As we age, our immune system becomes less functional. This is called immunosenescence. It starts to affect people later in life. A dysfunctional immune system leads to an increased risk of health issues. Although immunosenescence is linked to chronological age, there has been ongoing research that shows each individual also has an immunological age. If you can get an accurate measure of your immunological age and make necessary changes, it may help prevent different diseases.
How To Understand Immunological Age
To understand your immunological age, we must first understand immunosenescence. Immunosenescence occurs with people mainly over the age of 60. Why? You become at a higher risk for infections, autoimmune diseases, and malignant tumors as you get older. This dysfunction is associated with a remodeling of lymphoid organs. Lymphoid organs, which include bone marrow and the thymus, create lymphocytes that filter out and trap pathogens from harming your body.
Yet, immunologists now understand that your immune system doesn’t always correlate directly with your age. As immunologist Shai Shen-Orr says, “Some 60-year-olds have the immune system of a 40-year-old, some are more like an 80-year-old.” Thus, age really is just a number.
How To Measure Yours
Our immune system is as complex as the brain. It has both innate and adaptive systems. Our innate immune system is the first layer of defense. It consists of neutrophils and macrophages. They attack general pathogens. Our adaptive immune system is the second layer of defense. It consists of antibodies, B-Cells, and T-Cells. They attack specific pathogens. Our adaptive system is what helps us not get certain diseases twice.
We measure our immunological age, like our biological age, using chemical tags. Immunologists will progressively add tags to genes to measure how cells within our immune system will react. This determines the trajectory of how the immune system is aging.
For example, look at neutrophils, the most common type of white blood cell. As mentioned earlier, these are cells that are part of our innate immune system. As we age, they start misbehaving and become less efficient. This increases inflammation and makes us more susceptible to harmful bacteria. Another example is T-Cells. They originate in the thymus. They are part of the adaptive immune system. Without them, you are limited in your ability to defend yourself against novel pathogens. Immunologists will study this behavior of cells to measure immunological age.
Benefits of Measuring Your Immunological Age
By measuring your immunological age, you are better able to get an accurate picture of how healthy your immune system is. Suppose you have a clearer understanding of your actual immunological age. In that case, you can see how likely you are to get ill. At that point, you can take the necessary steps to improve your immune system and lower the risk of getting sick.
As a result, you have the potential to turn back your immunological clock. Great places to start are to stop smoking, start exercising and take vitamins such as Vitamin E, Vitamin D, and Zinc. There even seems to be benefits for the immune system by practicing caloric restriction or fasting.
Discover Your Immunological Age With GlyCan Age
Discovering your immunological age is the first step to preventing infectious diseases. Despite immunological age measurement being still relatively new, Glycan Age and its team of qualified specialists are here to help you succeed.
It starts with a quick and easy finger prick. Next, Glycan Age will run different tests on your sample. This ensures an accurate measure of your actual immunological age. You will be able to view your results on a personal dashboard and add profile details to help. From there, you will receive complimentary guidance from a Care Team Specialist.
By working together, you can discover ways to help improve your health. Start your wellness journey today with Glycan Age.
If you have questions about measuring your immunological age and preventing disease, connect with us and learn more.
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