Analyzing Your Genes
Creating an eating plan that is ideal based on your genes starts with, you guessed it, your genes! We have carefully curated over 100 scientific studies that explain how differences in our genetics can affect how our bodies absorb, metabolize, or even transport certain nutrients. These studies also outline how people with certain genetic variants can have health benefits when adjusting their intake of certain nutrients.
For example, we look at a study regarding a gene called BC01 and its effect on vitamin A.
Vitamin A is an essential nutrient needed for healthy immune function, vision, and reproduction. Our bodies are unable to produce vitamin A so it must be obtained from the diet. Vitamin A comes in multiple forms. Individuals with a genetic variant in the BC01 gene have a decreased ability to convert beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, to retinol, the active form of vitamin A.
A decreased ability to convert beta-carotene to vitamin A results in an increased need to consume the active form of vitamin A, retinol.
We look at many other genes like BC01 as well as the impact of the identified genetic variant to give you personalized nutrition recommendations for over 27 different nutrient-related domains.
Factoring in Multiple Genes for One Nutrient
Just like people, our genes don't work in silos. They work collaboratively like players of a well-rehearsed orchestra. When the music is played right for you, it is beautiful. Therefore there are multiple nutrients that are influenced by several genetic variants. For example, we look at 13 different genes for total fat alone.
To provide you with your most accurate recommendations, we take into account the results for all of your genetic variants that were detected. We have developed a rigorous composite scoring system that incorporates multiple data dimensions including what health outcome each genetic variant is tied to, the level of impact each variant has, and gene-nutrient interaction benefits. All of these factors are taken into account when determining your recommendation for each nutrient or domain.
Personalizing to Age and Sex
People of different sex and age naturally have different nutritional needs. Additionally, studies have shown that for some genetic variants, the ideal nutrient intake is further impacted by age and gender. We take this into account in addition to your genes. Even if your genetics indicate you need normal amounts of a nutrient, we will still tailor your needs to your age and sex to make sure you are getting proper nourishment for your body and for your specific stage of life.
Now that you know how we determine your nutrient recommendations, let’s explore how we make your food recommendations.
Matching Foods with Your Nutrient Profile
We have developed a proprietary food database that we split up into 16 different categories. These are the categories you will see under My Foods in your GenoPalate app. Scores for each food are based on how well it matches your nutrient profile.
For example, if you were recommended high folate, fiber and vitamin E, then foods higher in those nutrients would rise to the top of your My Foods list. If you were recommended normal amounts of these nutrients, but high amounts of vitamin A and zinc, different foods would rise to the top.
Taking Allergies and Diet Preferences Into Account
There is a common misconception that you can detect allergies through genetics. Unfortunately, allergies are triggered by a combination of factors which genetics alone cannot accurately predict. Because of this, we include a question in our onboarding process regarding which foods you may avoid due to allergies or personal reasons. These foods will be removed from your My Foods list.
Similarly, in order to create a My Foods list that is ideal for your needs, we ask about certain diet types, including vegetarian or vegan preferences which will lead in exclusions of specific food categories that would be inconsistent with your eating habits.
Sensitivities are different from food allergies in the fact that the reaction is triggered by the digestive system rather than the immune system. Sensitivities can also be influenced by genetics. We look at genes that can inform your likelihood of being sensitive to both gluten and lactose. If you are more likely to be sensitive, we will automatically filter out foods containing these products.
However, genetics aren’t everything. There are still other factors that can influence whether you actually experience a sensitivity or not. That’s why we allow you to turn off the filter right on your My Foods page in your GenoPalate app.
We are always improving and updating our algorithm so that we can give you the best possible and most up-to-date information on personalized nutrition. Our team is working hard to take into consideration more of your preferences and habits to provide you with food and nutrition recommendations tailored to your unique biology and living environment. So, stay tuned! We are so excited to join you on your journey to becoming a healthier you.
Once your sample completes its journey, then your journey to eating for your genes begins. You'll receive your results filled with actionable steps you can take to eat healthier.