MY HELIX FOOD SENSITIVITY+ TEST RESULTS
I've had a TON of interest and questions about my Food Sensitivity+ testing since I posted about receiving my kit from Helix. If you’d like to read more about my experience using the kit to test my saliva + blood for my body's response to 96 foods, you can head here. Otherwise, I’ll catch you up. Basically, a company called Helix sent me their DNA kit to collect and sequence my DNA so that their partner EverlyWell could analyze my DNA for a genetic predisposition to different food sensitivities. Helix uses Exome+ sequencing which reads every letter of all 22,000 protein-coding genes and produces 100 times more data than most consumer genetics companies. Then, once you've taken and sent back your DNA sample, they'll store and protect your genetic data so you can access and share just the relevant portion with any Helix partner of your choosing (such as EverlyWell) without ever having to provide another DNA sample. And if you're interested in finding out more about your DNA, Helix offers other tests to help you dive further into that information too. They offer cool tests for ancestry, family planning, hereditary cancer screening - all kinds of different things if you're interested in exploring further.
I did a kit called Food Sensitivity+, made by Helix's partner EverlyWell, that tests elevated levels of immune antibodies in my blood, plus, it measures my genetic predisposition to metabolize and absorb foods and vitamins. Food Sensitivity+ needs just a few drops of blood (plus some saliva for the DNA part of the test) and it can test for genetic predisposition to reactivity to 96 foods (like gluten, wheat and dairy) as well as genetic influences on lactose intolerance, caffeine, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and magnesium. That’s AMAZING! And way more info than I get from my doctor in a single visit, too.
And guess what?! I just got my results back! I’m so excited to share them with you guys, and frankly was just so excited to have some insight on why I am having these constant tummy troubles. I knew there had to be something contributing to some aches and pains, but I couldn’t pinpoint what. You guys are not going to believe what came back in my results! Some serious surprises and things I was eating literally EVERY DAY. This test is a quick (results came back within about two weeks), safe, and effective way to figure out what your food sensitivities are.
So what were my biggest sensitivities? Soy and most types of dairy came up as highest reacting; no surprise there! I already do my best to avoid them because of how badly I do react, so this just reinforces for me that I should be reducing my intake of them. The real exciting (and disappointing) part comes next; I had sensitivity to the following foods, in order of reactivity: sweet potato, cashew, clam, crab, green beans, pineapple, sesame, wheat, chia seed, malt, sunflower, kelp + gluten. Yeah, I’m just going to let the take a moment to sink in. I had to. That is a LOT of foods that I very regularly eat showing up on my sensitivity test. Ugh.
For me, that means a lot of foods that I was eating nearly every day - cashews, gluten, pineapple and chia seeds, specifically - may be causing a reaction. And it made a lot of sense! For someone who eats a pretty healthy, balanced, nearly sugar-free, plant-based diet - I shouldn’t be having so many issues. Or so I thought! But compound that same diet with a host of inflammatory foods and you’ve got a recipe for an upset stomach + a bunch of skin issues - which is exactly where I’m at.
Along with food sensitivity testing, the DNA portion of the test also tested for genetic variants for things like B6 + B12 levels, lactose intolerance, magnesium levels and caffeine metabolism. Everything there came up normal for me except my genetic predisposition for low B12 levels. Even though the test doesn't tell me that I currently have low B12 (I'd have to confirm with a doctor), I'm definitely going to try to have more foods with B12 in my diet. I might consider grabbing a niacin-free B12 supplement too.
Just knowing what my body reacts to is going to help me so much. I can alter my diet to reflect the removal of said foods, and can be on high alert when I am having a stomach ache or reactive effect for what I may have ingested that affected me. I have started trying to reduce my intake of the other foods that I’m most sensitive to, but I still find that wheat, gluten, and chia seeds slip in here and there.
I am hoping to start the New Year by trying to reduce my intake of some of the foods I have highest sensitivity to, to see how my body reacts. Since finding out which foods most affect me I’ve been trying to cut back a bit on them, and have already started to see small improvements in my eczema and acne. Score!
I look forward to using the Helix DNA collection towards one of their awesome biomarker tests, too - because once they have it on file, they keep it on file. And they have so many great accompaniment kits I’d love to try! You can get 30% OFF any purchase on any Helix product with code: HelixJPfO. But HURRY - only the first 25 unique users get the discount!
This post is sponsored, which is a tool we use to keep the content on this site fresh and relevant. While I was paid for this post, all thoughts and opinions expressed are true and from my own experience.