What Your Genes Say About Your Weight and Eating Habits
Amid the dozens of nutrition DNA testing options, I happened across Caligenix, a company that offers three test kits to help you eat your way to better health and enhanced beauty.
But how does Caligenix stand out from the rest of the Nutrition DNA companies like Vitagene or Gene Food? Is it worth the higher price?
To answer those questions I’ve researched what Caligenix has to offer – the standout features, plus the missing features you should know about before purchasing. If you’re serious about your long-term health, enhancing your athletic performance, or improving your skincare routine, Caligenix is an option worth considering.
Can Caligenix help you boost your health and beauty too? Let’s find out.
Discover a New Path to Health in a Couple Weeks
The Caligenix process is a little different than most – but it’s still fairly simple. First, you have to speak with Customer Service to order your test kit. When I called, the representative explained the DNA analysis process and pitched some of the company’s upcoming services (even though I requested neither). Then, I was asked to send an email to receive a discount code.
Apparently, Caligenix will be launching a new supplement program and is asking customers to wait to purchase. I found this strange. Why not let me test my DNA now and just send me a coupon to try the supplements for free later?
While calling is an extra (and time-consuming) step, it’s also nice to be able to ask questions before you place the order. However, if you are looking to buy a nutrition DNA test online, or get your results in a hurry, Caligenix may not be the best choice. I would suggest either GenoPalate or Vitagene.
When the kit arrives, it contains everything you need to quickly and easily collect your sample. You’ll get:
- Step-by-step instructions
- A saliva collection tube
- A funnel lid and tube cap
- A tube container
- A specimen bag
Important: Make sure you do not eat, drink, or smoke for about an hour before collecting your sample. This helps prevent sample contamination.
You’ll collect a saliva sample by filling the tube. A lot of nutrition DNA test kits (like Gini Health or Gene Food) use cheek swabs, but saliva actually produces more accurate results. As someone with a science background, I’m a fan of the choice to use salvia samples.
Please note: If you’re someone who has trouble coughing or swallowing, collecting enough saliva might be a challenge. Salvia collection is no problem for healthy individuals who can spit.
After sample collection, just seal the tube, pack it into the specimen bag, repack the box, and drop it in the mail! For customers in the United States, shipping charges include a prepaid shipping label for sending your sample to the lab. Results will become available online in two-to-three weeks!
5 Standout Features of Caligenix
1. Easy-to-Understand Personalized Nutrition
The Caligenix website is particularly good at being user-friendly and easy to understand, especially compared to competitors, like 5Strands and MightyDNA. Caligenix gives you a basic idea of the science and actionable steps to take – it’s not overwhelming, but it also doesn’t leave you with a bunch of unanswered questions.
Your personalized nutrition report will help you understand your unique nutrient metabolism, cardio-metabolic health, food intolerances, weight management, and eating habits. Improving your habits in each of these areas will increase your healthspan and help you feel your best.
For each nutrient, you’ll discover:
- If you need more or less than the standard suggested amount based on your genotype
- How optimizing your nutrient intake will help you achieve your goals
- Specific foods you can eat to include the nutrients you should focus on
It’s also worth pointing out that the high-end price point doesn’t include high-end features like an app, meal plans, or health consults. The latter two are available, but at an additional cost.
2. Clear Action Steps to Take For Enhanced Athletic Performance
The Sports Nutrition test sets Caligenix apart from the competition. I read a lot about DNA tests, and this is among the best I’ve come across. After reading the results, you’ll know how to optimize your diet to improve your athletic performance, sharpen your mental focus, and decrease your risk of injury.
One of my favorite features was a little blue box in the bottom corner of each page. It summarizes an action step toward optimizing your intake of a particular nutrient based on your genes.
A user-friendly Sports Nutrition report is harder to find than you might think. For example, MightyDNA offers so much scientific information in its results, it feels more like a science class than actionable information. Another competitor, CrossDNA, offers some visuals; however, translation issues from this Spanish company make the results difficult to grasp.
In contrast, the Sports Nutrition test from Caligenix strikes a good balance of visuals, science, your personal genetic information, nutritional insights, and actionable steps.
