I took a blood test for my biological age and here’s what I learned

by Beth Graham

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become obsessed with being healthy and fit. Or maybe I should say, I’ve become obsessed with reading about being healthy and fit. Yeah, I’m that girl that lays in my bed drinking my morning coffee while watching other people work out on Instagram.  I’ve long read about being tested for my biological age, but was never willing to spring for the price tag to get it done. So this past Christmas, my health-obsessed son gave my husband and me and subscription to Inside Tracker, a company that tests you biological age and makes recommendations to maintain or improve it.  So did I need to maintain or improve?

I had long pledged to be my healthiest in my 50s. First it started at age 49 when I publicly declared I would be my healthiest at 50. Then it was 55, then 60, well, you get the point. But now that I’m 60, I’ve gotten into working with a trainer on strength training (and I’m obsessed!). I’ve been doing it for six months now and I can’t say that my body has changed so dramatically (I’m still on that comfort-food-and-wine-diet), but boy do I feel different. Stronger. More stable. Able to get up off the floor easier. And I can finally do real pushups. Pull-ups are my nemesis. I’ve been doing Pure Barre religiously for three years and adding in strength training has been great. 

That’s kind of the outside of my me, the physical fitness part of me. The inside of me? That needs some work. My diet is amazingly healthy…for a few weeks at time. I’ll get on a veggie kick and eat amazing salads, and then crave a burger or my beloved pasta. Dry January? I’ve conquered it once. Tried it in February and March other years. I do love my nightly glass (or two) of wine while I’m cooking dinner.  

So bottom line, I figured my biological age had to be pretty decent, right? Yeeeaaahhhh… We logged onto the Inside Tracker platform and signed up. After filling out a questionnaire, we quickly received an email that doctor had authorized our blood test. We had to go to a local Quest Diagnostics to get our bloodwork (or per the app, you can have someone come to your house for an extra fee). I tried to be really healthy the days before the blood test, but I guess the damage was done.

The results? I’m 60 years old. My biological age (or inner age as they refer to it)? A whopping 65.7!!!!  I was shocked. It was really pretty interesting to dive into my cells and see what was going on. For one, I have high cholesterol. Always have, and presumably always will – it’s primarily hereditary. I don’t and won’t take statins. My doctor monitors it and I have had further testing done that shows I don’t have much cardiovascular risk right now. So my cholesterol levels added a couple of years to my inner age. Other aging biomarkers were considered “normal” but actually did play a role in my cellular age. My hormone precursors (thank you menopause), my liver enzymes (ahem, wine), and my blood sugar (carb cravings) added to that extra 5.7 years of my biological age. 

Once I picked my jaw up off the floor, I dove into the Inside Tracker app more thoroughly and I will say, the level of detail they give you is pretty amazing. It explains what all of the biomarkers mean, but also gives you a really great action plan for improving your biomarkers to improve your biological age. It categorizes suggestions by diet, activity, supplements, and lifestyle. For example, my dietary suggestions were to eat more oatmeal, nuts, and olive oil. It goes further by giving you an impact score for each of the suggestions in terms of how important that individual change can be to your biomarkers. The program gave me a host of supplements I should be taking, and again, goes into great detail about how and why it will improve your biomarker. I studied it all a bit closer and it really does seem to all be rooted in science. 

I used the information to create an action plan and I set reminders and a check list to keep me on track.  (Then I went on vacation and all of my progress went out the window!)  But I’ll test again in a few months to see if I’ve lowered my biological age. 

When I tell people about this, I’m often hit with great skepticism but I’m a believer in the science. I was unfortunately enough to have a bit of long covid and my Mayo integrative health doctor educated me on the role mitochondria play in our cellular processes and taking a supplement instantly alleviated some of those symptoms. And I’m a David Sinclair follower and believer in the science of aging. I’ve since met two people who have a lower biological age than their actual age, and they’re both health and fitness practitioners. So I do think it’s somewhat accurate. 

This is not a sponsored post and I was not paid by Inside Tracker to write this. But I do believe in and subscribe to the science. Let me know if you try it!

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