In the hope of reversing aging, biological age tests can offer some insights whether your longevity strategies are working. These innovative assessments may provide a deeper understanding of one's overall health and aging process beyond chronological age and may be one of the tools for individuals curious about longevity parameters.
A lower biological age than your chronological age may indicate that you are aging well or slower, but a higher biological age may suggest that your body is undergoing an accelerated aging process.
In this comprehensive review, we delve into the top six brands of best tests for biological age, evaluating their accuracy, methodology, and potential to manage our biological age.
The best biological age tests: a shortlist
- Purovitalis — best saliva biological age test
- Elysium Index — best test for biological age for various lifestyle recommendations
- Viome — overall best test with the most comprehensive results
- GlycanAge — best IgG glycome-based biological age test
- ProHealth — best test for fast turnaround time
- TruAge — best epigenetic DNA methylation biological age test
How have we compiled the list of the best biological age tests?
Our list of the best biological age tests has been meticulously compiled, taking into account several critical criteria to ensure accuracy and relevance:
|Quality||Provides comprehensive test and personalized recommendations|
|Accuracy||Backed by research and validated|
|Cost consideration||Reasonably priced options|
|Result time||Offering faster turnaround time for practical use|
|Sample type||Differences in sample collection methods to cater various preferences|
- Quality. High-quality biological age tests are those that provide comprehensive results and personalized lifestyle recommendations.
- Accuracy. We assessed the scientific validity and reliability of the tests, prioritizing those with research backing and validation.
- Cost consideration. We evaluated the affordability of each test compared with other biological age tests, as well as considering how comprehensive the test and recommendations are.
- Result time. Timely results are crucial, so we considered the turnaround time for each test to provide practical options for users.
- Sample type. We considered the convenience and comfort of the sample collection method, recognizing that different individuals may prefer blood, saliva, or other sample types.
The best biological age tests: an overview
Most biological age tests are based on Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS), a rapid and ultra-high throughput technology used to study our genes which can be based on the actual DNA (genomics), the genes expressed (transcriptomics), or the chemical modifications on DNA such as methylation (epigenomics).
At present, it is known that certain biomarkers that can be revealed through NGS can reflect your biological age and can be used to manage your health and longevity.
Here is a list of some of the best biological age tests available now in the market:
1. Purovitalis — best saliva biological age test
Purovitalis EpiAge Your Biological Age Test is based on epigenetics sequencing, specifically looking into the DNA methylation patterns of an individual. It is known that DNA methylation markers may activate or inhibit a gene depending on its location, making them biochemical switches that turn on/off genes. Specific DNA methylation patterns have been found to strongly correlate with biological age.
If you use a saliva sample obtained via an at-home kit and send it to Purovitalis, they can profile an individual’s DNA methylation patterns to estimate biological age and return the results within 2 — 4 weeks.
It costs €199 and they offer 10% discount plus free shipping if you subscribe.
2. Elysium Index — best test for biological age for various lifestyle recommendations
Elysium Health’s Index is another epigenetics DNA methylation-based biological age test. Notably, they measure 10 different aspects of aging: your overall biological age and nine age scores of different health parameters (brain, heart, metabolic, immune, inflammation, kidney, liver, hormone, and blood).
They also provide another feature called rate of aging which is suggested to estimate the pace at which your body has been aging. In addition, based on the results, they recommend lifestyle recommendations.
Elysium’s Index Epigenetic Test is an at-home saliva test costing $499 per kit, with free shipping in the US. From the DNA found in the cells in the saliva sample, they do DNA methylation profiling to provide insights into your biological age and deliver the results in around 6 weeks.
3. Viome — overall best test with the most comprehensive results
Viome’s product is a comprehensive health and longevity test based on RNA sequencing and artificial intelligence. It includes the biological age test, 50+ health scores, personalized food recommendations, supplement recommendations, and probiotic + prebiotics recommendations.
