Decoding the Potential, Utility and Misinformation in Epigenetics with Dr. Lucia Aronica

Boomer Anderson
August 17, 2021
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A complete breakdown of epigenetics and biological age with Dr. Lucia Aronica, the lecturer at the Stanford Prevention Research Center. Dr. Aronica shares her comprehensive knowledge on genetic testing and the utility of it, and why a lot of those genetics tests out there aren't worth it.

Who is Dr. Lucia Aronica?

Lucia Aronica, Ph.D., is Lecturer at the Stanford Prevention and Research Center, Genomics Lead at Metagenics Inc., and editor of the peer-reviewed journal Life by MDPI. Her research investigates how diet, genetics, and epigenetics interact with each other to impact our health and longevity, and how to use this information to design personalized lifestyle interventions.

She is an acclaimed speaker and serves as an advisor for companies active in the personal genomics and precision health field. Dr. Aronica received her PhD from the University of Vienna and has research experience from the University of Oxford, University of Southern California, and University Federico II of Naples. She has published research papers in top-ranked peer-reviewed journals such as Cell, Genes and Development, and the EMBO Journal.


[3:20] An overview of epigenetics

[5:03] What is methylation?

[9:15] Diet influence on epigenetics

[18:55] Do people actually benefit from high carb diets?

[31:40] Is a genetics test useful?

[36:20] The truth behind biological age tests


Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes

Epigenetics, Second Edition

The Easy Low-Carb Cookbook

Younger in 8 weeks | Interview with Dr. Kara Fitzgerald

Horwath’s Biological Age Clock


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Episode Transcript

Boomer Anderson: Welcome to decoding superhuman. This show is a deep diveinto obsessions with health performance, and how to elevate the humanexperience. I explore the latest tools, science and technology with experts invarious fields of human optimization. This is your host. Enjoy the journey.

Today on the podcast. I have the pleasure of welcoming Dr.Lucia Aronica PhD. Dr. Aronica is a lecturer at the Stanford preventionresearch center, as well as the genomics lead. Mehta genetics, Inc. But I'vecome to known Dr. Aronica over the years on many different levels, through manydifferent contacts.

We've chatted about genetics, epigenetics, and just simplyhave had fun. But today's conversation is a little bit of a introduction, butalso a deep dive on a few different topics. First, we break down epigeneticsand really understanding what that means and what you can and cannot do. As ofnow we talk about genetic testing in the utility of it and why a lot of thosegenetics tests out there aren't worth their weight.

And then we get into biological age. As you guys know, I'mobsessed with benchmarking. And so we break down different biological agemarkers and what their utility is. The show notes for this one are and enjoy my conversation with Dr. Lucia Aronica. Mytech stack changes all the time.

The same is true for my health stack. And when you want tosee my latest health stack, this means the products that I'm using, you need tohead on over to decoding and just click on the store. But one ofthose products that has been consistently in my stack, well, Really over a yearnow is the be strong blood flow restriction training has gained popularity onanything from mark Walberg of Marky mark, and the funky bunch theme actually probablyhave more than a dozen movies at this point.

But also with Olympians. And since it's the Olympics rightnow, as I'm recording this, it's something you may want to check out. I bringit with me everywhere. I travel. It makes my workouts very, very short if Ineed them to be. And I have a lot of fun using it. Be, and thenyou can use the code boomer for a nice little 10%

Dr. Aronica.

[00:02:49] Dr. Lucia Aronica: Thank you. .

[00:02:51] Boomer Anderson: You know, I know you and Ihave exchanged messages have a lot of mutual friends, so it's a pleasure tohave you on the show today. And we're going to dive into one of my favoritetopics, which is epigenetics. So if it's okay with you, can we,

[00:03:05] Dr. Lucia Aronica: yeah, it's also my favoritetopic,

[00:03:10] Boomer Anderson: so, and I apologize for theelementary question to begin here, but I think it's worth setting framework forpeople.

Um, How would you define epigenetics for somebody who'sreally coming across this for the first time? It's quite the buzzword thesedays, but I figure it's best to ask the expert.

[00:03:31] Dr. Lucia Aronica: Yes. So epi means on thetop. And so on the top of our genes that are, um, molecular marks, more likeyour, uh, tags that can turn genes on or off.

