What could a few strands of hair reveal about my health? I was sceptical, but I was back at The Covette Clinic to delve into the results of my hair analysis test. The test is the keystone of the Epigenetic Nutritional Analysis, which unearths and decodes what is going on inside one’s body.
Thumbing through the 34-page report, nutritionist Lavanya Nair furrowed her brow. She gently enquired: “Are you feeling sick? The report detected traces of a virus.”
I replied that I was feeling fine. “That’s what another patient said when I was going through his report. He texted me a few days later to say he was down with the flu,” said Nair, with the authority of someone who has seen it all.
Most of the clients who step into the medical centre in Ion Orchard are here for aesthetic treatments. But many are often also looking for a way to attain inner wellness. That’s when they book in with the clinic’s resident nutritionist, and give her a sample of their hair to place on the alter of science.
You Really Are What You Eat
Epigenetics works on the idea that you are more than your DNA. It is a study of how external factors — such as poor diet or the lack of sleep — affect the way our cells and genes behave. Ongoing studies are continuously showing how epigenetics plays a part in chronic diseases and disorders. For instance, studies have shown how a plant-based diet slows ageing and reduces cancer risk, no matter what your genetic proclivities are.
It thus gives you the understanding that genes are not the same as fate. Meaning, you have the power to change the way your genes behave. By altering diet and lifestyle habits, you can hit the peak of your “physical, mental and emotional potential”.
How it works
For the Epigenetic Nutritional Analysis, a hair sample is taken from the nape of the neck. The hair is sent to a clinical laboratory, and put through a series of in-depth tests.
The tests serve as a full body checkup. The hair on your head lives for two to six years before falling out. During that period, the hair follicle keeps a record of what passes through the body. So, even one strand of hair can tell a lot. A hair paternity test can tell if you are related to someone, or can be used to test for the presence of drugs.
We’re not going there. What we’re after is the health of the body, and what we can do nutritionally to help create change.
A prophecy fulfilled
Based on the information extracted from those strands of my hair, the nutritionist gives me a detailed 90-day wellness plan. She says that I should be boosting my intake of vitamin A1 by eating kale and chicken. I’m to stop drinking from disposable plastic bottles and consuming drinks from cans, since the test picked up the presence of a significant amount of toxic metals and chemicals in my system.
The report tells me to eat blueberries, beets and cranberries — in hopes of keeping the impending virus Ms Nair told me about at bay. Too late.
A few days after my visit to the clinic, I was struck down. I sniffled and felt feverish, tossing and turning and stewing in my own misery at night. I was down with the flu, as predicted. It was time to eat humble pie (blueberry in flavour, perhaps). I texted the nutritionist. She was right.
Ion Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, #03-24A, Singapore 238801
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