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How to Reduce Your Pace of Aging with Epigenetic Testing

What is the Ahara Epigenetics Blood Test?

You’ve heard it before, age is just a number. You probably know someone who looks 40 but is actually in their 50s, or someone in their 30s who looks 40. What’s the difference between these people? Their biological age or inner age, and it can make a big difference in long term health. For some people, the body ages faster –– a phenomenon called accelerated biological aging. It’s important information because you are far more likely to develop health problems if your pace of aging is accelerated. In fact, faster-than-average biological aging is the number one predictor of chronic disease. The good news is there is a lot that you can do to slow your rate of aging. The first step is to measure it. 

In this article, we explain how Ahara’s epigenetics test measures your biological age and how that information is used in your personalized Ahara nutrition plan to slow aging.

Chronological vs Biological Aging, Understanding the Difference

First, the definitions. Aging is measured in two ways –– chronologically and biologically. To understand why epigenetics testing is important, you need to know what sets these two measurements apart.

Chronological Aging

Chronological aging is the number of years you’ve been alive. Every year, you have a birthday that adds to your chronological age.

Biological Aging

Biological aging is how old your cells and tissues are based on specific physiological markers. 

If you exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, and manage your stress, your biological age might be significantly less than your chronological age. Conversely, if you live a sedentary lifestyle and rely on junk food for most meals, your chronological age might be much higher than your biological age.

A growing body of research suggests that measuring biological age can help people more accurately predict their risk of chronic illnesses in the future.[1] And, by understanding how your biological age varies from your chronological age, you can take steps to improve your health and wellness.

Understanding Epigenetic Markings

The best way to measure biological aging is by analyzing your epigenetics, which literally means above your genes. Epigenetics consists of specific attachments found on the DNA of  cells throughout your body. These attachments modify or mark cells, turning them on and off.  

Even though your DNA never changes, epigenetic attachments can determine whether your genes are expressed, meaning whether they are doing a specific job like helping your body absorb a nutrient, or not.  One of the most important attachments or markers is DNA methylation, and this is the marker that the Ahara epigenetic test measures.

Epigenetic Markings, a Simple Definition: Epigenetic markings are molecules that silence (turn off) or amplify (turn on) certain parts of your genes. Lifestyle factors, like diet, exercise, stress, and environmental pollutants significantly impact how these markings affect your natural aging process.

Understanding DNA Methylation

DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism that your cells use to control gene expression. There are several mechanisms involved in this process, but DNA methylation is responsible for turning specific genes “off”. [2] 

When a gene is in the “off” position, it no longer provides directions for making proteins; essentially, it stops functioning. Scientists have tied this process to adverse outcomes, including the onset of chronic disease and premature death.

This description is admittedly scientific. To put things more simply: a blood test with higher-than-average epigenetic methylation markers indicates a higher biological age, and in turn, an increased risk of dementia, heart disease, diabetes and many other chronic illnesses.

Measuring Biological Age with the Ahara Test

Our epigenetics testing laboratory uses the DunedinPoAM rate of aging algorithm.[3] This algorithm is considered the gold standard in biological age rate measurements, and uses 18 biomarkers of organ system integrity to measure both your current biological age and your current rate of aging.

All Preferred and Premium Ahara members receive the epigenetics test with their membership. The test is quick and convenient and provides key insights into your current and future health. Your results also include actionable guidance for optimizing key nutrients involved with aging, and guidance on what foods and supplements are best for you to help slow aging and improve your well-being.

How Your Pace of Aging Impacts Your Personalized Ahara Nutrition Plan

After we receive the results of your epigenetics test, they are combined with your health survey and other test results in our patent-pending AI-enabled algorithm. This combination of information delivers you the most precise nutrition plan geared specifically towards your unique requirements.. 

Your testing report includes actionable guidance for optimizing key nutrients involved with aging, and guidance on what foods and supplements are best for you to help slow aging and optimize health. The app provides personalized recommendations through meals, food lists, dining out suggestions, and recipes rich in your key nutrients. Our custom supplements are recommended only when you can’t get enough of a nutrient from food alone or when you can’t get a nutrient from food - for example a higher dose extract of a beneficial nutrient . Ahara’s approach enables you to easily eat for longevity at every meal. 

In the case of epigenetics, knowledge truly IS power. Through improved nutritional and lifestyle choices, you can slow the pace of aging and reduce your risk of chronic disease. 

How to Take the Epigenetics Test

Ahara’s epigenetics test is an at-home finger-prick test. After becoming a Preferred or Premium member, you’re mailed a kit that contains:

  • Sterile lancets
  • Collection card
  • Instructions
  • Return shipping envelope

Read the included instructions carefully. Then, prick your index finger with one of the sterile lancets and place several drops of blood in the designated spot on the collection card. It helps if your hands are warm so that blood flows more easily.

Slip the completed collection card or sealed laboratory test tube inside the return shipping envelope and place it in the mail. You receive your test results 2-3 weeks later. You will be notified by email and SMS when your test results, and recommendations for food and supplements, are available in your Ahara My Data dashboard.

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