The Science

TruDiagnostic™ is an Epigenetic Testing Laboratory that focuses on examining patterns of Methylation to discover your Biological Age and predict health outcomes.


How do we do it? 
Browse the tabs below to find out!

If you want to learn about the lab procedures we use, check out in Our Lab

  • The Basics
  • What Is Biological Age
  • Changing Biological Age
  • Impact of Biological Age
  • History of Epigenetics

Did You Know:

If you stretched the DNA in one cell all the way out, it would be about 6 feet long. If you strung all the DNA in all your cells end to end, the length of that tiny thread of DNA would be about twice the diameter of the Solar System.

How does that much DNA fit into our tiny cells without getting tangled up? It’s really REALLY good at wrapping itself up. 

Keep reading as we unravel your DNA to find out where Methylation and Gene Expression begins.

Chromosomes

Humans have 23 chromosomes. They’re found in the nucleus of every cell, and are made up of your DNA wrapped really densely around little proteins.

Chromatid

Half of a chromosome is called a Chromatid. Each Chromatid contains 1 full strand of DNA, wrapped tightly around a bunch of Nucleosomes.

Nucleosome

A Nucleosome is what we call the bundle of “DNA wrapped around 8 histones in a tight group” – If DNA was a thread, a Nucleosome would be the spool you store that thread on.

Histone

Staying on that ‘Thread/Spool’ analogy – If a Nucleosome was the spool, then the histones would be the wood that the spools are made of. Histones are small proteins that can subtly warp to change how the DNA is wrapped around them.

Histone modification is a type of Epigenetic change, but not the one we focus on. 

DNA

Our genetic code! All the recipes that make up you and me are contained in that tightly wound little thread. But what about individual steps in the recipe? That’d be….

Genes

Groups of genes work together to change the functions and forms in your body. They describe how proteins should fold, and how messages get passed around. How much fat your body stores, or how quickly your cells should heal themselves. However, just because you have a gene, doesn’t mean it’s being used. That’s up to the…

Gene Expression

Your body turns those ‘recipes’ into physical changes by reading your genes, and creating proteins per those instructions. 
When you increase or decrease how well that gene is being read, you’re changing the gene expression

You might have a certain gene in your DNA, but if it never gets turned on, then you’ll never outwardly show that gene’s traits. 

Sometimes, a few genes can get together and express strongly to make new effects. This is how some people have brown eyes, even though both their parents have blue eyes

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But Gene Expression isn’t just ‘on’ or ‘off’ – it’s more like a dimmer switch, that can change on a sliding scale.

What controls those degrees of expression? Finally, we arrive at…

Methylation

A molecule called a Methyl Group can attach to your DNA at certain locations, and can detach as well. This process is called Methylation and DeMethylation.

It doesn’t change your DNA itself! Instead, Methyl Groups become that gene’s dimmer switches – turning up or down the gene’s expression, based on how many methyl groups attached.

A gene turning on when it’s supposed to stay off could make a protein fold wrong and create a conditions like Parkinson’s disease, or cystic fibrosis. So, genes expressing properly is important.

Methyl groups attach and detach to your DNA throughout your life. They act in response to outside factors, like how much sleep you’re getting, whether you smoke or not, what your diet is like, and much more. 

Epigenetics

When something changes gene expression without changing the DNA itself, that’s Epigenetics. 

DNA Methylation is a type of Epigenetic Marker. There are also a few other Epigenetic Markers, like histone modification.

Learn about how we use Epigenetics to discover your Biological Age in the next tab. 

WHAT IS BIOLOGICAL AGE?

Aging is defined by the progressive loss of cell function.

Losing cell function shows up on our body in things like gaining wrinkles (skin losing elasticity) or worsening eyesight. 

Many aspects of cell function is controlled by Gene Expression. 

DNA Methylation – the Epigenetic marker that our laboratory examines – is able to control gene expression. 

TruDiagnostic has a huge database of which patterns of Methyl Group locations are connected to signs of aging and disease development.

By analyzing at that pattern with our state-of-the-art algorithm, we can check if your biological systems are aging faster or slower than the average person your age. 

We can see if your Biological Age is faster or slower than your Chronological Age.

60% of DNA Methylation CHANGES throughout your life – it’s not a one-way process! Methylation responds to nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress, and other environmental factors.

Studies also show that reducing your biological age by 7 years can cut your likelihood of developing age-related diseases (like Alzheimer’s Disease) in half. 

So it’s not just your lifespan you’re improving, but also how healthy you’ll be throughout it.

Biological Age is strongly correlated to both lifespan and healthspan – the length of your life, and the quality of your health throughout it. 

How can I control my Biological Age?

Your Biological Age can be slowed, and even reversed, by applying lifestyle changes. While scientists believe about 40% of your Methylation is out of your hands, due to what you inherited from your parents or experienced in childhood – that still leaves over half of your gene expression in your own hands.

Factors known to influence Biological Age include:

Nutrition
Physical Activity
Smoking
Alcohol consumption
Medication
Environmental Pollution
Social Behavior
Stress
Sleep Habits
And much more…

How low should you get your Biological Age?
As low as you can!

When your Biological Age is less than your Chronological Age, it means you’re living a lifestyle that is actively helping you lengthen your lifespan and reduce your incidence of disease. The bigger that gap, the better!

Of course, the opposite applies if you head in the opposite direction. When your Biological Age is significantly higher than your Chronological Age, a lot of chronic health conditions become more likely.

Why is Biological Age Important?

Chronological Age is just your birthday – how long you’ve been on this earth. It isn’t very relevant to how you feel and function.

Many diseases occur at higher rates when you get older, because more and more of your cells aren’t functioning the way they should, but this isn’t controlled by how many times you’ve gone around the sun.

Biological Age is deeply tied to your long-term health. It’s measured by how well your cells are aging – how well your DNA is giving them accurate, healthy instructions, so they can do their job properly and keep your body in tip-top shape.

Biological Age is constantly changing in response to your external stimuli and stressors. Scientists have found that Biological Age measured by DNA Methylation is the most accurate predictor of healthspan (how healthy you are) and lifespan (how long you will live) than any other biomarker.

A higher Biological Age is correlated with a higher risk of developing age-related diseases (Like Alzheimer’s Disease and Cancers). A lower Biological Age is correlated with reduced risk of disease, and a longer lifespan.

If you could reverse your risk of age-related disease, wouldn’t you want to know how?

History of Epigenetics

Haven’t heard of epigenetics?

Haven’t heard of epigenetics? That’s not surprising – epigenetics is a relatively new field of science. While we’ve been peripherally aware of methylation as a thing that existed, it wasn’t until 2011 that researchers started creating and refining ways to understand and read those patterns of methylation.