3. Learn Which Ingredients to Include in Your Skincare Routine
The skincare test from Caligenix has received some high-powered attention. Women’s Health, GQ, Popular Science, and Vogue all have quoted reviews featured on the Caligenix website!
And, as you learn more about the results, it’s easy to understand why. The Caligenix Skin Care DNA Test breaks down skin health into six categories including:
- Skin glycation
- Sensitivity & inflammation
- Skin oxidation protection
- Sun damage & pigmentation
- Nutrition needs for your skin
- Firmness & elasticity
For each category, you get a complete breakdown of potential symptoms and your genetic profile, plus an overall risk score.
Other companies, including Vitagene, have reports that describe your skin’s traits, genotypes, and risks, too. But the report from Caligenix has more detail and clearer advice that is easier to follow.
What really stands out to me about the Caligenix skincare report is the “Scientifically Selected Program” section. For each category, you’ll learn which ingredients to include in your skincare regimen, and professional treatments that might be particularly beneficial for you. This is a big plus for me because I could really use a personal skin coach!
4. User-Friendly Reports Are Packed with Information
Communicating genomic data in an easy-to-understand way, and offering lifestyle advice is no small task. Whoever designed the reports for Caligenix did a fabulous job. The reports are very user-friendly, yet still contain loads of information.
The reports each have their own look, but there are also a few key components that the reports all share:
- Information in visual, text, and table forms
- List of gene(s) and marker(s) tested
- Genotypes that indicate an elevated risk
- Your genotype
- Scientific background information
- Food ideas to incorporate into your diet
- Action steps to take next
For example, the Energy Balance section in the Sports Nutrition report tests the UCP1 gene. If you have the “diminished” genotype (as in the sample report you’ll see below) you get the clear advice to reduce your overall calorie deficit by 650 calories per day, either through increased exercise or reduced caloric intake. Then, you get a few ideas on how to accomplish that.
The best part? Information for each nutrient or gene is kept to a single page with a mixture of presentation patterns. This style makes it easy to absorb the information and not get lost in the text.
5. From a Top Quality Team of Doctors, Scientists, and Nutritionists
Nutrigenomics is at the forefront of our collective scientific understanding, so interpreting the data is part hard-core science, and part art. Your DNA doesn’t change, but the way the information is interpreted depends on who is doing it.
Caligenix has assembled an impressive team of people to do just that. The scientific advisory board is composed of the Director-General of Hadassah Medical, the Candian Research Chair of Nutrigenomics, Surgeons, and a Professor of Cardiology. A team of doctors and PhDs work for the company, alongside a group of corporate executives.
Together, the team built impressive algorithms that effectively analyze genomic data. The information is so high-quality it’s sought out by other businesses, and Caligenix has developed multiple proprietary solutions for its business clients. Want science you can trust? If so, Caligenix is a strong option to consider.
While plenty of competitors also offer special opportunities for health professionals (home-based fitness coaches, for example), Caligenix has more robust business partnerships involving cutting-edge genetic solutions with a wider variety of businesses.
Caligenix Test Kits Available
Caligenix offers three separate DNA testing options: Personalized Nutrition & Fitness, Sports Nutrition, and the Skin Care test. Each testing option uses the same type of salvia sample, but different genetic markers are analyzed to get you the information you’re looking for. Next, we’ll go through each test in detail.
1. Personalized Nutrition and Fitness
The personalized nutrition and fitness test is focused on helping you tailor your lifestyle to preventing chronic disease and increasing your healthspan. Caligenix analyzes your genomic data to provide:
- Information about how you metabolize nutrients
- Your genetic cardiometabolic health risks
- Insights about weight management and body composition
- Your food intolerances and predisposal to certain eating habits
- Options for fitness and physical activity to get you the best results
Everything is organized by nutrients. Don’t worry – the nutrients are ones you’ve probably heard of, like omega-3 fatty acids and calcium. Under each nutrient, you’ll get detailed information about which genes were tested, your genotype, your genetic risk levels, and your recommended intake level for that nutrient. Plus, you’ll get nutrient-dense food ideas so you know how to incorporate it into your diet!
Another value-added feature is the educational materials. Caligenix does a good job of giving you the information you need to make your best lifestyle and wellness decisions.
