ZOE reached out, and I was intrigued.
My brother-in-law recently sent me a message, asking my thoughts on tests like Zoe.
In full transparency, I told him I was skeptical. I also told him that I was currently doing one via this company called ZOE.
Because these tests are becoming more popular, I thought it would be fun to document what I all did, what they all entail, what you can find out (what I did find out!), and more.
That way, you can decide for yourself what you think and/or if you want to know your own results.
What is ZOE?
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ZOE is a company that takes personal data and information in order to extract useful information at the individual level.
The company launched its first product in September 2020 after three years of carrying out the world’s largest in-depth nutrition and microbiome study with scientists from Harvard, King’s College London, Mass General Hospital and Stanford.
They believe everyone is unique, and we all deserve to fully understand that uniqueness and what it means.
The company is rooted in science and they want to help people achieve long-term health through their careful analysis.
What Does ZOE Do?
Here are some more things about ZOE to help understand who they are and what they do:
- ZOE transforms how individuals eat with a first-of-its-kind at-home test kit and personalized advice program.
- ZOE decodes each customer’s unique biological responses to food, and guides them on how to eat to maximize long-term health.
- The program uses machine learning combined with the world’s largest nutrition research studies.
- The goal is to ultimately serve millions of people in search of a sustainable and science-backed approach to healthy eating.
- The test kit analyzes users’ gut health, as well as blood fat and blood sugar responses to food and uses these insights to provide daily, personalized nutrition guidance.
- Demand is high and ZOE is currently in waitlist-mode.
- Interim clinical trial results reveal participants experienced more energy (90%) and felt less hunger (80%) after three months of following their personalized plan.
At first glance, you can understand why I’d agree to work with ZOE in understanding their business and sharing the information with you.
More than almost anything else these days, I believe in a 101% customized approach to both health and healing.
So what does testing with them look like anyways?
How Do You Use ZOE?
ZOE is an at-home testing kit. The kit is conducive for testing: gut health, blood sugar & blood fat.
This is done via two main at-home testing methods:
- A stool sample
- Blood sample (via prick of the finger)
And yes, yes I successfully completed both tests. And yes, yes I was paranoid about doing the blood sample.
So let me quickly take you through each test.
This was the 800th time I’ve probably done an at-home stool sample.
It’s actually no big deal to me anymore. And even if you’ve never done it, it’s going to be no big deal for you, either.
You’ll do your poo, then collect a very small sample. The sample will go into a tube filled with their solution. Then you get it packed up and put into a pre-stamped box that comes with your kit.
There is no need to do anything special with the sample. You’ll just drop it at your local post office for shipping.
Honestly, it was that easy.
Blood Sample (the prick)
This one was definitely a little harder, but the painful “hard” was all in my head. So you can set your fears aside there.
Some things to know about this part of the ZOE test:
- There is a fasting period. I’m used to it since I practice Intermittent Fasting nightly, but you might not.
- In order to do this part of the test, you’ll need to consume the muffins they provide. The muffins are gluten and dairy free, but they do contain eggs. If you are highly intolerant or allergic to eggs, you will not be able to do this part. I don’t want anyone to be hopeful for these results, and then realize they can’t due to the eggs.
- You should plan to do this part of the test on a day when you don’t have much going on.
- It’s done in conjunction with an app. Yes, this is the tech part that I find fascinating.
Here is how you’ll do the blood sample:
- Take your muffins out of the freezer and place into the fridge the night before so they can thaw.
- You can’t eat or drink anything overnight, for at least 8 hours. Also, no working out of any sorts during the fasting and testing period.
- You’ll eat 3 muffins for breakfast. I heated mine up a bit so they were softer. You do this part in conjunction with an app, so you’ll log these muffins in the app. And then you don’t eat or drink anything (but water and plain coffee) until the next muffin consumption round.
- 4 hours later, you’ll eat the final 2 muffins. You’ll log via the app, just like before. All 5 muffins taste the same, FYI. They are sweet and fairly dry by nature. They are nothing to write home about, but they also don’t taste bad. I couldn’t figure out what they tasted like until the very end. This is what: the (slightly) burned edges of Angel Food Cake. Yes, super specific, but it was that taste to a “T.”
- Then, you’ll fast for a final 2 hours. During this time, there is still no food or exercise. But hey, remember this is great practice anyways for your MMC!
- Finally, blood test time. The entire kit is all there. The quicker you push the needle to your finger, the sooner you’ll be done.
And then, you ship off the blood test in the same fashion as you did the poop sample. You are also free to eat as you please!
What Happens Next; what is ZOE Going to Tell You?
After the “work,” you’ll wait for results to come back.
In about 6 weeks, a detailed report comparing your results to thousands of other people will arrive in your Inbox.
The reports you’ll receive include: personalized insights report, gut health report and a 4-week action plan.
Gut Health Report
This is a 43-page report. It starts off by reviewing what the gut microbiome is and why it is important. (However, you already know what the gut microbiome is, yes?!)
The contents of the full report break down as such:
And then the report goes through them all in detail.
Here are some highlights from my own report:
- My microbiome health score was high (high = good). There is low, medium, high, and very high. In other words, I’m great as-is, but can always get better.
- Out of 15 “good bugs,” I only have 5.
- But also, out of 15 “bad bugs,” I only have 2.
- I am one of the 31% of participants who share our gut with the beneficial parasite – Blastocystis.
- My personalized gut boosters include:
- unsalted mixed nuts
- Some foods I should avoid (so as to not increase the “bad” bacteria):
- savoury pies
- corned beef
Personal Insights Report
This report is 62 pages long, and begins by explaining the ZOE scientific approach.
It looks like this, in simplest terms:
So with that, let’s start with my dietary inflammation profile, specifically blood sugar control.
According to my results, I have excellent blood sugar control (scale = bad, poor, good, and excellent). And when you compare mine to other people of similar age and sex, the average is a number 39 (I’m at an 82).
In other words, I’m doing just fine! (p.s. I give credit here to the fact that I practice meal spacing and intermittent fasting and choose foods now that make me feel good vs. what a diet tells me!)
Next, you’ll learn about your blood fat control. This number indicates how well you can clear fats from your blood and your body’s ability to handle fat-rich foods.
Unlike the blood sugar, I do not have great blood fat control. While other people have around an 86, I only have a 49. Not to feel bad, though, the ZOE co-founder has only a number 12 for his blood fat number. And the ZOE nutritional scientist only has a 17 for blood sugar number.
Your report will then give a ton of examples of how to begin crafting and creating the diet that’s best for you. If you have the ZOE Insights app, you’ll be able to take it a step further.
And let me tell you – that app truly syncs perfectly with what your report says.
Let me show you a quick example
Remember the gut boosters I mentioned above that are personal to me? Well, when you open the app, you’ll see a “Gut Boosters” category. And when I click my own, here is what I see…..
And the scroll goes on an on.
In fact, it’s truly fascinating!
I can say that if you used this reporting, the app, and my 90-day journal, you could personalize your diet like crazy.
And that’s what I’m talking about! Empowering you to find the best diet and food combinations for you in order to stay sane and heal quickly.
Click HERE to learn more about ZOE and get started for yourself, using my code AGUTSYGIRL. And let me know in the comments below what questions you have.
I’m basically an open book for you, darling!
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Disclosure: This is a paid, sponsored post in partnership with ZOE. All opinions started here are 100% my own. I appreciate your support, as this compensation helps with expenses to keep this website up and running, and for me to continue sharing all that I can with you. For my full disclaimer and disclosure click HERE. Thank you for your support!
You will heal. I will help.