Muhdo levels up personalised nutrition through epigenetics

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

getty | kirstypargeter
getty | kirstypargeter

Related tags personalised nutrition Dna

Muhdo, the first company to provide nutrition and lifestyle advice based on epigenetic analysis, is set to relaunch with tests and guidance to reveal how individual micro and macro-nutrients impact gene expression and function.

The relaunch will include the introduction of the company’s own range of epigenetic supplements aimed at improving customers’ health-span.

James Brown, ex-professional rugby player and founder of Muhdo, explains: “We’ve always given advice about vitamins and minerals but we’ve never told people where to buy them as we haven’t wanted to direct customers to a particular product without knowing the exact dose in that product.

“From early next year we will be able to recommend specific vitamins and minerals, as well as formulations focused on different markers of age, such as skin, eye and gut health.”

Pronounced ‘moodoo’, the UK-based company has been providing saliva DNA testing, blood tests, and lifestyle guidance to consumers across the globe via its app since 2019, aiming to help consumers to discover and lower their biological age and reverse the effects of cellular ageing. 

The app, which can integrate with wearables, provides a range of health assessments including: DNA and epigenetic analysis, age of onset predictive health clocks, biological age calculator, memory, eyesight and hearing age calculators, pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory scores, cognitive brain assessment and face analysis.

In total, the app enables a user to calculate eight different age clocks through genetic analysis and in-app gamification and face scanning. Our clocks calculate a user’s age for their skin, eyes, memory and hearing as well as their pro and anti-inflammatory score.

Explaining the service’s USP – its epigenetic  tests – co-founder James Brown explains ‘epi’ means ‘above’ in Greek, and so epigenetics describes factors beyond the genetic code. 

"Whilst DNA always stays the same, our epigenetics are impacted by external factors like nutrition and exercise.

"Epigenetic changes are modifications to DNA that regulate whether genes are turned up or turned down. So epigenetic testing allows the study of how your behaviours and environment changes the way your genes work."

Vitamins and minerals can alter gene expression by the induction of messenger RNA (mRNA) degradation or the repression of translation.

Vitamin D, for example, has direct effects on the epigenome and the expression of more than 1000 genes in most human tissues and cell types.

Mudho consumers will soon be able to conduct an epigenetics test and receive Muhdo supplements appropriate to their epigenetic code and analyse how specific nutrients impact this code.

“We’ve all got various genes responsible for metabolising different nutrients in our diet.

“The next stage in our business is to showcase how certain dietary interventions affect genes through methylation - the chemical modification of DNA.

“We will be the first company to launch an epigenetic test to see how supplements affect the way genes express and function.”

He explains why this is an important step in improved personalised nutrition advice.

“You can be deficient in vitamin B12 but you can’t see from a standard blood test how effective you are at transporting and converting vitamin B12 at a genetic level.

“With our test, we can tell the user how much vitamin B12 they actually need to take in order to become sufficient.”

Using himself as a case study, he explains that his epigenetics reveal he is a poor metaboliser of vitamin D, which regulates 900 genes.

“A lot of people don't realise how important vitamin D is in its ability to reduce the risk of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in the winter. It helps switch the amino acid tryptophan, into the happy hormone serotonin.

"I need to take more of the vitamin or take compounds alongside it which will amplify my genetic expression."

Brain training and face scanning

The Muhdo team ahs been expanding the app's capabilities since its inception. Recently added elements include the brain training programme and the face analysis

Muhdo face scanning

 software, which allow users to determine their age based on their memory score or their skin markers.

The Brain Training programme calculates the rate to which your brain and cognitive health are functioning based from a variety of brain games and your cognitive skills. Personalised brain training games can then be done to improve memory, concentration and other cognitive functions.

With the face analysis, there are 12 key skincare factors tested through the latest AI technology such as hydration, skin tone, wrinkles and perceived skin age.

Brown says they are looking at integrating these to connect with epigenetic results to see if the three elements of analysis align.

Muhdo is currently undertaking extensive longevity and health tech research with several prominent universities worldwide, including King’s College London and the National University of Singapore.

Related topics Markets Personalized Nutrition

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