Free and Low-Cost Apps for Estimating Your Biological Age

  • by Nils Osmar. Updated Feb. 6, 2024
  • This post is not intended as, and should not be taken as, medical advice. 
  • See full Medical Disclaimer

I’m following a protocol which I’m hoping will increase both my health span and lifespan. In this article, I’ll look at the question of whether it’s working, and how I can know for sure.

The basic elements of my protocol are:

  • In a nutshell, I eat a high nutrient, high protein diet, work out with weights; and take rapamycin (a medicine that modulates mTOR and increases the activation of AMPK, the longevity pathway).
  • I also take 30-40 supplements a day (not “vitamins”, but specific supplements aimed at reversing all of the hallmarks of aging); and try to optimize rest and sleep. I eat lots of protein and fat, and some carbs.
  • My staples are meat, sardines, salmon, root vegetables and fermented foods. To keep mTOR from getting overactivated, I do frequent fasting and time-restricted eating.
  • For a more complete description of my protocol, see this page.

Is there proof my protocol is working?

  • Since switching over to my current protocol, I feel younger, have more energy, and am often told I look younger than my chronological age. Oh, and, my testosterone, which was in the low 400s, is now 947 ng/dL. My free testosterone is 17.2 pg/mL.
  • This suggests that my protocol may be working, but it’s not “proof” that I’m actually getting younger, biologically speaking. And it’ll be decades till I can know for sure whether it’s extended my lifespan.
  • Fortunately, testing can help to provide that proof. I take several tests regularly, including Aging.ai v3 and PhenoAge.

Am I looking better? You decide.

Since starting on my protocol, I’ve lost some fat; gained some muscle, and have more energy. The picture on the left is me at the age of 67; the one on the right is me in 2024, at the age of 71. . Some people have told me I look better or even younger; but of course that, in itself, doesn’t prove that I’m aging more slowly. Luckily, there are some free apps that can clarify whether I really am.

I’m using these apps:

  1. PhenoAge: Download here: DNAmPhenoAge_gen (thanks to Mike Lustgarten)
  2. AnthropoAge
  3. PhysiAge Calculator
  4. WorldFientesLevel test
  5. Until recently I was also using an app called Aging.ai. Unfortunately, it’s no longer available or online. But using it gave a very clear idea of what was really going on “under the hood”.

You’ll need your blood tested

To use the PhenoAge calculator, you do have to pay for blood tests to get the data the app requests when it’s guessing your age. I order the blood tests from LabCorp, through the LifeExtension.com website.

You can either get these two tests (for about $77):

  1. CBC (Complete Blood Count (CBC) / Chemistry / Lipids Panel Blood Test) $35
  2. CC-Reactive Protein (CRP), Cardiac Blood Test ($42)

… or just get the Cardio Core Essentials Panel. It’s just $9 more (about $86). It has all of the data from both tests above, plus your ApoB, which many people in our community are keeping an eye on these days, So I’m getting it instead these days.

I usually also get my sex hormones tested

  1. When I’m ordering the Cardio Core Essentials Panel, I’ll often also order the Male basic hormone panel (with sex hormones), which costs $75. You don’t need it, though, for PhenoAge.
  2. AnthropoAge does not need a blood test; it just requires a scale and a tape measure.

My PhenoAge Results

PhenoAge estimated my age as between 59 and 60 years old (10 or 11 years younger than my actual age) in my most recent test. It’s not as “generous” as Aging.ai; no mater how good your biomarkers, it’s programmed to be unable to estimate your age as more than 20 years younger than your age in birthdays.

Because they’re testing different markers, the estimates from Aging.ai and PhenoAge don’t match exactly (age estimators rarely do). But they do confirm, separately and repeatedly, that my protocol may be working.

To use PhenoAge, enter your data into this spreadsheet: DNAmPhenoAge_gen (thanks to Mike Lustgarten)

AnthropoAge

AnthropoAge is an app (found on this website) which purports to estimate our anthropocentric age.  All well and good, but – what in the world is anthropocentric age? And how does it relate to our rate of aging and how long we may end up living?

The CDC website states that:

“Anthropometry is the science that defines physical measures of a person’s size, form, and functional capacities.  It looks at measurements of our height, weight, waist-, hip-, arm-, calf circumferences, triceps- (TST) and subscapular skinfold thickness (SST), body mass index (BMI), waist-hip ratio (WHR) and arm muscle circumference (AMC)”

This information is then used by health officials to estimate whether we’re getting enough nutrients in our diet and get an idea of our general health and adiposity, with an eye on determining both how long we may have to live, and our rate of aging. The data can also clarify whether it might be helpful for us to make changes in our lifestyle to improve our odds of living longer.

The AnthropoAge website explains that:

“This app was developed with the aim of providing an interface to facilitate estimation of biological age using AnthropoAge, which is a tool to predict 10-year all-cause mortality. The calculator also estimates aging acceleration using the AnthropoAgeAccel metric, which is interpreted as the number of years on average that an individual’s anthropometric aging rate is above or below its chronological age.”

There’s an easy version (which asks only your age, height, weight, and waist circumference) and a more complete version which asks you to enter the data from a few more measurements.

I tried Anthropoage out

… and I did find it useful. To get specific, my metrics as of 9/29/2023 were:

  • Height: 71.5” tall – or 181.6 cm
  • Weight: 180 pounds – or 81.6 kg
  • Thigh: 53 cm
  • Arm: 33 cm
  • Waist: 88 cm

When I used only at my height and weight, my “predicted anthropometric age” came out as 65.15 years old. This is 5.55 years younger than my actual age (70.9 years).

