Scientists know that if they transfuse blood from a young mouse to an old one, then they can stave off or even reverse some signs of aging. But they don’t know what in the blood is responsible for this remarkable effect.
Researchers now report that they’ve identified hundreds of proteins in human blood that wax and wane in surprising ways as we age. The findings could provide important clues about which substances in the blood can slow aging.
The scientists studied nearly 3,000 proteins in blood plasma that was drawn from more than 4,000 people with a span of ages from 18 to 95. The project focused on proteins that change in both men and women.
“When we went into this, we assumed you aged gradually, so we would see these changes taking place relatively steadily as individuals get older,” said Tony Wyss-Coray, a professor of neurology at Stanford University.
Instead, Wyss-Coray and his colleagues report in Nature Medicine on Thursday that these proteins change in three distinct waves, the first of which happens “very surprisingly” during our 30s, peaking around age 34.
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