The health scores included are for biological age, gut, oral health, immune function, brain, heart, inflammation, among others. Additionally, they test for specific cellular pathway activities.
Viome’s full body biological age test kit costs $399 on a one-time purchase, but it costs $199/month if you subscribe to a monthly supply of personalized supplements and probiotics + prebiotics, including a retest kit every 12 orders.
They release the results and recommendations within 2 — 3 weeks.
4. Glycan — best IgG glycome-based biological age
GlycanAge Test’s approach to provide guidance in managing age-related decline is glycan testing (glycans are sugar molecules). They analyze 29 glycans (~99% of the glycan structures on IgG glycome). GlycanAge assesses the glycans attached to our most common antibody called IgG (immunoglobulin G) which can tell us important insights about biological aging, immune state, and inflammation. They offer the following health scores: Glycan Youth, Glycan Shield, Glycan Mature, Glycan Median, Glycan Lifestyle, and GlycanAge Index.
GlycanAge test kit costs £289, or £492 for two tests, but there are payment plans to save more. The estimated turnaround time is 3 — 5 weeks, where the results can be viewed and the progress can be tracked via a personal dashboard. Furthermore, they have doctors available for one-on-one consultation.
5. TruMe — best test for fast turnaround time
Developed by ProHealth Longevity, TruMe Biological Age Test is also a DNA methylation-based epigenetic test that is designed to offer some insights on how fast (or slow) you are aging biologically.
Upon receiving your saliva samples, expect around 1 — 2 weeks for your results to be released; it only costs $99. They further provide personalized, actionable recommendations based on your results.
6. TruAge — best epigenetic DNA methylation biological age test
Another one of the best epigenetic age tests, TruAge COMPLETE tests about 1,000,000+ methylation points in the DNA, providing an in-depth assessment of numerous biomarkers of epigenetic aging.
It has 6 reports, specifically: biological age report, pace of aging report, telomere length report, weight loss response report, alcohol consumption report, and smoke exposure risk report.
It costs $499 per kit, with an additional $30 if you want to purchase the Tasso+ blood collection device. Results turnaround time is 2 — 3 weeks.
Comparison of the best biological age tests
|Brand||Price per kit||Sample||Technology||Health scores||Turnaround time||Recommendation||Personal Information Security|
|Purovitalis EpiAge™||€199||Saliva||Epigenetics testing (DNA methylation)||1||2 — 4 weeks||Yes||Yes|
|Elysium Index Epigenetic Test||$499||Saliva||Epigenetics testing (DNA methylation)||10||~6 weeks||Yes||Yes|
|Viome Full Body Intelligence Test||$399||Stool, blood, saliva||RNA sequencing||50+||2 — 3 weeks||Yes||Yes|
|Glycan Age Test||£289||Blood||Glycan (glycome) testing||6||3 — 5 weeks||Yes||Yes|
|TruMe Biological Age Test||$99||Saliva||Epigenetics testing (DNA methylation)||1||1 — 2 weeks||Yes||No information|
|TruAge COMPLETE||$499||Blood||Epigenetics testing (DNA methylation)||6||2 — 3 weeks||No||Yes|
What is biological age?
Biological age is a quantitative measure of an individual's overall health and aging status, determined by various factors such as genetics, lifestyle, and environmental influences. It assesses how well the body has aged relative to chronological age, providing insight into one's risk of age-related diseases and mortality.
Your biological age may be different from your chronological age depending on how your body ages at the molecular level. Unlike chronological age, which increases predictably, biological age can vary widely among individuals and can be influenced positively through healthy habits like diet, exercise, and stress management, or negatively by factors such as smoking and poor nutrition. Accurately measuring biological age helps assess overall well-being and the effectiveness of aging-related interventions.
Factors impacting biological age
Biological age is influenced by a complex interplay of factors that impact an individual's overall health and aging process. Understanding these factors and making positive lifestyle choices can help individuals slow down their biological aging process and promote overall well-being.
