Personal experience: what is the difference between a genetic test and a food intolerance test, and why I took them
Tests that will tell you what to eat in order to lose weight and to make your skin perfect seemed like a dream not so long ago. Genetic tests that determine your susceptibility to illness, nutrition, and exercise are now available in many laboratories. But how do these tests work and does the result really justify the cost? What is the difference?
Marina Kharlamova, journalist, beauty editor and mother of a one and a half year old baby, took two tests and told BeautyHack.ru how they work.
I took the food intolerance test at the beginning of March and already in the middle of the month I knew that I was allowed and not. The process itself is simple: they take blood from a finger and “imprint” it on a special sticker, which is sent to the laboratory.
Judging by my results, I needed to exclude those foods that I intuitively removed myself a few years ago. Although the list of prohibited items also included those that I love and eat often (for example, tomatoes, watermelon, shrimp, bananas, milk, wheat flour products). But, say, honey, garlic, coffee, tea, I excluded a long time ago.
I was surprised that I was not allowed gluten, yeast products. I ate all this and did not observe any particular negative reactions, but, as the doctor explained to me, there are moments that appear only with age.
Having looked at three lists (red – it is better to exclude forever, yellow – there is sometimes, green – you can always), I thought that this is unrealistic. Doubts persisted, because my friend also passed a food intolerance test and received a roughly similar plan (as it seemed to us at first glance).
Why did I even do a food intolerance test
To improve the condition of the skin, to understand why I cannot get rid of the pounds I hate. It is worth noting that these are not the kilograms that are, that is, they are not – they firmly settled on my waist and neither sports, nor hardware procedures, nor food by the hour, I could not achieve a shift. And I just wanted to feel better – to fall asleep calmly, to be less stressed. Spoiler alert: I received all this after a month and a half of nutrition on my “food card”.
Let me tell you right away: changing your writing habits at once is an extremely difficult task. Before, I could easily eat a chocolate bar instead of lunch and not worry that I would be hungry. Now everything has changed.
I even had a feeling of panic, what if I would be hungry. I just didn’t want to eat buckwheat. I actively started ordering food in different stores. Since the situation in the world was unstable, the demand for online delivery was high, it took three days to wait, so I started with buckwheat and steamed chicken.
When all the products came to me, I was jubilant. But in vain. It turns out that I misunderstood how to start my diet. I chose products from the green and yellow lists, but I only needed from the green.
In general, for two weeks I did everything wrong.
But the process of entering the right nutrition for me turned out to be as smooth as possible and, I think, that is why I now, four months later, I calmly follow all the doctor’s recommendations without breakdowns and panic.
The most difficult period is the first week after nutritional correction. It was easier for me to name what I can eat than to list what I cannot.
The most difficult thing was to say goodbye to fruit: there was only one lemon left on the list. Agree, you rarely meet people who like to eat lemons just like that, instead of, say, apples or grapes. The maximum that I could – drink water with a slice of this fruit. With berries, too, it was not a lot: to diversify the diet offered exclusively with cranberries and sea buckthorn.
I was glad only that it was for a month. I tried to think about what I would eat in four weeks. And now – you just need to be patient.
And I was rewarded for my patience: during such a diet, I did not get a single pimple. And now, after I have walked four months, the skin is still clear. Coincidence? I don’t think so!
After all, the food intolerance test works. At least on me.
Another plus is the mood. The girls will understand me. During PMS, various bouts of apathy, anger, tearfulness, sadness and melancholy occurred. And then everything became even and stable, as with the rise in prices after the pandemic (slowly but surely, the mood was rising and now it is fixed at the point of “calm”).
Now I have already got used to the new food completely and there is absolutely no desire to steal a chocolate bar from my husband or hang out in the store in the “sweet” section. Now in my diet PP-sweets based on stevia with chia seeds. I cook some desserts myself, I come up with intuitive recipes from those products that I can. It turns out both tasty and healthy.
Inspired by this result, I did the MyBeauty DNA test. There were several reasons: firstly, I wanted to know how to take care of the skin in order to delay aging as much as possible. And, secondly, because my beautician said that such a test would help to find out which procedures I would have a good reaction to, and which ones I would not.
