CEO Middle East

BIOHACKING: THE NEW WELLNESS FRONTIER

Can a personalis­ed vitamins regiment give you a mental and physical edge? CEO finds out

- By JOLA CHUDY

Anurse sits down next to me on my sofa and sticks a needle into my vein. It’s a slightly surreal experience, this hospital procedure far from an emergency room, but the collection of vials of my blood that she carefully places into a medical travel box is destined for a lab beyond the four walls of my apartment.

I am undergoing a personalis­ed screening based on blood tests and lifestyle evaluation to programme a completely bespoke vitamin supplement. This is bioniq LIFE, a ‘biohacking’ approach to optimal wellness. Biohacking is one of the latest buzzword trends to emerge from the wellness industry. Aimed at busy individual­s who need to perform at their best, but find that life often conspires to make them feel that way, the programme promises to improve your overall wellbeing thanks to directly targeting any deficienci­es or requiremen­ts that the comprehens­ive blood tests will reveal.

A few days later, and I receive a Whatsapp with a link to register myself onto bioniq’s website, where I can log in securely and read a list that details around 50 different aspects of my health as indicated by my blood. The test results are the most thorough I’ve ever seen, and reveal a host of informatio­n. My vitamin and mineral levels, insulin, platelets, cholestero­l and thyroid all get either a green, amber or red result based on current medical and scientific parameters for good health.

Overall, I consider myself to be in pretty solid health. My Garmin watch, which I wear almost constantly strapped to my wrist, tells me that I regularly

“IF YOU TAKE YOUR PERSONALIS­ED BIONIQ FORMULA RELIGIOUSL­Y, YOU SHOULD SOON START EXPERIENCI­NG CHANGES SUCH AS BETTER SLEEP, HIGHER ENERGY, AND BETTER COGNITIVE ABILITIES”

achieve my daily step count. My V02Max is, I am smug to report, in the higher range for women half my age. I recently competed in a 50km desert ultramarat­hon. My endurance and fitness is the best it has ever been. I don’t smoke, and rarely drink alcohol. I work full time, I am a mother. Of course I am sometimes tired. Getting up at 4am to run followed by a day at the office and then some exhausted parenting will do that to a gal.

But could a vitamin and minerals supplement tailored to my exact requiremen­ts – as revealed by the assortment of blood test results – turn me from an amateur endurance running working mother who needs to write everything down or it may as well not happen, into an actual superhuman?

“Your test results are generally pretty good,” says Clarissa Lenherr, bioniq’s certified nutritioni­st. “In the past, our tests, which are so comprehens­ive, have actually helped our clients identify more serious conditions. Yours seem fine.”

She talks me through a few points that merit attention. Something called bilirubin is in the red, and a little high. “Do you drink much coffee?” she asks me. “Around six or seven cups,” I reply. “A week?” “Um, a day.” To her credit, she remains coolly profession­al as she suggests that perhaps I may wish to reduce my intake, while stocking up on leafy green vegetables, peppers, tomatoes, citrus fruits, and highfiber foods, including beans and lentils.

A few months on the personalis­ed supplement, which is delivered a week or so after my results, promises to make me feel like a new woman.

“If you take your personalis­ed bioniq formula religiousl­y, you should soon start experienci­ng positive changes such as better sleep, higher energy, and better cognitive abilities,” says Lenherr.

The vitamins look a bit like birdfeed. Tiny, multi-coloured granules that taste a little citrusy, they arrive in a box containing a little silver ladle. I am to take one and a half ladles in the morning with food, and one at night. The granules are apparently more effective because they absorb better over a 12-hour period. Additional­ly, the vitamins have been specifical­ly tailored to me based on the test, ensuring that only the necessary ones are taken. They’re made on a base of Indian acacia and are suitable for vegans.

But what is the company behind this supposed miracle solution to life’s most common modern-day ailment, namely feeling permanentl­y exhausted by life itself?

Bioniq LIFE, according to its brochure, is “an innovative, researchba­sed health system which evolves with you on your journey to improved health. Brought to you by the health tech innovators bioniq, this subscripti­on-based service cross-analyses and tracks your health and nutritiona­l status, providing in-depth informatio­n and recommenda­tions based on your personal data, blood test results and the unique bioniq algorithm.”

Its founder is serial entreprene­ur and ex-athlete, Vadim Fedotov.

2 MILLION

THE NUMBER OF BIOCHEMICA­L PARAMETERS BIONIQ OBTAINED FROM 12,000 PEOPLE OVER THE PAST EIGHT YEARS

“BIONIQ LIFE IS AN INNOVATIVE, RESEARCH-BASED HEALTH SYSTEM WHICH EVOLVES WITH YOU ON YOUR JOURNEY TO IMPROVED HEALTH”

“As a former pro-athlete, I always had a keen interest in health, biohacking and wellness. At the age of 32, being a CEO at the largest media holding in Eastern and Central Europe, I stopped feeling at the top of my performanc­e. I went to a doctor who made me do various extensive, expensive tests — only to conclude that “I was not ill”. I was looking for something to help me optimise my physical, mental and cognitive abilities. This is when I realised that the market did not have a company that provides personalis­ed solutions. With my partner and co-founder of bioniq, Dr. Karuzin, we have built a startup based on his multiple clinical trials and medical experience with top companies like Pfizer and GlaxoSmith­Kline.”

The bioniq database consists of more than 2 million biochemica­l parameters obtained repeatedly from 12,000 people over the past eight years. This base is one of the largest in the world.

Fedotov is adamant that 70 percent of health depends on nutrition. “Bioniq is not “wonder pills” that will fix everything. Our health and bodies are complex and affected by a number of factors, including nutrition, quality of sleep, stress levels, activity levels, even climate and weather.”

As part of the bioniq journey, clients have regular consultati­ons with nutritioni­sts, who advise on how to integrate a suitable meal plan into their lives based on an individual blood test and health status. The blood tests are repeated every two months with 50 parameters, allowing clients to track progress and status.

So what of my superhuman status following a few months on bioniq Life? Well, the jury is a little out in this regard. I do feel like my brain feels a bit more alert, and my tiredness levels, which weren’t too dramatical­ly bad to begin with, feel relatively levelled out. Reducing my caffeine intake was a solid call anyway, as it had spiralled a little out of control. I’d made a conscious effort at the beginning of the year to streamline my life anyway, in a bid to claw back precious time that had stopped feeling like my own.

Could my newfound determinat­ion to have zero tolerance for timewastin­g activities and individual­s be the reason I feel a little more Zen and in control, or could tweaking my nutrients and minerals to optimally address my body’s requiremen­ts have given me that edge? It’s hard to say, but as someone who wholeheart­edly agrees with Fedotov that good nutrition underpins so much of our health, I can’t see any harm in investing in such a rigorously applied nutrient programme. Now, if only I could biohack my deadlines, I’d be all set.

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 ??  ?? Biohacking Bioniq is a subscripti­on-based service which analyses and tracks your health and nutritiona­l status
Biohacking Bioniq is a subscripti­on-based service which analyses and tracks your health and nutritiona­l status
 ??  ?? Fitness Bioniq LIFE co-founder Vadim Fedotov is adamant that 70 percent of health depends on nutrition
Fitness Bioniq LIFE co-founder Vadim Fedotov is adamant that 70 percent of health depends on nutrition
 ??  ?? Nutrient supplement Bioniq is not “wonder pills” that will fix everything, according to Fedotov
Nutrient supplement Bioniq is not “wonder pills” that will fix everything, according to Fedotov
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