If someone asked you how old you were, you’d probably give them a number based on your birthdate. But what if they actually wanted to know how old you were biologically instead? The only way to determine that answer would be through epigenetic testing.
Chronological Age vs. Biological Age
SImply put, your chronological age is the amount of years you’ve been alive. Your biological age, on the other hand, is related to your biochemistry and the status of your genes.
Unlike your chronological age, your biological age gives you a picture of how old your cells really are based upon your diet, lifestyle and environment.
For example, if you suffer from poor health, your chronological age might be 45 but your biological age could be closer to 55. Or alternatively, a very fit person might have a chronological age of 45 but a biological age of 35. And the older your biological age is, the higher the likelihood for developing disease. For women, even having a biological age just 5 years higher than their chronological age can increase their risk of breast cancer by 15%.
The good news is, when it comes to biological age, you can reverse the clock.
However, you first need to determine what your biological age currently is. And the best way to do that is through epigenetic testing.
What is Epigenetic Testing?
Epigenetic testing involves analyzing sections of your genetic material to determine the status of your biological age. While it’s true that you can’t change your genes, you can change how they express themselves. Here’s how the CDC explains this process:
“Epigenetics is the study of how your behaviors and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work. Unlike genetic changes, epigenetic changes are reversible and do not change your DNA sequence, but they can change how your body reads a DNA sequence.”
Essentially, epigenetic testing reveals how your genes work in relation to your specific lifestyle habits, such as your “nutrition, stress, sleep, smoke, toxins and radiation” exposure. This also means, then, that you have some control over how your genes are expressed. And for those interested in preventive health strategies, epigenetics provides incredible insight into the connections between your lifestyle and disease.
How Epigenetic Testing Works
Fundamentally, epigenetic testing involves analyzing DNA methylation and chromatin modifications within specific genes. According to the NCBI, these modifications are responsible for “the upregulation or down-regulation of the associated gene” which in turn affects how that gene is expressed.
For example, the more DNA methylation a gene has, the less that gene is expressed. And researchers have been able to develop epigenetic predictors that can uncover the environmental factors associated with these specific modifications.
How Epigenetics Can Help You Improve Your Health
Unlike standard genetic testing, epigenetics allows you to see how your unique lifestyle influences the expression of your genes. Incredibly, scientists have discovered that the modifications that impact these expressions can actually be reversed.
For example, according to the CDC, those who smoke generally have less DNA methylation on their AHRR gene compared to non-smokers. However, recent research has illustrated that quitting smoking can actually reverse this effect.
Knowing how your particular lifestyle affects your gene expressions can help you make actionable changes to your health habits. Rather than guessing, you can gain specific knowledge necessary to improve your wellness via your genes.
Epigenetic Testing at EDISON BIO
In an effort to help all of our Members become the healthiest versions of themselves, EDISON BIO includes epigenetic testing in all of our Advanced Executive Health Exams.
Through this testing, our Members gain insight into both their biological age and metabolic status based on their gene expressions. We can then use this knowledge to create personalized action plans for our Members based specifically off of their unique results.
For the highest-achievers on the planet, it’s no secret that data is power. Through understanding every detail there is to know about your mind and body, you can be equipped to take control of your health. Epigenetic testing is just one of the ways through which technology is transforming the future of healthcare and helping people transform their lives. Investing in the most advanced kinds of care allows you to maximize your longevity, optimize your performance and gain peace of mind.
About EDISON BIO
Most of us worry about our health. EDISON BIO advanced, comprehensive and convenient health screening uncovers hidden disease and health challenges early. You’ll be confident about your health and primed to perform at your highest potential.