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Want More Insights Into Your Longevity? Try One Of The Best Biological Age Tests

Amanda Lundberg, RN
Author: Medical reviewer:
January 17, 2024
Amanda Lundberg, RN
Registered Nurse (RN)
By Amanda Lundberg, RN
Registered Nurse (RN)
Amanda is a registered nurse with over a decade of experience in clinical nursing and a member of the Association of Healthcare Journalists.
Scott Nass, M.D., MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS
Medical review by
Scott Nass, M.D., MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS
Board-certified Family Physician
Scott Nass, M.D., MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS is a family physician and HIV specialist in California. He takes a holistic approach to healthcare, incorporating principles of functional medicine and using food as medicine when working with patients.
January 17, 2024

Biological age is a measurement of the physiological function of your cells. Why is biological age important you may ask? It's an indication of the lifestyle choices you make each day.

For example, people who smoke tend to have a higher biological age1 than those who don't.

By investing in the best biological age test, you can reveal detailed insights into the habits that impact your overall health and longevity.

Our vetted selection is curated with the help of longevity experts (and we even tested a few options ourselves).

Best biological age tests

What is a biological age test?

"A biological age test uses biomarkers to assess biological age. There are many ways to estimate biological age—such as by tracking movement or measuring clinical markers in blood," Cuellar explains.

However, Cuellar adds that "tests based on DNA methylation (epigenetic age tests) are thought to represent the gold standard."

Best gut microbiome test

Viome Health Intelligence Test

Image by Viome
Collection method
Stool, Blood
Test type
Gut microbiome and blood transcriptome
Insurance coverage
Not covered by most insurance companies

This Viome at-home test evaluates DNA health, mitochondrial health, and immune stress, which help quantify the biological factors that are influencing aging at the molecular level.

The data is gathered from testing your gut microbiome and blood transcriptome, which is a human gene expression test that decodes how your cells are functioning.

The actionable report includes 30 scores and subscores that are related to your cellular function, microbiome health, and biological age.

With this test, you'll also gain insight into your energy level, stress response, and immune health. The report includes a list of foods that you should eat and those you should avoid based on your microbiome and blood results, which the company calls precision nutrition.

Pros & cons

Pros

  • Actionable reports
  • Genetic and microbiome data
  • Only test to measure gut health and mitochondrial damage

Cons

  • Must submit blood and stool
Best for actionable results

Tally Health TallyAge™ Test

Image by Tally Health
Collection method
Cheek swab
Test type
Epigenetic
Biomarkers checked
Not specified

Tally uses a cheek swap to analyze your DNA and calculate your biological age. The test measures many aspects of your health and provides information on how your body is aging on a cellular level

Because aging has so much to do with lifestyle choices, Tally provides actionable recommendations to lower your biological age. These recommendations are personalized to you, based on the results of your cheek swab.

Along with the DNA sample, you will also be asked to fill our a questionnaire about your lifestyle, diet, exercise routine, and more. The brand offers subscription plans to continue testing over time, so you can truly see how the recommended diet and lifestyle changes can impact longevity.

Pros & cons

Pros

  • Cheek swab collection method
  • Receive a longevity supplement once results are in
  • Digital platform that keeps all your data in one place

Cons

  • Biomarkers checked are not specified
Best epigenetic test

TruDiagnostic TruAge COMPLETE Test

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Image by TruDiagnostic
Image by TruDiagnostic
Collection method
Blood
Test type
Epigenetic
Insurance coverage
Not covered by most insurance companies

Each TruDiagnostics test kit comes with detailed instructions about how to collect the blood sample necessary for biological age testing.

In the lab, TruDiagnostic measures over one million DNA locations that are known to have significance to health and wellness.

All testing is performed at an in-house laboratory and users receive an over 30 page report with information about the factors that influence their biological age based on their genetics.

For example, the weight loss response report helps people develop a strategy for weight loss based on your individual results and what the company believes will work best for you.

Pros & cons

Pros

  • Actionable reports
  • Fast turnaround time for the quality of information
  • Accurate predictive results

Cons

  • Relatively new company
Best saliva test

Elysium Index Biological Age Test

Image by Elysium
Collection method
Saliva
Test type
Epigenetic
Insurance coverage
Not covered by most insurance companies

Using epigenetic testing, the Elysium Index measures 10 areas of aging. Users receive information about their biological age, cumulative rate of aging, system scores of how nine body systems rank in biological age, as well as evidence-based and science-backed recommendations for healthier habits and longer life.

Epigenetic patterns are analyzed using a computational approach which was developed in Partnership with Morgan Levine Ph.D. from Yale University, a leading epigenetics researcher.

The brand chose the specific biomarkers based on how closely they are associated with aging and wellness.

Pros & cons

Pros

  • Actionable report with more than 100 science-based recommendations
  • Sample reports available after contacting the company
  • Advanced technology improves reproducibility

Cons

  • Only available in the U.S.
  • Cost
Best blood test

InsideTracker InnerAge 2.0 Test

Image by InsideTracker
Collection method
Blood
Test type
Bloodwork algorithm
Insurance coverage
Not covered by most insurance companies

InsideTracker offers users data-driven recommendations based on blood analysis of 17 biomarkers in men and 13 in women.