Just like the seamless, which motivates, um, lights up anddown in the room. And these are epic, genetic marks and epigenetic marks are sofundamental to the way we look and perform. Um, for example, we have the sameDNA, the same genes in every single cell of our body. And yet, yeah. I cellslook different from our hair cells.

So the same information, the same hardware, but differentsoftware, different tags, epigentic marks that program, the genes to be pulledon or off differentially in different cells. And this makes the magic of makingthe cells. And function differently from each other.

[00:04:45] Boomer Anderson: All right. So that's awesome.And thank you for making that.

Absolutely. Crystal clear. Now there's something in therethat you said, which was epigenetic marks and just sort of methodologies thatwe can, or just sort of mechanisms for us to make those marks. And one of theones that I increasingly come across and causes a lot of confusion ismethylation. Do you mind just, and I know methylation is a very complexprocess, but if you're able to just sort of explain for us what methylationmeans.

[00:05:18] Dr. Lucia Aronica: Sure. And thank you forthis question, which I think is clinically relevant and also for the largepublic. Um, so first of all, uh, uh, uh, uh, we, um, so Mickey deletionreactions are fundamental to our life, but they don't only pertain toepigenetics. And on the other side, epigenetics is not only about methylation.

We have several classes of a B Jackie marks and the, um,high head, an opportunity to work on the three of the major classes ofepigenetic marks. So we have. Noncoding RNA, uh, which are called non codingbecause they don't produce proteins. We know that usually we have learned inthe, in the biology classes that, um, the M I need the messenger ne um, is the,is a molecule.

Produced, uh, that he's a messenger there, um, for, uh, uh,the production kind of proteins in our body. Uh, but there's no coding is don'tproduce protein. Then there are a histone modifications, which means . Uh, theprotein that, um, pack the DNA inside of ourselves cells and call it the DNA sothat, um, uh, the, the, the, the, the, the DNA is very compact when it's closedand genes are off.

And then when it's so open, um, the Easterns and the DNA areopen. The chromatin is open. The gene gene is turn on. Um, and this is themodification. Methylation, but also acetylation phosphorylation. You'll becreating inhalation. So that's so many other marks and then there is DNAmethylation. So, which is the methylation of.

The DNA itself. So not the history, but the DNA andspecifically the cytosines, one of the four nucleotides of the DNA within thecontext of so-called C G nucleotide, uh, which is so the dine nucleotide, um, NG S um, uh, sequentially. And so to answer your questions. Yes, methylation isone of the bands, the epigenetic modifications, and it can be either on theDNA, DNA, methylation, or on the histones.

And, uh, but we can measure, um, uh, with the, uh, much moreaccuracy of the DNA methylation arm on, on our data. So the mutation, our DNAin any, and that's why. In any deletion is one of the most used, uh, tools tomeasure, um, epigentic, uh, marks, especially in the context of, uh, lifestyleintervention.

[00:08:41] Boomer Anderson: Amazing. And Dr. Aronica, youseem to be providing me like perfect segues today. And so you mentionedsomething there about lifestyle interventions, and I want to just pick yourbrain on your particular focus these days, which are, I mean, as of late, itmay not be these days, but, uh, around diet and just sort of the dietsinfluence on the epigenome because.

We're all inundated with this diet, that diet, and I'm sureit's all very, very confusing for everybody listening here. But what do we knowin terms of the relation between diet and its influence on epigenetics? And Iwant to definitely get into low carb versus high carb diets with you as well.

[00:09:32] Dr. Lucia Aronica: Yes, these, uh, one of, uh,all the questions that is, uh, uh, dearest to my heart.

Um, so one of the most exciting properties of epigenticmarks is that, uh, like genetic marks, epigenetic marks are flexible andrespond to environmental signals. And one of these signals is diet is the most.Powerful signals to our genes. And that's why food is not only calories, uh,but also information.

And it's one of the most studied. Um, and the one that wecan control most because we all eat every day, multiple times a day. So I'm, Iam really fascinated with diet and that's why actually I moved to Stanford.Previously, uh, studying, uh, diegetic marks in a single model systems at theuniversity of Vienna and then Oxford.