The test was easy. In the morning on an empty stomach, after having passed the mouth, I ran a special stick along the inside of the cheek. I put everything in a sealed envelope, called a courier and gave the package. The result came in two weeks to the mail, a consultant contacted me, who set a date for an interview for a detailed discussion.
What have I learned?
1. I have a sweet tooth. It’s in my genes. To be honest, I did not know that my addiction to sweets was the work of a genetic predisposition. I thought, just someone like to eat sausage, and someone – cakes. But at the same time, according to the DNA text, it is important for me to limit sweets, since I have a risk of type 2 diabetes.
2. Premature aging does not threaten me. My performance is good, apart from elastin synthesis. This means that you need to rely on leaving to maintain performance and not let it “fade”. But there is one point that has already manifested itself due to poor synthesis of elastin – rosacea. If I had passed the test earlier, I could have avoided this.
The rest of the indicators are all ideally: collagen, skin, teeth, nails and hair – everything is in order.
3. According to forecasts, I will have few wrinkles. But the face can float easily: flews, a double chin can go down with age.
4. Light procedures suit me: massage, lymphatic drainage, microcurrents, plasma therapy, biorevitalization, mesotherapy, chemical peelings (superficial: phytic, ferul, milk, almond, etc.).
5. If suddenly I want to do something serious, then I will have to prepare the skin first. For example, before needle RF or phototherapy, it will be important for me to undergo a course of massage (to improve microcirculation), and also take dietary supplements with an anti-inflammatory effect.
6. It is important for me to monitor the level of moisture in the skin. Ideally, live somewhere on the seaside, as your skin needs moist sea air. It is no coincidence that I was born just at the sea (in Aktau). Since I now live in Moscow, it is important for me to use air humidifiers.
7. It is not worth sunbathing (despite the fact that the skin reacts well to the sun – this is not my vision, but an indicator of the DNA test). So with tanning it is important to be extremely careful and go out “in the light” strictly with SPF.
8. In home care, I can safely use products with retinol, vitamin C. Such products are ideal for caring for my skin (and I learned this not by trial and error, but in advance thanks to the test).
9. My skin is prone to slow healing and scarring with age.
Which test is more important?
Both tests showed that I could and shouldn’t eat. The food is more detailed in this regard. But on the other hand, the genetic one gave an explanation of why and why I really need it (that this is not a fashion or a whim of some kind, but an understandable measure – all for the sake of health, preservation of youth and beauty).
A DNA test has many different indicators for which it is worth doing. He is especially needed by those who are not ready to risk their beauty, but want to look good. Personally, the DNA test helped me in drawing up a cosmetology map. Now we work together with the doctor and we know what to expect from my skin and hair.
Recently, genetic tests have become almost a trend. Their commercial success can be easily explained: competent marketing and good design, popularization of wellness and fitness, interest in their own health. And the main thing is the infusion of investors into science and therefore the rapidly falling price of what seemed previously available only to a select few.
With the help of genetic technologies, people want to understand whether they should go in for swimming or the body is more “sharpened” for running, whether it is possible to drink coffee or the body will respond better to strong tea, whether it is worth fearing Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
But the problem is that many tests are simply pointless. Most often, DTCs are used – the same boxes of saliva tubes. Deciphering the analysis involves dietary and sports advice, lineage data, and so on. But the problem is that most companies simply give away a list of snips, which the client cannot figure out without the help of specialists. And their advice is more related to cosmetology and lifestyle than medicine.
But you already know that it is better not to eat simple carbohydrates, not drink soda and move more. In addition, many tests mistake the foods you eat most for allergens.
Do you have breakfast every day with salmon and avocado bread? Be sure they will be banned for you!
Change your diet, get tested in 2-3 months – and the result will be completely different. You don’t need to spend money to understand that the menu should be varied. Much more useful are those organizations that do highly specialized research. For example, they study a predisposition to oncology.
When it comes to publicly available tests, be aware that the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics did not recommend them 6 years ago.
The reason is insufficient evidence base. The Sports Institute of Australia also announced that it was pointless – such tests did not show a predisposition to marathons or swimming. So it is better to go to endocrinologists, nutritionists, therapists and pass the set of tests that they will advise you, based on your anamnesis.