2. Sports Nutrition
Do you have questions about how to optimize your athletic performance? If so, the Sports Nutrition test from Caligenix might be a good option. The goal is to teach you how to meet your individual nutrient requirements in order to improve your physical capabilities, whether you are a weekend warrior or a professional athlete.
The results include clear instructions about the intake of key nutrients and how to adjust your intake based on your genotype. Find out how to feel your best so you can perform at your best. The report covers topics relevant to athletes, such as:
- Nutrient requirements
- Athletic performance
- Injury risk
- Mental focus
- Cardio-metabolic health
One thing that makes the Caligenix Sports Nutrition Report better than others I’ve seen (from CrossDNA and HealthCodes DNA, for example) is that the genes tested are published in the results, along with the markers, risk variants, and your variants.
3. Skin Care
Wondering how to choose a skincare routine? Need to know which ingredients to look for in topical treatments? A big plus for me is the Caligenix Skin Care report lists key ingredients you should keep in mind when choosing topical or nutritional supplement products.
I also like that the report includes professional treatments you might consider based on your skin type. I’d consider getting professional treatments, and insights like these would help me know what to ask about!
Other companies, like Vitagene, offer supplements geared toward skincare too. A supplement and/or skin product would certainly be a good addition to Caligenix, but it is not currently available.
3 Similar Tests to Consider
With so many DNA testing options for diet and fitness advice, finding the right option can be tough. After doing our research, we’ve come up with a list of the “top three” alternatives to Caligenix. Each option offers high-quality results, satisfied customers, and valuable information – and includes something that Caligenix doesn’t.
1. Gene Food – A Holistic Approach Based on Strong Science
Gene Food is probably the most similar to Caligenix in terms of scientific strength and the nutrition report. However, there are few features that make Gene Food an attractive alternative. For starters, it’s significantly less expensive than Caligenix, and includes a wider variety of health information (e.g., chronotype, cannabis, sleep NSAIDs). Plus, you get meal plans and a substantial discount if you upload your raw DNA data.
2. HealthCodes DNA – Unlimited Health Consults at No Extra Cost
HealthCodes DNA offers expert nutrigenomic analysis, like Caligenix. All health advice is based on lifestyle changes for diet and exercise with no push for extra supplement purchases. One downside compared to Caligenix is that HealthCodes DNA doesn’t publish the genes or markers tested. However, HealthCodes DNA does include unlimited health consults with experts in wellness and nutrition, meal and exercise plans, plus an app to keep track of everything!
3. Vitagene – A Budget Option with Personalized Supplements
Looking for a budget-friendly option that offers high-quality results? Interested in supplements that have been formulated based on your DNA? Vitagene is a great option to consider. Your results include diet, fitness, and skincare reports. You’ll also get meal plans, a supplement plan, and health coaching.
Get All the Facts to Live Your Best Life
Caligenix offers the best nutrigenomics science with a high-end feel. A distinguishing focus of Caligenix is creating a dietary intervention for chronic disease, making it a good option for long-term lifestyle changes. Key features include:
- User-friendly results with pictures and charts
- DNA-based wellness guide
- Individualized meal plans
- One-on-one coaching
Next, we’ll go through the details and features of the results reports for each test.
Nutrition and Fitness Test Results
The Nutrition and Fitness Report from Caligenix has several key features. First, you’ll find the name of the nutrient, and a pictorial description of what that nutrient does. In the example for calcium below, you’ll see the graphics labeled: strengthens bones, muscle strength, and cells.
You’ll notice your risk level clearly stated in one word with the corresponding recommendation directly below it. The ability to quickly look through your report and see the nutrients, risk, and recommendations at a glance is a convenient, value-added feature!
In case you’d like to read more, the educational materials are right there on the page! Plus, a table with food nutrient sources is also included – this is good inspiration for which foods to focus on including in your diet. In the example above, the table on the lower right gives examples of calcium, like yogurt and spinach. It’s a handy way to find food ideas.
Sports Nutrition Test Results
The Sports Nutrition Report has the same basic features as the personalized nutrition test, with a few subtle differences. In this report, the “At-a-Glance” information is all located on the outside edge of each page. This includes: genes, risk level (red box), recommendation, and an action item (blue shape).
While, at first glance, the recommendation box seems like lots of text, the information inside is actually quite useful. In the example above, the recommendations explain how you might achieve an energy deficit of 650 calories a day, through both diet and exercise.
