DNA methylation clock DNAmFitAge shows regular exercise is associated with slower aging and systemic adaptation

Matyas Jokai, Ferenc Torma, Kristen M. McGreevy, Erika Koltai, Zoltan Bori, Gergely Babszki, Peter Bakonyi, Zoltan Gombos, Bernadett Gyorgy, Dora Aczel, Laszlo Toth, Peter Osvath, Marcell Fridvalszky, Timea Teglas, Aniko Posa, Sylwester Kujach, Robert Olek, Takuji Kawamura, Yasuhiro Seki, Katsuhiko SuzukiKumpei Tanisawa, Sataro Goto, Csaba Kerepesi, Istvan Boldogh, Xueqing Ba, Kelvin J.A. Davies, Steve Horvath, Zsolt Radak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


DNAmPhenoAge, DNAmGrimAge, and the newly developed DNAmFitAge are DNA methylation (DNAm)-based biomarkers that reflect the individual aging process. Here, we examine the relationship between physical fitness and DNAm-based biomarkers in adults aged 33–88 with a wide range of physical fitness (including athletes with long-term training history). Higher levels of VO2max (ρ = 0.2, p = 6.4E − 4, r = 0.19, p = 1.2E − 3), Jumpmax (p = 0.11, p = 5.5E − 2, r = 0.13, p = 2.8E − 2), Gripmax (ρ = 0.17, p = 3.5E − 3, r = 0.16, p = 5.6E − 3), and HDL levels (ρ = 0.18, p = 1.95E − 3, r = 0.19, p = 1.1E − 3) are associated with better verbal short-term memory. In addition, verbal short-term memory is associated with decelerated aging assessed with the new DNAm biomarker FitAgeAcceleration (ρ: − 0.18, p = 0.0017). DNAmFitAge can distinguish high-fitness individuals from low/medium-fitness individuals better than existing DNAm biomarkers and estimates a younger biological age in the high-fit males and females (1.5 and 2.0 years younger, respectively). Our research shows that regular physical exercise contributes to observable physiological and methylation differences which are beneficial to the aging process. DNAmFitAge has now emerged as a new biological marker of quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2805-2817
Number of pages13
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA methylation
  • DNAmFitAge
  • Regular exercise
  • Slower aging
  • Systemic adaptation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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