The Future of Health: How to Pick the Epigenetic Test That Best Measures Your Biological AgeNov 02, 2023
Are you curious about the true reflection of your health and longevity? Your chronological age, determined by the candles on your birthday cake, offers just a surface-level glimpse into your life's timeline. But what if there was a number that could encapsulate the essence of your lifestyle choices, the decisions that influence your inner vitality, and not just your external appearance? Enter the realm of biological age—a metric that goes beyond superficial aging markers to reflect how well your cells and organs are functioning.
Understanding your biological age is more than just satisfying curiosity; it's about gaining insights into the effectiveness of your daily habits and health practices. It's a number that narrates the story of your life's choices—the diet you adhere to, the stress you manage, the sleep you cherish, and the movements you make. This pivotal metric serves as a compass, guiding you through the labyrinth of health and lifestyle decisions.
Knowing your biological age can help you understand your current health status, identify potential risks, and take action to improve your health and slow down aging. But how can you measure your biological age? The answer is epigenetic testing.
Epigenetic testing is a cutting-edge technology that analyzes the chemical modifications on your DNA that affect how your genes are expressed. These modifications, such as the DNA methylation on specific places in your genome, change over time as a result of various factors such as diet, stress, exercise, smoking, etc. By analyzing the distinctive patterns of these epigenetic markers, these tests can estimate your biological age and measure the rate at which you are aging. Additionally, they offer valuable insights into the present state of your cellular health, allowing you to foresee potential risks of chronic diseases that might emerge in the future.
What are the options for epigenetic testing?
There are several types of epigenetic tests that use different methods and samples to measure your biological age. The most common ones are:
- Blood tests: These tests require a blood sample that is collected by a professional or by yourself using a kit. Blood tests are considered the most accurate and reliable because they have access to a large number of biomarkers that reflect your health and aging. However, they are also more expensive and invasive than other tests.
- Urine tests: These tests require a urine sample that is collected by yourself using a kit. Urine tests are less accurate and reliable than blood tests because they have access to fewer biomarkers and are more prone to contamination and degradation. However, they are also cheaper and less invasive than blood tests.
- Saliva tests: These tests require a saliva sample that is collected by yourself using a kit. Saliva tests are similar to urine tests in terms of accuracy, reliability, cost, and invasiveness. However, they may have some advantages over urine tests in terms of convenience and stability.
Some examples of popular epigenetic tests are:
- Elysium: Elysium is a company that offers an epigenetic test called Index, which measures your biological age and the aging of 10 different aspects of aging in your body, such as brain, heart, immune, and metabolic. Index uses a saliva sample and analyzes global methylation patterns on your DNA using a unique machine learning algorithm. It claims to be the most precise and comprehensive measure of epigenetic age available. Index also provides you with science-based lifestyle recommendations to improve your health and longevity. Index costs $299 per kit and delivers the results in around 6 weeks.
- Tally Health: The epigenetic test that Tally Health offers is called TallyAge Test. It requires a cheek swab sample and analyzes over 900,000 methylation sites on your DNA using a proprietary machine learning model. It calculates your TallyAge, which is an estimate of your true biological age. It also calculates your pace of aging, which is how fast or slow your body is currently aging on a cellular level. In addition to your TallyAge and pace of aging, the test also provides you with system age scores for 10 different systems in your body: brain, heart, metabolic, immune, inflammation, kidney, liver, hormone, and blood. These scores indicate how well each system is functioning compared to the average for your chronological age. The test also provides you with personalized recommendations to improve your health and longevity based on your results. The TallyAge Test costs $229 per kit and delivers the results in around 4-6 weeks.
- TruDiagnostic: One of the epigenetic tests they offer is called TruAge COMPLETE, which uses the most advanced and predictive aging algorithm ever created: OMICm Age. OMICm Age was developed by TruDiagnostic in partnership with Harvard University, using some of the most comprehensive aging data ever collected in a single cohort. OMICm Age can predict the age of your body through advanced epigenetic methylation algorithms. TruAge COMPLETE requires a blood sample and analyzes over 500,000 methylation sites on your DNA. It calculates your OMICm biological age, which is the most accurate estimate of your true biological age. It also calculates your risk of death, stroke, cancer, heart disease, COPD, depression, and type 2 diabetes based on your methylation patterns. It also calculates methylation risk scores for proteins, metabolites, and other clinical biomarkers that are associated with aging2.In addition to OMICm Age, TruAge COMPLETE also provides other reports and insights on various aspects of aging, such as:
- Pace of Aging: How fast or slow your body is currently aging on a cellular level, using the DunedinPACE algorithm.
