Get new deals I come across here 🎁

11 Top Biological Age Tests [2022 Review] Backed By Science

SHARE THIS:

Why is it that some people live to see two centuries, and other young adults require around-the-clock care?

We know it’s more than physical age.

While genes play an important role in healthspan, lifestyle is the single biggest factor within our control.

But many markers of overall health, longevity, and wellness change slowly. Sometimes, over the course of decades.

Quantifying and tracking your biological age can help tell you if your wellness routine is helping or harming your healthspan. Today’s review of the best biological age testing kits will compare and contrast them, and reveal which (if any) is right for you.

The Biological Age Testing Kits of 2022

Best Overall: TruDiagnostic TruAge
Best Value: Thorne Biological Age Test
Best Blood Test: InsideTracker InnerAge 2.0
Best Gut Test: Viome Health Intelligence
Best NAD Test: Alive By Science IC NAD+ Test

Your Real Age: Chronological vs Biological

Chronological Age vs Biological Age: How to Measure

We’re all familiar with our chronological (often called calendar, actual, or physical) age. Every 365 days, it increments by one.

When we’re young, our bodies are most resilient against disease. As we can see with the proportionally low rates of chronic conditions. The older we get, the greater our risk.

Age is the #1 risk factor for all chronic diseases Click To Tweet

But some individuals look and perform vastly above or below their calendar age.

You know that retiree that lives the lifestyle of a twenty-something and that looks the part? The one running marathons, traveling the world, and still setting personal records.

Conversely, that once fit 40-year old all but relegated to a wheelchair.

Biological age is an approximation of how well your body and mind actually function. This is revolutionizing the future of wellness.

Why biological age matters

Biological age depicts how well your physical body functions irrespective of your chronological age. As a measurement, it has existed for a while. While chronological age is fixed, biological age responds quickly to lifestyle.

Accurate “bio-age” testing serves fourfold:

  • Diagnosing disease before symptoms appear
  • Immediate feedback (positive or negative) on lifestyle interventions
  • Determining the causes of aging
  • Personalizing medicine to your unique biology

By the time we exhibit symptoms, diseases have progressed far. Often, the degeneration began decades before. Understanding biological age can help us course-correct and personalize treatments to our unique needs.

Testing biological age offers a window of insight into our current state that helps us understand our weaknesses and strengths.

Live a biologically-compatible, healthy lifestyle, and you’ll likely have a lower biological age. Live recklessly and trash your body, and your biological age increases.

5 to 10 years from now, the health system that doesn’t use [epigenetic testing] data to improve their medical delivery is going to be deemed archaic.

Atul Butte

Therefore, quantifying our biological age can help us optimize our healthspan and quality of life.

Until recently, services offering the measurements were rudimentary, lacking useful and tangible results. Technology has come a long way.

New software, products, and services have arisen to help us accurately quantify our age.

Types of Biological Age Testing

In order to understand the usefulness of biological age, we must examine the differences between testing technologies.

Consumer-grade tests range from simple blood testing values to advanced epigenetic analysis.

Telomere Testing (Avoid)

Telomere testing and biological age used to be synonymous.

Telomeres are little caps on DNA that protect them from damage. Every time a cell multiplies, a tiny portion isn’t copied. That portion is the telomere. Each replication makes it shorter until the DNA gets damaged, and aging results. This is called the “telomere theory of aging”.

Testing telomeres promised to quantify the integrity of our DNA. Lower biological age translates into longer telomeres.

Theoretically useful, I began my research. I quickly discovered fundamental flaws with telomere testing that made it a waste of resources:

  • Difficultly processing. PCR testing is notoriously inaccurate but considerably cheaper than the other methods. The same sample processed on a different day, by a different technician, or under and different conditions may yield different results.
  • Too sensitive to lifestyle. The results of your test come down to factors like how much you slept or exercised, what you ate, time of your blood draw and many others. How can you draw any conclusions if your “baseline” results fluctuate 40% within the span of 1 day?
  • Inconsistent results. Telomere length isn’t consistent throughout the body. Some tissues always have longer telomeres, and some shorter. Consumer tests randomly sample telomere lengths of a small subset of your blood.
  • Average telomere measurements. Your shortest telomeres tell far more than the average. You mostly care about the percentage that are critically short.

