GlycanAge founder Gordan Lauc on understanding the role inflammation plays in healthspan and longevity – and testing it.
Glycans are important, but often overlooked building blocks of life; the surfaces of all cells are covered with a thick layer of glycans and they are linked to the aging of our immune system, meaning that they can reveal how we are changing on the inside.
Glycans attach to immunoglobulins and analysis of this can play a role in determining biological age; GlycanAge, which was founded by Professor Gordan Lauc, analyzes the level of low-grade chronic inflammation in order to calculate a person’s biological age, by analyzing glycans on the main protein of the immune system – immunoglobulin G.
Longevity.Technology: Changes in glycan composition can regulate inflammatory responses, aid viral immune escape, regulate apoptosis and promote cancer cell metastasis. Glycans integrate genetic, epigenetic and environmental information into physiological processes that are vital in all aspects of health and disease, so by unlocking the potential of the human glycome, GlycanAge is enabling its customers to better navigate biological age diagnostics and disease prevention. To find out more about the GlycanAge test, we sat down with Professor Lauc.
Gordan Lauc on…
Knowing your enemy
Inflammation consumes a huge amount of energy and induces small amounts damage all around the body – small scars occur after the inflammation. Research shows that many complex diseases have inflammation in their background, and as we age, more and more we should consider inflammation as our enemy – especially low-grade chronic inflammation.
Take the test, make the change
When you do a GlycanAge test you receive a number that is your glycan index of biological age. People tend to be happy or unhappy with their score, but it can still be good news for those who are unhappy as it means they can make interventions. Glycans can change and become pro-inflammatory for up to a decade before people develop different diseases. A bad score on the GlycanAge test means there is a molecular process that is causing damage and resulting in the failure of an organ process. Our consultation process will help you make the necessary changes in your lifestyle.
A matter of routine
A key difference between GlycanAge and other tests is that the GlycanAge test responds to intervention; if you do something beneficial, your GlycanAge will change, although it can be a relatively slow change because we are measuring something chronic – if you are doing damage to your body over twenty years, you can’t expect to undo that in a few weeks!
The GlycanAge test can be very informative – both for patient and physician. We are moving glycan analysis into the diagnostic space, but clinical diagnostics is a very conservative discipline, taking a long time to accept a new test. We think that in a decade, maybe 15 years, IgG glycan composition will be a routine preventative test, just like measuring glucose is.
Stay tuned as we’ll be taking the GlycanAge test for a spin very soon and bringing you a product review!