But then my dream was to study how diet can change up ingenetic marks within the context of a lifestyle intervention. And, uh, because,uh, I switched to a low carb diet, uh, during my, um, doctorate, uh, I really

[00:10:56] Boomer Anderson: wanted, and so just foreverybody listening here before low carb, what did Dr. Aronica's diet looklike?

Uh, sort of pre doctorate.

[00:11:07] Dr. Lucia Aronica: So, uh, I'm from Italy. Iwas born and raised in Italy. And so my, my, uh, diet was a typically a typicaldiet with, uh, with a three piece pasta and pizza pan and means bread, um, andpotatoes. I can, I can add that. So very rich in carbohydrates. Uh, I, I. Saythat any way, uh, in Italy we have a special relationship with food.

There was also, quantity is important. I was not overeatingso overall I was not overweight. It's possible. Uh, and this is also important.But help, uh, goes behind weak that even people that are so-called tophi, um,now you're a thin outside and the fat inside. Um, so, uh, it's a, um, uh, yeah,but anyway, To, uh, uh, uh, high-fat low-carb diets to my case studies becauseI, um, I read one book by, uh, getting tubes, uh, good calories, bad calories.

This is an in depth review of the literature about theevidence of, uh, of, uh, And armed the role of fats in our diet. And so, becauseI'm very liking the, uh, karate, Cali driven, um, uh, as a person, I wascaptivated by that book and I decided to do an experiment in mindful kitchen,then switched to a low carbohydrate diet.

And so anyway, um, then yeah. My dream was to study the geneticeffects of a low carbohydrate diet, uh, in, in people. And the, uh, there was astudy, the Stanford diet fit study, um, which, um, was a randomized clinicaltrial with 608 people were randomly assigned to either a whole food low-carbcardboard, a diet or a whole food, the low-fat diet for one year.

And this was the largest randomized clinical trial everundertaken in the, um, in the field. Precision health. Why, why, what is thisfield all about is about collecting many, many biomarkers about people's cells.So genetics, epigenetics, microbiome, in order though. To use those biomarkersto make, um, a personalized recommendation for people who are those who aremore likely to respond to a low carb diet or those who are more likely torespond to a low fat diet.

So anyway, I joined the study, um, And, uh, and then Imeasured the DNA methylation of people before and after a low carb and low fatdiet, and the results were surprising. We still didn't publish those, uh, thosedata. And. Uh, we need to do, um, that, and then actually now, uh, the sushirestaurant shutting that product, but I can give you some,

[00:14:30] Boomer Anderson: can you give us some hints asto

[00:14:32] Dr. Lucia Aronica: what the results were?

Yeah, so I think for me, one of the most surprising findingswas that we, uh, um, we, uh, found that, uh, uh, low, fat and low carbohydratediet. Uh, three girl completely different epigenetic changes. So the overlapbetween the genes that showed the greatest change after the diet was none. Yeah.So this was.

Staggering and the, um, and those are the genes involvedwhere, uh, where, um, uh, maybe it can different pathways into intuitively. Wesee that, um, for example, genes that are required. For, uh, um, uh, fatmetabolism, uh, show that like, um, uh, uh, a decrease in Guinea imagedeletion, uh, after the local body died, which means they were probably turnedon.

Um, but also jeez, involved in the meal. We, uh, naturalkiller cells, uh, traditional natural killer cells where activity in the lowcarb diet, whereas in the low fat diet, We saw some, uh, um, actually, um,activation of, uh, uh, tumor suppressor genes, uh, for, uh, uh, for coloncancer. So different pathways and, uh, and the, uh, this is exciting.

These were anyway. Whole food diets. So both diets werepretty healthy and most subjects and we reduced their overall carbohydrateconsumption because even the people in the low fat group were encouraged tocut. Out refined grains and sugars, which led inevitably to a reduction ofoverall carbohydrate intake.

So overall people lost weight and improve their markers andprobably also their epigenetics. Um, and there is a, uh, a recent study, uh,um, that showed that if you genetic marks and you name it, relation mark revertto a young girl. Steady after, um, a lifestyle intervention involving a lowcarb diet, uh, intermittent fasting, uh, my exercise and the stress reduction.

