a ground-breaking tool for anti-aging therapy
The epigenetic test is a leading-edge scientific and medical research tool that the Health Center Clinique Lémana offers its patients as part of their medical check-up. This tool is particularly valuable for use in anti-aging therapy, as it not only makes it possible to accurately measure a person’s biological age, but also to identify what action needs to be taken to prevent premature aging. It might even be possible to become biologically younger than one’s chronological age.
But first, let’s take a look at the science of epigenetics, a branch of biological science, which has seen a global surge in popularity over the last decade.
Epigenetics, or how the environment influences the expression of genes
Epigenetics tells us that the environment has an influence on a cell’s DNA. While DNA remains unaltered, external factors can stimulate the expression or the inhibition of certain genes. For example, in bees, only the larva fed with royal jelly will become a queen. Without this nutriment, it will become a sterile worker bee. In this case, the determining environmental factor is food, which activates or inhibits the genes that determine whether or not the larva will become a queen bee.
Genetics cannot explain this phenomenon, only epigenetics can. This is because its specific field of study is that of biochemical mechanisms (known as DNA methylations) that enable certain genes to be ‘switched on’ or ‘switched off’.
A medical revolution in the making
Over the last ten years or so, epigenetics has opened up new avenues of research, particularly in the medical field. In fact, it makes it possible to establish new correlations between the environment and most chronic diseases. Numerous studies are shedding new light on the relationship between diet and cancer, physical exercise and the immune system1, exposure to tobacco and respiratory diseases, etc.
By establishing a link between a given environmental factor and an observed epigenetic alteration, and then between the latter and the development of a disease, we are on the verge of a veritable medical revolution. This will affect both treatment solutions and the detection of diseases, or more accurately, the prediction of their onset.
The emergence of predictive medicine
Thanks to epigenetics, it will no longer be so much a question of diagnosing a disease that has already set in as of being able to predict its onset. “Our vision is to change the paradigm of reactive medicine in favour of predictive medicine, and we believe that epigenetics is an excellent way of achieving this!” says Dr Semira Gonseth Nusslé, an epigenetics researcher and co-founder of the Swiss start-up Genknowme, which patented the epigenetic test.
Using epigenetic testing in anti-aging medicine
The assessment is based on university research which has identified the epigenetic signatures left by four environmental factors:
- alcohol consumption
- exposure to tobacco,
- the consumption of fruit and vegetables,
- regular physical exercise.
So it’s not so much measuring the amount of fruit and vegetables we eat, or the number of hours we exercise, as it is the actual impact of this consumption or physical activity on our health. Each person is different, with their own unique sensitivities: what may be excessive for one person may not be for another, and what is sufficient for one person may not be sufficient for another. Using a simple blood sample, the test can measure the epigenetic signatures of these four environmental factors, which play a decisive role in the health and longevity of each individual.
Epigenetic testing to measure biological age
By analysing the results, it is possible to accurately establish a person’s biological age, which is different from their chronological age. This biological age can be used to determine exactly where a person stands in terms of premature aging and youth capital. Because without measurement tools, how can we know whether or not our lifestyle is really beneficial to our health? In many cases, the results of an epigenetic test contradict preconceived notions. For example, a person who is a vegetarian, a non-smoker, athletic and believes they are leading a healthy lifestyle might be credited with 9 extra years following the assessment! Another might be concerned about their alcohol consumption, which they consider excessive, but the epigenetic test shows that this is not the cause of the few extra years revealed by their biological age.
The epigenetic test then leads them to question the efficacy of their daily routine, which has been in place for years. What is it about my lifestyle that prevents or encourages premature old age?
Identifying the means to tackle premature aging
The epigenetic assessment is sent to the physician and is intended to be discussed with the patient during a medical consultation. This is where it really comes into its own as an anti-aging tool, as it can pinpoint the changes that need to be made. If, for example, your regular exercise does not show up in the epigenetic profile, this may be due to excessive sedentary periods outside your workout sessions or a lack of intensity in your physical activity. If you’re a non-smoker but the results nevertheless show a small amount of tobacco consumption, then you may be exposed to passive smoking.
The recommendations will be based on individual results, giving you the keys to initiating genuinely effective changes.
So, by following these personalised recommendations, tailored specifically to your needs, you’ll be able to benefit from changes that are truly beneficial to you after just a few months. A new epigenetic test will confirm this, and indicate how many years of good health you have gained in comparison with the previous test. Or even how many years younger you are now than your chronological age!
New! Recent research by the Genknowme laboratory has made it possible to map the epigenetic markers of stress. A new epigenetic test to accurately measure chronic stress will be available at the Health Center Clinique Lémana from the first quarter of 2024.