Adding in the (optional) information about arm and thigh circumference (i.e., giving the app more complete data to work with)  slightly alters the result, and my estimated anthropocentric age comes in at 64.67 years old, 6.03 years younger than my actual age.

This isn’t quite as exciting as the PhenoAge or Aging.ai results, but it does suggest, as they do, that I’m aging more slowly than most people, and is further confirmation that my protocol may be working.

Playing with possibilities

If, for the purpose of testing the app, I change my waist size to 133 cm (to test how I’d be aging if I were obese), the app tells me that I would be 76.07 “anthropometric” years old, would have accelerated aging, and would likely die about six years sooner rather than six years earlier. (So I’m “buying twelve years… six plus six… by working to keep my body fat low.) 

Limitations off Anthropoage

One limitation of Anthropoage is that because it starts by already knowing our actual age, it’s unlikely to reflect interventions that are taking two or three decades off of our lives on a cellular level. So the figure it comes up with will always be within a few years of your actual age, even if our cells may be much younger (epigenetically speaking). 

Still, it’s good at telling us whether we’re aging faster or slower then the general population. So I find it useful and do recommend it. To me it’s motivating, and a good reminder that, while I’m aging at a slowed rate, I could slow it even more by reducing my belly fat a bit more.

Another criticism is that it appears at first glance that “all you need is  to build up your biceps to be aging more slowly,” which obviously is not true. But if you play around with it a bit you’ll see that it doesn’t actually say that. Its response to building or shrinking the size of your arms or thighs (while keeping your waist slim) appears to be a U shaped curve. It recognizes that just having massive muscles, in itself, doesn’t de-age you. But it does reflect that having better body composition correlates with a longer life expectancy.

Brain aging test

  • Tests like this, which let us gauge our reaction speed and memory, can be a clue as to how fast our brains are aging.
  • I tried the reaction test (the result is in the image) would suggest my brain’s not slowing with age, since my reactions are still fast.
  • The “concentration test” seems to be broken… the colors in the shapes never change (I assume they’re supposed to)… but the memory and reflex tests are working well.

My results:

I’m not posting my results to crow about them, but because, in my estimation, the test results can be another indication of how well our protocol is working.

More about my protocol

  • I work out with weights two days a week (two full body workouts of about an hour each, or 1.25 hours each including the breaks)
  • I try to walk around 10,000 steps a day (I don’t always succeed; I’ll be aiming to get closer to this number in 2024)
  • I do HIIT and Zone 2 on a stationary bike
  • I’ve tried a number of diets, including Mediterranean, pescatarian, vegan and carnivore. I’ve found that I get the best results, in terms of health and biomarkers, when I’m eating an omnivorous diet rich in food from the land and the sea – i.e., lots of sardines, salmon, mackerel, grass-fed meat, raw cow’s milk and goat’s milk, pastured eggs, fermented vegetables, root vegetables, avocados, olives, onions, garlic, broccoli and cabbage, and now and then an apple or some berries. In some ways I’ve tried to model if on the Acciarolin diet, in which fish (anchovies) and the herb rosemary are key staples.
  • I take 30-40 anti-aging supplements a day, including NAD+ boosters, hGH boosters, AKG boosters, glutathione boosters and testosterone boosters, plus one pharmaceutical drug (rapamycin) (I also take “supplement holidays” in which I take a break from most of them, most weekends.)
  • My full protocol is on this page.

What I loved about Aging.ai

Aging.ai is gone now, but for most off 2023 it was available, and I used it several times. My most recent Aging.ai v3 result suggested that I’m 29 years younger, biologically speaking, than my chronological age.

  • Based on my latest data, Aging.ai v.3 estimated that I was 41 years old. Not just one test, but six tests that I took between January and November 2023 put me at between 39-41 years old. At the time of my tests I was 70 years old, so I found this promising.

Interpreting the results

  • I don’t take this number literally; I take it, instead, as an indication that internally, my biomarkers are similar to what would be expected in a 41 year old man — and I might have as many healthy years ahead of me as a 41 year old would be expected to (or even more, if I continue using anti-aging interventions).
  • A 41 year old might be expected to live another 40 years. If I live another 40 years, I’ll be 110, and hopefully in good health. (This is statistically unusual, but not unheard of; it’s pretty common, for example, in Acciaroli, Italy
  • It’s also a good comparative marker. My age in previous tests has ranged from 39 to 42. If my “age” (as perceived by the AI) goes up, it may indicate problems. If it goes down, it may indicate I’m going in a good direction.
  • Unlike some calculators, Aging.ai v3 did not require that you enter your real age and adjust the answer accordingly. So it was unlikely to be “rigged”. And unlike some methylation tests, it did not require that you enter information on your diet (then lecture you that you should “eat more plants” or whatever the latest supposed consensus is). Instead, it reads your data and gives you a straightforward result.

Not medical advice

This article is not intended as, and should not be taken as, medical advice. I’m not advising that people eat any particular diet or take any particular supplement(s), just reporting on what I’m doing. Supplements, like medications and other interventions, can have side effects; I would encourage people to research both possible benefits and side effects before starting on any supplementation regimen, and consult with a medical professional about any issues which might have a medical component.  See full Medical Disclaimer

Want to support this website?

If you like the content of this website, you can support it in two ways:

  1. Donating through my Buymeacoffee account: buymeacoffee.com/nilsosmar
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