Chronological age of a person refers to the number of years a person has lived since their birth and it is dependent only on time. Biological age refers to how old a person’s body seems to be in terms of health and physiological functioning and it can get influenced by a number of factors. As per a new study, stress is one of those factors.
Previous reports have hinted at the possibility of short-term fluctuations in biological age but whether such changes are reversible, has until now remained unexplored. So as per a new study, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, the biological age of humans undergoes a rapid increase in response to various forms of stress. But interestingly, it also found out that it can be reversed when the tension eases.
To carry out the study, researchers used DNA methylation clocks to measure and note changes in biological age as it responds to stress in humans and mice. Periods of trauma like postpartum recovery, emergency surgery and Covid-19 recovery were looked into. It was found that the increase in biological age was restored within days.
The impact of stress on biological age is huge wherein stress can accelerate the biological ageing process, leading to premature ageing. In stress the human body releases stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol which can increase blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar levels. Theses physiological changes are helpful in short term but chronic stress can cause damage to cells and tissues throughout the body. The protective caps known as telomeres, on the ends of chromosomes, can be shortened by stress, which can contribute to ageing of cells. Shortened telomeres have been linked to age-related diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. It is already known that chronic stress leads to inflammation which in turn leads to the development of many diseases associated with ageing.
Therefore, it is needless to say that a person must and has to manage stress through exercise, relaxation techniques, balanced diet, proper sleep and other stress-reducing activities which may slow down the ageing process and promote healthy ageing.
Source: the indian express