Monday, 20 February 2012


(the target audience for this article is the persons 
who have crossed their prime youth) 

No, no, I am not on Army Chief General V.K. Singh's correct age, which our Supreme Court unfortunately refused to decide. 

I am on your chronological, biological and mental age which will determine the end of your precious life, regardless of your chronological age. 

What is the correct age of any person to go to the grave yard, particularly those who have retired or old, is not necessarily how old you are chronologically. It is determined by the biological age. But the Impression particularly of a middle -aged person who has crossed his prime youth when he talks to any person older than him is that the other person is nearer to death than he is. That's the reason he is curious to know what is the other person's age so that he can derive some inner satisfaction that he has long way to go to the grave. In India we have bad tendency to ask questions on the age of people we meet , without any purpose unlike in many matured societies in the west. Many people think that older you are chronologically, nearer you are to the end of your life. This is a mistaken notion of your real AGE. 

Nobel Laureate Dr. Jerry W Shay, the Professor of Cell Biology & Neuroscience at the University of Texas., who won the Nobel Prize for his research on TELOMERES, discovered that every person is born with two AGEs. One is biological age and the second is chronological age. People die according to biological age and not by chronological age. 

Biological age is aging of your billions of cells in your body which is indicated by what is known as aging of the length of TELOMERES in your body. TELOMERES are protective caps at the end of chromosomes in the body. Man is born with a long Telomeres and as he ages telomeres get shortened and he dies when his telomeres shortened by two third. Normally this should happen when man lives his full life of 100 years. It can happen much earlier, based on how fast telomeres ages and shortens by his life style. The real test for longevity is not the chronological age but how fast your telomeres are shortening or shrinking to one third of the original length. It is the telomeres measurement which tells how long you live and not your chronological age. 

That is the reason many are seen to be dying prematurely, that is much before they become chronologically old. It is not necessarily the time span which brings the life to an end but many people die before reaching this time span, because of the biological age. Biological age that is the age of your body cells - the pace of shortening of the length of your telomeres that will ultimately determine the end of the life and not the span of your life - the chronological age. 

The slower pacing of the shortening of telomeres indicate healthy aging. Faster pacing of the shortening indicates irreparable damage to the cells. In fact , now there is a blood test which is available which can tell with certain degree of certainty about your biological age , that is the length of your telomeres which is the best indicator of your end of life rather than your chronological age. It tells you how longer you live. Grey or white hair or wrinkles in your face does not mean that you are nearing your end of life regardless of your chronological age. It is quite possible that you may be younger to your age or others of your age 

Healthy living coupled with constant exercise, meditation, good habits can lengthen your biological age by slowing the pace of the shortening of your telomeres. This is what the people who have crossed their prime youth or retired should do instead of counting the days of your chronological age. 

I want to add a third dimension to beat the chronological age. That is the MENTAL AGE or the MINDSET which Dr. Jerry Shay has not emphasized for adding to enhance the biological age. Remember, the AGE is how young you feel in your mind. You may have young mind in the old body or old mind in the young body, which will influence your biological age. Mind is the energy, pulse and life in the body which keeps you young or old. The feeling of being young is important for your biological age for helping to slower the pace of aging of your telomeres. 

My advice to retired persons or who crossed their prime youth is that, don't worry about your chronological age. That is not your real age. The real age is your biological age and your mindset, try to prevent aging of your telomeres in your body by healthy living, meditation, yoga and keep feeling young for your mental age. Don’t think that you are nearer to the end of your life than the others who are chronologically younger to you, as many of them may be biologically older to you. 

To summarize, your age is in your mind and by the length of your telomeres in your body. Attempt to slower the pace of the shortening of telomeres by healthy life style and meditation.

Prof. Ram Mallar.

© 2012
Mallarr Law Associates LLP
3, Silver Cascade, 110AA, Near Ruby Mills, Senapati Bapat
Marg, Dadar West. Mumbai 400 028.
Tel. No.: 2432 28413 (3 lines)


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