When I work with my high performers, entrepreneurs and CEOs there is a universal question: how do I measure progress and efficacy?
To those used to being judged using metrics and objective analytics for every element of their work – healthcare exists in a slightly parallel universe of subjective assessments and biomarkers which are hard to conceptualise. We may understand that ‘lab values’ are ‘normalising’ or ‘improving’ – or, heck, even ‘optimising’. But that doesn’t always correlate with how we feel.
We also can understand that we feel better – but can we measure that?
And in a world (healthcare, nutrition) where, from every conceivable angle, there are staunch advocates of certain ways of eating, supplementing, living, fasting, detoxing etc. etc. – how can we directly measure the impact and effect of the choices we make in our lives?
Into this realm steps the testing of DNA Age. Historically, this was done through telomere testing. A whole industry was set up to test the length of little caps on the end of DNA which get shorter as we age: the longer your caps, the longer you have to live… ish… the science of this has been endlessly debated. And in healthcare, often it isn’t that something gets debunked – it’s just that something better, in this case, a better way of testing the health of DNA, steps into take its place.
Welcome to the world of analysing Epigenetic patterns
Through epigenetic analysis we can now use incredibly revolutionary scientific analysis to identify someone’s biological age (i.e. DNA age), metabolic status, alcohol consumption and smoke exposure.
I am not going to explain the science here. If you would like to know more – head over to Chronomics.
Chronomics are the only company I will use to provide this testing – and instead of sharing all of the methylation pattern analysis, next generation sequencing jargon and describing the complexity, instead I will explain why I use epigenetic testing, and why I use Chronomics.
Why Epigenetic Testing?
The “why” of epigenetics for me revolves around several factors:
- No matter how much I test biomarkers, I deal with guesswork a lot of the time when it comes to the impact of history and the real influence on DNA. We don’t really know the impact of a lifetime of ‘stuff’ for people. We don’t know how our lives have affected us – in terms of the resilience of our DNA (and biological age), but also in terms of the way our DNA has responded to our consumption of alcohol over our lifetime, or the fact that we live in polluted cities etc. etc. All of these elements are measured within a Chronomics epigenetics test. How has your DNA fared with the life that you’ve lived?
- My high performers want to know that what I do is WORKING. When I am working on longevity, optimisation, reversing decline etc. epigenetic testing can provide a solid, repeatable metric which demonstrates the efficacy of our work together
- My chronically ill patients sometimes need a real insight into their health. When I did my epigenetic testing I realised that even though I feel the life that I have lived ‘must’ have influenced my wellbeing at some level… my epigenetic age is just 4 years older than my real age. That’s not great, but it’s a frank miracle given what I’ve been through. This means that I can watch that marker reverse as I repeat the test over time now that I have allowed for balance within my body
Simple really – I know the team and they’re really good guys, doing a lot of good work, from the right place, in an industry that isn’t actually renowned for such ethical practices. But beyond that:
- All of the markers they give are EPIGENETIC ANALYSIS OF METHYLATION PATTERNS. It doesn’t actually matter if you understand that or not. What is important is that it distinguishes Chronomics from other companies. Other DNA/Epigenetic analysis companies will gather a lot of information about you through a many-page questionnaire and map that against some algorithmic analysis of health. Chronomics ONLY look at the patterns they can see in your DNA, backed by the best science we have available thus far. From those patterns they can show you what your DNA really says about your health. And trust me – I have had very surprising conversations with ‘healthy’ people for whom their metabolic status (DNA demonstrated) was not good.
- Chronomics have whole genome sequencing available – and I can offer this to my patients. But Chronomics don’t promote this too much. Why? Because whole genome data is currently a little redundant. We know a little, but not a lot. It’s not actionable data. So yes, cynically, it’s not a good business model for Chronomics to promote this one off test. But actually, on chatting to the guys, it’s also just not the right level of data to be providing widely. Whilst I do offer analysis on this for patients who I believe could benefit, that’s not what Chronomics is really all about. They are all about providing real, actionable insights for people to make demonstrative changes in their health strategies where required
- Chronomics will delete your data if you ask them too. Sounds like a no-brainer – but actually way more difficult to get guarantees on in the modern world where data is an asset. Chronomics don’t work like this. They don’t want to sell your data, they want to help move the needle on healthcare. For that reason, they don’t do anything with your data they haven’t got your express permission for – and if you want it gone, a hard delete gets actioned in all locations.
All of this raving about Epigenetic Testing – and yet, at VFH we make one thing very clear: we offer this ONLY as part of our elite coaching packages. We are currently rebuilding and revising these over at Aletheia Clinics from where our elite packages will be run from Jan 2020.
It is important to offer Chronomics as part of a package that provides a holistic view of health: Genetic Blueprint, Biomarker Blood Data, Hormone and Gut Biome Analysis if appropriate, Epigenetic Data, Subjective Health Assessment. ALL of these give our elite performers and athletes a complete insight into their current wellbeing and the areas where true progress and optimisation can begin. Through testing, tracking and re-testing we provide real data and information to those invested in their health. At Aletheia Clinics we not only make data meaningful – we use that data to navigate your personalised, unique, goal-determined route to complete health optimisation.