Companies pledge to tell you your cellular age from a drop of blood. Don’t be so sure
Stay younger, longer. Great idea. But direct-to-consumer test kits that promise to gauge a person’s biological age by analyzing a drop of blood are not worth the $100 or so investment, says oncologist Mary Armanios. The tests measure the length of telomeres, the bits of DNA that cap and protect the ends of chromosomes. But the consumer tests are unreliable and can be misinterpreted, Armanios says.
“These kinds of tests can do harm, suggesting there is something wrong when there isn’t,” says the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine researcher, who uses a clinical test of telomere length to diagnose and treat people with certain rare disorders.