Biological Age Test - Quantifying Your Real Age Using 11 Proven methods
“How old are you?” can be an uncomfortable question sometimes, especially as we age in life. Feeling self-conscious about how we appear as we age can cause us to, instead of answering directly, ask our peers to guess our age. For people interested in longevity, healthspan and biohacking, this is a question that is relished and enjoyed :)
A new field of science is emerging that studies our ‘biological age’ as opposed to our chronological age. Specifically, this field of science measures our ‘biological clock’ to establish an ‘age’ that is representative of your body's condition and wellbeing, as opposed to an age that is linked to rotations of the earth around the sun.
How to calculate biological age
While there are many ways to determine our body’s biological clock, most scientists recommend using the body’s ‘DNA methylation clock’ - epigenome-containing methyl groups. The epigenome is responsible for determining how a specific genome will be expressed, and it tends to change as one ages. There, however, many other ways to better understand your biological age and in this article, we will explore the options currently available.
In the pursuit of longevity and long-lasting health, we have collected 11 tests that are able to determine your body’s biological age - which can often differ from your chronological age. We’ll also share our view of which ones to focus on to support your ongoing healthspan journey.
Let’s take a look below.
Age Test #1 - Phenotypic Age - biological age calculator
Phenotypic Age is a biological age calculator that measures based on nine blood biomarkers and is calculated based on the data chronological age of 11,432 adults - all between 20 to 48 years old. It’s a scientific model from the paper written by M. E. Levine, et al, which has subsequently been formatted into an easy-to-use spreadsheet. All it requires is data from your own blood tests to determine your results.
Using the outcomes obtained from the excel spreadsheet and total Baseline line test, we entered the given information to affirm our phenotypic life. This information included the size and shape of our white and red blood cells, creatinine, and albumin.
If you’re thinking “how do I calculate my biological age?” then here is a link to the spreadsheet for you to input your own data to identify your own biological age.
Age Test #2 - AgingAI
Insilico Medicine is a longevity-focused AI company that has developed a powerful tool for calculating your biological age. The tool, called AgingAI, is revolutionary in the biological clock field and considers many more factors than the Phenotype tool, above. The CTO of Insilico - Alex Zhavoronkov, is quite possibly one of the leaders in the world for the advancement in research on longevity technology.
AgingAI uses the direct approach of artificial intelligence to estimate biological age, which is substantially more technical and complex than the previous linear model used in our previously mentioned phenotypic tool of age. This approach uses deep neural networks and is trained on over 60,000 data points.
TAs per our observations, this age tool is genetically more subjective due to the employed approach of machine learning, as it'll be biased not to give the chronological age as the final answer.
You can access the Aging AI tool here.
These first two biological age tests require you to have your own blood test results. If you have recently had ‘full blood panels’ within the NHS you can sometimes get these from your GP. If you have not recently had a full blood panel you can easily get one done using our partner, medichecks, who provide a range of test, including their Ultimate Performance Blood Test, which include 57 blood markers and covers almost all of the markers required for these two tests. If you can’t get access to your blood results for the remaining markers we would enter the median of the range presented.
Age Test #3 - RealAge By Sharecare
As many of us won't have blood test results on hand to input into the tools mentioned above, RealAge by Sharecare doesn't require any blood test. Though it's not as accurate of a biological tool as it forgoes blood tests, this tool makes up for its ambiguity with a questionnaire-style approach.
The uniqueness of this test is complimentary, as its questions measure physiological and emotional data points very clearly. There are also follow-up tools that target the RealAge score directly and thus help you further improve the score, such as the 'dashboard' which allows behavior tracking and gives tailored advice.
The test itself takes 15-20 minutes to complete, asking about your lifestyle and overall health. It will predict your biological age, and we like how it also suggests tips on health improvements.
Age Test #4 - Glycan Age test
Glycan Age is an at-home blood test, done with a simple finger prick, that is mailed back in. This test is part of the scientific thought that glycans can be used as a biological clock.
Glycans are sugar molecules surrounding and modifying body proteins. Glycan Age studies your body’s glycans, saying that they show your immune system's inflammatory state in regard to your life choices, which in turn indicates your biological age.
Both good and bad glycans are measured, and indications can be made from their levels as, typically, good glycans decrease as we age while bad glycans grow in number. However, this test reports large variations in results, so it may be difficult to determine your true biological age from only a single glycan level check.
You can get your Glycan Age test here.
Age Test #5 - Longevity Box DNA & Epigenetics Test - epigenetic test
The Longevity Box DNA & Epigenetics Test is a saliva-based at-home epigenetic test kit, powered by Muhdo Health, and is the most accurate epigenetic test when it comes to biological aging tests.
We analyse 1,000 hand-chosen SNPs that are known to affect health and aging and provide not just one biological age, but age for your eye health, memory, hearing, and an inflammation score.
We provide over 300 genetic reports across 20 categories, helping you understand everything that your genes can tell you about your health, athleticism, health risks, diet and nutrition and much more.
It takes just three weeks to receive your results after you send in your saliva sample. The process involved in calculating your biological age includes extracting your DNA, reading the methylation changes, putting your DNA into a computer where methylation profiles are created, and analyzing the data to produce your results.
