TeloYears review – Can telomere length show how you age?

TeloYear Review Summary

TeloYears measures the length of your chromosomes to assess your biological age and give actional health insights. Learn more in our TeloYears review!

Nebula Genomics

Results
Price
Detail of reports

Summary

TeloYears provides genetic-based aging reports that most customers are satisfied with although the details in reports may not be as comprehensive as other companies.

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7 Facts from our TeloYears Review

  1. Location: Silicon Valley in Menlo Park, California, United States
  2. Products: Telomere Diagnostics (TDx) offers TeloYears, Telomere Support Supplements, Advanced Ancestry, and currently, a COVID-19 PCR Test 
  3. Costs: $89 – $129
  4. Ordering: Through the website 
  5. How it Works: Patients use the enclosed finger stick lancets (2 included) to get blood from their fingertip, puts it into a blood collection strip, then into a storage vial, and mails it in a provided shipping envelope 
  6. Reports: Includes your average telomere length (ATL), your telomere age, and TeloYears blueprints for aging well 
  7. Complementary products: Nebula offers a complete DNA sequencing test that includes a full report on your average telomere length 

This review is written with the intent to be as unbiased as possible. However, it represents the opinion of an individual reviewer and is therefore subjective. Furthermore, at Nebula Genomics we seek to educate the public about the benefits of Whole Genome Sequencing. Information about our Whole Genome Sequencing DNA test is therefore incorporated into the review.

July 29, 2022

Edited by Christina Swords, Ph.D.

DISCLAIMER: The TeloYears test was sold by Telomere Diagnostics (TDx), a biotechnology company. In January 2021, Seaport Diagnostics (formerly Orig3n) stopped selling the “TeloYears” product, and it is not able to complete any test that might have been submitted. This review is for historical information only.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Operates in a CLIA-certified lab
  • Offers both DNA health testing and ancestry
  • The founder is a Nobel Prize winner
  • A firm privacy policy that does not reveal your personal information to any third parties
  • Information provided can be used to make positive health changes
  • Use of next-generation DNA sequencing

Cons

  • The information is not as detailed as other companies such as AncestryDNA and 23andMe
  • TeloYears testing is not available in state of New York
  • Residents in Maryland require permission from a primary care provider within the state before taking the test
  • Not too many reviews to establish a solid foundation for comparison

TeloYears Introduction

This TeloYears review intends to provide valuable insights into what the company is about, what it intends to achieve, and what results you can expect.

The TeloYears test is designed to measure the length of your chromosomes’ telomeres and creates a plan to improve your life quality. The telomeres are the protective caps on your chromosomes that shorten as you age. They are represented in pink in the photo below.

Research shows that cellular aging is related to telomere shortening. Shorter telomeres are not as effective as they once were at keeping up with cellular activities. Some suggest that telomere length is as important a biological marker as things like blood pressure and BMI.

Telomeres on a microscope.
Metaphase spread of HCT116 cells stained for γ‐H2AX (green) and telomeric DNA (red). Wikipedia. CC BY-SA 3.0.

Image: By Asako J. Nakamura, Christophe E. Redon, William M. Bonner, and Olga A. Sedelnikova – Asako J. Nakamura, Christophe E. Redon, William M. Bonner, and Olga A. Sedelnikova: Telomere‐dependent and telomere‐independent origins of endogenous DNA damage in tumor cells. In: Aging 1, 2009, p.212

The primary purpose of a TeloYears test is not to determine your entire genetic composition but rather to assess your “telomere age.” It will compare your biological age to your chronological age. Biological age refers to the age your body appears to be, while chronological age refers to how long you have been alive. 

Telomere Diagnostics (TDx) was founded in 2010 by a group of scientists, one of which was awarded the Nobel prize in medicine in 2009, precisely because of his telomeres studies. Other clinical and scientific advisors have worked with Nobel laureates, including Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn. 

The company is located in Silicon Valley in Menlo Park, California. TDx also promotes TeloYears Advanced Ancestry, a sequence-based ancestry test. Jason Shelton, CEO of Telomere Diagnostics for over six years, is convinced that TeloYears offers powerful insight into how well one ages. Regardless of age and gender, everybody can improve their telomere length by taking the proper steps. 

Today, it is the only one with a journal-based scientific validation on its telomere measurement technique. Its proprietary method is known as “Cawthon qPCR assay.” As part of its vision, TDx intends to expand the Average Telomere Length application in areas involving cardiovascular disease treatments and more. 

TeloYears offers only a section of your chromosomes – your telomeres. A Nebula Genomics test sequences your entire genome! This comprehensive DNA test will empower you to get deep insight into your ancestry and receive regularly updated reports based on the latest scientific discoveries!

Review of TeloYears: Telomeres and Aging

TeloYears

This is the company’s main product and the principal focus of this TeloYears review. You start by filling out the required information. Once the test kit arrives home, you follow the steps above and send back the sample strip for testing. 

Results are delivered electronically within 5-6 weeks. Besides the results on the length of your chromosomes’ telomeres, you will also get:

  • TeloYears test report – essentially, your blueprint to a better life, as stated by the company.
  • Blueprint for aging well – understanding the results plus steps on self-assessment and improvement.

Taking a Test

The company offers a relatively simple method for anyone who wants to take a TeloYears test. After ordering it at $199, clients receive a kit that includes the following:

  • Fingerstick lancet (covered by plastic tips)
  • Blood sample collection strip
  • Yellow top transport tube
  • Alcohol wipe
  • Gauze pad
  • Adhesive bandage 
  • Small clear baggie
  • Prepaid mailing envelope
Contents of a TeloYears kit
Contents of a TeloYears kit

Instructions on how to use the contents of the package are included. Telomere Diagnostics Inc. requires you to send one drop of your blood to isolate a white blood cell and extract the chromosomes. 

