Big Idea

Eat and burn

The Gene Box lets you have your cake and eat it too

Soumik Kar

Are you among those who have failed to lose that flab even after regular workouts and strictly following a diet? It’s time you get in touch with The Gene Box, a Mumbai-based start-up that provides customised nutrition and healthcare solutions by determining your genetic composition.

Co-founded by Shiraz Siddiqui, and Pranav Anam, The Gene Box was born out of the idea of using genetic composition to find out what best suites one’s fitness and body needs. “A wellness expert or a doctor might advise to cut out on all fats or saturated foods. But by determining the genetic composition of the individual, we know which particular fat to cut down on,” says Siddiqui. This would allow the person to satisfy their taste buds and not cringe about additional fats.

Through its spit DNA test, the saliva sample of the person is collected and tested for genetic predisposition in the context of food tolerance and aversion, and fitness. The Gene Box has two packages consisting of nutrigenomics, and fitness genomics for $295, and the second package consists of an additional health genomics for $370.

While nutrigenomics helps in determining the amount of nutrition that a body needs, obesity risk due to saturated foods, salt sensitivity and folate requirement; fitness genomics helps in determining the endurance ability of a person, physical potential of the body to carry out tasks and muscle fatigue resistance. Health genomics helps to know about lifestyle disorders like Type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

“Specifications as to how often the person has to work-out and at what intensity, the rate at which the person can recover from illness and also the potential of the body to carry out physical activities helps to live a healthy life,” says Anam.

The start-up caters to the huge US market as the people are more health conscious than in India. It is also looking to tap the 250 million people in India who are in their middle age. “Budding sportspersons in schools and colleges, active healthcare spenders, and people with lifestyle disorders seeking generic food, fitness and wellness solutions are our main target segment,” adds Anam.