One thing the “Sources of High Energy Foods” table could do better (and other food tables for that matter) is to suggest swaps of foods instead of just listing foods. I’d find it more helpful if the table included something like, “If you swap chicken Caesar salad for a house salad, you’ll save 200 calories.”
Skin Care Test Results
The Skin Care Report from Caligenix received glowing comments from GQ, Women’s Health, Popular Science, and Vogue. The report contains useful insights, across six categories (described earlier). Results include your genotypes and skin health risks for each category. The following topics are found in each category’s results:
- “About,” find out what the category is and why it’s included
- “Visible and Internal Signs,” the ins and outs of symptoms
- “Why Do We Experience…,” a little scientific background
- “Gene Profile,” your genotypes and risk factors
- “Scientifically Selected Program,” recommendations for ingredients and treatments
The genetic skin health risks from each category are compiled together to get a composite report of how your skin might age. Plus, you’ll get a total score or “aging risk factor” – in the example below, you’ll see it’s 48%.
The Scientifically Selected Program suggests topical ingredients, nutritional supplements, and even professional treatments you might consider based on your skin’s genetics. Since Caligenix has all of this information already put together, my fingers are crossed the company comes out with a skincare product line soon!
Call to Find Out (Or Read This)
Caligenix has a high-end feel throughout the website, and the price tag matches. You can expect to pay a few hundred dollars for any of the three reports.
While Caligenix does have wonderful branding, it’s not clear what features add so much extra value to justify the higher price (starting price: US$399,00). The results are extremely detailed and well laid out, but so are reports from Gini Health (US$135,00), GenoPalate (US$189,00), and Gene Food (US$185,00), all of which cost less than half as much.
HealthCodes DNA is more similarly priced to Caligenix, but the HealthCodes DNA program also includes a subscription to an app, one-on-on health consults with live professionals, meal and fitness plans. In my opinion, those types of features justify and support the higher price point.
Currently, you can only order a Caligenix DNA test kit by phone, and no pricing information is listed online. That said, the website does specify that meal plans cost extra. Interested in a report review and consultation with a registered dietitian? That’s available, but – you guessed it – that’ll cost extra, too.
Caligenix accepts payments via major credit cards. If you’d like other options, you can discuss over the phone when you place the order.
Get an Exclusive Feel with Phone-Only Ordering
Interested in contacting Caligenix? The good news is you can get in touch with Caligenix in several different ways. One option is to contact Caligenix through its social media accounts at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. You can also call or email Customer Service.
Be aware that you actually have to call in to purchase a DNA test kit. When I called to inquire about purchasing, the customer service representative was polite and answered my questions. He also mentioned a new supplement program that will be launching soon.
However, while we spoke over the phone, the customer service representative told me if I sent a follow-up email, he would reply and send me a discount code. I dutifully sent the email within 30 minutes of hanging up. But now it’s several days later, and I still haven’t received a response.
Excellent Reports, if You Can Handle the Price Tag
Interested in taking control of your long-term health by starting a DNA-based nutrition plan? Looking for skincare advice based on your genes? If so, Caligenix might be a good option for you.
If your heart isn’t set on an entire nutrigenomic overview, there are some more budget-friendly options that might still answer your questions.
- Looking for a similarly personalized nutrition option that costs less? Gene Food or GenoPalate offer about the same results at less than half the cost.
- Have focused diet and nutrition questions? Choose Vitagene.
- Interested in a virtual health coach? Try DNAfit or Gini Health.
- Want one-on-one coaching with live experts plus meal and fitness plans? Check out HealthCodes DNA.
Want to explore your options further? Check out our article on the 7 Best Nutrition DNA Tests.
Overall, Caligenix does offer high-quality results and top-notch scientific information. The report pairs the latest research with nutrition facts, and action steps – all of which is very user-friendly! However, it’s disappointing that Caligenix doesn’t offer meal plans, an app, or a virtual coach, especially for the high price.
What can Caligenix tell me about my nutrition?
