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TeloYears Review: Can Telomere Testing Predict Biological Age?

Written by Samantha Odake, BS | Last updated:

Overview

  1. Products: Telomere testing, health and ancestry reports, and supplements.
  2. Cost: The tests cost between $99 and $199, while the supplements are priced at $59 for a monthly supply.
  3. Reports: Health and ancestry reports.
  4. Raw data access: No.
  5. Privacy: TeloYears claims not to share identifiable data with third parties, but may disclose de-identified information.
  6. Alternatives: SelfDecode delivers personalized health recommendations based on DNA.

Pros

  • TeloYears offers a personal consultation with a trained health coach.
  • Provides all scientific references in their reports.
  • Offer a detailed ancestry report including specific East Asian populations.

Cons

  • TeloYears does not offer personalized health recommendations.
  • For the health report, the company does not provide any other information other than telomere health.
  • Only available in the United States for a selected age group.

About TeloYears

TeloYears is a DNA test provided by Telomere Diagnostics that attempts to help people live longer by tracking cellular age. The company was founded in 2010 by a group of four scientists, including Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, a Nobel Prize winner in Medicine.

Based in Silicon Valley, California, Telomere Diagnostics boasts the world’s leading method of telomere measurement, which was accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Additionally, they also offer ancestry reports and a supplement line to help improve telomere health.

Review of TeloYears Products & Features

TeloYears offers telomere testing, which they explain is a region at the end of a chromosome with protective capacities. They take into account the length of the telomere, which shortens with age. Other factors such as genetics, lifestyle, and environment can also influence the length of telomeres.

The company offers a telomere health service (TeloYears) and an ancestry test (Advanced Ancestry). Additionally, users can also get a consultation with a TeloCoach, the in-house personal support service.

To get started, users have to answer a few questions on the website. A doctor from the company will review the information provided before concluding the order. Then, users collect a drop of blood from their finger with TeloYears’ home collection kit and mail it to them. For ancestry tests, a doctor review is not required.

TeloYears delivers a health report only. Along with the test results, users also get TeloYear’s BluePrint for Aging Well, which will be explained below. DNA is extracted from the blood sample provided, and the average telomere length is determined. Processing can take 3 to 4 weeks and the report is delivered by mail.

The company explains that this program is only available for people between the ages of 20 to 80 within the United States, except for the state of New York.

Advanced Ancestry provides ancestry results only. Results can take 6 to 8 weeks and the report is delivered electronically. It offers a highly detailed report that includes an in-depth East Asian ancestry analysis.

TeloYears + Advanced Ancestry offers both ancestry and health reports. For this package, TeloYears is granted priority processing and can take 1 to 2 weeks.

TeloYears + TeloCoach includes a personal consultation in addition to the health report. The telomere testing also gets priority processing and is ready in 1 to 2 weeks. The results are delivered electronically.

The TeloCoach session is a 20-minute individual call with a certified coach to go over results, get advice, and establish an action plan with customized suggestions based on telomere science and lifestyle habits.

The company also offers supplements, but these are not personalized according to the health report. Telomere Support is a line of cellular supplements that are designed to optimize cellular health. They are:

  • Antioxidants + Vitamin D3: Helps repair damaged DNA and includes vitamins A and vitamin C.
  • Omega-3 Plus: Helps prevent heart disease.
  • Polyphenols: Includes micronutrients that are packed with health benefits.

Recently, TeloYears has also launched a COVID-19 Virus (rRT-PCR) Test.

Review of TeloYears Reports

TeloYears offers telomere testing and provides a report indicating the Average Telomere Length (ATL) and the current age in TeloYears, which is the age based on telomere length. For example, in the sample report shown below, the person has a chronological age of 53 but is 47 years old in TeloYears.

Telomere testing results

The report also shows how the results compare to other people of the same age and gender. If the user has taken multiple tests, TeloYears shows how the ATL changed.

In addition to the specific results, users receive the BluePrint for Aging Well. This brochure contains extensive scientific information about telomere length and how it connects to aging, along with all the scientific references.

The BluePrint provides a few health recommendations, but they are generic and not personalized to the test results. To get a more tailored action plan, users are required to take a self-assessment questionnaire provided with the report. Based on this survey, they can decide which of TeloYears’ general recommendations they need to implement.

Advanced Ancestry delivers an ethnicity report that covers more than 70 ethnic groups, including specific East Asian populations and Jewish ancestry. It presents the results in a 3-level pie chart of expandable ethnic regions and sub-groups, as seen in the sample report below.

TeloYears ancestry report

Additionally, Advanced Ancestry offers information on maternal and paternal lineages that explains who ancestors were, where they came from, and how they migrated. TeloYears also offers a chromosome painting tool so users can better visualize their ethnic composition at the chromosomal level.

Cost of TeloYears

TeloYears and Advanced Ancestry are priced at $99 each. There is no discount for purchasing the package containing both tests. TeloYears + TeloCoach is priced at $199, and free shipping is included for this option. Telomere Support supplements cost $59 for a one-month supply, totaling over $700 per year.

