A little while ago, I was contacted by VITLHealth and they asked if I was interested in receiving one of their DNA Health Kits. Over the last year I have taken my health a lot more seriously, and have become really interested in knowing how my body works (and making sure it is working as best it can!) so I was happy to accept and I offered to share my results with you all.
Before you can be sent a kit, you need to set up an account on their website. It was really easy to do, but do set aside some time to answer some general health & wellbeing questions (this is important for later on!) Like most things now, there was also an option of downloading an app for your phone, which again makes it really accessible and user friendly! Once you have set up your profile, your DNA kit is then sent to you! I am a sucker for cute packaging & presentation so I absolutely loved the box (before I had even opened it!) The instructions were very clear & simple to understand, and they even provided a paid postage bag for you to send your sample back in.
And now all I had to do was wait for the results! They do advise that results can take approx 3-4 weeks to process once they were received. Personally, I did not see this as an issue as the results weren’t something I was depending on, it was just something I was interested in knowing! But soon enough I got the notification that my results were ready (and there were certainly a lot of them!) so when I finally got the chance, I sat down with a coffee and went through them…
So, I mentioned that when you sign up you need to answer a few Health & Wellbeing questions, this is because alongside your DNA results they are then able to paint a greater picture of your overall health.. so make sure you are honest in your questionnaire (especially because DNA doesn’t lie!)
Here are some of my results which I personally found interesting and are things I have questioned in the past before too.
Caffeine Metabolism – Likely To Be Slow
I love coffee. Every morning starts with a black coffee, and I usually have around 3 or 4 LARGE cups a day. I have also started to use caffeine in races which so far seems to have worked quite well? BUT, I don’t feel like I get a buzz of coffee anymore, it is simply a habit, and something I enjoy drinking. I have been thinking about cutting down caffeine (even cutting it out completely!) before a race, but I haven’t yet been able to make that commitment! I would be interested to see if it does make a difference though, so, watch this space!
Alcohol Sensitivity – Likely to be high
I’ll be honest, I didn’t really need an app to tell me this. I wouldn’t say I have an issue at all with alcohol, I can quite easily go weeks without a drink, but when I do drink, I drink a lot. Lately I have noticed this having a really negative effect on my mental health, as well as my physical health. I always feel AWFUL the next day, and as I have got older the hangovers seem to last for days, rather than hours. I am not surprised by this result to be honest, but it has given me the confirmation that perhaps I need to cut down. I had already considered this ahead of the London Marathon next year, in fact my plan is to give up alcohol completely for the 16 week block! And I am looking forward to seeing the difference in both my mental & physical well being!
Digestion & IBS – Likely to have issues
Now, this is interesting. I won’t go into the gory details, but for quite a while now, I have had slight stomach issues, it doesn’t seem to be bought on by anything in particular but lets just say it doesn’t always work down there like it is supposed to….! At the beginning of the year I cut out cows milk from my daily coffee as I was convinced that was a trigger, and for a while, my stomach did calm down, but the issues seem to be coming back again. I have been reluctant to give up dairy completely (I just love cheese too damn much!) but it may be something I seriously need to consider. I will be speaking to my nutrition coach about this and hopefully between us we can work out what is making my stomach a little iffy!
Fat & Muscle Composition – Likely to gain muscle
I will be honest, I was a little sceptical about these results. I do understand that genetics can play a part in body composition, but really it comes down to a good diet & the right training, something that I have learnt a lot more about over the last 12 months. I will be honest and say that when my diet is 100% I do seem to be able to lean out fairly quickly, and my coach himself has called me a ‘carb monster’ on many occasions, so perhaps there is some truth behind this! And if that is the case… THANK YOU GENES FOR ALLOWING ME TO EAT ALL THE CARBS! I would be interested to know peoples thoughts on this, so pop them in the comments below!
Vitamin B6 – Likely to be low
Hmmmmm, once again I am not completely shocked by this. In fact, most of my vitamins and minerals results were on the low side. I will openly admit I am RUBBISH at taking supplements, in fact, I don’t take any at all! I have tried in the past and perhaps stick to it for a day or two, then the bottles just end up gathering dust in the cupboards!
One thing I have learnt recently, is that even if you feel okay on the outside, it doesn’t always mean your body is okay on the inside. Being low on essential vitamins & minerals can be a disaster waiting to happen, and add being a long distance runner into the mix it could be even more disastrous!
I am not going to promise that I will religiously start taking supplements every day, because pretty much all essential vitamins can be found in food so it may just be a case of looking at my diet and ensuring I have foods that are high in the things I am lacking.
These are just a few of the results I received from the test (I won’t go through every single one, because you could be reading this for hours!) but hopefully you get the idea of the sort of things you can find out!
If you are interested in your health & making sure your body is getting everything it needs, then you may find the test really beneficial! Although if you have any serious health concerns I would always recommend speaking to your doctor or a registered dietician first!
I have not been paid to write this blog post, but the DNA test was gifted to me originally #ad