Age-related Disease and Death can be Predicted by a Simple Urine Test

Age-related Disease and Death can be Predicted by a Simple Urine Test

by Shravanthi Vikram on Feb 27 2018 8:34 PM
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  • Simple urine test is used to calculate the age of the body cell
  • The product formed due to oxidative metabolism helps to predict age- related disease and death of an individual
  • 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanosine, a product of oxidative metabolism is used as a marker to study the age of the body
A new study has shown that the level of the substance which indicates oxidative damage increases in the urine of people as they get older. The findings of the study are published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. The substance is used as a marker and helps to easily measure the age of the body and in predicting age-related disease and death.
People born in the same year have similar chronological age, but each of their bodies age at different rates. Though the risk of many diseases increases with age, the link between age, health and lifespan is not clearly understood. Most of the people live a long disease-free life, while some suffer from severe illness and untimely death.

So, if our age in years isn’t the most reliable indicator of aging in our bodies, what is? Some scientists consider normal aging as a disease, where the body cells get damaged over a period of time. The rate at which the cells get damaged varies from person to person and it mostly depends on genetics, lifestyle and the surrounding environment. A method to measure biological age mainly helps in predicting the risk of developing age-related disorders and even death. In future, using this method, it is possible to find treatments to slow down the aging of cells. Free radical theory of aging says that oxygen is the vital molecule that is necessary for biological aging. Jian-Ping Cai, a researcher explains that the by-products of oxygen produced during normal metabolism can cause oxidative damage to DNA and RNA. As the age increases, the level of the oxidative marker also increases in the body.

8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanosine(8-oxoGsn) is used as a marker. It is the product formed from the oxidation of RNA molecules in the cells. In previous studies, scientists have found that the level of 8-oxoGsn increases in urine with increase in age.

To check if it is true in humans, researchers collected the urine samples of 1,228 Chinese residents aged between 2-90 yrs. They checked the level of 8-oxoGsn in the urine sample using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography technique.

"We found an age-dependent increase in urinary 8-oxoGsn in participants 21-years-old and older," said Cai. "Therefore, urinary 8-oxoGsn is promising as a new marker of aging."

The levels of 8-oxoGsn were almost same between men and women, but levels were high in post-menopausal women. The increase in 8-oxoGsn levels was due to the decrease in estrogen level that happens during menopause. Estrogen is known to have an antioxidant effect.

The rapid analysis technique can be used for large-scale aging studies, as it can process about 10 urine samples per hour.

"Urinary 8-oxoGsn may reflect the real condition of our bodies better than our chronological age, and may help us to predict the risk of age-related diseases," concludes Cai.

About Oxidative Cell Damage
Oxidative damage of the cell is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to detoxify them using antioxidants. It is also known as oxidative stress. Free radicals are oxygen-containing molecules, which under metabolism form highly reactive oxidants. All oxidants are not harmful and some of them help in killing the pathogens and microbes entering the body.

  1. Wei Gan, Xin-Le Liu, Ting Yu, Yuan-Gao Zou, Ting-Ting Li1, Shuang Wang, Jin Deng, Lan-Lan Wan* and Jian-Ping Cai. Urinary 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanosine as a Potential Biomarker of Aging Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, (2018)