Biological Age

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Biological Age Overview

Your biological age is a measure of how old you “seem” based on your biomarker values. This is expressed relative to your chronological age (the one based on your birthdate). For example, a 40-year-old who is very healthy relative to a typical 40-year-old might have a biological age of 30.

We use the PhenoAge method. The researchers, including those at UCLA and NIH, state, that their method “strongly outperforms previous measures in regards to predictions for a variety of aging outcomes, including all-cause mortality, cancers, healthspan, physical functioning, and Alzheimer's disease. While this biomarker was developed using data from whole blood, it correlates strongly with age in every tissue and cell tested.”

Why we like it

Comparing your biological age to your chronological age is a great way to contextualize concepts like healthspan. It provides a tangible measure of how you "seem" to age based on your biomarker values. This approach is appealing because it simplifies complex information into an easily understandable concept.  Think of PhenoAge as a polygenic risk score but for aging. While polygenic risk scores assess your genetic predisposition to certain diseases using multiple genes. PhenoAge uses multiple biomarker measures to assign you an age that indicates your risk of disease or death.

As we adopt healthy habits, the hope is to see our biological age decrease in comparison to our chronological age, indicating improved health and longevity. PhenoAge is unique in that you can derive it from our labs, and you don’t incur increased cost for other biological age methods that haven’t been proven to be more prognostic.

Shortcomings

Biomarkers of aging, including biological age, represent one of the fastest-growing fields of research. However, it's important to note that there is currently no universally accepted gold standard. The existing tests, including PhenoAge, have been derived from extensive cohort data sets, indicating that the assigned age number should be viewed as directional rather than precise.   While biological age provides useful insights, physical tests such as VO2 max hold greater weight than biological age alone. Individual biomarkers like hemoglobin A1C or ApoB may provide more specific and actionable information. It's crucial to consider these factors when interpreting and assigning significance to biological age results.

Publications

An epigenetic biomarker of aging for lifespan and healthspan