The overarching goal of the nutrition information in a Caligenix report is to help you tailor your lifestyle to prevent chronic disease and increase your number of healthy years. The nutrition test will empower you with the information you need to optimize your diet and improve your life. Through this testing you’ll receive:
- Insights on how you metabolize nutrients
- An understanding of your genetic cardiometabolic health risks
- Insights about weight management and body composition
- Your food intolerances and predisposal to certain eating habits
- Options for fitness and physical activity to get you the best results
To help you learn about improving your nutrition, you’ll get tons of information about each nutrient, including which genes were tested, your genotype, your genetic risk level for related-health issues, and your recommended intake level for that nutrient.
Food ideas that are nutrient-dense are included in each page of the results. This will give you several ways to incorporate the food suggestions into your diet. Just be aware that meal plans will cost extra money and are only available after you’ve purchased a kit.
Can DNA tests tell me the optimal fitness routine?
DNA tests can give you a lot of crucial insights toward building the optimal fitness routine. Ultimately, either you or a professional in health or fitness will have to go through your data and design the optimal routine.
A DNA test cannot predict some critical facts that should be incorporated into a fitness routine. For example, your DNA will not reveal whether you’re still in recovery from knee surgery, or if you have physical restrictions from a prior hip replacement. DNA is absolutely an important piece of the puzzle, but so is your health history.
The goal of DNA-based fitness programs is to help you understand your natural talents and limitations as an athlete – whether you’re a weekend warrior or a pro. Then, you can enhance your natural capabilities by optimizing your nutritional intake. This can help you sharpen your mental focus or even reduce your injury risk!
Fitness reports cover topics relevant to athletes, such as:
- Optimal nutrient intake
- Insights on how to improve athletic performance
- How to boost post-workout recovery
- Injury risk and prevention strategies
- How to sharpen mental focus
- Status of cardio-metabolic health
How does Caligenix compare to other diet DNA tests?
Caligenix is comparable to several other diet DNA tests, such as GenoPalate, Gene Food, DNAfit, and Gini Health. With any of these options you’ll receive a detailed nutrient report, information about food intolerances, and a DNA-based risk profile for related health issues. Compared to other companies, Caligenix has a higher price tag and lacks an app (offered with DNAfit and Gini Health).
Here’s a detailed look at how Caligenix stacks up compared to the competition. Please note, some of the features listed in the table are only available at an extra cost, and may not be included with your DNA kit purchase.
|Price||CLIA Lab||Nutrient Report||Supplement Plans||Substance Metabolism||Meal Plans||Health Consults|
Each personalized nutrition company has a unique specialty that can make it the right choice for your needs. For Caligenix, it’s the user-friendly results report. It tells you the information that you need to know, proves it with a little bit of science, and tells you what steps to take next.
For comparison, Vitagene’s standout feature is personalized supplements included with the DNA test kit bundle. Perhaps the most eye-catching feature is HealthCodes DNA’s unlimited health consults with live nutrition and wellness experts.
Want to learn more about some of Caligenix’s top competitors? Check out our article on the 7 Best Nutrition DNA Tests.
What can Caligenix tell me about my skin?
Calgenix offers a variety of skin insights. The skincare report covers topics like your genotypes for certain genes, your skin health risks, and possible treatments you might consider.
The genetic skin health results are divided into six categories, including skin glycation, sensitivity and inflammation, skin oxidation protection, sun damage and pigmentation, nutrition needs for your skin, and firmness and elasticity. Each category comes with an explanation of what it means, plus internal and external symptoms.
For each category, you’ll learn your genotype and risk level, plus which ingredients to look for in topical treatments and nutritional supplements. You also get potential professional services options. After going through your results, you’ll understand skincare on an entirely new level!
Is Caligenix worth the price tag?
Admittedly, Caligenix is more expensive than many competitors. But is it more valuable than other options, like GenoPalate, Gene Food, DNAfit, and Gini Health? That question is harder to answer.
Caligenix stands out with good branding and high-profile endorsements from GQ, Vogue, and others. Plus, it offers a high-quality product. Nonetheless, several competitors offer better value for the dollar. Take DNAfit, for example. For less than half the cost, you get a similar nutrition report, plus a virtual health coach and meal plans!
Since Caligenix is a young company, the true value of the price tag may be hidden behind the scenes in research and development. Caligenix has a high-powered scientific advisory board and employs quality scientists. Perhaps some exciting developments are on the horizon.