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FAQ

Frequently asked questions about the epiAge test

The test is suitable for adults aged 25 and over. We advise against using it when ill or in stressful phases as this can distort the result.

What is the difference between biological and chronological age?

Biological age provides an indication about how quickly the body has aged. This can differ significantly from person to person. Various factors play a role in this discrepancy. Surprisingly, however, a person’s inherited genes only play a limited role in this process whereas lifestyle and environmental factors are much more decisive. Chronological age, on the other hand, is measured in years and says little about the state of the body.

For whom is the test suitable?

The test is suitable for adults aged at least 25 and over.
Read more here on the challenges of determining the biological age of children, teenagers and young adults.

When is it best to do the test?

It is best to carry out the test in a quiet and healthy phase of your life. If you have recently been sick or have just been vaccinated, we recommend that you wait at least 3-6 months before doing the test. Otherwise, due to the immune response, a significant discrepancy between the biological and the chronological age may arise, which in most cases normalises over time.

What should I be aware of when carrying out the test?

Please follow the instructions in your epiAge test kit carefully. As an epigenetic age determination method, the epiAge test is carried out in a high-tech laboratory, using a state of the art scientific approach. Indeed, Prof. Szyf's HKG Epitherapeutics laboratory in Hong Kong is CAP- (College of American Pathologists) as well as CLIA- (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) certified and thus operates according to particularly stringent and globally recognised standards. Nevertheless, an insufficient or contaminated sample can cause your test to fail or may distort the result.

How should I send my saliva sample to epiAge?

If we or our distributors have done a good job, a pre-addressed bubble envelope is usually included with the test. If you are sending the test from Germany, your envelope will be postpaid and you can simply drop it into the nearest mailbox (please do not send by registered mail!). However, if you are sending it from abroad, please affix postage as required for a letter. It is considered a medical sample and, as such, DOES NOT require a customs declaration. So please do not send it as a parcel with a customs declaration and/or by registered mail! Otherwise, any costs incurred as a result will be at your own expense. Should you (have to) send the envelope with a courier service, e.g. UPS, FedEx, or similar, please use our company address:

epiAge Deutschland UG - Jakob-Klar-Str. 4 - 80796 München - Deutschland/Germany

How long will it last until I get my test result?

The epiAge test usually takes 2-4 weeks after you have sent your sample back to us. In exceptional cases, there may be a delay.

What does my test result mean?

Your test result represents your epigenetic age. The epigenetic age provides information about how fast or slowly you have aged biologically compared to the general population. You are 53 but feel like you are in your mid-40s? Your epigenetic test result can substantiate your gut feeling with scientific facts. If the opposite is true, you should consider changing your lifestyle and diet to remain healthy and energetic.

Interpreting my result correctly!
Don’t panic (yet), should your biological age turn out to be strikingly higher or lower...

If the difference between chronological and biological age is substantial, it may trigger perplexity, mistrust or even shock. However, we would like to first reassure you and take a look at the bigger picture. A biological or so-called “epigenetic age” test only represents a current snapshot that depends on a variety of factors, including:

- carrying out the test properly  
-the quality of the saliva sample
- your overall health condition.

The correct performance of the test is of course essential but unfortunately not always self-evident. Time and again, problematic results, if not downright failures, occur because customers have eaten, smoked, brushed their teeth or discarded their chewing gum shortly before harvesting the saliva sample. Moreover, the sample submitted may be too small or the saliva may not have been properly blended with the buffer solution, which is supposed to guarantee the shelf life or microbiological stability of the sample. When this occurs, it unfortunately entails repeating the test, preferably on an empty stomach, collecting sufficient saliva and then shaking the sealed tube thoroughly before the sample is bagged and shipped.

Because epigenetic age is a relatively dynamic process, it is also subject to fluctuations that can be overlooked in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Therefore, depending on when the sample was collected, it may well be that your overall health was significantly strengthened or weakened, and you may not even have been aware of it at the time. But to put it bluntly: a negative discrepancy does not necessarily mean that a terrible disease is lurking beneath the surface. If you had a bad cold, Covid-19 or even a jab a few weeks ago, it may suffice to influence the test result. Read our Blogpost 1, Blogpost 2 and Blogpost 3 on this topic. Longer-lasting lifestyle changes or environmental factors can also have a significant impact – for better or for worse.
 
Generally, we recommend testing during quiet times with normal routines to avoid major biases in your result. Should you have further questions, please contact our support: support@epi-age.de.

At what intervals can I carry out an epiAge test to monitor the effectiveness of my lifestyle changes?

An epiAge follow-up test can be carried out at any time and it is even recommended that the epigenetic age be tested regularly. It can be used to monitor lifestyle interventions and anti-ageing measures. We recommend a period of 6 months between two tests. However, thanks to high accuracy, shorter intervals are also possible, for example, after significant lifestyle or diet changes have been made.

Will my genetic data be stored?

No: neither we nor our partner laboratory store genetic data. Only methylation markers on your DNA are analysed. Once the analytical process has been completed, your sample is destroyed after a certain period.

What security measures are implemented to protect my data?

Your sample is labelled with a secure ID number. We issue it anonymously and can no longer assign it to a specific customer. Once the analysis has been completed, the test result is sent automatically to the e-mail address you provided during registration.

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