These are a study by. The Tokara Fitzgerald, uh, Marsha XY.And, uh, I had the, the privilege of interviewing, uh, Kara. You can watch the,the interview, my YouTube channel. Um, and, uh, yeah, she, she gave a lecture.For, for a core course that I teach at Stanford, continuing studies is calledlonging for longevity. I think probably in your audience may interested in thiscourse, uh, from biology to biohacking.

And I teach this course, um, with non-retaliation and she'sa CEO of, um, of a company. Could use this, uh, so develops, uh, blocker drugs.So it's an exciting course. Uh, we had, uh, also asked that Longo and the childdifrancesci and my dad had a speakers. Yeah.

[00:18:05] Boomer Anderson: It's pretty much everybody inthe longevity field right now.

[00:18:10] Dr. Lucia Aronica: Fun, fun course. And we areteaching these again, I think in winter.

[00:18:15] Boomer Anderson: Are you teaching it in Italyor is this, this is available.

[00:18:17] Dr. Lucia Aronica: This is the Stanfordcontinuing studies. So people can enroll now and it's not on the catalog, sothey need to wait. I think the winter quarter, uh, they can even order acertificate.

So it's a professional development. Uh, course we had someclinicians, but also, um, uh, biohackers or, uh, investors. It was.

[00:18:41] Boomer Anderson: So Dr. Veronica, I want to goback to these diets because you know, based on this recent diet aboutepigenetic age and, uh, the low carb, uh, the recent study about epigeneticagent low-carb diet, um, it, it appears that there's somewhat of a bias instudies towards the low carb diets is, I mean, based on the data that you'reanalyzing right now, do you feel like.

There are certain people that may do better with a modest oreven high amount of carbohydrates, I guess, looking at just kind of certaintypes of populations, if you will. All right. This time of year, it depends onwhen you're listening to this, but it's summer and in Finland, the sun is outpretty persistently.

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[00:20:33] Dr. Lucia Aronica: D is an important question.So personalized nutrition requires that we, we, we look at the outliers. So,you know, most, most people can, I think, benefit from a low carbohydrate diet,but there are people, for example, we know that one in four people, um, arehigh, uh, high responders.

To a local body diet, which means that, um, they tend toexperience a significant increase in, uh, LDL cholesterol after starting a lowcarbohydrate diet

[00:21:12] Boomer Anderson: for variant, or is it something.No,

[00:21:15] Dr. Lucia Aronica: this is a complicatedcomplex. I mean that, um, uh, the, um, uh, let me first give you, uh, uh, thisis due to genetic factors.

Yes. Um, but which factors we still don't know. We know somevery rare mutations that, cause for example, Familiar hyper and relateddisorders. And these are mutations in the, uh, at the, at receptors, uh,Applebee, uh, and other genes. Um, and then we know that there. Several, uh,common genetic variance, um, April B, uh, keypad alpha, um, that have beenassociated, uh, also, um, uh, if we to that have been associated, um, we didn'tincrease in LDL with, um, uh, high, uh, fat intake would increase the effect inbig, but.

And this is the problem. All these association have beenmade in, uh, within observational study with people that also had a highcarbohydrate intake. So they're basically useless to predict whether yourcholesterol is going to go up in the context of a low carb, um, whole fooddiet, and whether this matters.

Because we know that when we, the low carbohydrate diet,yes, you can S you can see an increase in LDL cholesterol, but, um, this isassociated with increases in, in size of the, uh, uh, particle, not in theparticle number. And this is something is beneficial. So larger LDL. Uh, isless subtle genic, less, more than somebody else.

So you may have an increase in total cholesterol, whichactually reflects beneficial, increasing size rather than number. And we alsosee that with the low carbohydrate diet, you have a decreasing time visa,rights and HDL. So other two positive. Changes in black leaf said all together.These is actually a positive change and we just published a paper on thistopic.

Wow pizza. We looked at, uh, the blood cholesterol of, uh,changes of, uh, of the, uh, the low carb dieters within our study. And the, sothese low carb dieters, they did low carb, high fat. They increase theircholesterol intake up to two more than two times. That was what was previouslyrecommended. So up to, I think, an average of 700 milligram of cholesterol perday.