It is a simple four-step process.

  1. Poke finger with small blue or pink lancet 
  2. Dab drop of blood on strip
  3. Place strip into small transport tube
  4. Mail back your sample the same day you collected it
4 steps on how to take a TeloYears test
How to take a TeloYears test

Besides TeloYears, Telomere Diagnostics, Inc. also offers Advanced Ancestry, a program that expands your family tree by allowing you to track where in the world your ancestors are from.

TeloYears Advanced Ancestry Review

Officially named the TeloYears Advanced Ancestry test, this genome-wide ancestry service uses sequencing to track down a person’s heritage. This test is especially beneficial to those looking for their family roots. 

Both of the above tests claim to provide scientifically-proven methods to determine your telomere length and ancestral heritage. It is important to point out that since it uses a drop of blood, accuracy increases as this drop contains tens of thousands of cells. 

TeloYears is not intended for the diagnosis or treatment of any disease. Although Telomere Diagnostics is certified to perform these highly complex tests, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not cleared or approved the methods. 

Review of TeloYears Costs

Telomere Diagnostics offers two genetic services, TeloYears and Advanced Ancestry. Each of them individually costs $89, but if purchased together, they have a price tag of $178.

Breakdown of TeloYears cost
TeloYears costs from between $89 – $178

The price seems fair for the services offered. You may consider it within what is acceptable for DNA tests. 

Review of a TeloYears Report

After five or six weeks, customers will get their test results in the form of a detailed report in the mail. This package includes information on telomere science, a self-assessment tool, information on lifestyle, and what factors you need to consider to improve your aging process. The enclosed documents are pretty illustrative and easy to read. 

A sample report
A sample report

Results

The TeloYears results are very illustrative, and the report includes three main sections:

  1. Average telomere length (ATL) and how it compares to the population within the same age section
  2. A colorful diagram showing your TeloYears, which is the actual age of a person with the same length as your telomeres
  3. Results over time, which is useful for repeat testers

Blueprints for Aging Well

This TeloYears Blueprint may be considered the actionable part of the kit you receive. It is a booklet containing helpful information connecting your telomeres with health issues and the steps towards improvement. The information provided is appropriately referenced and may include the following:

  • A self-assessment tool to help customers in changing life factors that contribute to improving telomere length
  • Details on how different physical and chemical processes affect telomere length and, as a consequence, life quality
  • An action plan. This is the real actionable part of dieting, exercising, etc. Customers are strongly encouraged to consult a physician before engaging in physical and dietary activities
  • Detailed explanations on how telomere length affects life quality

Review of TeloYears Privacy

The company distributing TeloYears claims to abide by the Privacy Rule that protects what is known as “protected health information (PHI).” 

As a site that requests users’ personal information, it enforces absolute privacy of this info. The website collects specific chunks of information, and users should notice the site’s safety status.

Do consider that the site uses cookies, which would mean that you will probably be getting ads about it on Facebook after visiting the site. But this does not involve any breach of the personal information that was input. Also, your information is not shared with any entity, except for federal or law enforcement purposes. 

There is a firm privacy policy for this genetic testing service. Take into consideration that your info stays within its servers for future references. 

TeloYears in the News

Other TeloYears Reviews

The company has been established for a number of years, but it has not really garnered that much attention. As a result, there are not too many TeloYears reviews available online. Only the official website is currently selling the kits, so you will not find them in big stores such as Amazon, eBay, or pharmacies. 

In 2018, Michael Batista published a review on Medgadget, where he interviewed the CEO of telomere diagnostics, Jason Shelton.

More recently, the company has not received very good reviews on its delivery promise. It seems like several dissatisfied customers have not received their results on time. 

A Teloyears review

On a more positive note, some users have taken the test several times and appear happy with their results. Some note that they have seen improvement demonstrated by TeloYears predicting their telomere age as younger than their actual age.

A TeloYears review

Nebula Genomics

Telomere Diagnostics (TDx) is not the only company offering telomere DNA tests. Nebula Genomics also provides comprehensive detail on your biological age based on the length of your telomeres. The results are extensive, precise, and highly personalized.

Companies such as TDx will not give you a safe follow-up on your results. On the other hand, Nebula Genomics provides regularly updated reports, data exploration tools, and a strong focus on privacy protection. Our complete DNA tests include 30x WGS and data upload options.

TeloYearsNebula Genomics
Sample collectionDried blood Saliva
DNA testing methodProprietary DNA method to measure the length of your telomeresWhole Genome Sequencing (30X coverage)
Information availableBiological ageRegular genetic reports based on the latest research and data (learn more)
Ancestry testingYes (limited)Deep ancestry reporting with full Y chromosome and mtDNA sequencing
Compatible with other servicesNoYes (FASTQ, BAM, and VCF files)
Information providedOne comprehensive report with details, recommendations, and call to actionRegular reports based on the latest research and data (learn more)
Cost$89 – $179$0, $99, $299

Companies such as Telomere Diagnostics will only offer certain information limited by its proprietary methods. On the other hand, Nebula Genomics provides complete genetic testing that gives you the most comprehensive view of your genome, that also includes details on your telomere length.

We offer an exclusive 30x Whole Genome Sequencing to sequence your entire DNA. Telomere length goes beyond only calculating, estimating, and suggesting. If you want to know the specifics of the relationship between telomere length and aging, take a look at these articles on the genetics of telomeres by Codd (2013) and Li (2020).

Another test that offers reports on your telomere length is FoundMyFitness. If interested in helping your body age well, you should check out these other reviews:

Did you like our TeloYears review? You can read more reviews on our blog and check out our complete guide to the best DNA test kit and other home tests.