Do you ever feel like you’re older than you are?
There might actually be something to that. Zahra Kashi, who runs Kashi Clinical Laboratories in Portland, is now offering direct-to-consumer cellular age testing, which can determine if you’re aging faster than normal.
That process works through testing the protective end caps of DNA, which are called telomeres and act like the plastic aglets at the tips of shoestrings, said Kate Wiggin, a Vancouver naturopath, who uses some of Kashi’s lab testing to help her patients.
“In chronological age, we think of your years as an entity on Earth. We count the hours and minutes and days,” Wiggin said.
But your cellular age is much different. Just because you’ve been alive for 30 years, it doesn’t mean your cells are aging at that rate. Diet, exercise and other factors can cause you to age faster or slower than your chronological age.
If you order a kit, which costs $149, it should be shipped to you within one business day. You swab your mouth and send the kit back to the lab, and receive results within two weeks, according to Defy Your DNA’s website. You can read the report online, and the information won’t be shared with third parties.
Kashi said the testing, under her brand Defy Your DNA, can help people learn if they need to alter any lifestyle choices. Repeat testing can help evaluate what diet and exercise changes might be needed.
“You are responsible for how you’re going to manage that,” she said.