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The saying goes, ‘age is just a number,’ but a range new companies are making it their mission to help you change that. One of these, Tally Health, a biotech company with a roster of A-list investors like Pedro Pascal and Zac Efron, features a test that calculates what the company calls your ‘biological age.’
While it’s impossible to turn back your chronological age (the number of candles on your birthday cake), growing evidence shows that your biological age may be a bit more pliable. Founded by Harvard Medical School professor David Sinclair and venture capitalist Whitney Casey, Tally Health is a longevity program that to aims to tell you that age as well as ways to help you lower the number.
The conversation about how science may be able to increase longevity and improve the aging process has been growing louder in recent years. Celebrity wellness guru and actress Gwyneth Paltrow recently posted a series of Instagram Stories to her millions of followers, showing her completing the cheek swab that’s part of Tally’s aging test — and clarifying that she doesn’t have any affiliation with the company.
Customers receive the test in the mail and complete a lifestyle survey, and mail the cheek swab back to Tally Health, where it’s sent off to their lab. There, your biological age is determined through a process that identifies how your body ages “on a cellular level.” Next, the platform provides personalized recommendations based on your results.
Recommendations include lifestyle changes like getting more sleep, consuming more whole plant-based foods, and reducing stress. And if you still want to indulge in your nightly bowl of ice cream or glass of wine, you absolutely can. Just include that in your preferences, and the potential impact of those choices on your aging will be updated.
Then, the final step is implementing the recommended lifestyle changes and completing another cheek swab months later to see how you’re aging.
The company also offers two supplements to assist with the process. Their ‘Vitality’ supplement consists of five ingredients, including antioxidants, and is formulated to slow aging and remove senescent, or what the company calls ‘zombie cells’ from the bloodstream. Their ‘Amplify’ supplement consists of just three ingredients and can potentially boost muscle function and exercise performance, thanks to the amino acid glycine.
This may sound like the keys to the fountain of youth. But the science behind how the company determines a customer’s biological age can be a bit complex. Simply put, it is measured through how a person’s DNA methylation patterns, or how their DNA expresses genes, compared to other people their age. Tally Health sampled 8,000 people ranging in age from 18 to 100, with half the samples coming from women and the other half men, and 30 percent comprised of non-white individuals. These samples are then compared to a Tally Health customer’s cheek swab to find a biological age.
In reality, is it going to reveal that you’re actually twenty years younger? Probably not, but it might be a fun experiment to take a closer look at your cell health, and think more about the building blocks of longevity, including your muscular system, sleep, stress levels, and diet.
A one-time test or three-month membership can be purchased for $199, or the company offers a plan for $159 for six months or $129 for 12-months.