This article explains the futility of telomere testing in more detail. Since it’s just as expensive (if not more) than other methods, with little predictive power, I prefer others.

Blood Algorithms (Cheapest)

We know that certain indicators strongly correlate with disease. Biomarkers like:

  • Inflammation
  • Blood glucose and insulin
  • Dysregulated immune system

Some companies have created their own proprietary aggregated health scores. Instead of comparing every individual blood test value and struggling to interpret the fluctuations, you focus on the score. With some, you'll get a different score for each organ system. Others just give you a single overall score.

You live your life, make a few changes, and re-test. Then the score will help you determine whether it’s helping you get healthy or hurting.

While an elementary approach compared to the gold standard (discussed last), these algorithms are often available as inexpensive add-ons to your routine blood work. But you can also buy them standalone.

Due to their simplicity, they’ll also be more accurate than speculative new testing technologies.

Miscellaneous Testing (Good)

Research has focused on telomere testing, blood algorithms, and epigenetic methylation, but there’s a promising emerging category.

Scientists can tell a lot about your body and how well it’s working via other mechanisms.

Other new biological age testing technologies include:

  • Cellular NAD levels
  • Gut microbiome
  • Sugar molecules (Glycans)

Accuracy varies from one testing method to the next, and also based on the technology.

For now, I recommend using epigenetic methylation technology (described below) for the most accurate measurement. Then you can supplement those results with any of the above tests to learn specifics and if particular lifestyle habits/products actually work.

Epigenetic Methylation (Best)

2013 proved a pivotal year in aging research.

Epigenetics is the study of how lifestyle “activates” and “deactivates” your genes. Things like smoking, drinking, stress, can deactivate good genes, and activate bad genes.

Epigenetic methylation testing examines which of these genetic “switches” we’ve activated. Leading researchers have anointed these “epigenetic clocks” the holy grail of understanding aging. The first epigenetic test was called “Horvath’s clock” named after the scientist who pioneered it.

Recent years have seen an explosion in tests, kits, and products offering these services.

Some of the things to look for in epigenetic age testing services include:

  • Sample type. Virtually all studies have used blood samples. Since Saliva samples have less research, we don't know if they're accurate.
  • Loci. The number of places on the DNA methylation has occured. Testing more loci leads to more data, better recommendation accuracy, and greater ability to build future reports.
  • Reproducibility. Under different conditions (different lab technician, different day, etc), will you results come out the same? If the same sample yields drastically different results, then the test becomes useless.
  • Algorithm. How do their systems take these thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of loci measurements and build a report? The machine learning algorithm used can also make or great your results. Only a few algorithms have robust scientific evidence (DunEdin PoAm is the top algorithm).

Unfortunately, few companies disclose these important details. In all sciences, transparency is paramount.

To learn more, watch this fantastic presentation by Ryan Smith.

ACAM: Introduction to Epigenetic Methylation - Ryan Smith

Best Biological Age Testing Kits & Services

Biological age testing has attracted the world’s leading longevity researchers like Steve Horvath and David Sinclair.

But today, you’ll find all kinds of test kits on the market.

Top biological age tests services maximize signal and minimize noise Click To Tweet

I suggest you keep the following criteria in mind when evaluating biological age testing services:

  • Technology — how they determine biological age?
  • Technique — what type of sample do they require?
  • Privacy — do they protect your data or sell it to the highest bidder?
  • Usability — will your results come with recommendations or just a number?
  • Applicability — are your results unique or generic?

I’ve talked to biological age experts and compiled research. What follows are what I believe to be the best biological age testing services.

TruDiagnostic TruAge

TruDiagnostic TruAge Biological Age Test Kit Review

Overview

Technology: Epigenetic

Sample Type: Blood

Platforms: Web

Actionable Reports: Yes

Turnaround Speed: 2-3 weeks

Available Countries: Global (mostly)

Privacy: HIPAA-compliant

Price: $399 (save 12% using code URBAN)

No matter who I talked to, everyone seemed to agree that TruDiagnostic deserves a spot high on this list. The value (accuracy to price) is unparalleled.

