TECH

This Blood Test Can Reveal Your True Biological Age, Scientists Say

07/12/2015 13:37 GMT | Updated 07/12/2015 13:59 GMT

Scientists have found another way to measure how old you are in terms of biology and not chronology.

Researchers from Sweden have described a simple blood test, which they believe is a good indicator of biological age.

blood test needle

In a study published in Nature, they proved how different types of proteins in a person's blood can accurately predict the ageing process.

For the investigation, each of the participants were asked about specific lifestyle choices, including coffee intake and smoking habits, allowing the team to develop a specific sets of "protein profiles."

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What this essentially means is doctors can use these protein profiles to not only estimate a person's biological age but also other physical factors such as weight, height and hip circumference.

"The proteins included in our study have not been selected because they belong to pathways or processes known to be involved in biological ageing..." the study stated.

"Instead, we used protein panels designed as research tools for the discovery and validation of biomarkers for cancer and cardiovascular disease."

These factors can affect a range of processes linked to ageing, including the shortening of DNA strands known as telomeres, found on the end of chromosomes.

They have often been compared to the plastic tips of shoe laces, which keeps the thread from fraying.

In terms of patient care, this test could help doctors understand how a person's lifestyle choices are influencing the ageing process.

"The protein profile is influenced by a number of lifestyle choices and certain factors accelerate the body's biological aging, while others slow it down," said Ulf Gyllensten, one of the study's authors.

‘For example, smoking and soda increases the biological age up to six years, while consumption of fatty fish and coffee as well as exercise counteracts the ageing process to the same extent."

According to Gyllensten and his team, the test could also work with dried blood stains allowing criminal investigators to have a better idea of an offender's body type.