It’s a question longevity experts know all too well: What are the biomarkers for healthy aging? After all, many age – related conditions don’t just appear out of the blue one day – they silently bubble up for years below the surface. That’s why experts recommend taking a look underneath the hood once in a while, just to make sure everything is running smoothly.
So which biomarkers does Gil Blander, Ph.D., internationally recognized biologist, longevity expert, and founder of Inside Tracker, recommend? “You have some hormones that are -very important,” he says, on a recent interview.
Three, to be specific says Blander.
Let’s start with the big one: According to Blander, and other experts, it’s important to keep your cortisol levels low. When your cortisol is constantly sky-high, it can have a ton of consequences – namely, chronic stress, inflammation, poor sleep, weight gain, and more. It starts to get into a vicious cycle of problems that you may star to accumulate.
Furthermore, cortisol can affect muscle mass, since a huge component of healthy aging means keeping your bones and muscles strong. this is important to keep in mind. Since cortisol is a CATABOLIC hormone, when it’s too high it can cause your muscles to break down.
As opposed to cortisol, testosterone in an ANABOLIC hormone, which means that it stimulates muscle growth. Plus, when it’s low, it’s linked to a great number of age-related concerns. According to one study, testosterone insufficiency in older men is associated with increased risk of death from heart disease. There is also a strong correlation between levels of testosterone and age itself. Every male, every year, loses between 1 and 2 % of his testosterone levels during his lifespan. So, if your testosterone stays high, you are theoretically younger compared to your peers.
Admittedly, much of the research on low testosterone has been done on men. Women have lower levels of the hormone naturally, and doctors don’t always have the same treatment for insufficient levels. However, it should be kept in mind that testosterone is important for both genders, when it comes to its ratio with cortisol. Given cortisol’s catabolic nature, ways have to be found to make testosterone as high as possible naturally, and then make cortisol as low as possible. Then you have a better way to build muscle.
- Vitamin D
You are probably thinking: Why is the sunshine vitamin on this hormone list? Well, Vitamin D is also considered a hormone. In fact, Vitamin D is a hormone essential for nearly every single bodily function – from regulating theproduction of thyroid hormones to managing inflammation to helping the immune system adapt and ward off infection. And speaking of the immune system, some research has shown that Vitamin D could help manage the risk of COIVID-19. But much more is needed before a clear connection can be asserted.
Nonetheless, there is a lot of evidence, especially from the COVID era, that shows Vitamin D is super important.
There’s much you can do to optimize your health span as you age, but according to Blander, keeping track of these three hormones is key. Consider them the trifecta of biomarkers for healthy aging.
I’ll do a bit more research and next week come up with some suggestions as to how you can optimize these hormones.
That’s it for now; see you all the next time.