More than twice as much than the previous upper limit of 300milligram and surprise, surprise. This increase in dietary cholesterol was notassociated with an increase in blood cholesterol and it was associated with anincrease in triglycerides and, uh, and the increase in HDL. So overall a good,uh, change.

Now, as you pointed out, these is the. This is, uh, anaverage and our study was, uh, a very specific, uh, was, was looking at healthypeople. So people that whoever is resistance or diabetic people may react verydifferently. And it was a weight loss study with the, uh, healthy whole fooddiet. All these variables FAC the interactions between genes and.

And the, uh, the, uh, your LDL response, whether you everresponse and whether this is bad for you. So context is always important as youpointed out. Um, and the, the 8.4 gene is more related to, um, sort of concernaround saturated fats. Um, And the, uh, risk of Alzheimer's disease and the,uh, cardiovascular disease.

Um, uh, this is actually a very common variant. Um, so 25%of people carry at least one of the, or copy of a , but this is not the gain ofthat sentence. Uh, yeah, it's been associated with Alzheimer. Um, uh, it'sactually more prevalent among. Um, uh, African, um, so, um, uh, populations ofan AGV ans where. The risk of Alzheimer's is lower because in the context ofthe non westernized diet and lifestyle, actually that form might have someadvantages.

We know that it was the actual in the ancestral form, new,regional form of the gene. And it's, uh, um, as some protective effects, um,uh, in the context of a non-aggressive nice diet, because actually it's apro-inflammatory gene, so we need to, uh, acute information to better fightpathogens, for example. So it will select it through evolution, but then.

In the context of chronic inflammation when we, we are notfighting anymore an acute, um, uh, infection, but we are just chronicallyexposed to inflammation. Then, then that gene that can cause inflammation,inflammation is a big, huge component of Alzheimer's disease and cardiovascular

[00:27:18] Boomer Anderson: disease. Thank you for, forwalking.

And I know because I'm. Person who trounces around the darkcorners of the internet. I know there's a lot of forums out there for a Bowievariants and they can be quite dark at times. So I'm really glad that you shedlight on the history and the evolutionary perspective there it's, uh, it's veryhelpful.

So coming back to, to the diet, If I were to just kind ofgleaning some, somewhat of a universal truth for diet of peers, that whole realthing, foods tend to be better than preserved. Uh, but are there, like forinstance, in, uh, certain Asian populations, would they do better with slightlyelevated carbohydrates?

Or is that something that is still kind of TBD at thispoint?

[00:28:10] Dr. Lucia Aronica: Yeah, I wouldn't say thatthe whole ethnicity was more of something, but I like how you frame theproblem. Uh, I think for, uh, for, in order to make a recommendation for thebest diet need to take into account this universal part, I think the universalpart is 20% of the question.

So hopefully. But then there is the 20% part, which I reallywith you must be determined like individually. Uh, we know that there is, uh,uh, an association between certain ethnicities and the, um, Certain metabolictraits. For example, even Asian population, as you mentioned, are more likelyto be tophi, uh, teen, uh, pain, uh, outside.

In fact

[00:28:59] Boomer Anderson: inside. I love that.

[00:29:03] Dr. Lucia Aronica: I also learned that. Uh, soI'm not sure whether they might be actually the bed. Yes, they are. They areprobably more used to, um, And higher combined carbohydrate intake. Um, butthat they also have, uh, also pretty good with the, with the co they used to bepretty good with the quality of fats, like a ton of omega threes.

Um, so I will say that there is a 20%. Of the equation for agood diet that is due to personal factors. These personal factors are genetics,but also the, our microbiome, our epigenetic, that impart, we navigated fromour parents in part we have built until now with our previous history of eatingexercises or not, not exercising and all these personal factors.

20% of the equations. Examples are food intolerances. Um,even for example, fiber is good for you, but the issue of a stable oneintestine, uh, so Bower or bacterial overgrowth, and then. You should dividefiber. Um, and then, uh, even on Trisha's food, like night shades of people,some people are intolerant, uh, omega threes, um, and the, um, some people, um,can actually more effectively use, um, the omega trees from plant sources.

Whereas other people can't or even a plant, um, uh, sterolsuh, as pant styles are believed to help actually lower your cholesterol, butthere are people that have so-called, um, they didn't have the anti vegetariangenes. People keep five and eight. That's actually respond. Can't really absorbmore plant sterols and it should even be avoiding, uh, sources of, uh, um,plant Cyrus, like vegetable oils.

