I Just Found Out My ‘Biological Age’, Here’s How You Can Too…
You know your age in years, but how old are you really?
That’s what one genetic testing startup is trying to find out, and I put it to the test.
The company is called DNAge, and they’re expanding on a theory put forth by Dr. Steve Horvath. Dr. Horvath believes that the pattern of chemical chains that attach to the DNA in your cells—epigenetic markers—can reveal how swiftly you are aging, and perhaps even how much longer you will live.
See, DNA is fixed. You can’t change it. But epigenetic patterns are affected by your lifestyle, your sleeping habits, your eating habits, and hundreds of other little choices you make every day.
These choices lead can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and myriad other deadly diseases. So wouldn’t it be nice to know if your choices are shortening your life?
That’s exactly what DNAge is trying to do. Steve Horvarth developed the first epigenetic “clock,” a new way to calibrate aging. It measures specific epigenetic patterns that are linked to aging and disease and compares that result against what would normally be expected for someone of your age.
So, I wanted to know: what is my biological age?
I Decided To Try It For Myself
The tests are available to Americans at https://www.mydnage.com/. The cost is $299, which is steep but if you’re like me you view health expenses as investments, not costs.
I ordered in mid-December and the test came in about a week.
You can choose between a blood sample and a urine sample. The website explains the difference:
“For the blood biological age test, majority of the DNA is extracted from the white blood cells, meaning it measures the overall immunity of the body. On the other hand, the urine biological age test measures the overall urinary tract health since the DNA extracted from the urine sample comes from the organs encompassing the urinary system.”
So if you’re concerned about overall organ health, I would do the blood test. If you’re more concerned about digestive health, I would try the urine test.
The kit was very easy to complete. They give you a little vial and you do a quick finger prick to get the blood flowing. The finger prick didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would. It was a tiny little pinch.
Then you fill up a very small little vial with your blood, pack everything up, and off it goes. The whole process took 8 minutes. I got my results about six weeks later, just long enough to completely forget I had done it.
Here Are My Results
For background, I am 45 years old, don’t smoke and exercise 5-6 days a week. I eat a mostly whole food diet with an emphasis on protein (basically a low-carb diet). I am slightly muscular with little fat.
So my test shows what I think is a good result. I am ‘biologically’ 6 years younger (39) than my real age (45). That is a pretty satisfying result. I found myself hoping I would show up as 27 years old biologically, but if that were the case I’d probably have to go back to living in my parents basement (kidding of course).
So, overall I think this test was worthwhile. It’s short on actual health advice, meaning it didn’t say I should do anything different to change my results. That’s likely because with FDA rules these companies cannot give medical advice.
But if you’re curious and have the money, I think it would be a very motivating thing to know that you’re either on the right track or need to GET on the right track. Remember with epigenetics, you can change your fate with proper health choices.
Leave me a comment below on whether you would like to know your biological age.
February 24, 2021 at 8:21 pm
Sounds interesting but what if you seem like you’re going to die sooner than expected? I’m from a big family so I just sort of average the age that most of them have passed away. For my grandparents it was 86 and 92. For my parents it was 86 and 88. Maybe our life expectancy is getting shorter! Yikes! My parents had more of a tough life than their parents and without relatives nearby. I think that makes a huge difference.
April 9, 2021 at 9:03 am
There are so many other factors in live expectancy: what you eat, if you smoke, if you work in dangerous conditions (exposed to chemicals, working on a boat catching crab, etc.)…so that needs to be factored in as well. But, your grandparents and parents all had relatively long lives! …and I agree that having relatives nearby and not TOO much stress will help extend one’s life as well!
Philip B. Gough
February 24, 2021 at 11:18 pm
I’d like to know my biological age.
June 14, 2021 at 11:39 am
I think it would be interesting to do the test. I’d like to know my biological age. However, my curiosity is not $300 worth!! Don’t have that kind of money to throw away.
February 8, 2022 at 8:37 pm
I am 82 still going strong, will it work for me?