What an insightful week it has been! I just finished reading my 56 page (yes, 56 page!!) vitality report from a company called Vitagene and all I can say is WOW!! I finally feel like I no longer need to grope in the dark trying to answer questions like what am I deficient in, what exercise is best for my unique body, what supplements should I be taking, what foods should I avoid, and so much more.
When I was first contacted by the lovely people who work at Vitagene to try out their product, I literally pounced on the opportunity. In case you aren’t familiar, many DNA testing companies cost at least $200, more if you want additional information like dietary sensitivities and so on. Needless to say, I was not super keen on spending the money as I had already invested so much in my health without anything to show for it.
What’s great about Vitagene is that they offer a number of test results (many of which no other DNA comapany provides) for half the price – just $99 which is so much more affordable. And the value you get for that price? In my case, priceless! But I’ll explain more about that later.
The report includes unique information based on your DNA:
• Obesity Risk
• Fat Intake
• Sodium Intake
• Cholesterol Levels
• Triglyceride Metabolism
• Alcohol Metabolism
• Gluten Sensitivity
• Lactose Metabolism
• Weight Regain
• Emotional Eating
• Power VS. Endurance
• Muscle Strength
• Muscle Cramps
• Exercise Behavior
• Blood Pressure Response
• Weight Response
• Micronutrient Levels
• Supplement Recommendations
All from an in-depth questionnaire and saliva swab sample that is quick and easy to do. Just swab and toss the sample in the box provided and send it back on its way.
The questionnaire you fill out on the site is chock full of questions based on your personal mental and physical health, family history, your medical history, nutrition, lifestyle, and health goals, giving you a very personalized experience based on science, lifestyle, and even future health goals.
Testing usually takes 4-6 weeks, because hey, there’s a lot of information in our DNA and Vitagene does a great job providing it. Once testing is finished, your results are available for download online in a beautiful PDF format. You will also receive a hard copy in the mail.
My Experience Using Vitagene – Ancestry, Exercise, Supplements, and Sensitivities
So, what drew me to trying out an ancestry and DNA testing company? Well, if you know me at all, then you know I’ve been struggling with unexplainable health issues for years. Fatigue, lethargy, depression, moodiness, poor circulation, bad skin, you name it I’ve had some variation of it.
I went to my physician countless times without any information for why I felt the way I did, leaving with even more questions and prescription medications that did nothing to solve the underlying issue. I was frustrated and tired of feeling tired. I needed answers and thought, there’s no harm in a DNA test, maybe it will shed some light on my situation. Well, shedding some light puts it a bit lightly because I was flooded with meaningful realization and here’s why.
Not only does Vitagene test for ancestry, they also test for common sensitivities and deficiencies. Never in a million years did I expect to have a deficiency considering how healthy I eat on a daily basis.
The deficiency I have? Folate.
And not only do I know that, I also know the very gene, SNP, and genotype that’s causing it which is what really got me. Do you want to know what that gene is called? Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase – aka, MTHFR. I HAVE A MTHFR GENE MUTATION I didn’t know about!
So, what is MTHFR besides a really horrible abbreviation? It’s the enzyme that makes folate usable by the body. It also converts homocysteine into methionine which your body needs for proper metabolism and muscle growth. It’s also super important for detox among A LOT of other things I’ll be writing about in a future post.
All I can say is knowing about this deficiency has been incredible for my health! Now that I know I need to take folate (NOT the synthetic version – folic acid), I can now supply my body with exactly the right folate it needs (which again, I’ll get into in another post!).
I also know that my B12 is too high which is also related to this gene mutation. This is so useful to know because high levels of B12 can make you especially moody, something I’ve struggled with for a number of years now.
My mind is just blown to say the least!
You can look at all 56 pages of my report to give you a good idea of what Vitagene’s reports look like. You can see how easy it is to read and understand, because DNA is complicated! I also appreciate the information on the science, history, and prevalence of my folate deficiency which you can see on page 33.
As for sensitivities, I’m likely gluten and lactose intolerant based on my results which is something I’ve been suspicious of most of my life. Well, now I know to avoid those foods for better health and well-being.
As for the other results, they were certainly insightful!
Even though I’m thin, I carry a gene that indicates I have an increased risk for obesity. This tells me to stay physically active, continue to eat a balanced diet, and just make sure my body is getting all it needs for optimal health. According to my DNA profile, I’m also more likely to regain weight I’ve lost which means my health and weight management rely more heavily on what I eat rather than frequent exercise.
This pairs well with another result that says my body’s weight gain is highly reliant on how much fat I consume in my diet. Normally, I wouldn’t agree that eating fat plays such a huge role in weight gain (It’s actually sugar), but it’s nice to see such personalized results and healthy recommendations for controlling fat consumption. I have to remember that this is literally in my DNA, so it’s a handy tool to utilize and certainly good to know!
As for exercise, it was great to find out what forms of daily movement are best for my body which happens to be a mix of both endurance and power activities. This is really useful when trying to stay fit or losing weight as it really explains why I hit a plateau if I focus on one type of exercise for too long. Vitagene determines this based on genes that influence your body’s ability to process carbs, fats, and oxygen.
Vitagene also tests your sodium metabolism which I’m sure can be helpful for those with hormonal and blood-pressure issues. My genes indicate that my sodium metabolism health is normal. Same goes for cholesterol and triglyceride health. It was also neat to see how well my body metabolizes substances such as alcohol which are all normal for me.
What was really interesting was seeing how my DNA says I’m more likely to eat emotionally and feel less satisfied after eating. No wonder I feel hungry right after eating so often! It’s nice to see healthy tips for curbing this situation on the report.
My Experience Using Vitagene – Personalized Supplements
One of the best things about Vitagene that no other DNA company offers is a personalized supplement recommendation list.
Based on your questionnaire and backed up by science (aka your DNA results), Vitagene is able to recommend supplements for your unique needs like weight management, lifestyle support, and goal related supplements as well as supplements based on your DNA and family history. Everything is thoroughly explained – the science, history of use, and what foods have those key nutrient within them as well as why those supplements are good for certain needs.
Having worked for a well-known health food store for a number of years (in the supplement section no less), I can see that my recommendations are spot on for what my body needs. It truly is amazing that you can get all of this information without all the guesswork, because let me tell you, I’ve been guessing for YEARS and I already know about supplements, health, and wellness.
Reading this report brought me to tears because it resonated with me so much, because when you just don’t know why you feel the way you do yet you eat a balanced diet and lead a healthy lifestyle, you would do almost anything to get some inkling of what your body needs.
What could be better than that? How about getting those very supplements delivered to your door? Yep. Vitagene also provides an additional service where you can opt in for what they call “Smart Supplements”.
So, would I recommend this product? I wholeheartedly say YES!