When does old age begin? Science says later than you may think.

Almost everyone wants to stay young forever. No one wants to be old, especially as aging stereotypes become more negative.

The Antiaging industry which is estimated to hit $60 billion by 2032 has already transformed itself into a multibillion-dollar industry that is now booming with sales. Investments in interventions such as wrinkle creams and lift weights will continue to surge in the coming years. 

But when does old age actually begin? Is there a biological point that marks a transition from middle life to old age?

While there is sufficient evidence to support the theory that age is an accumulation of time lived, some emerging data now proves that age is actually a state of body cells and tissues. Proponents of this theory therefore contend that old age is a measure of how old the body cells are.

This theory holds onto the view that age is more of a social construct than an objective biological reality. Objectively, a chronological clock may not be a good indicator for defining old age. Rather, people transition into old age at different times, according to their own beliefs and perceptions.

There’s not a definitive universal way to measure old age. Our bodies may age faster or slower depending on what transpired during our lives. Some major events, such as stressors or chronic illnesses, can make us look and feel older thereby accelerating our biological clock.

While certain physiological phenomena, like puberty and menopause, mark milestones along life’s path, old age isn’t defined by universal markers. Aging is a multifactorial process characterized by the accumulation of damage and degeneration across physiological pathways.

This cascading deterioration eventually disrupts normal cell and tissue function.

That the ageism crisis has now resulted in longevity research and multibillion-dollar investments is to anyone’s guess.  New drugs on the market can now eliminate senescent cells that drive inflammation.

Dietary interventions such as intermittent fasting and caloric restriction continue to show potential to extend life. Still, everyone ages differently, and some live long and thrive. These so-called “superagers,” who remain relatively youthful and healthy long after age 70, have fascinated scientists.

It’s estimated that by 2050, 1 in 3 people in the world will be 60 years or older, a demographic shift that makes this research more pressing than ever. 

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