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The Battle of Epigenetic Clocks: MyDNAge vs Thorne Biological Age Test

Is Thorne better than myDNAge? Which test should I choose to find out my biological age? Read our comparison of myDNAge and Thorne.

ARTICLE BY

The GlycanAge Team

Introduction

As industry experts, we know that GlycanAge provides the most accurate biological age testing calculation, but that doesn't stop us from looking at what some other researchers are doing in the field of biological age testing. Unlike our recommended glycan biomarkers, some companies use epigenetics to calculate age.

Two of the most well-known consumer biological age testing brands which use Dr Steve Horvath's Epigenetic Ageing Clock are myDNAge and Throne. They both offer biological age testing services at very different cost points. Read on to learn about their key differences.

 

What is the Horvath Clock?

Illustration of scientist standing next to DNA code.

One of the most widely used biological age clocks is the Horvath which uses DNA methylation data to calculate age. DNA methylation is an epigenetic change that refers to the addition of methyl groups onto DNA sites which in turn determines whether particular genes are switched on or off.

Each methylation site can be either methylated or unmethylated, which consequently can be considered as a number – 1s for methylated and 0s for unmethylated. The Hovarth clock makes use of this and applies the pattern of methylation across a person's DNA and then writes the pattern in sequences of 1s and 0s.

The number sequence is fed into a computer which compares it with patterns from people at different stages of life. Using an algorithm, it is then possible to calculate biological age by fitting the changes observed in their DNA into the pattern we see from other people.

 

Biological Age Test by myDNAge

Hand holding a myDNAge test kit against a grey background.

Out of the two kits, myDNAge is more expensive, costing $299. The price includes the testing kit (choice of either blood or urine), shipping costs, sample analysis and data summary report.

Testing kit content differs between blood and urine samples as per the table:

myDNAge Blood Biological Age Test

myDNAge Urine Biological Age Test

Instructional manual

Blood collection tube

Capillary tubes

Lancets

Gauze pad

Alcohol wipe

Plaster

Biohazard bag

Prepaid return envelope

Instructional manual

Non-latex gloves

Transparent cup

Urine collection bottle

Urine preservation reagent

Biohazard bag

Prepaid return envelope

If you consult reviews online, you will see many consumers complaining about myDNAage reports being light on information. This prompted the company to add three additional data sections since, including metabolic health, methylation activity and potential risk of chronic disease development. Though improved, the report could still use some work especially considering the price in place.

 

Biological Age Health Panel by Thorne

Thorne biological age test.

The Thorne brand is currently better known for its supplements than biological age testing service, but they have recently begun offering biological age testing. Unlike GlycanAge and myDNAge, which send a home (blood) testing kit, Throne requires you to find a laboratory to sort out the blood panel yourself.

To get started with their biological age testing service, you must purchase the test and complete a health profile. You are then prompted to find a laboratory to arrange for a blood test. You are required to fast pre-testing and are advised to take a lab requisition form with you to ensure the results are as accurate as possible.

Thorne provides a simple dashboard with a description of each measurement and how it might be related to your ageing. The Thorne biological age test aims to measure the following factors:

  • Biological age

  • Age rate

  • Blood age

  • Lipid age

  • Liver age

  • Kidney age

  • Metabolic age

Many consumers may be tempted to try this biological age testing kit due to its low price point, but there are some concerns over accuracy. There is also an additional cost and inconvenience that comes with getting a blood panel done from a third party.

 

GlycanAge

The GlycanAge test offers a simple and convenient way to determine your biological age at home by using a simple finger prick test. The technology behind the test has been cited in over 200 scientific publications and is widely regarded as a reliable method for calculating biological age.

Once you have completed the test, you will be invited to book a call with one of our specialists, who will help you design a plan to improve your well-being. This personalised support can help you make the changes needed to improve your health and slow down ageing.

The GlycanAge test works by examining the health of your immune system and inflammation levels. This is done by looking at the glycans attached to immunoglobulin (IgG), a specific antibody found in your blood. The glycans attached to IgG can affect its function, which plays a role in maintaining a healthy immune system. The balance between the pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory effects of IgG can impact your overall health and biological age. Overall, the GlycanAge test provides an easy and reliable way to determine your biological age and get the support you need to improve your well-being. You can also evaluate how well the changes you’ve made to your lifestyle worked by retaking the test in a few months. 

 

myDNAge vs Thorne Comparison Summary

Features

myDNAge

Thorne

GlycanAge

Cost

$299

£95

1 for $348

2 for $599

Sample Type

Blood or urine

Blood 

Blood

Result Time

4 to 6 weeks

3 to 7 days

3 to 5 weeks

Shipping Locations

USA, Canada, Europe, and Australia.

Worldwide

Worldwide

 

Closing Thoughts

As tempting as the cheaper age testing kits may be, the results are not always accurate or convenient. To ensure you are receiving the most accurate and useful results from a biological age testing kit, choose GlycanAge.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why does the Thorne biological age test cost less than myDNAge?

The main reason the Thorne biological age test costs so much less than many other biological age tests is that the additional cost of the blood panel is not taken into account and is something one has to organise themselves. This process can be inconvenient, which is why GlycanAge and other age testing companies (similar to myDNAge) send you a kit for sample collection and arrange all the laboratory work for you.

What are four ways that age can be determined?

There are four ways to determine ageing:

  1. Chronological age (the number of years a person has been alive)

  2. Biological age (a person's development based on biomarkers)

  3. Physiological age (subjective description of one's experience using non-physical features)

  4. Functional age (a combination of chronological, biological, and physiological age)

How does DNA damage affect how you age?

 

Every day, your cells are subjected to damaging agents that can cause harmful changes to your DNA. Accumulated over time, this can lead to accelerated ageing and an increased risk of age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis, and diabetes. Quantifying these changes has enabled scientists to develop models to calculate a person’s biological age – a measure of the “well-being” of your cells.

ARTICLE BY

The GlycanAge Team

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