The current trend in medicine is personalized medicine—medicine that is based on a person’s individual genes and proteins. The TruAge Test is the first-ever direct-to-consumer epigenetic test available to users at home.
Until recently, epigenetic testing was conducted only by research institutions due to high costs and very invasive sample collection procedures.
With the TruAge Test, anyone can submit their DNA for analysis to determine how old their body is. Further, they can receive a recommendation on how to reverse or slow the aging process.
Throughout life, the positioning of epigenetic tags will change to allow for growth, development, and learning. At the same time, these tags can also be influenced by:
The technology we use measures your DNA methylation at only a tiny fraction of the billions of nucleotides (the components that make up your DNA) and is subject to statistical error. Based on our studies, we have approximately 4.6 years’ error rate. If you see what you think is an error, please feel free to contact us. The test is not intended to tell you anything about your current state of health, or to be used to make medical decisions, including whether or not you should take a medication, how much of medication you should take, or determine any treatment. Also, keep in mind that these are initial results. As people continue to join we will continue to update and improve your testing accuracy.
No. TruAge test is a research study. The protocols we use are suitable for genetic research only, not for clinical genetic testing like you would receive at a hospital or doctor’s office. Clinical genetic testing is held to higher standards and is done in laboratories, which are certified by governmental regulations called CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments). If you use the TruAge data for diagnostic purposes, you should always contact the doctor and have the results confirmed by tests recommended by a medical professional.
To determine your true Biological age TruMe scientists are measuring the levels of DNA methylation within specific DNA regions. Methylation of DNA occurs on cytosine residues, especially on specific small DNA regions called CpG islands. These regions are usually clustered around genes and can affect their activity. Methylation of CpG islands by DNA methylases has been shown to be associated with gene inactivation and plays an important role in the development of cancer and cell aging. Reversal of DNA methylation at these sites is a potential therapeutic strategy as this reversal may restore gene expression and as the result improve physiological function of the organism.
The methylation status of a DNA sequence can best be determined using bisulfite conversion. Bisulfite treatment of the target DNA results in conversion of unmethylated cytosine residues into uracil, leaving the methylated cytosines unchanged. Therefore, bisulfite treatment gives rise to different DNA sequences for methylated and unmethylated DNA that can be easily detected by sequencing.
In the lab we sequence 9 small regions of your DNA, and analyze how methylated your DNA is. This information is further analyzed by our algorithm to determine how old you really are. Please note, we do not sequence your whole genome. We also do not store your saliva sample or your DNA. All biological material or DNA sequence data is deleted after our test is completed.
Sometimes TruMe reports an inaccurate Biological age. This usually happens when we do not isolate a sufficient amount of DNA from your sample. Or, if the sample is contaminated. The contamination usually happens when customs didn’t dry sample enough and we see bacterial or mold overgrowth on the filter paper. If you see what you think is an error, please feel free to contact us. Also, keep in mind that these are initial results. As people continue to join we will continue to update and improve your testing accuracy.
Do not eat, drink (anything but water), smoke, chew gum, brush your teeth, or use mouthwash for at least 30 minutes prior to providing your sample. For the best results please make sure you’re well hydrated. Collect a small amount of saliva in the clean spoon, and then transfer a small amount of saliva in each circle of your sample collection kit. Allow you alive to dry for at least 40 min. The chemicals of the filter paper would lyse your cells and fix DNA to the filter paper and preserve it. Your DNA is stable on the filter paper for up to a year at ambient temperatures.
Results and recommendations are typically released within 1 to 2 weeks of TruMe’s lab receiving your sample and completed questionnaire. However, in some rare circumstances, there may be a wait time of between 4 to 6 weeks. Lab processing times vary on a case-by-case basis
When we receive your sample at the lab, we scan our sample identification number into our internal registration system. As soon as a sample has been scanned, it undergoes its first test — a visual inspection to make sure the sample is not contaminated or too wet. Occasionally a sample will not pass this step, and we immediately contact the customer and ship a replacement kit so he or she can spit again. If a sample passes the visual inspection, it is time for DNA extraction and bisulfite conversion to differentiate your methylated and unmethylated DNA. Then, the small regions of your DNA are extracted and sequenced to quantify a percentage of your DNA methylation. We are using independent laboratory services to perform all sequencing procedures.
Once a sample has been successfully analyzed, the laboratory sends the resulting data to TruMe along with the barcode that came with the sample. This allows us to return the information to the proper account and begin interpreting your data. Please not, TruMe does not need to know your date of birth to be able to calculate your biological age. Yet, we would like to know your date of birth, your life style, you general health status, and your race to adjust our algorithm and improve our services.
There are many companies that offer the genetic test to determine your genetic composition, as well as ancestry and wellness reports that can be derived from your unique genetic code.
Although this information is important for your health, these tests do not inform you of your biological age or your personal rate of aging. More importantly, without this data, you don’t have a biological marker to determine if your health and wellness routine is working.