When people ask your age, we all know they’re referring to how many birthdays you’ve had or how many calendar years you’ve been alive. But a more telling question might be, “What’s your biological age?” That’s because our chronological age and our biological age can be very different.
Rather than a measurement of how long you’ve been alive, your biological age is an indicator of health.
In recent years, science has gotten much better at calculating people’s biological age and predicting their remaining life expectancy. The GrimAge clock is one of the most popular biological age calculators. Its name is fitting, since what it calculates is pretty somber: your remaining life expectancy. The GrimAge clock was developed by Dr. Steven Horvath, also known as the “godfather of epigenetic clocks.” This methylation-based epigenetic clock predicts age-related phenotypes and all-cause mortality. But what does that mean?
In school, you probably learned that DNA looks like a long, winding rope. That rope is wound around a protein structure called a “histone” and has chemical groups called “epigenetic markers” or “epigenetic modifications” attached to it. Methyl groups are a type of epigenetic marker. Artificial intelligence and epigenetic clocks can analyze your methyl groups’ location to deduce the pace at which you’re aging. Some can also help you predict your risk of developing age-related diseases or conditions.
Epigenetic clocks are the most accurate way to estimate your biological age, but they’re not the only method available to us. Doctors and scientists can analyze specific blood traits (called biomarkers), the length of your DNA’s telomeres, or your basal metabolic rate (BMR) to predict your “real” age.
Keep in mind telomere length and BMR are less accurate than methylation or blood-marker testing methods. Keep that in mind when choosing the right testing method for you. To help you learn more about your testing options and figure out which one might be right for you, take a look at our helpful comparison guide.
Ready to get started? AgelessRx can help you estimate your biological age using a few different methods. Our at-home methylation saliva test starts at $99 and our lab-based phenotypic blood test starts at $75. We also offer an online phenotypic calculator, which is free if you have previous blood test results.
We all want our biological age to be as low as possible. If you’re curious about yours or want to track the progress of your health journey, taking a test can help you find out where you stand.