New services personalized to your DNA from companies such LifeDNA, HomeDNA and Arivale Powered by Helix, are taking personalization into the future. Does this really work?
In this final feature of three DNA-related articles, I’m focusing on Arivale Powered by Helix offering a personalized DNA-related diet and health service.
GO TO PART 1 featuring a detailed DNA-related skincare report from HomeDNA.
GO TO PART 2 featuring LifeDNA’s personalized skincare products selected based on your DNA.
Have you ever been told that you can’t gain or lose weight because “it’s in your genes?” I have, so I was really excited about what my DNA would tell me about how my body processes food and exercise. Enter Arivale powered by Helix.
Arivale has two different Insights programs for consumers – one for Heart Health and one for Weight Loss.
Beat Your Genes?
The service I was offered to try is: Beat Your Genes ($99) isn’t available to send to every state (not sure why), the service claims to: “Take the guesswork out of your diet, Find out what foods could work best for you, Pair genetics with personalized nutrition coaching.”
You also get a 30-minute call with an actual human coach, once your results are in. This person will help you analyze the results and offer real suggestions about how you can “do better.”
Arivale sent me a kit with a “spit tube” which you send back to their labs to have your DNA sequenced. The results take a while (about 2 months). While you’re waiting for your DNA to be sequenced Helix sends regular emails with info about DNA.
What’s In The Report?
When the report arrived, it offered information based on my DNA though an online dashboard with graphics that flip so you can see where you stand in terms of the average, and which genes are relevant to the specific issue(s).
The “card” above is an example showing both sides of a virtual card for Body Mass Index.
The focus is on Obesity (Increased BMI); High Waist Circumference; Weight Gain from Saturated Fats; Weight Gain from Low Activity; Bitter Taste Sensitivity; Sugar Taste Sensitivity; Weight Gain from Total Fats; and Sugar Consumption
Fats are one issue (according to my DNA) and I have to work harder to exercise efficiently than the average person. But other than that, the Arivale report didn’t reveal many surprises.
What was quite useful was the follow-up coaching call with a Sharon Safphler, a Registered Dietitian (with 200+ hours of training with clinical and genetic scientists).
She was compassionate, a good listener. encouraging, and pointed out specifics in my DNA to make some viable recommendations for diet and exercise.
Consumers can get more information and support (for 30 days) by connecting with Arivale’s dietitians over chat to ask questions, get recipes, meal planning guidance, technology recommendations, and useful articles.
Thanks to Sharon, I’m actually getting some real information on a daily basis through an app she suggested, It’s helping me learn about my real patterns, not just what I think they are.
You can also become an Arivale “member” (it cost $999) you get your report and then lots of additional information (blood tests are involved) plus more coaching to help you understand and work with your DNA to meet your fitness goals.
To get Arivale visit the website: www.arivale.com
Are DNA-Related Service Worth it?
Most of our goods and service are based on generic (not genetic) profiles to suit a majority of people. But your DNA reveals personalized information about you.
While personalized products and services based on a DNA analysis are appealing and exciting, the field is evolving.
For the average person, it’s impossible to analyze and use raw DNA data (unless this is your field of study) but DNA-centric services can help you validate things you may wonder about yourself.
If you have the budget and keep your expectations reasonable, it’s an exciting way to try something cutting edge.
The services aren’t perfect and shouldn’t be used instead of medical treatment or to diagnose or treat a medical issue. But armed with even a little bit of insight you can target better products and routines to reveal new ways to help you be your “best self.”