Sometimes even all these other of avocado. Those conditionsare very rare. They are even, even there, there are rare mutations in genes andmore common mutation. The more subtle effects.

[00:31:25] Boomer Anderson: So you've brought up geneticsas a part of this a few times. There's a lot of commercially available geneticstests out there, and some of those companies have done credit markable job of,uh, advertising.

And what would be like if somebody were to ask. You today orme were to ask you the merits of genetics testing for this, uh, movement inprecision health is a genetics test essential for that. And if so, what aresome of the insights that you could, that people should expect to glean out ofit?

[00:32:04] Dr. Lucia Aronica: Okay.

Whoever at all, I'm excited for the field. I think that theAddax does play an important role in personalized medicine and nutrition thatsaved, um, most of, uh, the genetic interpretation tools out there. Um, No,not, not a very good job.

[00:32:26] Boomer Anderson: That's okay.

[00:32:28] Dr. Lucia Aronica: Thank you. Thank you fortrusting my a poor job. Yes. A poor job, um, in, uh, re-explaining w what isthe evidence of.

Of that information and whether, and the chances that, that,that, uh, information applies to the customers. What I mean is that, forexample, even for the low carb and low fat fields that are, that are manyreports that tell you, oh, you have these, um, and this is a contraindicationfor a high fat, uh, Jane diet.

Based on what, based on observational studies, the link,this variant with the bad blood leaping in the context of a high carbohydratediet with the fat intake. And then, you know, I don't know this that you aretelling me is information based on basically no sign, no evidence, no idea ofthis. And it's, it's very bad.

So what, um, I met. We're working on, uh, on severalprojects where I'm looking at, uh, different genetic pathways, inflammation,uh, cardio, metabolic, detoxification, and narrowing down on the geneticvariance that they've been. Tested in people in intervention studies. So thereis a difference between observational studies, interventional study.

But when you, you know, which, which sub-population are youlooking at? Which intervention, whether they add the benefit. And the only ifwe do that, We can come with a score of, uh, strength of evidence for thatassociation so that clinicians and people can use it and know how strong is theevidence. Okay.

So it's, uh, it's convincing it's possible. It's ah, and,and for which people. We in, we, in which complex, otherwise we are just, youknow, it's, it's, it's nice to give me five this field and the, but, um, otherthan that, uh, people need to be careful. For example, I always say that 23 me,uh, critical that I'm very likely to ever, um, straight.

Look at me. Um, uh, so it's, uh, and there is a reason forthat. I mean, I, um, uh, because of, uh, complex treats like here, um, you'rehere also your response to a diet are, uh, um, really reflects the interaction.How since genes together and 23 and me is testing one or two or three or 10,and that's not enough.

And the same is with apple. Ye I am 23. Me tells you that,you know, I think it's nice to know your apple is status. Yeah. The same time.It's scary that they don't counsel people in this

[00:35:38] Boomer Anderson: and they don't give you text.Right. So you get, you get told that, Hey, I'm eight Bowie, 3, 4, 4, 4, and allof a sudden you're like, oh my God, do I go jump off a cliff?

The next time I have a stake. Um, and, and nothing again, Iappreciate that. They're polar freighting. Or starting to proliferate thetests, but they, there needs to be a certain level of context for people. And Ireally appreciate you giving that context here today. Uh, I guess just given,because we're coming up on time here, Dr. Aronica one sort of final question.If you will, the whole world of biological clocks, there are a lot of things.Um, I know you have obviously experienced with, with a number of them, and Iwould love to just hear just sort of what your opinions are on and maybe evenHorvath or whichever biological clock you thinks is best out there right now.

And how should we view it? Um, just how can we use it forour everyday life?

[00:36:38] Dr. Lucia Aronica: That's a great question. Solet me zoom back one second and explain. So this, uh, um, uh, uh, so biologicalclocks, um, are, uh, um, uh, ways of measuring your biological age, which isthe age of, uh, uh, Cells and tissues and can actually be different from your chronologicalage.

