Your skin can betray your age even withoutthe presence of wrinkles on it. This conclusion was made by scientists from the University of California at San Diego, who determined that the profile of microbes on your skin can predict your chronological age with an accuracy of several years. It is well known that our bodies are covered with a large number of microorganisms, among which the most prominent are bacteria, fungi and viruses, which together constitute human microbiomes. Changing with age, the profile of microorganisms can help create a predictive tool based on machine learning, livescience.com claims. How can such a method of determining age be useful? Let's try to figure it out together in this article.
Bacteria on the body can tell your age
The human microbiome is made up of trillionsunicellular life forms that seem to outnumber even the total number of human cells in the body. Microorganisms inhabit the skin, mouth, nasal and pulmonary passages, intestinal tracts and other places of the human body (this news may seem especially “pleasant” to the so-called misophobes). Be that as it may, the types and types of microbes are very different from each other, depending on the area of the human body that they have chosen. Being in a kind of symbiosis with microorganisms, our body receives a kind of support against the invasion of harmful bacteria. So, the skin microbiome forms a special protective layer from viruses penetrating the cells of the human body, the intestinal microbiome allows the body to easily digest food and absorb the most useful vitamins and minerals, and the lung microbiome actively fights the manifestation of respiratory diseases. In the event that well-established symbiotic relationships within the body begin to go awry for some reason, a person can begin to develop a number of dangerous diseases, such as diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and even cancer. In other words, our health directly depends on the processes occurring inside the colonies of symbiont organisms that live on our body.
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In a new study aimed at studyingmicrobiomes of the skin, mouth and intestines, scientists analyzed microorganisms in order to understand which species can be the best indicators of the age of their donors. The obtained skin samples gave the most accurate forecast of age, and their measurement error was about 4 years (for comparison: oral samples showed an error of 4.5 years, while intestinal samples showed 11.5 years).
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One of the reasons that microbes living onour skin, consistently changing its composition, there may be predictable changes in the physiology of the skin in representatives of different ages. These include a decrease in the production of natural sebum, an increase in dryness and a gradual decrease in the percentage of moisture.
Researchers believe that the resultsthe observation can help in analyzing the potential risks of developing age-related diseases in a particular person. In addition, the possibility of preventing a disease with only a change in the composition of an individual's microbiome can be much more effective and safe for both the attending physician and the patient.