Zoe Test Kit Review
Table of Contents
ZOE believes that “everyone has a right to understand their body”. This online testing kit looks at your metabolic health to gauge how genetics, food timing, blood chemistry, and other key factors impact overall wellbeing.
One 2019 study found that only about 18% of Americans have optimal metabolic health – an alarmingly low rate. This percentage is so low that most people aren’t aware of what it means to be metabolically healthy. This is where ZOE can make a meaningful difference in your life.
Designed to help others lead a healthy life, ZOE is backed by a certified scientific advisory board that conducts research.
I know what you’re thinking, and the answer is no; ZOE is not a person. In fact, it’s a Greek term that means “life”. Founded by Tim Spector, Jonathan Wolf, and George Hadjigeorgiou, this health and wellness brand started in 2017.
With an interest in learning more about the interactions of genes and gut microbes, Spector took a microscopic view on the cell biology of 13,000 twins.
He was surprised to find out that identical siblings had different reactions to food, despite sharing the same genetic pattern. Inspired by the findings, Spector teamed up with Wolf and Hadjigeorgiou to put their backgrounds in technology to good use.
Harnessing the brainpower from a team of nutrition researchers, ZOE made its official internet debut with headquarters located in London.
Passionate about helping others understand more about their health, the brand takes a thorough look into your metabolism and genetic makeup. Studies have identified several important genes that play a role in metabolic health. With the guidance of Zoe, you might find it easier to make sound decisions at the grocery store.
Ready to start eating right? Perhaps this company could lend a helping hand. Stay tuned, as my ZOE test kit review will peer into the kit itself, how it works, who should use it, its materials, customer ratings, promotions, and more.
Pros and Cons
- Personalized insights: ZOE uses AI to provide personalized insights about food, lifestyle, and health. This can help individuals make more informed decisions about their health and potentially lead to better health outcomes.
- Research-based: ZOE’s approach is grounded in scientific research, including the PREDICT studies, which have shown that personalized nutrition recommendations based on an individual’s unique biology can improve health outcomes.
- Mobile app: The ZOE app is user-friendly and easily accessible, allowing users to access their personalized recommendations and track their progress on-the-go.
- Professional coaching: The ZOE Program includes human coaching to support individuals in achieving their health goals.
- Cost: The ZOE Program and other services can be expensive, which may limit access to those who can afford it.
- Limited research: While the PREDICT studies are promising, there is still limited research on the long-term effectiveness of personalized nutrition recommendations.
- Data privacy concerns: As with any company that collects personal data, there may be concerns around data privacy and how user data is being used and protected.
- Limited scope: While ZOE’s focus on personalized nutrition is important, it may not address other factors that contribute to overall health, such as physical activity and mental health.
What is the ZOE test?
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? According to ZOE, it’s not that simple. Genetics aside, we all have unpredictable responses to food. More specifically, our gut microbe is responsible for ensuring a healthy heart, brain, and immune system.
If we don’t take care of our metabolic health, conditions like diabetes and chronic heart disease may start to creep up.
In fact, one study showed that poor metabolic health is a better predictor of developing diabetes than obesity status.
Another study found that, regardless of BMI, people who had poor metabolic health had a greater risk of developing coronary heart disease. This is significant because a lot of us might assume that just because we’re not overweight, we’re “healthy” – but it’s not that simple.
Studies have shown that, while normal-weight individuals are usually at a lower risk of cardiometabolic disease, this is not always true. While most nutritional experts point their fingers at weight as the final culprit, ZOE believes it’s all about our inner biology.
Through deep shotgun sequencing, ZOE takes a magnifying glass to your microbiome to give you a heads up on what to look for in terms of eating habits. The microbiome is known to be an important regulator of health and disease. One study showed that gut microbial imbalance, also known as “dysbiosis,” can make you more prone to infections, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and colorectal cancer.
By differentiating between “good” and “bad” gut bugs, members are able to switch up their diet to improve their inner system.