You can be logical in younger or older than yourchronological age. Uh, and there are many ways of measuring it, um, today andthere will be. Many more tomorrow. I'm sure. Uh, now we have molecular clocks,um, functional clocks and digital clocks. Molecular clocks looks at yourmolecules, um, and the, um, , but also can genetics and the Nini motivationclocks, and your questions pertain to Guinea mutilation clocks, but there arealso these digital twins.

For example, facial recognition, clocks, um, and functionalclocks where even a blood test, um, and the combination of different markerscan be used to extrapolate your biological age. So within this context,molecular clocks and Guinea methylation clocks, that I've been more than I thinkEsther is off today.

13, uh, DNA methylation clocks published. And, uh, um, uh,and the, they are all, uh, different. So they capture different, uh, epigeneticsignals across the genome, different CG sites, um, uh, and the, um, uh, andthey all compare. But some of them are better at predicting some, uh, um, uh,mechanisms of aging, for example, cell senescence.

Um, some of them are more accurate to, uh, correlate withthe chronological age. Like for the, uh, the orbit clock doesn't 13 is thebest, uh, in terms of correlation, I think is 0.97. Um, uh, yeah, so, which isvery precise. And so this is to say, when you asked me, what is the best I, Ineed to ask you back. What is your goal?

Uh, because, um, uh, for example, a clock that is moreaccurate at predicting a chronological age, um, maybe, um, more useful forforensic purposes, right? So in that case, you want, you would go with that.Uh, but if you do an, a lifestyle intervention, uh, and you want to see achange, then it would be better to have.

A clock that reflects that change that you're looking for.And even that biological age change, there are so many different signals. Uh,so there is the cell senescence. This is the, um, counselor, Ginny city. Um,and, uh, you know, one thing that I is an observation that they leave just withmy students. Uh, some of my students are bikers and they train their trainersand that actually, when they take their, um, uh, diegetic clock, that's they.

Uh, our biological age older than their chronological age.And they are surprised and say like, what's going on here? Um, and on one sidein my be that exercise is an automatic stress. So at low doses is good and toomuch may be causing. More biological age, but on the other side, it may also bethat that intervention, the exercise is actually, um, uh, in using some, uh,epigenetic changes that.

Not captured by current clocks. So perhaps the average ofneeding that signal is rejuvenating, but the overall thing is seen as an acutestressor. I'm just pointing. So to go back to your question. Yeah. It's verydifficult. Now I think more, more clocks are coming. Um, the question in thefuture will be to disentangle the biological switch.

You want more forensic, like, um, clock or a biologicalclock and nature. Uh, changes after lifestyle intervention and which lifestyleinterventions, because some clock might be measured, bettered the difference,you know, um, uh, the, uh, rejuvenation after exercise rejuvenation, after amitochondrial, um, uh, support, um, uh, therapy, uh, or, you know, I'm surethat there will be more precise clocks, um, target to different outcome.

[00:42:00] Boomer Anderson: Fascinating space and a lotgoing on there. Um, Dr. Aronica, thank you so much for taking the time today.Where can people find out more about.

[00:42:10] Dr. Lucia Aronica: So I have a website dotcom. I use it to mainly, uh, police my courses at Stanford, um, and people canreach out to me. Uh, I also have a YouTube channel. I'm not very active onthat, but I, I do, um, strive, uh, to share my interviews and sometimestranslate that.

Subtitles in Italian. So, so for my Italian followers, Iwould actually love to translate these, uh, she share the recording.

[00:42:43] Boomer Anderson: That would be, it would be myhonor. And Dr. Aronica, thank you again for taking time out of your busyschedule to chat, fascinating topic. And I'm sure this is just the first ofmany conversation.

[00:42:55] Dr. Lucia Aronica: Thank you very much. It wasa pleasure to be here and I hope your audience will enjoy this conversation

[00:43:02] Boomer Anderson: to all the superhumans.Listening out there have an epic day. For those of you who enjoyed thatpodcast. And what's not to like about data genetics, epigenetics, and justsimply uncovering truth. Please head on over to apple podcast or wherever youlisten to your podcasts and leave a five star review.

All of them are really appreciated. Look, I'm going to getback to reading them on the show very, very soon. And so I want to read yourname, the show notes for this one again. All right. Decoding

Dr. Lucia Aronica
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