You can get your Epigenetic Age test here.
Age Test #6 - InnerAge - biological age test
InnerAge is a biological age test that tracks biomarkers based on your gender and gives results based on your lifestyle choices and blood tests. After you complete the test, InnerAge follows up with a personalized recommendation list that you can do daily to improve your biomarker zones.
InnerAge uses different biomarkers, 17 for males and 13 for females, to calculate your results. Their insight is unique in the fact that they will dive deep into your data, showing you which biomarker is improving, or hampering, your biological age.
You can get your Inner Age test here.
Age Test #7 - LifeLength - Age Quiz
LifeLength takes the biological clock puzzle in a different fashion, instead focusing on the telomeres of the body - the ends of your chromosomes that shield it from deterioration. These telomeres shorten after time and can be linked with age-related diseases. However, there is not enough evidence to link these tests with mortality.
After you receive your results in an email sent from the lab, they’ll schedule you with a LifeLength doctor to talk about your results, and how to improve your health right then and there. The length of your telomeres are compared with their customer base of 10,000 plus, people who typically lead healthy lives.
You can get your telomere test here.
Age Test #8 - MyDNAge - epigenetics test
MyDNAge is a combined urine and blood test with the results yielding your Epimetabolic index, your body’s enzyme activity, plus any age-related risk factors.
They calculate your biological age using a method called Next-Generation Sequencing, where they analyze the biomarkers extracted from your blood sample. Along with this, they also offer you feedback regarding your Epi-Metabolic Index, a score that lets you know your risk factors for developing metabolic disorders, and your APOE gene copy, which can help predict your likelihood of developing diseases such as Alzheimer's.
You can get your epigenetic clock test here.
AGE TOOL #9 - TruDiagnostic - epigenetic testing
TruDiagnostic is a US company that offers insight into your rate of aging, biological age, telomere length, and how your immune system is affecting your age. Their methylation testing is used in more than 16 anti-aging impersonal clinical trials from places such as Cornell, OneSkin, and Harvard.
Along with a 4-5 week turnaround, TruyDiagnostic will give you a full report using data that’s cutting edge, focusing on the methylation sites that relate to age. Their biological clock scores are based solely on the science behind the methylation analysis. However, the questionnaire that is filled out when you submit a blood test helps to increase the accuracy of your results.
You can get your epigenetic clock test here.
Age Test #10 - Tru Me Labs - epigenetic clock test
Tru Me Labs was originally built by scientists to help their own friends and family, and now they have made it accessible to everyone. For those who are worried about blood or needles, this epigenetics test uniquely doesn't require blood as it is saliva-based.
This DNA-based at-home saliva test tracks how slow or fast you are aging (if you take a second test at least six months later to compare the results.) However, the researchers behind Tru Me Labs have noted that the test captures only a fragment of your DNA, so the results have an error margin of about 4.6 years.
As successful as this particular test is, they lack transparency in its methodology.
You can get your epigenetic clock test here.
Age Test #11 - Young.ai - biological age test free
The app is free to use - simply upload a photo or a blood test to learn what your biological age is, and add more data to get more personalized results. Their AI will crunch the data and give you scientifically-backed steps to take that will improve your health and wellbeing.
The app uses a variety of predictors to give your results, but they put more emphasis on your liver, glucose, renal and respiratory systems, and blood readings. Their app’s accuracy is between six to seven years.
You can access the Young.ai app here.
Should You Try A Biological Age Test?
To maximise your longevity, you need to create a baseline first. Creating a baseline means you know what your current wellness and health status are so you can take the proper measures, keeping your baseline in mind, to improve your life and wellbeing, then retest again to know how your longevity strategy works.
Biological tests are a perfect way to ascertain your baseline as they comprise the overall effect of different factors and are explicitly dedicated to measuring aging. Deciding which test to go ahead with can be confusing, however, especially if you don’t know what to look for.
The list of testing options is rapidly growing, such as checking telomere length and DNA methylation. You will want to keep the following in mind before choosing any specific test:
- Representativeness - Will the test give you the most accurate results based on your individual needs?
- Affordability - Are you able to do the test routinely, keeping the cost in mind?
- Accessibility - Will you need a doctor or a complicated setup to get the test done?
Our choice of best biological age tests
We’ve tried all of these tests and a few are currently included in our own ongoing health optimisation protocols. If we could do only three we would do the following tests because they cover most bases nicely. First, get a full blood panel from Medicheck and enter the results in both the Phenotypic excel sheet (tool 1 above) and the Aging.AI online portal (tool 2 above). If you can afford it, we would also recommend Longevity Box DNA & Epigenetics Test (option 5 above), Admitidly we are biased, but we believe our report the most insightful and good value for money in the UK.
Whilst it’s not specifically focused on biological age, we also recommend Healthpath’s microbiome Advanced Gut Health Test as the health of your microbiome is critical to full body health and longevity. We do this test every two years as part of our ongoing monitoring protocol.
We don’t have to be uncertain when someone asks about our age anymore, especially with all the longevity tools at our disposal. Utilising these tools, it’s possible to know our true age and devise a longevity strategy that will not only improve our health right now, but will make a difference in years to come.