One of the emerging buzzwords in the wellness industry is “longevity,” which sees more and more people shifting away from simply striving to look younger, and instead, embracing a holistic view of ageing. We’re no longer just concerned with the outward appearance, but there’s a profound emphasis on reversing the ageing process from within. I truly believe that it’s crucial to feel as good as you look. Why? Because a beautiful external appearance is not as impactful if it doesn’t align with vibrant internal health, and vice versa.

We are fortunate to live in an era where we have the option to influence how we age, thanks to an abundance of science, research, and data that offer us insights into the ageing process that we’ve never had before. The most significant risk factors for the biggest diseases are increasing age, so understanding the underlying causes of ageing is critical. More importantly, addressing these internal cellular drivers of ageing can lead to better health internally and externally. After all, aging isn’t solely about the visual signs like lines and wrinkles; it encompasses our movement, posture, strength, and gait.

With the average life expectancy for women and men hovering around 83 and 82 years respectively, the goal isn’t just to reach these ages but to ensure that our years are marked by vitality. Living well is paramount, and it’s not merely about longevity but the quality of life we maintain. So, with that in mind, is it possible to slow down the ageing process? And what can we all start doing now to future-proof our health? Read on for everything you need to know.

Understand your biological age

There is now a brilliant test available which helps you to understand your biological age. GlycanAge is a blood test that measures your biological age based on the analysis of glycans, which are complex sugar molecules found in the body. Glycans play a crucial role in various biological processes, including cell communication, immune response, and tissue development.

Understanding your biological age, as opposed to your chronological age (the number of years you’ve been alive), can be helpful for so many reasons. For example, if your biological age is higher than your chronological age, it may indicate a need to make lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of age-related diseases, and healthcare professionals can tailor personalised recommendations for maintaining or improving your health based on your test results.

How to reduce your cellular age 


I am a firm advocate for incorporating a well-thought-out supplement regimen into your health routine. However, it’s important to emphasise that the most beneficial outcomes come when you follow the advice of a nutritionist or a functional medicine doctor. Supplements can be particularly effective for anti-ageing when chosen wisely.

One highly recommended supplement is collagen, which works in tandem with vitamin C. This is because vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis, which can significantly improve the health of your skin. Therefore, regularly taking vitamin C can be particularly beneficial for maintaining youthful skin.

Another supplement I support for its anti-ageing properties is NAD+. Many people report improvements not only in the appearance of their skin, hair, and nails when taking NAD+ supplements but also in their overall well-being, such as enhanced sleep quality.

Magnesium is another supplement that’s crucial, as it supports numerous bodily functions, including better sleep. And let’s not overlook vitamin D3. In the UK, I’d argue that it’s an essential supplement for most people. In the UK the only months when UVB rays are strong enough for our bodies to produce vitamin D are between May and September — and considering that even during this period, unless you’re outdoors frequently, you’re likely not synthesising enough, supplementing with vitamin D3 becomes a necessity to maintain adequate levels.

Intermittent fasting

Caloric restriction (reducing your daily calorie intake) and intermittent fasting (cycles of eating and fasting) have shown potential benefits for slowing down the aging process. These practices may improve metabolic health, enhance cellular repair mechanisms, and promote longevity. Some research suggests that caloric restriction can increase lifespan and reduce markers of biological aging. However, it’s essential to approach these dietary changes carefully and consult with a healthcare professional for guidance.


Regular physical activity, including both aerobic and strength training exercises, can have a positive impact on biological age. Leading a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to premature skin ageing. Lack of physical activity may reduce blood flow and oxygen delivery to the skin, eventually leading to wrinkles, fine lines, and a dull complexion. It can also lead to poor cardiovascular health, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

The right exercise will help to maintain muscle mass, improve cardiovascular health, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases associated with ageing. It also promotes the production of growth factors and hormones that support tissue repair and regeneration. Aim for a combination of cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility exercises for the most impactful results.


Sleep represents a crucial period during which your body can engage in repair and rejuvenation. Maintaining a consistent, high-quality sleep routine is essential for ensuring your optimal well-being. Inadequate sleep not only increases the ageing process but also accelerates inflammation, impairs mitochondrial function, disrupts hormone production, and hampers nutrient-sensing pathways. Your natural sleep-wake patterns are governed by your circadian rhythm, which tends to lose its efficiency as you age. Therefore, nurturing your circadian rhythm can help to facilitate a deeper and more restorative sleep experience.


The connection between gut health and skin health, often referred to as the gut-skin axis, is now well understood. There are trillions of micro-organisms living in our gut that influence so much of our well-being, from cognitive function and immune responses to the likelihood of developing allergies.

But gut health extends beyond our digestive system. Emerging research even suggests a link between practices like meditation and the state of our microbiome. This highlights the critical role that gut health plays in our overall health, including the condition of our skin. An imbalanced microbiome is associated with various skin conditions, such as rosacea and acne, highlighting the importance of a healthy gut for a clear and healthy complexion

Many of us inadvertently harm our digestive systems, whether through excessive processed foods or a diet lacking in balance. To support my gut health, I take a probiotic supplement daily. My preferred brand is Bio-Kult, which offers an effective product at an accessible price point. However, it’s also crucial to consume a balanced diet full of fresh vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, fibre and protein, and limit sugar and alcohol as much as possible. Consuming high amounts of sugar can lead to a process called glycation, where sugar molecules attach to collagen and elastin fibres in the skin, causing them to become stiff and less elastic. This can result in the formation of wrinkles and sagging skin, contributing to premature ageing.

Did you find this interesting? Take a listen to my podcast ‘Age Well with Dr Sophie Shotter’, to learn more about how to age ‘well’ from the inside-out.