Users can purchase one of their online ZOE health tests to get started. If you’d like to know more about this subscription, keep reading this ZOE review.
ZOE offers a test kit called the “ZOE Microbiome Test” which is designed to analyze an individual’s gut microbiome and provide personalized food recommendations. Here are some features of the test kit:
- Non-invasive: The test kit requires a stool sample, which can be collected easily and non-invasively at home.
- Comprehensive analysis: The test analyzes the DNA of the gut microbiome to identify the specific types and relative abundances of bacteria present.
- Personalized food recommendations: Based on the analysis of the gut microbiome, ZOE provides personalized food recommendations to help individuals optimize their gut health.
- App-based interface: The ZOE app provides a user-friendly interface for viewing the results of the test and accessing personalized food recommendations.
How Does the ZOE Test Kit Work?
Our relationship with dieting is quite complex. While most of us have a general understanding of the food pyramid, there’s a good chance that discussions of microbial health and its influence on how we feel are often shoved aside. One poll found that only 25% of people believe that what they eat can impact mental health.
Instead, we tinker with rejecting or accepting carbs, proteins, and products that are high in vitamins and minerals. ZOE helps you re-evaluate the core of your eating habits in order to lead a more fruitful (pun intended) life.
ZOE offers an at-home test, which analyzes your gut microbiome, blood sugar levels, and percentage of body fat. How do they do this? By utilizing the power of muffins, of course!
Carefully formulated to integrate the right amount of carbs, proteins, calories, and oils, the brand will send you a batch of their baked goods in the name of science.
Hype aside, their recipe calls for plain vanilla. As a side note, users are advised not to throw in extra toppings like blueberries and nuts into the mix—as it will blur their overall findings.
Afterward, subscribers are instructed to use a continuous glucose monitor (better known as a CGM), which pricks your skin to get a blood sample.
Don’t worry, it’s entirely painless and only lasts for a few seconds. It monitors your sugar levels for a total of 14 days to get a better understanding of how your system handles carb intakes.
Now it’s time to test your gut microbiome. ZOE needs to collect a poop sample to determine what kinds of bugs reside in your stool. By using shotgun metagenomics, they are able to distinguish the essential bacteria from the destructive.
Once the samples have reached the ZOE lab, members are expected to wait 6 weeks to receive their personalized insights report. Think of it as a report card, but for your health. This record will detail your microbial health and how the body responds to certain foods.
It will also disclose dietary sensitivity levels as well as scores for meals for those muffins you ate. Lastly, it will compare your findings with others within the ZOE database.
The most important feature of your personalized insights report is the microbiome health score.
All included in their easy-to-use app, users can view their gut bacteria, a recommended list of foods to increase metabolic health, as well as a guide of what not to eat to ensure the absence of harmful microorganisms.
If you find yourself overwhelmed with where to start, there’s no need to sweat. All members are assigned to a personal ZOE coach, which can walk you through those results.
ZOE will tailor a 4-week plan dedicated to improving your metabolic and gut health based on your findings. For those familiar with the Weight Watchers subscription program, it works relatively the same way.
Each food listed in their app is attributed to a certain grade, which can be used to increase your ZOE microbiome score.
The cool thing about this feature is that users can see how each meal affects their blood sugar and fat levels. As a final touch, members will have access to video coaching sessions and advice from their personal coach.
ZOE Testing Kit Review
Customers can choose from two of their testing kits. This includes the ZOE Premium Plan and the ZOE Plus Program. Both of these options contain:
- Gut microbiome test
- Blood sugar and fat test (muffins and CGM) included
- The ZOE app with microbiome score
- Personalized 4-week program
The ZOE Premium Plan offers 8 hours of coaching, which provides direct support and assistance in helping you achieve your gut health goals.
Currently, the brand is only available in the contiguous United States, excluding New York, New Jersey, or Rhode Island. However, they do have a waitlist for those excited to sign up.
How Much is ZOE?
