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 TeloYears is the right fit for you.
- 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 a 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 includes 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
TeloYears is one the few companies that can draw a direct line between your actual and genetic age, helping you make better lifestyle choices and improve your health.
Here are some additional reasons to consider doing a DNA test with this DNA testing provider:
- 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 89$ plus S&H costs. There is also an option to purchase its “Now and Later” pack, including two tests, saving you 20$. The first test is used to determine your TeloYears baseline age and the second one monitors the results of your life improvement during the period of 6 or 12 months. The test can also be ordered as a gift.
The test processes a single drop of your blood for both convenience and reliability. A single blood drop contains more than 50k cells, which ensures perfect test accuracy. That’s why TeloYears doesn’t use saliva or buccal swabs.
The procedure analyzes your DNA located in the white blood cells (leukocytes). TeloYears does that by using its proprietary and unique method named the “Cawthon qPCR assay.” The science behind the method is rather perplexing, but it comes down to exploiting specific telomere primers to quantify the telomeric signal ratio, relative to the solitary copy of the gene signal. The T/S ratio will reflect the ATL (average telomere length) in your circulating blood.
Telomere Diagnostics Inc. has developed its proprietary ways of tackling the delicate nature of the qPCR telomere length assay regarding the collection of the sample, its storage, preparation for processing, and assay conditions. It applies a multitude of normalization procedures and standards aimed at ensuring the ultimate accuracy and precision of the assay. The result is a very reliable measurement, with a variability coefficient between 2-3 percent.
Lastly, your ATL is entered into a mathematical formula derived by the company, enabling its staff to calculate your TeloYears age. This calculation reflects the actual age of men and women with telomere length similar to yours.
TeloYears has also recently added three new testing options to its portfolio:
- Advanced Ancestry (99$ + S&H) – This is also an at-home DNA test designed to tell you more about your ancestry percentages. The final report is usually generated within 6-8 weeks and delivered to you electronically. The results cover 62 world regions and also provide you with the composition of your ethnicity at the chromosome level. The test pays special attention to potential East Asian and Jewish ancestry.
- Teloyear + Advanced Ancestry (169$ + S&H) – Apart from the regular benefits, this bundle will speed up your TeloYears report generation. It usually takes 3-4 weeks to generate your report, but you’ll receive it in 1-2 weeks with this test. The turnaround time for Advanced Ancestry results remains the same. TeloYears report will be delivered to you by mail and your ancestry percentages will be delivered electronically.
- TeloYears + TealoCoach (199$; free shipping) – This option comes with an exclusive one-on-one conversation with one of the company’s certified TeloCoaches. You’ll be able to go through your results together, receive useful advice, and formulate an action plan for the future. You also get priority processing in 1-2 weeks.
Understanding The Results
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 of the ATL of other people of your age and gender.
- Your specific age in TeloYears, which is based on the actual age of men or women with similar telomere length as yours.
- 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. This insightful tool includes:
- A tool for self-assessment, which should raise your awareness of specific, actionable factors that affect your TeloYears age.
- 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 nutrition, 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. It constantly works 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:
- The Department of Veteran Affairs supported a study performed on 468 US Military veterans, which focused on telomere shortening related to hostilities, especially difficulties with anger control.
- The National Institutes of Health supported a study performed on 586 healthy sisters age 35-74, which established a correlation between multivitamin use and longer telomeres.
NASA supported a study performed on more than 20 astronauts, which determined the impact of space travel on telomere length. Harvard University supported a study performed on 4,676 women nurses, which established the association between the Mediterranean diet and longer telomeres.
- The U.S. Army supported a study performed on 650 special operations soldiers, which found a link between telomere shortening and depression, traumatic stress, and PTSD.
The 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.
- The 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.
- The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences supported a study on 2,280 US Military male veterans, 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
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 hand, 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.