I’ve done a fair few health tests in my time as Founder of Hip & Healthy but when I did Glycanage I was shocked by my results. The test revealed that my biological age was a whole 10 years older than my chronicle age. How could this be? I live a very healthy lifestyle, ate well, had regular check ups and slept well too (when the kids let me). I honestly thought this would be a test I would ace. After a thorough consultation with the experts and clinicians at Glycanage it became apparent that it could well be my “healthy” lifestyle that might actually be one of the causes in my increased biological age. It turns out that a lot of what I was doing was actually causing chronic inflammation in my body. The constant running was something I was advised to take down a notch – and I’ve been told that adding in some HIIT training, yoga and Pilates would do my body much better. The intermittent fasting was also challenged – the specialist suggested that for me it might not be the right thing to do so often and instead, a few days a month of water fasting whilst eating normally the rest of the time might be better. Interestingly I also mentioned this to my GP who suggested the same thing.  And, finally, I had to manage my stress better. This was something I knew but I was yet to implement a proper strategy around reducing my stress levels. If I made all these changes, I was assured that I would see an improvement in my biological age. 

So – I began my mission of running just once or twice a week (I was doing it five to six days a week), I started going to HIIT classes at my local gym with some friends and I started eating a lot more protein leaving less of a gap between my last and first meal of the day. As for the stress – being completely honest – this I find hard to manage as it feels like life is just really busy, which seems to create its own momentum. So that one was harder to tackle head on. Regardless, I forged ahead with the other recommendations and retested four months later. 

This time the test came back with a year knocked off my original biological age – instead of 10 years older – I was now 9. This gave me a lot of hope and was fairly astounding to see. As usual the results were very easy to understand but the consultation with the in-house expert proved the most valuable part. In the short space of four months, Glycanage had made some developments and they now also map out my markers over data gathered from thousands of other clients to reveal what diseases I was most predisposed to get. They very much disclaim this with the fact that for an accurate disease predictor more personal information is needed, nonetheless, it is a powerful reminder that our lifestyle really can hugely affect the course of our life. Which is the message of huge hope in all of this – as it means that largely we are the masters of our own ship! 

After speaking to their expert it became clear that some of what was going on was totally within my power to change. My GlycanShield (ultimately one’s immunity) was lower than they would like and they put this down to nutritional deficiencies. The way I countered that was to book an appointment with a nutritionist who agreed that it sounded like I was lacking in some nutrients and has put me on a diverse supplementation programme. 

Then we looked at my Glycan Mature marker which was elevated. It was the clinicians belief that this may be related to sex hormone disruptions that often occur in early perimenopause. She recommended that a hormone test might be useful here. And finally my GlycanLifestyle marker was also elevated. This is sometimes seen in people with low BMI and could be a sign of disrupted metabolic health. My BMI has been a bit on the low side recently – and was something also flagged by the recent nutritionist appointment. 

I was recommended to make the following changes to keep up the good work of turning back time:

Address the most common nutritional deficiencies

Magnesium (Magnesium Glycinate):
Magnesium is involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body, including muscle function, energy production, and stress management. Many people have inadequate magnesium intake from diet alone.

Omega-3 Fish Oil:
Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA, have anti-inflammatory properties and support cardiovascular health, brain function, and joint health. Look for a high-quality fish oil supplement providing at least 1000 mg of combined EPA and DHA per day. Consider consulting with your healthcare provider for personalised dosage recommendations based on your health status and needs.

Probiotics help maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria, which is essential for digestive health, immune function, and overall well-being. They may also support mental health and reduce inflammation. Choose a high-quality probiotic supplement containing a diverse range of beneficial strains, with a colony-forming unit (CFU) count of at least 10 billion per serving. Take as directed by the product label or your healthcare provider’s recommendation.

Improve the diet
Low BMI indicates two things: 1. Your body is struggling to produce energy and is sacrificing making hormones and other beneficial structures due to this. 2. With generally reduced food intake, you are taking in very few beneficial compounds that may contribute to a lower Glycan Shield.  Try to get to a BMI of at least 20 by increasing the overall energy intake. If you also focus on highly nutritious foods, you will reduce your chances of deficiencies.

Check your full sex hormone panel
This will help you see if perimenopause is approaching. It consists of FH, FSH, Estradiol, Progesterone and Prolactin. The test provider may ask you to do the test at a specific time in your monthly cycle. Additionally, some women get the DUTCH test to check the health of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.

Run Less
Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week. Strength training exercises at least two days a week are also very beneficial and can mimic the positive impacts of oestrogen on muscle function. 

words by Sadie Reid


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