Analyzing glycans and inflammation to guide personalized interventions and improve aging outcomes.
As we age, our bodies undergo a variety of changes that can impact our healthspan and longevity; one of these changes involves glycans – complex sugar molecules that are attached to proteins and lipids throughout the body. The GlycanAge test is a cutting-edge tool that measures these glycans and provides insight into a person’s healthspan and risk of age-related diseases.
So, what exactly are glycans and how do they relate to longevity? Glycans are crucial components of our cells and play a key role in cellular communication, immune function and inflammation. As we age, the structure and composition of our glycans can change, leading to increased inflammation and a greater risk of age-related diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and neurodegeneration.
Inflammation might not sound like something to be too worried about, but it’s a biological double-edged sword. Playing a vital role in the repair process, short-term inflammation is actually a cascade of biological actions that the body deploys to prevent the spread of pathogens, minimize further damage to cells and tissues and promote repair and healing. However, long term or chronic inflammation can be extremely harmful.
GlycanAge investigates levels of low-grade chronic inflammation by analyzing the glycans in a blood sample, comparing them to a reference database of healthy individuals, and providing a GlycanAge score that reflects their biological age. The test can also identify specific glycans that are associated with increased inflammation and disease risk, meaning the results can guide targeted interventions to reduce inflammation and improve overall healthspan. Our CEO, Phil Newman, took the GlycanAge test – you can read his product review and see his results in full HERE.
Longevity.Technology: One important aspect of the GlycanAge test is the feedback it provides to the user. After receiving their results, individuals can work with their healthcare provider to make lifestyle changes and interventions that may improve their GlycanAge score and overall healthspan – changes might include dietary changes, exercise and targeted supplements. Phil Newman sat down with Professor Aleksandar Vojta of GlycanAge to discuss his results.
Aleksandar Vojta on…
Switch it up
There are many tests out there that claim to tell you your true biological age; the thing is, a little bit of context is needed! GlycanAge measures your immunoglobulin G – the most abundant antibody – and how pro-inflammatory it is. The level of how pro-inflammatory it is is determined by glycans, branched sugars attached to the protein molecule that act as a switch between pro- and anti-inflammatory.
Our metrics look at immune function, and it is surprising how much information an excess or having relatively less low-grade inflammation can tell you about your health status.
Don’t fool around when it comes to exercise
I definitely recommend strength training for Phil and for a good reason – evolution. Humans as animals are long distance runners – we excel at endurance. It is surprising how little the metabolism gets activated with classic cardio exercising. It’s good for the cardiovascular system, of course, but it typically won’t give the increase in the metabolic rate we need for maintaining a healthy body weight, maintaining a higher level of metabolism that helps us operate at our optimum level.
If we do hours on end on a treadmill, for example, it is surprising how little calories are burned that way. On the other hand, there is no fooling Physics! If you are working against resistance – lifting something, stretching something, pushing against something – the metabolism gets activated and there is no way to optimise against that. I would highly recommend strength training as a time-saving and effective way to train. We’re all over-worked with busy schedules, so it makes sense.
READ MORE: GlycanAge gives you a guide to health interventions that work for you