The Many Measures Of Biological Age

You may have heard me talk about biological age before. If you spend any time in longevity circles, it’s something that comes up a lot, although it can take a little while to get your head around it. There are lots of ways to calculate biological age, so it can be tricky to decide which test, if any, you want to take, and what to do with the information once it’s in your hands (

Age seems like it should be simple. We’re born on a certain date, and we count how old we are based on the time since that date. However, as scientists know, that doesn’t necessarily reflect the aging shown by your body. Perhaps you’re a young and bouncy 50-year-old, or perhaps you’re only 30 but with the heart of someone decades older.

Testing biological age is a way to spot developing health problems before they become too serious and to adjust your lifestyle accordingly. You can start tailoring your diet and exercise regimen to the specifics of your physiology, or start taking supplements or medications as needed. It’s then possible to monitor your progress. Biological age testing allows for a more personalized approach to healthcare.

So far, so good, but first we need to calculate your biological age. There are a lot of complex factors that combine to decide how we age and whether we’re healthy. There are genetics, lifestyle choices like how much we smoke and drink, and environmental factors like pollution. Some aspects of biological age are physical, but there’s a psychological component, too.

As a result, there are lots of different types of tests that claim to calculate biological age, but they do so with different biomarkers. Many of these markers, such as your cholesterol levels, show up in blood tests. Then there’s measuring your telomeres, which are attached to the ends of your chromosomes. If they’re too short, that’s not a good sign. Some of the most popular modern tests focus on epigenetics and the analysis of DNA methylation.

Figure out what you’re looking for by measuring your biological age, such as if a particular aspect of your health worries you, then assess practical considerations like your budget and any data protection concerns. Talk to medical professionals and check the scientific evidence behind each test before making your choice.

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