Research of the Week: 7 Longevity Biomarkers to Track

By: Mark Sisson

Last year, I wrote about 10 of the most interesting predictors of longevity. Many of them were subjective, but, as we all know, the objective physiological processes that occur in the human body also predict how long we live. Luckily, we can measure most of them. Some are standard at doctor's checkups. Some require more involved (and expensive) testing. Some you can complete yourself at home with simple household objects.

But if you care at all about how well you're doing in the longevity game, it's worth paying attention to some of them.

Triglyceride: HDL Ratio

Also known as the atherogenic index of plasma, a high triglyceride: HDL ratio is one of the best indicators of one's risk for heart disease. It has the added benefit of also predicting lipoprotein particle size and insulin resistance.
These all impact a person's longevity. It's difficult to live long when you're getting heart attacks and your insulin skyrockets if you even glance at a potato.

Sure enough, in elderly women, the T:HDL ratio predicts all-cause mortality. (not just cardiovascular mortality).

A ratio of 2 or under is good. Anything above should be addressed before it worsens, and anything above 4 means trouble.

Sex Hormone Status

Our bodies use them to build tissue, build babies, and lead robust meaningful lives. Evolution is mostly concerned with propagation of the species-with reproduction. Some waning is unavoidable with the passage of time, but we shouldn't accept levels that lower health quality and increase mortality.

In older men, low testosterone is a risk factor for early mortality. Add to that all the other examples of benefits I described in the TRT post. It's not just testosterone, and not just in men. Fractures are terrible for longevity, often reducing both quality and quantity of life in the elderly. In both older men and women, low T and low estrogen levels are risk factors for fractures. Sex hormones regulate the body's response to injuries and burns. The older you get, the deadlier injuries get. A 20-year-old slips and falls and maybe gets a little bruise. If an 80-year-old slips and falls, they might break a hip.

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