How long will my surgery take to heal?
Simple question, no?
The answers on the internet ranged from three-weeks to four-months to sometimes-never.
Qualitatively it is due to age. Not necessarily our age by the calendar but our age at the cellular/DNA level.
We have all seen 39 year-old people who moved and looked like they were seventy. And we have seen seventy year-olds who could pass for fifty any day of the week. We have also seen, or heard about, people who never hit puberty. They never generate secondary sexual characteristics.
"Methylation" is the generic term for aging at the DNA level. There are other mechanisms but methylation is the most widely studied and documented. Methylation is not inherently bad. Remember the people who never got to puberty?
Some factors that speed up methylation are high-fat diets, high sugar diets and obesity.
Some factors that slow methylation are diets rich in tannins (coffee, tea, red wine, vegetables, whole grains) and rich in pigments.
Fruits rich in tannin tend to be either very "puckerish" or exquisitely fragrant. Tannin is a reactive chemical that transforms in the fruit as the fruit matures or wine ages. Early on it is puckery but as it matures it forms the backbone for the fragrances of apples, red wine and persimmons.
Methylation has many, many moving parts. There is no one food or chemical that is the silver bullet. The key seems to be to eat/drink many different kinds of food of various colors every day.
So there you have it: M&Ms, Skittles and Froot Loops are the perfect foods. Pour yourself a bowl, add red wine d' boîte and enjoy.
Like all technologies, it can be turned to dark uses.
Degree of methylation could be used as a factor to rationalize medical care or to support involuntary euthanasia. The logic would be "This guy is 85 years-old at a cellular-healing level, why waste the resources or the bed in a care facility?"
On the other-hand, knowing one's methylation score might be a useful thing to know when making resuscitation plans. When my methylation score is over 80, maybe I don't want a ventilator or intrusive attempts to revive me.