Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 7 pp 9419—9432
Potential reversal of epigenetic age using a diet and lifestyle intervention: a pilot randomized clinical trial
- 1 Institute for Functional Medicine, Federal Way, WA 98003, USA
- 2 American Nutrition Association, Hinsdale, IL 60521, USA
- 3 Helfgott Research Institute, National University of Natural Medicine, Portland, OR 97201, USA
- 4 Helfgott Research Institute, National University of Natural Medicine, Portland, OR 97201, USA
- 5 HKG Epitherapeutics (Hong Kong), Department of Molecular Biology, Ariel University, Israel, Gerald Bronfman Department of Oncology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
- 6 Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3G 1Y6, Canada
- 7 Helfgott Research Institute, National University of Natural Medicine, Portland, OR 97201, USA
- 8 Division of Preventive Medicine, University of California, San Diego, CA 92023, USA
Received: December 15, 2020 Accepted: March 13, 2021 Published: April 12, 2021https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.202913
How to Cite
Copyright: © 2021 Fitzgerald et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Manipulations to slow biological aging and extend healthspan are of interest given the societal and healthcare costs of our aging population. Herein we report on a randomized controlled clinical trial conducted among 43 healthy adult males between the ages of 50-72. The 8-week treatment program included diet, sleep, exercise and relaxation guidance, and supplemental probiotics and phytonutrients. The control group received no intervention. Genome-wide DNA methylation analysis was conducted on saliva samples using the Illumina Methylation Epic Array and DNAmAge was calculated using the online Horvath DNAmAge clock (2013). The diet and lifestyle treatment was associated with a 3.23 years decrease in DNAmAge compared with controls (p=0.018). DNAmAge of those in the treatment group decreased by an average 1.96 years by the end of the program compared to the same individuals at the beginning with a strong trend towards significance (p=0.066). Changes in blood biomarkers were significant for mean serum 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (+15%, p=0.004) and mean triglycerides (-25%, p=0.009). To our knowledge, this is the first randomized controlled study to suggest that specific diet and lifestyle interventions may reverse Horvath DNAmAge (2013) epigenetic aging in healthy adult males. Larger-scale and longer duration clinical trials are needed to confirm these findings, as well as investigation in other human populations.