TeloYears Review - UPDATED Nov 2017
TeloYears is a simple genetic test launched by Telomere Diagnostics Inc. The company was founded in 2010 by four scientists, including Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, the winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine for pioneering work in the field of telomere biology.
Our TeloYears review will elaborate on measuring the cellular maturity encoded in our DNA and its relation to how well we’re aging. Besides determining genetic age, the commercially available telomere length test should also inspire growth and improvement in all fields of personal wellness.
How TeloYears Works
Measuring the length of your telomeres comes down to four simple steps:
- Information collection – Before you can order the testing kit, you’ll need to enter your contact and payment information and answer a couple of simple questions to ensure the right fit of TeloYears.
- Information review and placing your order – The provided information will then be reviewed by a highly-qualified doctor, who’ll also place the order for you. Telomere Diagnostics Inc. uses an independent team of physicians, all authorized to order your genetic test. The at-home sample collection kit will then arrive at your address within one week.
- Sample collection – The TeloYears test is done by processing a blood sample. You’ll need to collect one drop of your blood, following the provided instructions, and send it back via the pre-paid envelope.
- Results – Once complete, your results will be sent to you via e-mail, 3-4 weeks after the sample reaches the lab.
The TeloYears at-home testing kit comprises the following elements:
- Pink Finger Stick lancet
- 1-drop blood collection strip
- Yellow-top transport tube
- Alcohol wipe
- Gauze pad
- Adhesive bandage
- Pre-paid mailing envelope
The actual testing protocol includes measuring telomere length in your DNA via the quantified polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), the most accurate and scientifically referenced method in the field.
Telomeres shorten at different rates during our lifespan, affected by lifestyle, disease, environmental influences, and a slew of other factors. Dr. Blackburn thus recommends repeating the test every 6 to 12 months to ensure the proper monitoring of your DNA wellness.
Why Choose TeloYears
Here is our list of the most compelling reasons to entertain the notion:
- Company led by the 2009 Nobel Prize laureate
- Own highly-certified testing laboratory
- Reliable test with detailed and comprehensive results
- Proprietary and unique testing methods
- Bonus Blueprint for Aging Well
- High-level information security
- Budget-friendly price
- Rich knowledge base and access to numerous scientific publications in the field
- Involvement in several high-impact scientific studies (including partnerships with National Cancer Institute, The University of Arizona, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, The University of Mississippi, USA Department of Veterans Affairs, National Institutes of Health, NASA, and others)
- Gift cards available
The TeloYears DNA Test costs 129$. There is also an option to purchase their “Now and Later” pack, including two tests, saving you 20$. The first test is used to determine your TeloYears baseline age and the second one monitors the results of your life improvement during the period of 6 or 12 months. The only “constraint” is the fact that both tests must be used by you. The test can also be ordered as a gift.
The test processes a single drop of your blood for both convenience and reliability. A single blood drop contains more than 50k cells, which ensures perfect test accuracy. That’s why TeloYears doesn’t use saliva or buccal swabs.
The procedure analyzes your DNA located in the white blood cells (leukocytes). It does that by using their proprietary and unique method named the “Cawthon qPCR assay.” The science behind the method is rather perplexing, but it comes down to exploiting specific telomere primers to quantify the telomeric signal ratio, relative to the solitary copy of the gene signal. The T/S ratio will reflect the ATL (average telomere length) in your circulating blood.
Telomere Diagnostics Inc. has developed its proprietary ways of tackling the delicate nature of the qPCR telomere length assay regarding the collection of the sample, its storage, preparation for processing, and assay conditions. They apply a multitude of normalization procedures and standards, aimed at ensuring the ultimate accuracy and precision of the assay. The result is a very reliable measurement, with a variability coefficient between 2-3 percent.
Lastly, your ATL is entered into a mathematical formula derived by the company, enabling them to calculate your TeloYears age. This calculation reflects the actual age of men and women with telomere length similar to yours.
Understanding The Results
Apart from the conventional test report, TeloYears also offers a “Blueprint for Aging Well” as an added benefit.
TeloYears results will allow you to determine your current cellular age and monitor the overall vitality of your cells. The report itself includes:
- Your ATL (average telomere length) and a comparative view to other people of your age and gender.
- Your specific age in TeloYears, which will be calculated as the actual age of men or women with similar telomere length as you.
- Tracking your results over time, which is especially useful for repeated testers.
Blueprint for Aging Well is a bonus which condenses decades of scientific research into a simple and tabulated resource. It’s a very insightful too and it includes:
- A tool for self-assessment, which should raise your awareness of specific, actionable factors that affect your TeloYears age. This will both inspire and guide you through their proper management.
- Detailed explanations to help you understand how your lifestyle, inflammation, stress, and other factors influence telomere shortening.
- A suggested action plan, based on your test results. The plan will offer recommendations regarding eating well, sleep, stress, physical activity, and more, covering the range from novice to expert.
- A comprehensive view of telomere science applied to your case. Besides practical uses and known limitations, the role of telomeres in age-related diseases will also be explained.
Telomere Diagnostics Inc. is a very active company in the scientific research department. They constantly work on improving our understanding of telomeres, their impact on our wellness, and all the factors that expedite their shortening process.
The most notable research projects include:
- A study performed on 468 US Military veterans, supported by the Department of Veteran Affairs. The study focused on telomere shortening related to hostilities, especially difficulties with anger control.
- A study supported by the National Institutes of Health and performed on 586 healthy sisters age 35-74. The study established a correlation between multivitamin use and longer telomeres.
- A NASA-supported study, performed on more than 20 astronauts. It determined the impact on telomere length caused by space travel and offered a comparative view with those staying Earthbound.
- A Harvard University supported study, which was performed on 4,676 women nurses. The study established the association between the Mediterranean diet and longer telomeres.
- A study supported by the U.S. Army and performed on 650 special operations soldiers. It found a link between telomere shortening and depression, traumatic stress, and PTSD.
- A University of California supported a study conducted on 5,309 US adults (age 20-59), which drew a causal relationship between consumption of sugar-sweetened sodas and telomere shortening.
- Massachusetts General Hospital sponsored a study on 37 participants, showing that Loving-Kindness Meditation induces longer telomeres.
- National Cancer Institute supported a study conducted on 4,780 women, resulting in findings that higher coffee consumption was associated with longer telomeres.
- The University of Arizona supported a study on 1,252 black and white adults in Tennessee, associating religious identity and religiosity with positive leukocyte telomere length.
- National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences supported a 2,280 US Military male veterans study, associating pollution with shorter telomeres in men.
- The University of Mississippi sponsored a research on sedentary behavior associated with shorter telomere length. The study was performed on 6,405 adults (age 20-84).
Privacy And Security
The aforementioned information is only available to you and the doctor who ordered your test, which is mandated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy and security guidelines. Information transmission is done solely through encrypted connections that use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) digital certificates. The said transmission also complies with Payment |Card Industry Data Security Standard.
Shipping And Handling
The TeloYears testing kit is sent via regular mail, using the US Postal Service. Biological specimens are routinely sent this way to their designated laboratories, so there shouldn’t be any problems with your DNA sample successfully arriving at its destination.
The shipment is limited to the US, with special caveats regarding New York and Maryland. Due to legal impediments, the test kit cannot be sent to the state of New York. Maryland residents, on the other side, must fill out a special order form signed by a professional health care practitioner, licensed to work in the state of Maryland. This form should be submitted alongside your blood sample.
Accepted payment plans include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Apple Pay, Discover, and others.