TeloYears also offers a 6-month subscription plan including two telomere tests and a monthly delivery for supplements. One telomere test is delivered at the time of purchasing the plan and the other at the end of the 6 months, so users can track their progress. It’s also possible to choose which supplements they wish to receive from the list below:

  • Level I ($25 per month): Super D3 + Antioxidants
  • Level II ($45 per month): Super D3 + Antioxidants and Omega-3 Plus
  • Level III ($59 per month): Super D3 + Antioxidants, Omega-3 Plus, and Platinum Polyphenols.

For this subscription, users are charged an initial fee of $60, plus the amount for the telomere supplement chosen. After, they are only charged a monthly fee for the supplements. Free shipping is included.

The recent COVID-19 test is priced at $139.

Health Recommendations from TeloYears

TeloYears delivers most of the health recommendations on the BluePrint for Aging Well brochure, which accompanies all of the reports. As mentioned above, it offers a detailed explanation of how telomere length can affect biological aging and includes a few general recommendations, but they are not personalized based on the specific test results.

Customers are free to choose from the TeloYears supplement line, as the company does not offer any suggestions based on DNA results.

Review of TeloYears Privacy & Data Security

Telomere Diagnostics claims not to share identifiable data with other companies without explicit consent, but they reserve the right to disclose collected and other aggregate information with third parties.

The company also states that some service providers may have access to personal information and asserts that they are not liable in this situation. Additionally, they maintain that they may use protected health information for research purposes.

Customers can request a list containing the times their information was shared for the past 6 years and with whom. Telomere Diagnostics offers this service for free once a year.

SelfDecode vs TeloYears

  1. SelfDecode delivers natural supplement, diet, and lifestyle suggestions based on your genes that you can implement right away. TeloYears has a supplement line, but they do not offer recommendations based on genetic results.
  2. SelfDecode tells you why they make each recommendation so that you can understand the science behind the suggestion. TeloYears does not make personalized recommendations.
  3. SelfDecode prioritizes recommendations based on their analysis of all the relevant genes instead of one gene at a time (through reports). TeloYears only provides general recommendations that are not prioritized.
  4. SelfDecode takes a holistic approach to give recommendations that are best for your genes AND the health topic. TeloYears only delivers information on biological age and how to improve it.
  5. SelfDecode has a team of over 60 highly skilled scientists, MDs, PhDs, NDs, and software engineers to make sure they deliver the most accurate and science-based health information. TeloYears was founded by a team of four scientists.
  6. SelfDecode is the most comprehensive and looks at more genes & SNPs (up to 83 million) to deliver the best analysis of genetic risks. TeloYears only analyzes telomere length to give information about cellular health.
  7. SelfDecode supports everything with peer-reviewed scientific studies in their research and checks for contradicting information. TeloYears provides a vast list of scientific references with their reports.
  8. SelfDecode never sells your data or gives it away. TeloYears does not share identifiable data but reserves the right to disclose aggregate information.

Comparisons

SelfDecode TeloYears Vitagene

Helix

Personalized & holistic health recommendations

Yes No No

No

Genes & gene variants analyzed

Up to 83 million genetic variants Telomere testing SNPs related to vitamins, skin health, and fitness

1,000+ genetic markers

Products

DNA testing, wellness reports, health recommendations, patient and provider options DNA testing, health and ancestry reports, supplements Monthly personalized supplements, supplements report, diet, exercise, skin & ancestry reporting

DNA sequencing, ancestry, health, and wellness reports

Raw data access

Yes No Yes

Yes, for $499

Cost (USD)

$97 – $387 $59 – $199 $49 – $289 + Supplement subscriptions

$145 – $245

TeloYears Reviews

DNAWeekly – 8 of 10

DNAWeekly’s expert finds the chronological and biological age comparison interesting but is annoyed at how insistent the company is at offering their supplement line.

DNAtestingchoice – Editor rating of 4.5 of 5

The editor was satisfied with the extensive explanations offered in the report, although one customer reviewer was frustrated with how their results reported 30 years of aging in just six months.

Facebook – 2.8 of 5

Some Facebook users are happy with the results and are making lifestyle changes to improve their telomere health, but many complain that they never received any products or services while still being charged for them.

See what people are saying about TeloYears on Reddit

Reddit users discuss the science behind telomere testing and express doubt about how useful the results can be.

Alternatives to TeloYears

SelfDecode: The best health-focused DNA test that offers recommendations through personalized reports and also grants access to a lab analysis tool for a complete picture of your health.

TeloYears Review Summary

Telomere Diagnostics is a leader in telomere science. They offer DNA tests for ancestry and health, focusing on telomere length and how it influences biological age. In addition to the telomere testing results, they offer an extensive brochure explaining the science behind telomere health and how external factors can affect it.

However, the company only offers a few general health recommendations on how to improve biological age. Customers need to figure out which areas in their lives they need to improve based on a self-assessment questionnaire provided with the report.

TeloYears provides interesting information about aging. Nevertheless, health involves more than just one aspect. A service like SelfDecode can offer a more holistic approach to health. SelfDecode analyzes up to 83 million genetic variants and gives personalized diet, lifestyle, and supplement recommendations based on your unique DNA and labs.

Related

About the Author

Samantha Odake

Samantha Odake

BS
Samantha is an engineer turned writer with a passion for helping people.

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