Dr. Bobs Health Records

Dr. Bob’s DNA Methylation Scores


Epigenetic DNA methylation scores have shown promise in predicting biological age, which is an individual’s age as determined by biological markers rather than their chronological age based on the passage of time. Biological age reflects the cumulative effects of lifestyle, environmental exposures, and genetic factors on the aging process, and it can vary among individuals.

Several studies have demonstrated the utility of DNA methylation-based clocks, also known as epigenetic clocks, in estimating biological age. These clocks are constructed based on methylation patterns at specific genomic loci that change predictably with age. By analyzing DNA methylation data from various tissues or cell types, researchers can calculate an individual’s biological age and compare it to their chronological age.

The advantage of biological age estimation using DNA methylation scores is its potential to provide more accurate assessments of an individual’s health status and disease risk compared to chronological age alone. For example, individuals with accelerated biological aging may be at increased risk for age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain cancers, even if they are chronologically younger.

Furthermore, DNA methylation-based clocks can be used to evaluate the effects of interventions aimed at slowing down or reversing the aging process, such as lifestyle modifications, dietary interventions, or pharmaceutical interventions. Monitoring changes in biological age over time may serve as a valuable outcome measure in clinical trials and longitudinal studies focused on aging and age-related diseases.

Overall, epigenetic DNA methylation scores hold promise for predicting biological age and providing valuable insights into the aging process, healthspan, and disease risk. However, further research is needed to refine these methods, validate their accuracy across diverse populations, and elucidate their clinical implications.

Might as well start at the end to see how I am doing. Click on the study below to open the file and review my DNA methylation scores and corresponding Epigenetic clock. You will notice that my epigenetic clock from this study places me at an aging rate of 0.78 biological years for every 1.0 chronological year. You will see that this calculation comes from a number of different variables, but primarily from my intrinsic and extrinsic DNA methylation scores as well as other pertinent measurements like telomere length.

Obviously, I am quite happy with an aging rate that is over 20% slower than the average person in the population based on this diagnostic criteria. But I am perplexed as to whether I won Life’s genetic lottery, or is this more likely due to my personal approach to health over the las 60 years. To be sure, I don’t know for certain. If you follow all of the science and speculation in this section, you can help me figure that out.

I am aware that I have several genetic variants that would tend to increase epigenetic age. This includes a copy of ApoE4, a driver of cardiovascular disease, insulin insensitivity and dementia. At some point I will provide you with detailed information about my genetic risk in each domain and we will look at how I am faring in the biomarkers with regards to those genetic risks. You will see that I am not demonstrating the expected outcomes based on my genome. This is the whole point of epigenetics. You are in control of which of the bad genes that you turn on.  You can also activate the good ones.

And in addition to having genetic risk, I have had significant environmental exposure that is associated with accelerated epigenetic aging. Some examples include the fact that my mother smoked in utero. I worked a preponderance of Night Shifts for quite some time during my career, and poor sleep generally accelerates epigenetic aging. To be sure, I’ve been focusing on my sleep in much greater scrutiny in recent years, but I have a lot of baggage in that department.

And yet, I am aging at a much slower rate than expected. I believe my recent (last decade) approach to Longevity and improving my health span is implicated in this beneficial outcome.