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Even though the process of ageing differs among individuals (based on their lifestyles and environment), it is inevitable and irreversible for all of them. Chronological age can be measured according to birth date, each year, but experts have adjudged this method to be inaccurate while determining true biological age.

A team of researchers at Sichuan University and Beijing Hospital's MOH Key Laboratory of Geriatrics have revealed that a chemical marker in urine can measure biological age of humans. Through this study, it was identified that greater the concentration of this component in urine, higher the age of the individual.



"As we age, we suffer increasing oxidative damage, and so the levels of oxidative markers increase in our body", explained Jian-Ping Cai of the National Center of Gerontology. The paper was published in the Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience journal.

Urine As An Age-Determinant

The study involved 1,228 Chinese male and female volunteers aged between 2 and 90. Human urine samples were collected, and the levels of ageing biomarkers (8-oxodGsn and 8-oxoGsn) were measured through the ultra-HPLC technique. The relationship between the oxidized guanosine markers and age was then determined.

Results clarified that the concentration of 8-oxoGsn in the urinary excretion was directly proportional to age (seen in ages above 21) and that this analysis was an efficient and reliable method to evaluate the ageing process in humans. Cai also said, "Urinary 8-oxoGsn may reflect the real condition of our bodies better than our chronological age."

Urine test strip. (CC BY-ND 3.0)

Urine test strip. (CC BY-ND 3.0)

Another interesting aspect of the study was gender. On comparing the oxidized biomarker levels in males and females, it was seen, in cases under 60 years, that there were no significant differences in values. Though, in those over age 61, females showed higher guanosine and deoxyguanosine numbers probably due to their decreased estrogen levels.

This promising research that evaluates the physiologic age of individuals finds application in the prediction of age-related diseases, and then, its treatment. It could also be used to gauge the risk of death. Yes, your pee could be that important in the future! In other news, those wrinkles on your skin don't mean you're old!

Top image: Urine test (U.S. Air Force photo)


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Gan, W. et al. (2018), ‘Urinary 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanosine as a Potential Biomarker of Aging’, Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience

HealthDay (2018), UPI,, (accessed 2 Mar 2018)

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Meghna Rao, MSc

A postgraduate in Bioscience with work experience in research and communications in the fields of science, health and medicine. Her specializations include writing and developing scientific material for websites, blogs, and other print and digital media, content curation and management, and medical proofreading and editing. She also has a fair knowledge in marketing communications and science journalism. Also, Meghna is passionate about yoga, working with non-profits and travel blogging. Read More

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