Aging is associated with an increased risk of chronic disease, disability and death. Aging affects everybody in different ways, but there are three main contributions to healthy aging: genetics and family history; lifestyle practices and exercise; and diet and nutrition. The first of these three factors is immutable, but the remaining two can be modified to improve health.
A surprising revelation from recent epigenetic studies is the emergence of histone acetylation as the major epigenetic biomarker that bridges the gap between metabolism (through key metabolites acetyl-CoA and NAD+) dysregulated epigenomes, aging and age-induced disease formation. Lunasin is a chromatin-binding peptide and modulator of histone acetylation.
More and more research are now revealing that the underlying cause of aging and age-induced disease formation is the disruption to the epigenome (packaging of the DNA), rather than defects to the DNA (genetic material) itself. Aging and environmental-induced changes to the epigenome lead to global dysregulation in gene expression and genomic instability, resulting from activation of transposons (jumping genes), shortening of DNA repeats (i.e. telomeres and ribosomal DNA) and loss of heterochromatin regions.