Epigenetics of Inflammaging
Remember when I said inflammaging is next to impossible to reverse? Well you can partly thank epigenetics for that. Epigenetics, as a simplified definition, is the biological mechanism that will switch genes on and off in your DNA, the instruction book on how each cell will direct their activities. Genes are specific sequences of bases that provide instructions on how to make important proteins – complex molecules that trigger various biological actions to carry out life functions.
Epigenetics affects how genes are read by cells, and subsequently whether the cells should produce relevant proteins. For example, the COL1A1 gene in DNA is present in all types of cells but “expressed” in skin cells to produce Type 1 Collagen proteins.
What you eat, where you live, who you interact with, when you sleep, how you exercise, even ageing – all of these can eventually cause chemical modifications around the genes that will turn those genes on or off over time. It’s what makes us unique. Why do some of us hate the taste of mushrooms or marmite? Why are some of us more sociable than others? The different combinations of genes that are turned on or off is what makes each one of us unique.
Just like epigenetic markers record a whole host of information about the environment you are in, it also records inflammaging sources during your life. In essence, your body remembers the inflammaging and how it was caused. Some clues indicate that inflammaging and epigenetic recording can sustain each other, likely feeding vicious circles and representing a significant contributor to age-related physiological decline and diseases. 
Inflammaging and the body
Scientists have already outlined a relationship between inflammation and a range of conditions, including type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and osteoporosis.
In the past, scientists thought that the immune system or the liver drove inflammaging. However, according to a new study that the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology recently published, the skin might play a significant role, too.