With longevity medicine research booming, there are now several advanced tests available that take a
deeper dive into your wellness. Wanting to stay current with the latest testing options, Twin Cities
Integrative Medicine physicians will be working with two different tests to help our patients be
exceptionally proactive with their health. These are TruAge by TruDiagnsotics, and the Galleri test.
The science behind them is a bit complex, so hang with me here as we go through a simplified explanation (the detailed explanation is above my paygrade!). Both tests are blood tests based on DNA
methylation. Methylation is the process of adding a methyl group (1 carbon with 3 hydrogens) onto
DNA, and the methylation status of DNA can regulate gene expression, telling your genes when to be active and when to turn off. Not all genes are methylated, and improper methylation (ex. too much or
too little) can lead to disease development.
Regarding aging, it is found that DNA methylation changes occur fairly consistently between individuals, leading to the discovery of “epigenetic clocks” that can accurately measure age. The rate of change of epigenic clocks may also be related to lifespan. TruDiagnostics takes your DNA methylation, uses algorithms and artificial intelligence, to estimate your biological age vs chronological. Your chronological age is simply the number of birthdays you have celebrated. What’s more important is how old your body is, your biological age. TruAge can estimate your biological age, as well as your pace of aging. Here’s the beautiful thing though. Epigenetics is always changing and can be modified by lifestyle changes, supplements, and medications. You can use your biologic age as a new baseline, implement a treatment plan to help improve your wellness, and then retest to monitor for improvements in biologic age/pace.
Regarding cancer detection, cancer cells are characterized by aberrant DNA methylation. All cells
(cancer and noncancer cells) release fragments, called cell-free DNA. The Galleri test analyzes your cell-
free DNA for methylation patterns associated with certain cancers. Standard medical care currently screens for only a handful of cancers: colon, breast, cervical, prostate, lung and visually appearing cancers like skin and oral. The Galleri test, however, screens for 50 cancers, including several that have lower survival rates. Thus, the Galleri test may pick up a cancer growing long before you would experience symptoms, potentially leading to quicker treatment and a better outcome.
I am very passionate about anti-aging medicine and making sure my patients live a long and healthy life. If you are located in Minnesota or Wisconsin and are interested in scheduling an initial consultation, please reach out to me through my website or contact TCIM directly. I look forward to helping you!