Research Delves Into Why People Age Differently


Do you look your age? If so or if not, why?

New research from Unilever and Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam is digging into that key question: how do we explain the difference between how old we look and how old we are?

The results, according to the researchers, could "lead to new discoveries to help everybody look younger for longer."

“By learning the ‘secrets’ of those who look young for their age, we can find innovate ways to help everybody keep younger looking for longer in the future," said Unilever senior scientist and study co-leader Dr. David Gunn.

According to an official announcement:

During the project, more than 4,000 people were assessed for their youthful appearance in facial photographs, involving over 100,000 assessments of perceived age (how old they looked). The team then examined more than 8 million variants in the DNA of the participants to investigate whether those who looked young for the age carried different variants to those who looked old for their age.

What the researchers found was that individuals with one form of a gene called MC1R looked two years older than those with a different form.

“Our finding marks another step in understanding aging differences between people and provides new leads to identify the molecular links between perceived age, chronological age, and biological age," said study co-leader Professor Manfred Kayser from Erasmus MC University Medical Centre Rotterdam.

He added, “The next step is to understand on the molecular level why looking younger implies that you are healthier, eventually allowing to comprehend healthy aging.”

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