A Clinical Trial using Methylation Age to Evaluate Current Anti-Aging Practices.

Author: Mitteldorf J1,2
Author Information:
1Washington University (St Louis), Biology , 654 Carpenter Ln , Philadelphia , Philadelphi, Pennsylvania, United States , 19119.
2National Inst of Biological Sciences, c/o Dong Lab , National Institute of Biological Sciences , 7 Science Park Rd, Rm B122 , Zhongguancun Life Science Park , Beijing, China , 102206 ; aging.advice@gmail.com.
Conference/Journal: Rejuvenation Res.
Date published: 2018 Oct 21
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1089/rej.2018.2083. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 301

Recent advances in technology of "aging clocks" based on DNA methylation suggest that it may be possible to measure changes in the rate of human aging over periods as short as a year or two. To the extent that methylation is a valid surrogate for biological age, testing of anti-aging interventions has become radically cheaper and faster. Together with colleagues at UCLA and UCSD, I have initiated a clinical trial to evaluate some of the most popular anti-aging strategies currently deployed by "early adopters" in the lay community of personal health activists. We are recruiting 5,000 subjects, age 45-65, and interviewing them in detail about their diet, drugs and supplements, exercise, social, and other practices that plausibly contribute to modulate the rate of aging. They agree to submit blood samples for analysis of methylation age at the beginning, middle, and end of a two-year test period. Primary endpoint is the difference in methylation age over the course of two years. Results will be viewed as an exploratory study to identify synergistic combinations of age-retarding treatments. It is our expectation that there is a great deal of redundancy in the strategies that have been researched and promoted to the aware public; thus, most combinations can retard the rate of aging by only a few percent, consistent with the best-known single measures. However, it is our hope that among the many strategies that our subjects have adopted, there will be some combinations that synergize and achieve age retardation by 25 percent or more. A mock-up analysis of computer-generated data has been used to fix parameters of the study and confirm that we will be able to detect such combinations with good probability, should they exist. All data (redacted for privacy) will be open-sourced, available to the scientific community and to the public.

PMID: 30345885 DOI: 10.1089/rej.2018.2083