Using an algorithm, the report gives users a calculation of their biological age and personalized information on how to impact and optimize these biomarkers using exercise, lifestyle changes, nutrition, and supplements.

The brand says these biomarkers were objectively identified, referencing tens of thousands of data samples, which is why there are separate age-related markers for men and women, based on biological sex.

For example, the data showed a significant correlation between C-reactive protein and age for males but not for females, so this biomarker is only evaluated in men.

Within the corresponding app, users can track progress with results from subsequent testing and have access to educational courses—and the app is compatible with fitness trackers to log activity and progress.

Pros & cons

Pros

  • Quick results
  • Blood draw at a lab
  • Actionable report

Cons

  • Added cost for those in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, or Hawaii
Best NAD test

Renue IC NAD+ Test

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Image by Renue by Science
Image by Renue by Science
Collection method
Blood
Test type
Blood measurement
Insurance coverage
Not covered by most insurance companies

The purpose of an NAD test is to highlight your blood NAD levels, which are correlated with biological age. When you're taking NAD supplements, it's hard to know how much your body is absorbing and what's being used.

Renue’s home kit tests biological markers to determine whether your supplement is doing what it's meant to. Users collect just a few drops on the test strip and receive results in seven to 10 days.

NAD supports repair and anti-aging processes at the cellular level. It is also a measurement of metabolic health, which can indicate your potential for metabolic syndrome.

NAD deficiency may be a result of decline with age, associated with age-related diseases, or have a genetic factor, so knowing your levels can provide great insight into your longevity.

Pros & cons

Pros

  • Quick results
  • Finger prick blood sample
  • Strong indicator of NAD levels

Cons

  • No actionable report
Best IgG glycome test

GlycanAge Test

Image by GlycanAge
Collection method
Blood
Test type
IgG Glycome
Insurance coverage
Not covered by most insurance companies

This test measures glycan sugar molecules, which are an indication of the level of inflammation in your immune system. This inflammation is influenced by exposure to environmental toxins, lifestyle choices, and your genetic makeup.

Unlike other testing, GlycanAge reviews the inflammatory process at many levels.

The test evaluates how your glycan's functionally affects aging, based on studies that show accelerated glycan aging is associated with some disease development and can be altered by changing lifestyle choices.

With the option to purchase two tests at once, the first is meant to provide a baseline measurement and the second can be done after lifestyle changes have been implemented.

What's more, this test includes a one-on-one consultation with a healthspan physician who can help guide your lifestyle choices.

Pros & cons

Pros

  • 1-on-1 expert advice
  • Finger prick blood sample
  • Price reduction for two or more and option for monthly installments

Cons

  • Cost
  • No epigenetic information

Comparing the best biological age tests

BrandPrice per kitCollection methodTest typeBiomarkers checkedResult time
Viome Health Intelligence Test$229Stool; Blood; SalivaGut microbiome and blood transcriptomeNot specified2-3 weeks
Tally Health TallyAge Test$229Cheek swabEpigeneticNot specified4-6 weeks
TruDiagnostic TruAge Test$499BloodEpigeneticOver 1M DNA loci2-3 weeks
Elysium Index Epigenetic Test$299SalivaEpigeneticNot specified6 weeks
InsideTracker InnerAge 2.0 Test$249BloodBloodwork algorithm17 in men and 13 in women3-5 days
Renue IC NAD+ Test$248Blood NADNAD10 days
GlycanAge$348BloodIgG Glycome29 glycans3-5 weeks

How we picked

There are a variety of biological age tests on the market. Our process for choosing the best ones involved meticulous examination to ensure that the tests we chose provide a trustworthy indication of biological age based on robust scientific principles and user experiences.

We assessed a range of criteria including:

  • Quality: Quality is essential when you are making lifestyle changes. We selected the best biological age tests that produce the same results as you would receive from a traditional lab.
  • Sample type: Biological age tests use blood, saliva, stool, or a combination. We included options for all sample types.
  • Accuracy: Accuracy is a huge factor when making decisions that impact your health and longevity. We dove deep into each test, prioritizing accurate, easy-to-interpret results.
  • Cost: Since the best results seem to come from routine testing, we chose tests that meet a range of budgets—so you can be sure you are spending your money wisely.

What factors impact biological age?

Biological age is sometimes called physiological age since it's a measurement of how your body functions in relationship to your chronological age.

Steve Horvath, Ph.D., Sc.D., from the University of California, discovered the epigenetic clock that measures the age of human tissue far beyond the length of genetic telomeres.

Using epigenetic measurements, scientists found there are several lifestyle factors that affect biological age. They discovered that by changing these factors, a person can significantly improve their average life expectancy.

Factors that affect biological age:

  • Education
  • Sleep
  • Exercise and flexibility
  • Nutrition
  • Stress and trauma
  • Emotional health
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Environmental toxins
  • Smoking/vaping
  • Sexual and romantic relationships

Cuellar elaborates on the importance of prioritizing lifestyle choices that have a significant impact on longevity. "We now know that a number of factors indeed impact how people age and that what has the greatest impact on one person may be different for someone else," she says.

