Blood Metabolites Define Rate of Aging8 years, 5 months ago
Posted on Jul 30, 2013, 6 a.m.
British team identifies 22 metabolites linked to aging, one of which is correlated to birthweight.
Scientists have found that key metabolites in blood -- chemical 'fingerprints' left behind as a result of early molecular changes before birth or in infancy -- could provide clues to a person's long-term overall health and rate of aging in later life. Ana M Valdes, from King’s College London (United Kingdom), and colleagues completed metabolomic profiling among twins enrolled in an international study. The process revealed a collection of 22 metabolites linked to aging. One particular metabolite – C-glyTrp – is associated with a range of age-related traits such as lung function, bone mineral density, cholesterol and blood pressure. Its role in ageing is completely novel. Crucially, researchers found it was also associated with lower weight at birth when they compared the birth weights of identical twins. This finding suggests that levels of this novel metabolite, which may be determined in the womb and affected by nutrition during development, could reflect accelerated ageing in later adult life. Scientists say the findings show it is possible that these markers of ageing can be identified with simple blood tests in the future, which may provide further clues to the ageing process and could pave the way for development of therapies to treat age-related conditions. The study authors report that their study identifies “key molecular mechanisms potentially determined in early development that produce long-term physiological changes influencing human health and ageing.”
Cristina Menni, Gabriella Kastenmuller, Ann Kristin Petersen, Jordana T Bell, Tim D Spector, Ana M Valdes, et al. “Metabolomic markers reveal novel pathways of ageing and early development in human populations.” Int. J. Epidemiol., July 8, 2013.