processes.
The first article in this month’s edition describes the essential role of NAD+ in nourishing cell proteins expressed in response to resveratrol.
The article on page 48 provides more data on the need to purge our aging body of senescent cells. Succinctly stated, if we fail to remove these destructive (senescent) cells, then our ability to delay pathological aging will be limited.
To order your supplement staples at low Super Sale prices, please call 1-800-544-4440 (24 hours) by January 31, 2019.
For longer life,
- Levine ME, Crimmins EM. Is 60 the New 50? Examining Changes in Biological Age Over the Past Two Decades. Demography. 2018 Apr;55(2):387-402.
- Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes/hlthprofess.htm. Accessed November 25, 2018.
- Gahche J, Bailey R, Burt V, et al. Dietary supplement use among U.S. adults has increased since NHANES III (1988-1994). NCHS Data Brief. 2011 Apr(61):1-8.
- Kantor ED, Rehm CD, Du M, et al. Trends in Dietary Supplement Use Among US Adults From 1999-2012. Jama. 2016 Oct 11;316(14):1464-74.
- Mark KA, Dumas KJ, Bhaumik D, et al. Vitamin D Promotes Protein Homeostasis and Longevity via the Stress Response Pathway Genes skn-1, ire-1, and xbp-1. Cell Rep. 2016 Oct 25;17(5):1227-37.
- Hossein-nezhad A, Spira A, Holick MF. Influence of vitamin D status and vitamin D3 supplementation on genome wide expression of white blood cells: a randomized double-blind clinical trial. PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e58725.
- Chen J, Wei Y, Chen X, et al. Polyunsaturated fatty acids ameliorate aging via redox-telomere-antioncogene axis. Oncotarget. 2017 Jan 31;8(5):7301-14.
- Veenstra J, Kalsbeek A, Westra J, et al. Genome-Wide Interaction Study of Omega-3 PUFAs and Other Fatty Acids on Inflammatory Biomarkers of Cardiovascular Health in the Framingham Heart Study. Nutrients. 2017 Aug 18;9(8).
- Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db61.pdf. Accessed November 25, 2018.
- Available at: http://www.crnusa.org/newsroom/supplement-use-among-younger-adult-generations-contributes-boost-overall-usage-2016-more. Accessed November 25, 2018.
- Schleicher RL, Sternberg MR, Lacher DA, et al. The vitamin D status of the US population from 1988 to 2010 using standardized serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D shows recent modest increases. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Aug;104(2):454-61.
- Kohnke R, Lindbo A, Larsson T, et al. Thylakoids promote release of the satiety hormone cholecystokinin while reducing insulin in healthy humans. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2009;44(6):712-9.
- Stenblom EL, Montelius C, Ostbring K, et al. Supplementation by thylakoids to a high carbohydrate meal decreases feelings of hunger, elevates CCK levels and prevents postprandial hypoglycaemia in overweight women. Appetite. 2013 Sep;68:118-23.
- Stenblom EL, Egecioglu E, Landin-Olsson M, et al. Consumption of thylakoid-rich spinach extract reduces hunger, increases satiety and reduces cravings for palatable food in overweight women. Appetite. 2015 Aug;91:209-19.
- Rebello CJ, Chu J, Beyl R, et al. Acute Effects of a Spinach Extract Rich in Thylakoids on Satiety: A Randomized Controlled Crossover Trial. J Am Coll Nutr. 2015;34(6):470-7.
- Montelius C, Erlandsson D, Vitija E, et al. Body weight loss, reduced urge for palatable food and increased release of GLP-1 through daily supplementation with green-plant membranes for three months in overweight women. Appetite. 2014 Oct;81:295-304.
- Gustafsson K, Montelius C, Westrom B, et al. Gastrointestinal satiety through green leave components called thylakoids. Poster Presentation. Istanbul, Obesity Conference. 2011.
- Available at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180316100436.htm. Accessed November 26, 2018.