However, our data shows that there are key factors that are significantly correlated with aging for everyone. High stress levels, social satisfaction, consuming alcohol, and a sedentary lifestyle are some of the most significant."

Who should use a biological age test?

Biological age testing helps provide immediate feedback on certain lifestyle habits. Testing can indicate the potential for a disease before symptoms appear and help you develop a personalized approach to improve your health and well-being.

To maximize longevity using a biological age test, you must start with a baseline. Baseline measurements give you an indication of your current health and wellness status so you can take appropriate measures to improve your health.

Once your baseline is determined, retesting lets you know if any adjustments you've made are working. Still, some people may not want or need a biological age test.

  • Younger people who live a healthy lifestyle and don't smoke or drink alcohol excessively may not want to begin biological age testing until they're 30 or above.
  • Those who don't plan to make healthy changes may find a single test interesting.

However, taking a series of tests over months or years has limited value unless you are committed to making changes in your lifestyle choices.

To use most biological age tests, you must be over the age of 18.

How to calculate your biological age

Studies have shown that a novel aging measure based on clinical biomarkers, also called a phenotypic age, could predict biological age2. There are several ways to measure your body's biological age.

There are several technologies that can be used to calculate your biological age, including:

  • IgG Glycome: This test measures glycans3 that sit on the IgG antibody. Glycans are complex sugars that are needed for cells to communicate. These levels change in response to lifestyle choices, disease processes, and aging.
  • IC NAD+: Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is associated with the aging process4 and differs significantly in men and women. NAD helps regulate DNA transcription, program cell death, and cell signaling. With age, NAD declines. This can be measured in a blood test.
  • DNA Methylation: It is important to know that, while the DNA in your body does not change, how that DNA is expressed changes based on exposure to environmental factors—many of which are within your control. Researchers use DNA methylation-based clocks as biomarkers of early disease5 and predictors of life expectancy.
  • Blood transcriptome and gut microbiome: The gut microbiome66 is unique to an individual and changes with age. Your blood transcriptome includes clinical biomarkers that are associated with biological age and gene expression7.

Some at-home biological age tests utilize measurements from the gut microbiome and blood transcriptome to achieve an accurate assessment.

How a biological age test impacts our health and longevity

It's a fact of life that some people live longer, while others have an early onset of chronic illnesses or seem to age more quickly. Using the best biological age tests at home, you can unlock your health potential and identify the factors that speed up your biological age.

"You cannot optimize what you can't measure," Cuellar says. "You wouldn't drive a car without a dashboard, yet we do that with our bodies. It's very important to measure your health periodically to see if the changes that you make in your lifestyle work for you."

There are complex mechanisms that go into your biological age, but innovative testing technologies can help give you insight into personalizing a health plan and making wise decisions to extend your life and improve your health.

How to choose the best biological age test

Understanding your biological age is a powerful tool for optimizing your health and longevity. When you are looking for the best biological age test to meet your unique needs, you'll want to consider these factors:

  • Cost
  • Type of sample collected
  • Type of test
  • Time it takes to receive the results

Biological age tests should be done every six months as you are making lifestyle changes. This helps you determine if the changes are making a difference in your health.

The best biological age tests are easy to take, accurate, affordable, and produce information you can use.

"Biological age tests are most impactful for health and longevity when not only do users have important health information at their disposal, but they have accompanying action plans to lower their biological age and increase their health span," Cuellar says.

Look for a test company that gives you sufficient follow-up resources and actionable steps to improve your biological age.

FAQ:

Are biological age tests accurate?

The accuracy of the test is dependent on the company and laboratory performing the test. One marker of accuracy is the reproducibility of the results, or how often you get the same results on the same sample. Epigenetic tests may offer more in-depth information, but blood algorithm measurements may offer enough information to make the lifestyle changes needed to improve your health.

How do you check your biological age?

You can check biological age using several options. Epigenetic testing uses blood to check how your DNA is expressed based on exposure to lifestyle factors like smoking, alcohol, nutrition, and exercise. Gut microbiome and blood transcriptome uses a combination of data from your gut and blood to evaluate clinical biomarkers associated with age. NAD+ and IgG Glycome testing evaluate the level of these substances in your blood, which are known to decline with biological age. IgG Glycome testing measures glycans, which are a type of sugar molecule, and NAD+ testing measures the level of NAD in the blood.

Is there a genetic test to determine age?

There are epigenetic tests to help measure biological age. Your DNA is your genes, and those do not change. However, how your DNA is expressed is based on environmental factors, such as toxin exposure, sleep, nutrition, and exercise. An epigenetic test can estimate your biological age but cannot measure chronological age.

The takeaway

The best biological age tests can help motivate and inspire you to make healthy lifestyle choices that reduce your risk of disease and lengthen your life—but the test is just the tip of the iceberg.

Now that you know your biological age, you might consider diving deeper into at-home testing with the best metabolism tests or hormone tests.

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