Our genetic code is what sets us apart from everyone and makes us truly unique. Basing our nutritional intake on this will improve overall health, determine why diets don’t work and help treat obesity and hereditary illnesses.
Therefore DNA-based nutrition makes perfect sense. Eating and following a wellness regime that suits our nutritional needs, relieves symptoms of specific ailments (including those that are hereditary) and helps with weight maintenance. Most of us follow diets that we read about on social media or that our peers suggest, but to be able to follow a science-based nutrition plan will make a definite difference.
After we wrote about finding the best and worst foods based on your DNA, we decided to take the Advanx Health DNA test for a first-hand look at how it worked and what the results were.
Navigating the saliva kit
The saliva collection kit included a welcome brochure and simple, precise instructions on how to collect a saliva sample. Following the instructions, I went online to register my kit with my unique ID number which could be found on the collection tube. I also had to fill out some personal and health related questions including: body measurements, current health, family diseases, lifestyle goals.
Once I completed the online questions, which took no longer than 10 minutes, I proceeded to give a saliva sample based on the given instructions. For this part, I highly recommend you do it somewhere where you won’t be disturbed or distracted. Remember not to drink, eat, smoke or chew gum 30 minutes prior to giving the sample. I thought I only had to spit once but I had to do it 5-6 times to ensure the correct amount was collected.
After completing the most challenging part, all I had to do was screw the cap, shake it once, seal it in the prepaid Poslaju bag for shipment, and drop it off at the pre-paid post box located at the entrance of post offices.
Understanding the results
While I waited for the results (which usually takes 3-4 weeks), I found myself being more mindful about my eating habits and noticing if I had any reaction to the food I was eating. Advanx Health required me to review some important information online before I could access my DNA results which was good to ensure I knew how my DNA results were interpreted.
The DNA report was very informative and covered various sections including food sensitivity, mineral, nutrient as well as vitamin deficiencies. At one glance, I was able to see my genetic risks for 30 nutritional traits. Each type of nutrition deficiency was broken down and explained in a simple way.
The results suggested that I have a slightly high genetic risk for calcium deficiency and recommended that I boost my calcium levels by consuming more dairy products, or other calcium rich food such as sardines, anchovies, beans and green leafy vegetables.
I was also ‘High’ on vitamin A deficiency, which suggested that I am likely to be less efficient in converting Beta Carotene to retinol so consuming cod liver oil, egg yolk and fish was recommended.
To my dismay it also highlighted that I could be slightly more sensitive to salt intake and my blood pressure would be affected. Dietary recommendations stated that salty or preserved food should ideally be eliminated and cooking should be done with less salt or sauces such as soya sauce, stock cubes and seasoning powder. Fortunately, there are so many ways to enhance flavour by using natural ingredients like herbs, spices, miso, lemon and red dates.
Adopting a gene-based diet
Specially designed by their in-house dietician based on your DNA results, Advanx Health provides you with a 7-day meal plan taking into account your genetic profile,
current health problems, lifestyle and goals. In my case, I was advised not to cut down on carbs but to opt for complex carbs to boost energy and enhance mood. It was already recommended I cut down on sugar and salt intake to help lower the chance of heart-related diseases.
Advanx Health provides complimentary consultation for the results, which means you have access to their experts to get all your queries answered and to go through the report. Overall, I had a great experience. The test was easy, information readily accessible and it definitely makes you think about how and what we eat can make such a significant difference in our overall well being.
It is important to note that it is not advisable to rely solely on your DNA results to diagnose any conditions or make any drastic dietary changes. If you have any doubts or the test highlights something, go for a full medical to find out exactly what is wrong and the cause.
Note: Head to Advanx Health and try their Nutri&Me DNA Wellness Test at RM799 or their new DNA Explorer Test, which is being sold at RM899.