Here comes the human microbiome aging clock
You may be 60 years of age but your body is physiologically similar to someone at the age of 50.
Congratulations! That means your biological age is 50, your healthy dieting habits and active lifestyle living helps you to attain this.
But how to determine one’s actual biological age?
Longevity researcher Alex Zhavoronkov and his colleagues at InSilico Medicine, Rockville, Maryland – have the answer. According to them, the microbiome is an accurate biological clock capable of predicting the ages of most people within years. The presence or absence of certain microbes in our gut may reveal the biological aging conditions of our body.
To study the relationship between human gut taxonomic profiles and calendar age and to discover how microbiome changes with time, they collected full metagenome sequences for 1,165 healthy individuals from 10 different publically available data sheets. From this, they randomly separated 3,663 samples into three separate age groups (20-39, 40-59 and 60-90 years).
This “microbiome aging clock” could be used as a baseline to test how fast or slow a person’s gut is aging and whether things like alcohol, antibiotics, probiotics, or diet have any effect on longevity. It could also be used to compare healthy people with those who have certain diseases, like Alzheimer’s, to see whether their microbiomes deviate from the norm.Alex Zhavoronkov
These scientists at Insilico medicine uses machine learning to analyse these data. They trained their computer algorithm with the data of 95 species of bacteria collected from 90% of samples along with the ages of the respective person, then asked the algorithm to predict the age of remaining 10%. Their algorithm accurately predicted age within 4 years, according to the preprint in bioRxiv.
The major challenge in developing this type of bio clocks is the difference in the bacteria present in the guts of people around the world. These new studies will help us to know more about the microbiome world and their association with our lives.