Adding years to your inflammation clock: Which factors affect healthy aging-related system decline


The benefits of healthy habits including exercise and a good diet may be adding years to people’s inflammation body clock and could prevent early onset of age-related disease.

In a new review of research published in Age and Ageing, scientists from the University of Birmingham have examined how “inflammaging,” which is the chronic increase in basal systemic inflammation which happens in older age, can be slowed down through lifestyle choices and potential pharmaceutical therapies.

Among the potentially protective factors, the authors identify the benefits that good diet could have in reducing inflammation markers, including certain vitamins and minerals and also microbiome-based interventions. The authors also review potential medicines that could be used to manage systemic inflammation including mimetics and statins, and note that future clinical trials on anti-aging drugs would benefit from analysis of their effect on inflammation.

Dr. Niharika Duggal from the Institute of Inflammation and Aging at the University of Birmingham and lead author of the study said, “Good or healthy aging is becoming a priority in biomedical research, partly because simply extending lifespans is resulting in a range of age-related disorders. Research into the biological processes involved in age-related inflammation means we can consider what protective factors may reduce burden on healthcare from age-related issues—from risk of trips and falls due to frailty through to cognitive aging and the increased risk of getting cancer.”

Jessica Conway, Ph.D. researcher from the Institute of Inflammation and Aging at the University of Birmingham and co-author of the study said, “The review considers two distinct areas for healthy inflammaging. While we recognize that lifestyle factors are an attractive proposition for policy makers and confer a whole host of benefits beyond inflammaging, we also recognize that there is a burgeoning market for new medicines in healthy aging too, including a potential role that statins could play.”

More information:
Ben Dugan et al, Inflammaging as a target for healthy ageing, Age and Ageing (2023). DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afac328

Journal information:
Age and Ageing

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