- Telomere Length: How long are the protective caps at the end of your chromosomes that shorten with each cell division.
- Type 2 Diabetes Risk: How likely are you to develop type 2 diabetes based on your methylation patterns.
- Mitotic Clock: How many times have your cells divided and how close are they to reaching their limit.
- Weight Loss Response: How well do you respond to weight loss interventions based on your methylation patterns.
- Smoking & Drinking: How much do smoking and drinking affect your biological age and health.
- Fitness Report: How fit you are based on your methylation patterns related to gait speed, grip strength, VO2Max, and FEV1.
- Immune Report: How healthy is your immune system based on the concentration and ratio of different immune cell types.
- Inflammation Report: How inflamed are you based on the methylation levels of two inflammation markers: CRP and IL-6.
TruAge COMPLETE costs $499 per kit and delivers the results in around 6-8 weeks.
What are the factors to consider when choosing an epigenetic test?
As you can see, there are many options for epigenetic testing, but not all of them are created equal. When choosing an epigenetic test, you should consider the following factors:
- Number and quality of biomarkers: The more biomarkers an epigenetic test uses, the more accurate and reliable it is likely to be. However, not all biomarkers are equally relevant for measuring biological age. Some biomarkers may be more specific to certain tissues or organs than others. Therefore, you should look for an epigenetic test that uses a large number and a diverse range of biomarkers that cover different aspects of your health and aging.
- Data analysis methods: The way an epigenetic test analyzes your data can affect the accuracy and reliability of your results. Different epigenetic clocks use different algorithms and models to estimate your biological age based on your biomarkers. Some epigenetic clocks may be more robust and validated than others. Therefore, you should look for an epigenetic test that uses a data analysis method that is based on scientific evidence and peer-reviewed research.
- Report content and format: The report that an epigenetic test provides you with is the final product that you will use to understand and improve your health and aging. The report should also be easy to access, read, and share, and it should have a user-friendly interface and design.
To evaluate an epigenetic test based on these factors, you can use various sources of information such as customer reviews, testimonials, research publications, etc. You can also compare different epigenetic tests side by side using online tools such as this one.
Why did I choose TruDiagnostics as my epigenetic test?
After doing extensive research and comparison, I decided to choose TruDiagnostics as my epigenetic test for the following reasons:
- It uses a blood sample, which is the most accurate and reliable type of sample for epigenetic testing. It measures 900 biomarkers, which is the largest number of biomarkers among all epigenetic tests. These biomarkers cover various aspects of my health and aging such as inflammation, metabolism, immunity, etc.
- It uses a proprietary data analysis method called OMICm, which is based on machine learning and artificial intelligence. OMICm is more advanced and accurate than other epigenetic clocks because it can account for individual differences and environmental factors that affect biological age.
- It provides me with a comprehensive report that includes not only my biological age and pace of aging, but also additional reports on my fitness age, immune age, telomere length, weight loss response, alcohol consumption, smoke exposure risk, and research-backed ways to improve my aging. These reports give me a holistic view of my health and wellness and help me identify my lifestyle strengths and weaknesses.
If you are interested in taking an epigenetic test for yourself, I highly recommend TruDiagnostics. It provides you with valuable information and guidance on how to improve your biological age and extend your health span. I became a partner with them and currently offer their tests on my website. There are three packages that you can choose from. The Epigenetic Ignition Kit includes the kit, the report interpretation and a personal intervention plan for $497 and includes all the reports (a few of these reports are not included if you do the test directly through their site).
Once you get the result, as my client you will get personalized support with interventions especially designed for you. My approach is natural because I believe in prevention and avoid shortcuts that only improve on the surface or temporarily. When you work with me, first I will help you eliminate all factors that are accelerating your aging process and then I will guide you step by step to optimize the 7 pillars of youth making sure rejuvenation happens from the inside out. For the first time and with this test, we can measure the reflection of our lifestyle choices directly in our epigenome. If you want to know more leave me a comment below or contact me via email.
Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more updates on epigenetics and rejuvenation.
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