According to a new study in PLoS Genetics, genetic changes associated with aging may be the result of epigenetics - which suggests they could be reversed.
Molecules can attach to DNA, enhancing or preventing gene activation without changing the underlying genetic code. Such epigenetic changes are already suspected as factors in psychiatric disorders, diabetes and cancer.
Researchers looked at the DNA of 86 sets of twin sisters aged 32 to 80, and discovered that 490 genes linked with aging showed signs of epigenetic change through a process called methylation. The genes were more likely to be methylated in the older than the younger sets of twins, suggesting that the epigenetic changes themselves might contribute to aging.
Steve: impaired methylation does not allow our bodies to detoxify properly, thus recycling toxins back into our cells and creating epigenetic damage. Ideal methylation occurs when we eat optimally, sleep adequately, exercise intelligently, manage stress, and to that which we can control, green the environment we live in.