TruDiagnostic runs your blood sample through 850,000 loci (locations where DNA expression gets flipped on or off) for unparalleled epigenetic methylation analysis. The platform then uses computer learning and artificial intelligence to determine where you should focus.

2-3 weeks later, you’ll receive a detailed 85+ page report which breaks down every factor influencing your biological age. These give you insights into risks and areas to prioritize. As well as tips to reversing your biological age.

Your biological age number doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to improve it. Click To Tweet

You can rest assured, knowing that TruDiagnostic is one of few companies that use the publicly validated DunEdin PoAm algorithm. This explains why they lead the industry with 99 percent reproducibility. After all, what good is the data if the same sample yields different results?

When I decided to get a snapshot of my biological age, I chose TruDiagnostic due to the full transparency, industry-leading accuracy, and reasonable pricing.

Use the exclusive TruDiagnostic code URBAN for 12% off

InsideTracker InnerAge 2.0

InsideTracker InnerAge 2.0 Biological Age Test Review | Nick Urban
I made the mistake of taking my test 4 days after getting sick, and my white blood cell biomarkers drastically skewed my biological age

Overview

Technology: Bloodwork algorithm

Sample Type: Blood

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

Actionable Reports: Yes

Turnaround Speed: 3-5 days

Available Countries: USA, Global (limited)

Privacy: HIPAA-compliant

Price: $99-$179

My first biological age test came through InsideTracker’s InnerAge bloodwork algorithm. Since I already had to get my annual blood work done, I figured that I might as well add on their InnerAge package ($99). If you just want the InnerAge separately, the blood test and analysis together cost $179 (as an Outliyr, you can save 25% on either using code OUTLIYR25)

InnerAge gives you a composite score. Then you can drill down into it, and see which blood markers altered the score — and why. They calculate your age using a proprietary algorithm that draws from 18 biomarkers for men, and 14 for women.

Wait 3-5 days after submitting your blood sample, and you’ll get beautifully designed and easy-to-implement advice on how to best reverse your biological age. No cut and dry Word documents, no mile-long PDFs. Just a color-coded dashboard with your action items sorted by impact.

So how was it?

Despite my healthy lifestyle, my biological age came out 5 years older than chronologically. After some analysis, I discovered that I added 7 years due to imbalanced immune markers. I had waited 4 days after my sickness symptoms disappeared, but I should have waited longer. When I ignored immune biomarkers, I found the report and suggestions useful.

When you get blood work next, I recommend InsideTracker Ultimate with the InnerAge add-on (see my review here) to get a decent picture of your bio age.

Use the InnerAge code OUTLIYRPRO25 to save 25%

GlycanAge

glycanage kit

Overview

Technology: IgG Glycome

Sample Type: Blood

Platforms: Web

Actionable Reports: No (but 1-1 coaching)

Turnaround Speed: 3-5 weeks

Available Countries: Global

Privacy: Unknown

Price: 1 for $348, 2 for $599

GlycanAge approached cellular age quantification in a novel way. Instead of blood algorithms, telomeres, or epigenetic testing, they opted to measure a special kind of sugar molecule (called glycans). Glycans indicate inflammation levels in your immune system.

Like any good test in this category, they’re most influenced by genes, lifestyle choices, and your environment.

GlycanAge features a diverse Scientific Advisory Board of folks from glycobiology, immunology, longevity, and molecular biology. They’ve been researching aging science for 20+ years and have accumulated dozens of studies that show the link between glycans and aging.

For the same price, I’d rather get epigenetic testing. But what stands out is that GlycanAge gives you a complimentary session with a scientist to understand your results, and then another with a healthspan doctor to help you make a game plan.

GlycanAge is a good choice if you want lots of 1-1 expert attention to help reduce your biological age.

Thorne Biological Age Test

thorne biological age test kit

Overview

Technology: Bloodwork algorithm

Sample Type: Blood

Platforms: Web

Actionable Reports: Yes

Turnaround Speed: 1 day

Available Countries: USA

Privacy: Unknown

Price: $95

Thorne has grown to become one of the most trusted names in supplements. They’re the exclusive brand relied on by Olympic teams, professional athletes, and those serious about purity and efficacy.

