“Biological aging is no longer unsolved problem.” After decades of debating over whether to classify aging as a disease, this is what many scientists say nowadays, with the weight of evidence found in the vast majority of aging research. In the recent years, new scientific and medical discoveries lead to the revision of what is a disease and what is not. For example, osteoporosis which was ascribed to normal aging in the past is now recognized as a disease by World Health Organization (WHO) in 1994. WHO has made moves with the other diseases by bringing them closer to their new definitions.

Now according to new research from the University of Waterloo, aging is classified as a disease which can be fought and treated with the proper combinations of supplements and behaviors. We used to think it is normal to become lethargic and ailing once we get into our 70s and 80s. Now that so many studies have corroborated otherwise, it is time for us to change this wrong paradigm.” Said Mehrshad Sadria, a PhD student in Waterloo’s Department of Applied Mathematics.

The researchers used a comprehensive mathematical model to find the best time of day for someone to take supplements. They modeled for the two classes of drugs nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) and Resveratrol, which have been getting an increased attention in recent years after reports appeared on their benefits on metabolism and increased lifespan of various organisms.

This study is the initial step to better understand when it the best time for each age group to take these drugs that can improve our health and extend our lifespan.”

Sadria and Anita Layton, WIN member and professor of Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Pharmacy and Biology at Waterloo, worked together to develop a mathematical model that simulates the circadian clock and metabolism in the mouse liver. They found that a young person should take NMN six hours after waking up to ensure highest efficiency, while older people should take it midday for the greater effectiveness.

Layton said “The model identified the dosing schedules for maximizing the efficacy of anti-aging medications. We should be mindful of when to eat, sleep and exercise, as these factors affect our body and eventually how to age. Importantly we need to make sure that these coincide with other things that impact our sleep/wake cycle or body clock, such as exposure to light. If not, it could cause conflict within our body.”