**This is an unpaid review. All opinions are my own
Back in October last year I got an email that intrigued me. It was from a company called Vitl who specialise in DNA testing specifically focused on nutrition. The results of their DNA test can help you understand how your genes may affect your ability to achieve a healthy weight, or which vitamins your body may find difficult to process.
Since I started intermittent fasting a year ago I have learnt more and more about how our bodies work, and about weight isn’t just about calories in/ calories out, and how our hormones and even our genetic makeup can affect our ability to lose (or gain) weight.
Vitl DNA test
With this in mind I decided to take Vitl up on their offer of a DNA test in exchange for a post here on my blog. My testing kit arrived in the post shortly after and after registering it online I took a simple cheek swap, popped the stick back in its tube and sent it off.
About 6 weeks later I got an email to let me know my DNA test results were ready so I headed over to the Vitl website to see what they revealed. After a DNA test (or a blood test which Vitl also offer) your results are available to see in a secure dashboard. This is not like the tests which are available to map your entire genome – it only focusses on a few areas to do with nutrition.
My DNA test results
So, what did I find out? Well….
Based on a number of different genes it would appear that my lifelong battle with my weight is not my fault. Of course, I already knew this really. My brother has always been slim, he is the same build as my dad – and has the same attitude to food. Food is fuel to them, they wouldn’t think twice about missing a meal if they were busy – my dad would often come home from work having forgotten to eat his lunch. Toby and Gabe are the same – it doesn’t seem to matter how much they eat, they are both super skinny.
Me on the other hand – food is life. I love chocolate and all things sweet, I would eat even if I wasn’t hungry because food is delicious. I’ve eaten in secret, I have eaten because I’m sad, or happy, to celebrate or to commiserate. I have been on and off so many diets I’ve lost count – I have bounced between 9st and 13st my whole adult life.
And it turns out that it’s all down to my genes.
Everyone has the ‘fat gene’ but my particular combination shows that I am moderately more likely to be obese.
My DNA test results also revealed that I may be predisposed to binge eat and my metabolic rate is likely to be slower which also means I am more likely to be overweight. If I’m honest it wasn’t exactly an uplifting read! Although I had worked most of this out for myself it’s actually quite hard to realise that being a healthy weight will probably always be a battle for me.
However, knowing that it really is all down to my genes is starting to help me let go of some of those feelings that all those times that I’ve lost weight and then gained it back again weren’t down to my own lack of willpower but something much more out of my control. What I do with this information now I’m not quite sure. There is some help on the Vitl website which makes it clear that our genetics are not the only factor in determining body fat – a healthy diet and exercise will still do the same thing no matter what our genes say.
Vitl personalised vitamin packs
The other area that the Vitl DNA test looks at is how your genes can affect how you process and absorb different vitamins and minerals. Using these results Vitl put together a personal tailored supplement package to ensure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need.
Once you have your DNA test results (which you can view online or using the Vitl app) you can also pick up to three health goals in your Vitl dashboard – from better skin or hair, to improving fitness, restful sleep, or stronger immunity. There are hints and tips regarding diet and exercise, and of course the Vitl supplements too.
If you don’t want to do a DNA test then you can still get personalised supplement, diet and exercise recommendations by completing a short questionnaire on the Vitl website.
Vitl is a company whose main business is selling vitamin and mineral supplements and of course their hope is that once you have done the DNA test you will subscribe to receive a personalised supplement pack. However, you can just have the DNA test and use the results as you wish, and there is no hard sell to purchase the vitamin packs afterwards (although you will get lots of emails unless you amend your communication preferences in your settings).
If you would like to try a Vitl DNA test then you can get one for just £79 (RRP £199) by using this link and entering the code MYDNA2019 at the checkout.
You can also get £10 off your first month of personalised vitamins with code MYVITS10.
**Disclosure: I received a DNA test free of charge in exchange for this review. I did not receive any other compensation, however if you use the links in this post to make a purchase from Vitl I will receive a commission (this will not cost you any more).