They’ve only recently begun biomarker testing.

Thorne’s Biological Age Test Kit takes a blood sample and displays your personal age score along with a breakdown of the age of your organ systems. Measurements include:

  • Biological Age
  • Age Rate
  • Blood Age
  • Lipid Age
  • Liver Age
  • Kidney Age
  • Metabolic Age

Struggling kidneys but optimized metabolism?

This kit simplifies identifying your strengths and weaknesses. Of particular interest, I like that Thorne included a measure of Age Rate. Age Rate is vital, as it shows your current trajectory.

The process is standard. You fill out a health profile, go to your nearest lab for a blood draw, and get your insights and age score. Most people receive their report the next day.

State-of-the-art Onegevity Health Intelligence powers the in-depth and accurate reports.

As it’s a new product, I expect it to become a go-to in the coming months.

Overall, Thorne’s test is the best value biological age service.

Alive By Science At-Home Testing Kits

Intracellular NAD Test Kit Review

Overview

Technology: IC NAD+

Sample Type: Blood

Platforms: Web

Actionable Reports: No

Turnaround Speed: 7-10 days

Available Countries: USA

Privacy: Unknown

Price: $59-$248

Alive By Science (ABS) produces the most popular longevity-increasing supplements. Proprietary liposomal delivery technology ensures you absorb the most possible. Some of my go-to's from them include NAD boosters like NMN & NR, resveratrol, fisetin, glutathione, and even berberine.

With most supplement companies, you have no idea whether the products actually work. ABS is so confident in their products, that they also offer testing kits. I have their basic $59 High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (Hs-CRP) Test, which measures inflammation. And also their IC NAD+ Test.

For reference, NAD is considered one of the top essential molecules for life, and it’s highly correlated with biological age. When you live a healthy lifestyle, your blood NAD levels stay high. This is one biological age marker that flies under the radar but has great potential.

If you take NAD boosting longevity supplements, you should test your blood levels to make sure they’re real and not wasting money.

Click the link or photo above or use code GVQCUKN6 10% off.

Muhudo DNA Health Testing Kits

muhdo dna transform biological age test kit

Overview

Technology: Epigenetic methylation

Sample Type: Saliva

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

Actionable Reports: Yes

Turnaround Speed: Unknown

Available Countries: Global

Privacy: Anonymized

Price: $249.99

Muhdo is a health testing company that has focused on DNA analytics. As they grew, they eventually compiled a database that allowed them to interpret epigenetic data. Muhdo now offer three tiers:

  • DNA Lite
  • DNA Health
  • DNA Transform

To capitalize on epigenetic testing, you’ll need the latter.

The service has expanded tremendously. On the consumer front, they're working with professional and Olympic athletes. But the bulk of their business is white-labeling their biological age testing services for other companies. That's right, many of the saliva-based tests actually use Muhdo technology and facilities.

After submitting your saliva sample and waiting an undisclosed amount of time (uh oh), you’ll get a bunch of “DNA Core Reports” back along with a few epigenetic scores:

  • Biological Age
  • Eye Age
  • Memory Age
  • Hearing Age
  • Inflammation

I like the Eye Age and Hearing Age. This might be a good service if your lineage struggles with those systems.

I wanted to like this service. The glaring issue is that they take a saliva sample instead of blood. Saliva has very little scientific research backing its findings. Who knows the validity of the findings? Though I did talk to a Director at Muhdo, and he assured me that they have a lab and team dedicated to validating and refining their process for maximum accuracy.

If you care about your data, Muhdo is not HIPAA-complaint. They do meet GDPR standards and claim to keep your data safe.

I'd go for Muhdo's DNA Transform if you want both genetic and epigenetic reports all in one and don't mind less transparency than TruDiagnostic.

Use the Muhdo code URBAN for 10% off

DoNotAge Biological Age Testing Kit

DoNotAge Biological Age Test Kit Review

Overview

Technology: Epigenetic methylation

Sample Type: Saliva

Platforms: Web

Actionable Reports: Unknown

Turnaround Speed: 12 weeks

Available Countries: Global

Privacy: Unknown

Price: $275 (save 10% with code URBAN)

DoNotAge is another longevity supplements vendor that offers a new biological age testing kit.