This ZOE symptom tracker review will provide the pricing details for both of their plans down below:
- ZOE premium: $149 per month for 6 installments ($894 in total)
- ZOE plus: $59 per month for 6 installments ($354 in total)
Customers also have the option to settle their bill as a one-off payment. It is worth noting that both programs are not FSA eligible. However, ZOE is looking to expand on this moving forward.
Who Should Use Zoe
- Individuals looking to optimize their nutrition and health: ZOE’s personalized recommendations can provide insights into which foods are best for an individual’s unique biology and may help individuals achieve their health goals.
- Individuals with digestive issues: ZOE’s microbiome test can provide insight into the types of bacteria present in an individual’s gut, which may be helpful for individuals with digestive issues.
- Researchers and healthcare professionals: ZOE’s large-scale health data platform may be useful for researchers and healthcare professionals looking to analyze and develop new insights into various health conditions.
Who Shouldn’t Use Zoe
- Individuals with medical conditions: While ZOE’s personalized recommendations may be helpful for some individuals, those with medical conditions should consult with their healthcare provider before making any significant changes to their diet or lifestyle.
- Individuals with a history of eating disorders: ZOE’s focus on personalized nutrition may be triggering for individuals with a history of disordered eating or other eating disorders.
- Children: ZOE’s products and services are not intended for use by children under the age of 18.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many brands like ZOE, though there are a few reputable ones you should look into if you want to improve your gut health.
- MegaFood MegaFlora Probiotic: Whole food-based probiotics containing a blend of 14 strains of probiotics.
- ColonBroom: A plant-based fiber supplement from Gut Health. Its main ingredient is psyllium husk, which can help relieve indigestion.
- Seed Probiotics: Containing 24 strains of broad-spectrum probiotics, this supplement is outfitted to survive stomach acids. As such, your body should absorb it better than other probiotics.
What Do Experts Think
The study of the gut microbiome is a relatively new field, and there is ongoing research into the potential health benefits of analyzing and optimizing gut microbiome composition. Here are some resources that discuss what the scientific community thinks about gut microbiome studies like ZOE:
- The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) published a clinical practice update in 2020 on the role of the gut microbiome in health and disease. The update concludes that while research is ongoing, there is evidence to support the use of microbiome-targeted therapies in certain conditions, such as Clostridioides difficile infection and inflammatory bowel disease.
- In 2018, a group of scientists published an article in the journal Cell arguing that current methods for analyzing the gut microbiome may be flawed and that more research is needed to fully understand the complex interactions between gut microbes and human health.
- In 2020, a group of researchers published a review article in the journal Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology on the role of the gut microbiome in nutrition and metabolism. The article notes that while there is evidence to suggest that the gut microbiome plays a role in human health, there is still much to be learned about the specifics of this relationship.
In summary, while there is ongoing research into the potential health benefits of analyzing and optimizing the gut microbiome, the scientific community generally agrees that more research is needed to fully understand the complex interactions between gut microbes and human health.
ZOE Reviews: What Do Customers Think?
Let’s put all the scientific jargon aside. It’s time to learn what the masses have to say about ZOE. From our understanding, this health and wellness startup seems to be worth the splurge.
The brand dedicates a separate category on the website dedicated to sharing success stories.
To give readers an estimate of how impactful their testing kits are, my ZOE symptom tracker review will detail a list of findings down below. These stats were gathered from a sample size of 450 participants. As of May 2023:
- 88% of members did not experience insatiable hunger around 12 weeks after following the ZOE app
- 70% of participants reported an increase in energy levels
- Others reported a significant drop in weight loss
Here’s a statement that one ZOE member shared on their website: “Because the ZOE plan is so personalized, I have really been able to feel the impact it’s had on me. I’ve lost weight, but even more important to me, I’m healthier and feel a whole lot better!”
Trustpilot holds more than 1,400 reviews as of May 2023. ZOE seem to be on a good track so far, as the brand earned an overall rank of 4.4/5 stars.
