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How reliable are the TallyAge™ test results?Updated a month ago

While the TallyAge™ test represents the state-of-the-art in buccal (cheek swab) epigenetic testing, like any test or diagnostic, it has certain limitations that should be kept in mind:

  1. Aging biology is an incredibly complex science, and there are multiple tests that provide insights into aging at the molecular level. This means that there will inherently be variability between tests, and each prediction tool represents one view into your molecular aging profile. 

  2. The TallyAge™ Test result interprets your methylation profile using only the factors it was trained on, so it will not know how to calculate factors it doesn’t know (e.g., a specific health factor, a particular detail about your lifestyle, transient changes to your biology such as the time of day or if you drank something beforehand). 

  3. Other factors beyond DNA methylation, such as gene expression, protein modifications, and environmental exposures, also contribute to health and aging and are not captured by the TallyAge™ test which only analyzes DNA methylation.

  4. While the difference between your predicted age and your chronological age is significantly correlated with lifestyle and health factors on average, the correlation is not high for any one lifestyle or health factor. Therefore, fluctuations in your TallyAge™ are expected if you modify different behaviors between tests. Because of this, we recommend taking at least five to nine tests and being consistent about your lifestyle improvements to track the trend over time as you continue to improve your lifestyle and habits.

  5. DNA methylation patterns can vary among different populations due to genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. While the TallyAge™ test was trained on a cohort of more than 8,000 diverse individuals, it may not provide results tailored to you if your specific health history or behavioral and environmental factors (including underlying health conditions) were not represented in the original training cohort.

  6. Due to test-to-test variability caused by technical and biological variability, fluctuations of around two years are normal, and we recommend that you take at least five to nine tests while also consistently incorporating recommendations from your Action Plan to see a more reliable trend emerge. 

Additional information about the science behind our epigenetic age test, including statistical details, can be found in our open-access paper published in GeroScience. The link to this peer-reviewed work is as follows:

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