Submit your saliva sample, wait up to 12-weeks, and your data gets run through machine learning models to uncover unique biological patterns. Your sample yields an impressive 50 test results. Some of which include:

  • Biological Age
  • Memory Age
  • Hearing Age
  • Eye Age
  • Inflammation Score
  • Diet Report
  • Immune Function
  • Physical Report
  • Vitamins Report

For each, you can see your current risk based on your lifestyle-induced epigenetic expression.

Again, I wish that this was a blood-based test for superior accuracy and reproducibility. At $275, I’m not sure it’d be my first choice.

If you want an epigenetic-based biological aging test geared towards disease risk, don’t mind that it uses saliva rather than blood samples, DoNotAge could be a good pick.

Use DoNotAge code URBAN for 10% off

Viome Health Intelligence Test Kit

Viome Health Intelligence Biological Age Testing Kit Review

Overview

Technology: Gut microbiome + blood transcriptome

Sample Type: Stool + blood

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

Actionable Reports: Yes

Turnaround Speed: 2-3 weeks

Available Countries: Global (limited)

Privacy: Unknown

Price: $199 (save 10% with code URBAN)

Viome made waves in the health optimization community when they introduced the world’s first accurate consumer-friendly gut microbiome sequencing. Using “shotgun” sequencing technology combined with AI, they could accurately predict your inflammation and blood sugar responses to 400+ foods. The apps clearly state your particular “superfoods” to enjoy in abundance and your “kryptonite” to avoid as much as possible.

More recently, they introduced the Viome Health Intelligence Test Kit. This upgrade adds a Cellular Health blood panel. After submitting your stool (yes, it’s needed to sequence your gut) and blood sample, several weeks later you receive over 30 high-level scores and subscores on your:

  • Gut microbiome health
  • Biological age
  • Cellular function health
  • Immune health
  • Energy levels
  • Stress response

This is the only test that measures both the health of your gut microbiome and also your human cells. Additionally, I like that they include a breakdown of your DNA and mitochondrial damage.

Every report comes with food, supplement, prebiotics, and probiotics recommendations. I hope that they one day include lifestyle modifications, disease risk, and specialized protocols.

I actually tried Viome many years ago, before they offered this cellular health upgrade. The machine learning algorithms needed more data back then. In early 2022, I reviewed Viome's Health Intelligence test kit and was pleasantly surprised by my results.

If you don’t mind submitting blood and poop, Viome generates ample actionable biological health data at the reasonable price of $199.

Use the exclusive Viome code URBAN for 10% off

Chronomics Epigenetic Testing

Chronomics Biological Age Testing Kit Review

Overview

Technology: Epigenetic methylation

Sample Type: Blood

Platforms: Web

Actionable Reports: Yes

Turnaround Speed: Unknown

Available Countries: Unknown

Privacy: Unknown

Price: $450

Chronomics seems like a viable epigenetics testing platform, with a clean look and notable backing. They’ve received attention from BBC Science, Forbes, and City AM.

The website itself, and all related resources, discuss the power of epigenetics. But lists little information about their own process. There’s no way to determine what technologies they use, how they stack up to others, or any way to verify the worthiness of their $450+ sticker price.

The only thing I could find is that they “assess more than 20 million epigenetic markers” and claim to have an error rate of <0.01 percent.

The graphs, data visualizations, and charts look nice. This service targets corporate wellness and happens to also offer consumer epigenetic testing.

Lack of transparency and the steep $450 price tag make this a service mostly tailored towards corporate wellness clients.

Biological Age Testing Services I'd Avoid

After extensive research, I compiled a list of the companies I personally don't feel comfortable using and my rationale behind each.

These could turn out to be viable options, and I will update this post with any new data I receive.

MyDNAge

MyDNAge is an epigenetic testing service that began in September 2019, seems to have struggled, and is slowly disappearing. Here’s why…

You pay $299 to have a meager 2,000 loci analyzed, wait 6-8 weeks to get your results, which ends up being a plain 1-page report. We don’t know which algorithm they use, so the results are pure speculation. Plus, there’s nothing about their reproducibility.

