ImmunoAge – Immune Function Testing
The immune system in the human body weakens with age. Compared with younger people, older adults are more vulnerable to infections and cancer, in part because an aged immune system becomes less effective in performing tumor surveillance. Damaged immune cells can cause chronic inflammation in the system, which, in turn, leads to degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer’s. Changes occur in the ratios and functions of white blood cells in the thymus and the bone marrow, which is where faulty immune cells appear.
A weakened immune system is characterized by a reduced presence of a type of white blood cells - naïve suppressor T-cells - that are responsible for fighting off new infections and tumors. The level of these T-cells can be measured at specialized labs. At Youth Diagnostics™, we also include it as part of our advanced blood analysis.
To date, these specialized white blood cells are considered the best biomarkers of aging. The link between aging and the linear decline in the number of these cells has been well established. Young adults typically have more than 200-250 cells per mcl of blood but gradually begin to lose roughly three cells/mcl each year. By the time the body reaches ninety years of age, the ability to fight off new infections and tumors is essentially gone. Adding B-lymphocytes to the model with naïve T-cells, we understand even better the changes in the immune system as it relates to aging.
Although the gradual weakening of the immune system is inevitable, we can take concrete steps to minimize the progression and optimize the immune system’s functions. These steps include regular exercise, adequate amounts of sleep, and appropriate supplements, which can provide considerable benefits. Our doctors will discuss treatment options, as well as your testing results, during your Youth Diagnostics™ consultation.