Rate of aging of young adults

Aubrey de Grey ag24 at mole.bio.cam.ac.uk
Fri Oct 9 13:42:55 EST 1998

Brian Manning Delaney wrote:

> Tom Matthews wrote:

> > 20-30
> > years old are generally (certainly relative to
> > older humans) healthy and vigorous. They have
> > high stamina, recover quickly from stress, heal
> > more quickly. Their aging rate as measured by
> > any reasonable biomarker changes per year is
> > very low.
> First let me address a factual error. Young adults do NOT
> have a low rate of aging. Why do you believe they have a low
> rate of aging?
> Ever noticed that young adults are only young adults for a
> short time? Guess why.

Since Brian is so sure of this point, I would be interested to know
what biomarkers of aging he refers to.  My understanding, like Tom's,
is that it is remarkably hard to distinguish biochemically (at least
in respect of anything thought likely to be central to aging) between
20-year-olds and 40-year-olds.  This is very important: I have noted
here in the past that the identification of such biomarkers is likely
to be a major advance towards anti-aging medicine, whereas retarding
changes that are detectable only late in life may be a losing battle.

A popular view is that aging proceeds mainly as a vicious cycle --
that is, that the degenerative changes caused by aging are themselves
causative of further aging, and indeed inject more impetus into the
rate of aging than do the primary processes that brought (and continue
to bring) them about.  This translates, of course, into slower aging
in youth than later, as Tom describes.  I think this MAY be wrong --
that the main determinants of the rate of aging may be processes which
are NOT greatly accelerated by their own progress (including via the
other effects of that progress) -- but I certainly know of no remotely
conclusive evidence on this point.

Aubrey de Grey

More information about the Ageing mailing list