Look this one up on your favorite online retailer. Their 2.8-star overall rating, and “Currently Unavailable” status confirms my suspicions.

I do not recommend MyDNAge since there are better options.

EpiAging Test

I’m not sure what to think about EpiAging USA’s test kits. I’ve heard them recommended to me several times. They’re also mentioned in the blog of the well-known supplement manufacturer TRU NIAGEN. On one hand, they’re by far the cheapest epigenetic testing service. But their advantages end there.

The website itself clearly lacked proofreading by a native English speaker. I studied each page of their site. Read thousands of words. Looked for real, third-party reviews. All of this turned up nothing. Their blog hasn’t been updated since 2020. The FAQ isn’t useful. Even if they massively revamp their website, they collect a saliva sample rather than blood (industry standard). There’s no evidence that saliva is effective.

How to Lower Biological Age

To reverse biological age, we have two categories of interventions:

  • General
  • Personalized

Combine both for the best effects.

General interventions are the well-known ways to improve health. Things like sleeping enough, movement, light exposure, eating clean, whole foods, time-restricted eating, drinking natural water, living in a pristine environment, etc. Together, these form the pillars of a healthy lifestyle. Each has myriad benefits.

Personalized interventions, on the other hand, tailor recommendations to you. Things that might not work well for others, but conform to your unique biological data.

Some of the most promising biological age-reversing techniques focus on prevention and include:

  • Regular movement
  • Clean diet
  • Quality sleep
  • Light exposure
  • Peptides (Thymosin Alpha-1)
  • Growth Hormone
  • Mitochondrial support
  • NAD+ therapy (NMN and NR supplements)
  • Exosomes & PRP
  • Young Plasma Apheresis
  • Stem Cell therapies
  • Senolytic procedures

I use a DNA analytics software called SelfDecode (see my review here) which helps me understand which procedures, supplements, and tools will work best for me. Armed with this knowledge, I customize my approach to reversing biological age and save money by avoiding the things that won’t work for my biology.

Reversing Biological Age Starts With Quantification

One of the biggest questions in health and wellness…

Are my restrictive lifestyle habits actually making a difference?

These tests quantify your current state and establish your baseline.

Once you know where you are, you can test different interventions (supplements, drugs, protocols, and therapies) to see if they help or hurt your healthspan.

Large-scale epidemiological aging studies can take 40+ years, and then yield only mildly useful insights. Broadly applicable insights, but perhaps not suited to your unique physiology.

You may waste decades making sacrifices in “the name of health”… and to your detriment. Conversely, biological age testing gives you near real-time feedback.

Biological age testing holds tremendous promise:

  • Identifying the root causes accelerating your aging
  • Validating anti-aging therapies
  • Predicting and preventing disease

This field is the foundation of personalized medicine.

Not all technologies are equal. Some cost more than they’re worth. Others lack accuracy. Many sell your data are downright scam.

At the same time, this is the dawn of biological medicine.

Most recently, I chose TruDiagnostic for their best-in-class biological age quantification.

The right platforms grant you tremendous power to improve your healthspan and quality of life.

Am I missing any testing kits or services? Have you tested your biological age? Let me know in the comments below!

Nick Urban

Nick Urban is the Founder of Outliyr, an expert biohacker of 10+ years, Data Scientist, Certified CHEK Practitioner, host of the Mind Body Peak Performance Podcast, and a High-Performance Coach.

Affiliate Disclosure
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase to support my work at no cost to you. Thanks for your support!

2 thoughts on “11 Top Biological Age Tests [2022 Review] Backed By Science”

  1. Hi Nick,

    Upon doing a little research, I notice Elysium is also a popular test. Do you have any insights on Elysium for testing biological age? If you do, can you add that to this article?

    Reply
    • Hey Jeri,

      Great question! You’re right, I will need to update the article. From what I’ve read about it, Elysium’s Index Biological Age Test looks like a good product. I still prefer TruDiagnostic for a few reasons: cheaper, far more DNA methylation sights measured, and an open-source algorithm.

      Basically, with TruDiagnostic you can take your data and run it through any of the clocks yourself (though that might take a little research). You can also independently verify your results. The other services are a black box. You must take their word for the results you get.

      Reply

Leave a Comment