The process of aging is the accumulation of damage to your body over time due to a long-term overactive immune system.
Knowing your biological age can help you determine whether your current lifestyle is optimal or if changes are needed.
GlycanAge takes a different approach to metabolic age
Is inflammation the enemy? It looks like the jury is still undecided – and with good reason.
Inflammation is essential to evolution – put simply, we cannot survive without it. According to GlycanAge founder Professor Gordan Lauc, it is a process by which the body kills invaders: bacteria and viruses – inflammation is a go-to defense against these threats.
However, this comes at a cost – in this battle of warding off the enemy, we destroy a bit of ourselves, and that’s where physical manifestations of pain, and redness or swollenness, flag up to us that something is going wrong.
But what about low-grade inflammation that we can’t feel but is damaging us all the same?
GlycanAge is the only company that analyzes these levels of low-grade chronic inflammation, and it uses this data to calculate a person’s biological age, doing so by analyzing glycans on the main protein of the immune system – immunoglobulin G.
I received a detailed explanation of my report results with Professor Aleksandar Vojta – check out the video below.
Other tests use markers based on molecules without a known function, but GlycanAge is built on analyzing molecules with a specific function in regulating inflammation, and I was very glad to have the opportunity to put GlycanAge to the test and see what it had to say about my biological age.
All of it has to do with age
As we age, all these small inflammatory changes happen in the body. This low-grade chronic inflammation (low grade because we don’t feel it occurring and chronic because it’s happening all the time) may sound trivial, but it consumes a lot of energy and induces minor damages all around the body, leaving small scars that appear after the inflammation.
Research shows that many complex diseases have inflammation in their background, and as we age, we should increasingly consider inflammation as our enemy – mainly low-grade chronic inflammation .
Glycans: what are they?
A glycan is a sugar molecule that surrounds and modifies proteins. Lifestyle choices affect your immune system, which in turn determines your biological age .
Your unique biology is greatly influenced by glycans, and they are regulated almost equally by genes, environment and lifestyle choices.
These can change and become pro-inflammatory for up to a decade before people develop different diseases.
A bad score on the GlycanAge test means there is a molecular process that is causing damage that results in the failure of an organ process. However, the company’s facilitated consultation process will help you make the necessary changes in your lifestyle.
I suffer from mild chronic fatigue which sometimes manifests itself in swollen finger joints and glands in my neck, so I was very interested to see if the GlycanAge test would identify any inflammatory markers in my results. More on this later.
Yep, I’m 55
I have now had 4 age tests, GlycanAge was my only non-epigenetic test, with the exception of one test (a leading brand that placed me at 47 years old epigenetically, while being 55 chronologically), all placed me at a metabolic age of 55 while being 55 chronologically.
While I love the idea of being younger, I place more confidence in the results I received from GlycanAge as it aligns with the others. While some longevity experts consider metabolic age to be no more than a ‘parlor trick’, I’m confident that this will become a huge trend in the coming years – just like DNA ancestry.
|GO LONG||GO SHORT|
|Convenient test process||One of various tests – some with conflicting results|
|Review of results/consultation with a trained clinician|
|Updated my health and lifestyle practices|
|Great overall experience|
It starts with a quick and easy process of taking your sample with a simple finger prick test.
The GlycanAge test relies on a dried blood spot test which is painless and more convenient than supplying a blood sample in a tube. The process is relatively straightforward, I had to complete a pre-test questionnaire which helped the GlycanAge team understand my results better.
I had to complete a further questionnaire before meeting with a clinician to run through my results; the questions and the detail sought meant I was confident the feedback would be thorough and detailed.
The doctor will see you now
A key part of GlycanAge‘s proposition is the review of your results with a trained clinician. This is great for 2 reasons:
1. Many other tests provide you with a ‘vanilla’ (ish) readout of our test results with templated guidance on diet, exercise, etc. They have to do this as they aren’t classified as ‘medical devices’ and therefore can’t offer personalized medical advice.
2. We all need someone to guide us if we’re not clinicians ourselves.
I was allocated Associate Professor Aleksandar Vojta,who took me through the results of my test. It was a great experience. Aleksandar was was detailed in his guidance as you’ll see in a video we’ll be sharing shortly.
My key takeaways from the session were:
- Meat: it’s a good thing that I decided to change my protein intake and start eating meat after having been vegetarian after 37 years
- NMN: Aleksandar obviously isn’t a fan and can’t see any benefit from my taking it, I could be taking a B3 supplement instead
- CoQ10: apparently we don’t lack this as it’s not an essential nutrient
- MitoQ: my supplement stack includes MitoQ, and great news for me – Aleksandar likes their science
- Probiotics: go for probiotics if you are looking to optimize your supplement stack spend
- Natural probiotics: like yogurt, kefir, tempeh, kimchi and kombucha are a great way to supplement
- Resistance/strength training: I need to balance my cardio exercise with more weight training without triggering my chronic fatigue
Having Aleksandar spend 30 minutes with me going over my results and providing me with guidance was a great experience for me. After the session, my results were ‘released’ so that I could spend more time logged-in on the GlycanAge website reviewing my results and also via the GlycanAge app. Aleksandar recommended that I retest in 6 months with GlycanAge.
As you can see from my results, the GlycanAge test provides detailed feedback on:
- Anti-inflammatory index: these defend against chronic inflammation; better to have more of these (Gylcan Youth, Glycan Shield) – I was kinda middling here.
- Pro-inflammatory index: promotes inflammation; better to have less of these (Glycan Mature) – again average for me, coming in at 47th percentile.
- Supportive indexes: a particular group of complementary indexes that provide an additional layer of information (Glycan Lifestyle, Glycan Median). Very pleased to report I’m in the 82nd percentile for Glycan Median, meaning my body is set up to correctly produce glycans (higher percentile better for this one). However, it looks like I am going to have to continue improving my lifestyle choices, as my score for Glycan Lifestyle (where lower is better) was a disappointing 87th percentile. Luckily, the GlycanAge platform includes a free consultation (see mine below) where warranted changes can be explored!
Nice people, nice experience
There’s something very nice about the GlycanAge approach. I’ve met Nikolina Lauc, the company’s CEO, on the circuit and she’s a really calm, nice and professional person.
I’d say that this persona is reflected in my overall GlycanAge experience. Nothing was rushed, I was dealt with very thoughtfully, and the overall experience was calm, nice and professional.
I’d highly recommend the GlycanAge experience!