- Genetics. Genetic predispositions play a pivotal role in biological age. Inherited traits or undesirable mutations can influence susceptibility to age-related diseases and affect the body's ability to repair and regenerate tissues.
- Lifestyle. Choices such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and sun exposure significantly impact biological age. Healthy habits like abstaining from smoking, limiting alcohol intake, and protecting skin from UV rays can slow down aging.
- Diet. Nutrition also plays a critical role in biological age. A balanced diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients supports cellular health and can delay aging, while diets high in processed foods may expedite it.
- Exercise. Regular physical activity enhances cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and overall vitality, contributing to a younger biological age. Sedentary lifestyles, conversely, accelerate aging.
- Stress. Chronic stress promotes the release of hormones that can accelerate aging at the cellular level. Effective stress management techniques, like mindfulness and relaxation, can mitigate these effects, promoting a more youthful appearance.
Importance of knowing your biological age
Understanding your biological age is crucial for health and longevity. Unlike chronological age, which merely counts years, biological age provides a more accurate assessment of your overall well-being. It helps identify your risk of age-related diseases and mortality.
By knowing your biological age, you can make informed lifestyle choices to slow down the aging process. This knowledge motivates individuals to adopt healthier habits such as proper nutrition, regular exercise, stress management, and avoiding harmful behaviors.
Ultimately, monitoring and improving your biological age can lead to a longer, healthier life, reducing the risk of age-associated illnesses and enhancing overall quality of life.
Types of biological age tests
Biological age tests are the best way to test biological age and offer insights into an individual's true age and overall health, surpassing the limitations of chronological age. They encompass a range of techniques to assess various aspects of aging.
- DNA Methylation Clocks. Scrutinize changes in DNA methylation patterns at specific sites, such as the Horvath and Hannum clocks. These epigenetic age clock tests provide a precise estimate of biological age.
- Telomere Length Analysis. Measures the length of protective chromosome caps called telomeres. Longer telomeres often indicate a younger biological age.
- Epigenetic Clocks. Examine epigenetic modifications, offering a deeper understanding of biological age beyond DNA alone.
- Metabolic Profiling. Analyzes metabolic markers and blood metabolites, shedding light on the aging process and overall health.
- Blood Biomarkers. Like C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 gauge inflammation and oxidative stress, crucial factors in biological aging.
These diverse tools may empower individuals to comprehend their health better, fostering informed decisions to potentially slow down the aging process and enhance overall well-being.
Biological age test vs. epigenetic age test
Biological age test and epigenetic age test are terms often used interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference.
Biological age is a more general term, it encompasses various methods of assessing overall health and aging based on different factors like genetics, transcriptomics, glycomics, epigenetics, and biomarkers.
Epigenetic age test is a type of biological age test that specifically relies on analyzing DNA methylation patterns to precisely estimate age-related changes at a cellular level.
While they both offer insights into aging, epigenetic age tests provide a more granular view, making them a subset of biological age tests. Both are valuable for personalized health management, but it is believed that epigenetic age tests delve deeper into the molecular mechanisms of aging.
Who should use a biological age test?
Biological age tests are valuable for individuals seeking a comprehensive assessment of their health beyond chronological age. These tests can offer scientifically accurate insights into overall well-being, aiding in personalized health management or personalized aging intervention management. They utilize factors like genetics, lifestyle, and biomarkers to estimate age-related health.
However, while biological age tests are informative, they are not without limitations. Accuracy can vary among different tests and methods, and no single test is universally accepted as the gold standard. Additionally, factors like genetics, which influence the rate of aging, may not always align with the calculated biological age. Nonetheless, these tests provide essential information for optimizing health and guiding lifestyle choices, making them valuable tools for health-conscious individuals.
How do these tests work?
Biological age tests assess an individual's overall health and aging process. Here's how some of the prominent biological age tests work:
- Epigenetic testing or DNA methylation testing. Relies on predictable changes in DNA methylation patterns as individuals age. Using mathematical models, biological age can be estimated by comparing these patterns to a reference dataset. The process includes blood or saliva sample collection, DNA extraction, bisulfite treatment, and DNA sequencing or microarray analysis.
