I know you have always wondered why some people don't seem to age, while many unfortunate others seem many years older than they are. It's a puzzling and worrying reality that has left a lot of unanswered questions.
But now we have some answers.
As a matter of fact, it hasn't been that long since scientists discovered 4 distinct patterns of aging. Obviously, there might be more ways people age, but we know for sure there are at least 4 different ways of aging.
Called ageotypes, these aging patterns define how different individuals age and exhibit the unavoidable impact of time on their bodies.
What Is Aging?
This might seem like an easy question to answer, but a deeper look into it tells a different story. First of all, aging takes many forms.
The types of aging in psychology are not always similar to other forms of aging.
Then we have those who judge aging by the youthfulness of someone's face, which is different from biological aging.
For instance, we have 60-year-olds with immunity systems of 30-something-year-olds. That is a huge win as far as biological aging goes, but aesthetically, the individual might still look 60.
The Molecular Aging Process
And so, the four ageotypes determine patterns of how you age biologically, which determines at what age you might have to slow down and start having serious or crippling age-related health issues.
But I should level with you first. There may be different types of aging theories out there. There are even those who think there are 3 types of aging.
However, these four types of aging in humans are based on personal aging markers and ageotypes revealed by deep longitudinal profiling. In layman's terms, that's to say these aging patterns are the best we have ever had.
The study tracked individuals over 2 years with ages ranging from 34 to 68 years. Aging was researched on a molecular level. The study was published in Nature Medicine and it was done at Stanford University School of Medicine.
By the way, the most basic ageotypes definition is this: biological pathways that impact the aging process.
So, pay attention as we explore these primary aging patterns because there are unlucky folks who are aging in all four categories.
Aging starts in four major ways, and the system or organ that ages the fastest determines the kind of ager you are. Within these four biological systems are 600 aging markers.
The Four Types Of Aging
According to science, here are the four ways in which we succumb to the inevitable damage our bodies suffer as we grow older.
1. Metabolic Agers: If you are a metabolic ager, diabetes might sneak up on you as you age.
2. Immune Agers: As an immune ager, immune-related issues might creep up on you as you grow older.
3. Liver Agers: Liver agers may have issues with their livers as they age.
4. Kidney Agers: Kidney agers are more likely to have kidney issues as they age.
You are probably saying, these biological systems are deep beneath the surface, how do they affect physical aging?
Short answer: in more ways than you can probably imagine. Remember that before scientists narrowed down to these four types of aging, they relied on 600 aging markers.
So, the reason you are showing some form of aging is that one or all of these systems of organs has started to feel the impact of time.
Aging happens at the molecular level. What you see when you look at people's faces is just the impact of that process.
Someone who has been drinking hard liquor relentlessly will show accelerated signs of aging because the liver is working overtime and therefore aging faster. The same goes for those who take drugs that affect one of these major systems or organs in their bodies.
But There's Good News: You Can Slow Down The Aging Process
If you lose weight and eat healthier, you can slow down the aging process. In fact, the impact of these lifestyle changes can be noticeable in just 2 years.
Also, once you know you are predisposed to a particular manner of aging, you can always take measures to protect yourself and ensure you have a healthier life.
There are also dietary interventions that can help slow down the aging process. So, don't always count on years going easy on you. There is plenty you can do as well. Some of the causes of aging are totally within our control.
In short, know your ageotype if you must, but more importantly, do all you can to slow down the aging process by eating healthier or working out.
After all, nobody hates hearing that they look 20 years younger than they truly are. So, learn something from these four types of aging (ageotypes) and make the lifestyle adjustments necessary to keep the years at bay.