Amid a global pandemic, and with winter months upon us, staying healthy is high on most people’s priorities right now. I take echinacea during colder months, a traditional herbal remedy that helps with fighting coughs, colds and flu that are all too common during winter. I continue to train during ‘off season’ and spend a lot of time outside.
Using DNA kits to stay healthy
I have often looked at DNA tests so I could see what other improvements I could make. I was very interested in trying out one of these kits from Vitl and opted for the test that would enable me to find out my body’s diet, exercise and lifestyle preferences.
How it works
The test uses your saliva to find out your body’s diet, exercise, and lifestyle preferences.
You also get:
- access to in-depth reports
- personalised advice from a qualified nutritionist
- either a 15 minute video consultation with a qualified nutritionist, or
- a 45 minute video consultation for an in-depth discussion of the results
The test is available in 3 simple steps as follows:
- order online and receive within three to five days in the post
- register your kit online so that your sample can be processed
- using the swab in the kit you take a saliva sample one hour after eating/drinking/smoking
- return your swab sample in the pre-paid postage bag
- an email is sent to confirm your sample has been received and again within 4 weeks with the results in the form of a report including recommendations
Vitl explain on their website that:
99.9% of your DNA is the same as everyone else’s, it’s the 0.1% that differs from person to person that makes you unique! DNA is not only responsible for aspects such as eye and hair colour, but also how we’re likely to respond to certain types of dietary, exercise and lifestyle choices. By understanding your specific predispositions to ways of eating and exercising, you can make smarter choices, maximise your potential, and reach your goals more efficiently.
Online health check
I took the online health check, and this asked questions across many areas including how active you are, sleep patterns, diet, digestion and much more.
It gave instant results telling me that I was doing well with immunity, skin, detoxification and sleep. The review also pinpointed areas to focus on including weight, brain function, digestion and energy. It suggested improvements by refining my diet, finding supplements and tracking progress.
I was then suggested three goals to focus on:
- balanced weight – focusing on little and often and moving to 5 to 6 smaller meals per day including high nutrient foods and suggested daily supplements
- cognitive improvement – increase in foods with omega 3, suggested supplements and herbs
- better digestion – increase in water intake and fibre, and reduction in saturated fat considering switching to a low carb diet
Supplements and meal plans
The supplements suggested were in two forms and could either be as a personalised pack or a personalised blended multivitamin for me.
There was also the option to sign up for a Vitl Pro subscription which would include an energiser meal plan to help with diet and energy levels.
The DNA analysis
My sample was taken, posted back and an email received one week later to confirm it had been received. The processing of the sample begun with DNA and nutritional analysis and results would be sent within the next 2 to 3 weeks. My email came within the timeframe with a link to check my results.
The results are broken down into the following areas:
- trait summary, testing 58 DNA traits, mine showed 28 typical and 30 impactful
- health categories
It then gave recommendations for supplements to purchase and an energiser meal plan I could sign up to. I followed this up with a 15 minute video consultation where it was explained what the test was looking for and some areas to note including considering supplementing my diet with folate, B12 and vitamin D. Otherwise there were no areas of concern and no alarm relating to any areas of genetic disposition. In short I can pretty much continue doing what I am doing.
It was an interesting exercise and one I have wanted to do for quite some time.
The DNA kit costs £119 and can be found here.