- Glycan testing. Analyzes changes in glycan (sugar molecule) structures in IgG, which correlate with aging. Blood samples are collected and subjected to advanced mass spectrometry and chromatography techniques for analysis.
- Transcriptome testing. Assesses gene expression patterns (transcriptome) to gauge biological age. RNA-sequencing measures RNA transcript abundance, providing insights into cellular mechanisms and aging. Blood or tissue samples are typically used.
The health benefits of knowing your biological age
Knowing your biological age may offer some health benefits. It provides a more accurate assessment of your overall well-being compared to chronological age, guiding personalized health decisions.
By understanding how your lifestyle, genetics, and habits impact your aging process, you can make informed choices to improve your health and longevity. Monitoring your biological age can motivate you to adopt healthier habits, such as balanced nutrition, regular exercise, stress management, and avoiding harmful behaviors.
Ultimately, this knowledge helps reduce the risk of age-related diseases, enhances overall quality of life, and promotes a longer, healthier lifespan.
How to choose the best biological age test?
Choosing the best biological age test requires careful consideration of several key factors.
Prioritize accuracy and scientific validity by opting for tests with robust research backing. Consider the type of test that aligns with your specific goals, whether it's epigenetic, glycan, or another method. Factor in the cost and accessibility, ensuring it fits your budget and is readily available.
Additionally, evaluate the sample collection method, as some tests may require blood, saliva, or other samples. Assess the turnaround time for results and the ease of interpretation. Ultimately, the best test choice should be a balance of scientific credibility, practicality, and relevance to your health objectives.
Future developments in biological age testing
Future developments in biological age testing hold immense promise for healthcare. Advancements in AI and machine learning will refine the accuracy of these tests, allowing for more precise assessments of an individual's aging process.
Integration of multi-omics data (genomics, epigenomics, proteomics) will offer a holistic view of biological age, enabling personalized health interventions. Furthermore, the use of wearable devices and continuous monitoring may provide real-time updates on biological age, revolutionizing preventative healthcare strategies.
As research progresses, biological age testing will increasingly play a pivotal role in promoting longevity and improving overall health outcomes.
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Are biological age tests accurate?
Biological age tests may provide some estimates of an individual's overall health and aging process by analyzing various biomarkers. However, their accuracy may vary depending on the specific test and the quality of its validation and research. While these tests offer valuable insights, they may not always perfectly predict an individual's health outcomes and should be interpreted alongside other clinical assessments for a comprehensive understanding.
Can I take a biological age test at home, or do I need to visit a healthcare facility?
Yes, many biological age tests can be taken at home, as they often require simple sample collection, such as a blood or saliva sample. However, some advanced tests may require specialized equipment and professional assistance, necessitating a visit to a healthcare facility or laboratory for accurate results.
How long does the age test take?
The duration of a biological age test varies depending on the specific test and laboratory processing times. Some tests provide results within a few days to weeks, while others may take longer. Rapid, point-of-care tests can yield immediate results. The timeframe depends on the complexity of the analysis and the testing facility's protocols.
What does my biological age reveal?
Your biological age reveals how your body is aging at molecular level based on various biological markers, such as DNA methylation patterns or biomarker levels, providing insights into your overall health, risks, and potential longevity. A lower biological age relative to your chronological age suggests a healthier, more youthful state, while higher biological age may indicate increased health risks and accelerated aging.
- Current Oncology Reports. Determination of Biological Age: Geriatric Assessment vs Biological Biomarkers.
- Aging Cell. Epigenetic age prediction.
- The Journals of Gerontology. Glycans are a novel biomarker of chronological and biological ages.
- Rejuvenation Research. The Role of DNA Methylation in Aging, Rejuvenation, and Age-Related Disease.
- Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine. Predictors of Biological Age: The Implications for Wellness and Aging Research.