Customers reported that their mobile app was easy to use. A majority of subscribers found their program to be comprehensive, insightful, and helpful in improving their health. As one Trustpilot reviewer commented:
“Today I start my third week on Zoe, and I can’t believe the difference I’m feeling already. After the first week I noticed an increase in energy, improved digestion, falling asleep easier, weight loss, less bloating, and better moods. I appreciate learning how increasing fiber can balance foods that score lower.”
Media outlets, such as CNET and The Guardian, ranked ZOE with two thumbs up. Both authors seemed to be impressed with the brand’s plethora of information from one simple blood or stool sample.
By using their at-home kits, writers were able to better understand how their microbial environment worked. As an article from The Guardian commented:
“I am chuffed to discover that my gut microbiome richness is relatively high…Indeed I have been geekily making an effort to feed my microbes in recent years, even fermenting my own sauerkraut, so this is encouraging news.”
This ZOE symptom tracker review found a few red flags that customers should be aware of. On Trustpilot, some customers experienced long wait times for their results. Others found their report to be quite confusing in terms of eating the correct foods.
Is ZOE Worth It?
For those in the midst of a diet slump reading my ZOE symptom tracker review, I recommend you give them a try.
Our culture often expects us to cross our fingers and hope for the best when it comes to eating foods we consider nutritious. Eliminating or incorporating the right ones makes all the difference.
Let’s face it; all of us are in a blind spot. Unless you’re a health expert, we have no way of knowing how our bodies react to certain types of food before it enters the system.
Fortunately, ZOE shines a light on our microbial health to paint a personalized, detailed picture of what meals we should be eating.
While it may seem like an unnecessary expense at first, members have a chance to better their well-being, increase their energy, and possibly lose weight. In comparison, this seems miles ahead of unhelpful nutritional advice and costly dieting programs.
If you find yourself frustrated with your relationship with dieting and meal planning, ZOE’s experts can be your informative counselor. And hey, engaging in this entire process by trying out scientific muffins— you can’t beat that.
The brand also has the ZOE COVID symptom checker for customers to download on Apple or GooglePlay. This program helps researchers better understand cases found in the United Kingdom by analyzing your information.
I recommend heading over to their website for more specifics on the ZOE covid symptom tracker. But, as for knowing how to best treat your body and give it what it needs, I suggest trying out this program.
ZOE Promotions & Discounts
While writing my ZOE symptom tracker review, I found out that they have a referral program. Members will receive an extra month for free for their subscription plan with every successful referral.
Additionally, each friend will receive $30 off their final order. I haven’t come across any other ZOE health science sales or discounts lately.
Sign up for ZOE
Customers can request an at-home test by clicking the Request Access tab on their landing page at JoinZOE.com. Unfortunately, ZOE is only available in select states.
However, those interested can sign up with their email to be notified of any updates. As a side note, this brand is in no way affiliated with the ZOE health center.
How do I cancel my ZOE subscription?
Within our understanding, customers cannot cancel their ZOE subscription unless their order has not been processed yet.
According to the brand, “Preparation typically occurs within 24–48 hours after order completion.” Those who’ve signed up for a research study are free to leave at any time.
What is ZOE’s Shipping Policy?
I didn’t find any information related to shipping while writing my ZOE symptom tracker review. However, I do know that there are instructions listed in their sample kits.
If you have any questions pertaining to the ZOE health cost, delivery, or locations, I suggest getting in contact with their customer service team directly.
What is ZOE’s Return Policy?
All at-home testing kits are considered final sale. This means they do not offer refunds. If you receive a defective sampling kit, ZOE encourages you to reach out to their customer service team to arrange a solution.
How to Contact ZOE
For inquiries unrelated to this ZOE symptom tracker review, you can contact the company through:
- Email: [email protected]
- Filling out their message form online
- Website: JoinZOE.com
It is always good to have options when it comes to your health, explore some other online brands that focus on health tests:
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