Pick up any fitness magazine – or just Google ‘health hacks’ – and you’ll be inundated with millions of bits of research telling you how to live a better life. Drink more green tea, drink more coffee, drink more red wine.
Ok, so drinking stuff isn’t the secret to a long life, but the advice is often conflicting and sometimes downright misleading. Just because it works for some people, that doesn’t mean it’ll work for you?
Oleksandr and his team are currently attempting to raise $25,000 on Kickstarter.
In a similar vein to 23andMe, users swab the inside of their cheek and send off the sample to Titanovo’s labs. If you already have results from 23andMe, Titanovo can interpret the data for a smaller fee ($75). Processing your DNA, according to the site will cost $179 – in addition to $70 for the kit.
Here the team will extract the DNA and push it through an ‘interpretation engine’ that will make decisions on the optimal diet, sports, dental and skin care products and stress reduction activities.
You’ll then receive a report that breaks down recommendations into four panels: Diet, Sports, Skin & Dental and lastly Stress Management. Under each will be recommendations such as “use collagen-supporting products” to help prevent skin aging.
The team behind the company boasts, “three PhDs in genetic science on staff and a network of volunteering nutritionists and sports medicine professionals who have all worked together to draw conclusions from genetic data.”
It’s certainly an interesting proposition – and could help thousands who struggle to get results from diet and exercise plans that others swear by. However, I’m still struggling with the whole nature/nurture side of things.
If people are so restricted by their genes, will they give up on trying to make changes or even blame their bad health on something they can’t control?
I put the question about whether relying purely on genetics gives people a fatalistic outlook on their weight or wellbeing to CEO Dr Savsunenko Oleksandr.
So, as for muscles – yes, you can develop. But your maximum performance will be limited. From a performance point of view the advice we give – “you have maximum potential in archiving world-class results in XXX sport”. So if you have slow twitch [muscle fibers] we will send you to power-lifting. But this is very general. Actually, we analyze 19 genes for sports, and all sports are categorized into seven general groups and up to 15 less-general. So we could tell very precisely your best-match. This is a thing we are going to develop into ‘chose the right sport for your baby.’
So there appears to be some room for interpretation. But if a recent study that compared separate research into whether nature or nurture was a bigger determinant is anything to be believed, the debate is no closer to being settled.