Welcome to Pushing The Limits, the show that helps you reach your full potential with your host, Lisa Tamati. Brought to you by lisatamati.com.
Lisa Tamati: Hi, everyone. Welcome back to Pushing The Limits. Today, I have the CEO of The DNA Company, his name is Kashif Kahn. He's a wonderful man. He's going to explain to us a little bit about DNA and how to optimize our performance. Now, before I get started, I just wanted to clarify we have a... Because we, in our business, have two programs. We typically use The DNA Company's programs. We also have our epigenetics program. So not to confuse the two. They are slightly different programs. They are both looking at your genetics, but from different lenses with different genes that are involved. So just to clarify what that's all about, if you've got any questions you don't understand, please reach out to me, email@example.com.
But what's exciting about this particular set of information that The DNA Company has is you're going to be understanding things like your cardiovascular health, your metabolic pathways, your hormonal health pathways, your detox pathways, your mood and behaviour. So it's a really fantastic insight into your genetics and what you can do when you have this information. It's especially important, I think, the reports on hormones, which we don't cover in our epigenetics program. So anyone who wants to understand the hormonal pathways, this is really one that's very, very beneficial. Also, your methylation pathways which aren't covered in detail and in the epigenetics program that we offer.
So that's one of the reasons why we have a couple of different offerings. Just to clarify there. But I do hope you enjoy this episode with Kashif Kahn. Genomics and functional genomics are in my area of expertise and interest. Now, I've been doing this for a few years. I really enjoy this area of science and what it can give us. When you layer on top of that, a whole lot of information around health and health fundamentals, and also mindset coaching, and all the rest of it, and you get a quite a powerful combination. So I do hope that you will all either do the DNA test or do the epigenetics test with us at some point if you want to optimize your health and performance.
So before we go into the show, just a reminder, too, we have our BoostCamp webinar series coming up. This is an eight-week long webinar series once a week for an hour and a half. Neil Wagstaff, my business partner, and I will be hosting this webinar series that's all around boosting your life, basically; how to upgrade your life, your performance, your health, your well-being, your mental well-being, helping you understand everything, how your body ticks, basically all the stuff that they should have been teaching us at school but didn't. If you want to upgrade your life, if you want to reach more higher performance, have more resilience, being able to cope with stress better; all of those sorts of things.
I hope you'll come with us on this journey. It's an eight-week long program. You'll get to meet a lot of cool other people on there as well and it will be an interactive scenario. So once a week, that will be and go for an eight week period, okay. So if you want to check that program out, head on over to peakwellness.co.nz/boostcamp. So that’s peak, with a P-E-A-K, peakwellness.co.nz/boostcamp, with a S. The links will be in the show notes if you get stuck. Or reach out to us firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. Right. Now, over to the show with Kashif Khan.
Hi, everyone and welcome back to Pushing The Limits. Super excited to have you join me again. I have the CEO of The DNA Company with me, Kashif Khan. Kashif, welcome to the show. It's fantastic to have you.
Kashif Kahn: It's awesome to be here. Sorry because we're in Toronto. We had to wake up really early.
Lisa: You just saved my sleep. If I was fast asleep, I'd be, 'Oh, no, I've got to get out. It's freezing down here.' Now, it's an absolute honour to have you on. I love your company. I love Dr Mansoor, who's your scientist at your company. I've learned an awful lot since I've been working with you guys. I'm really excited for today's conversation. So can you just tell the listeners who don't know... They probably should because they have been listening to my show for a while because Dr Mansoor has been on four times. But tell us about The DNA Company, what you do, and why you guys are different.
Kashif: Sure. So we set out a few years ago to say that there's this thing that we knew that was so valuable: our genetics, right? It's our instruction manual and you've spoken to Dr Mansoor about this several times and in terms of, if you were to actually be able to read and understand what your DNA is saying, the impact that could have, right? Every valuable process in your body is driven by genetic instructions. Imagine if we knew what those instructions were. So we set out to say, 'How do we make this more actionable?'
Because what we found: the hardcore diagnostic of you got some rare cancer or some genetic disease, you're born with it. It's there. There's a genetic switch that was turned on or off and that led to some issue. The clinical world is doing a good job with that stuff because average people believe that's genetics is for, right? They got this other extreme of this recreational, 'I'm going to go online and buy consumer tests. It may tell me what to eat or how to run.' But it's not really actionable; meaning that it's going to work just like any other thing on a trial and error basis, 7 out of 10 people, right? It didn't really do justice to what your DNA has to offer. What we said was this first bucket of these giant problems is very important, but it's 2-3% of healthcare.
Lisa: It's really in rare cases.
Kashif: Yeah, really rare cases. But they're very important because there's not... You're born with it because you have no choice but to deal with it. Right? Genetics therapeutic companies are great at doing a good job of dealing with it. Then you have these wellness seekers that don't necessarily have a problem, but it's infotainment. They're learning and enjoying the report. Chronic disease, the Center for Disease Control, here, we're going the south of our border of the United States. That's... They say it's 90% of the healthcare spend. You know, better than anyone, that's all preventable, right? You're not born with type two diabetes.
Kashif: You're not born with a postural issue. Right? Now, that's making the wrong choices for too long.
Kashif: So we then ask the question, 'Well, what are the right choices? Right? And are those choices the same for all us?' That's what we use genetics for. We then say, 'Let's go try and solve a genetic problem.' There's other guys doing a really good job of that. We say that 90% of people that by the age of 50, at least here in North America, that's probably the same for most of the modern world. You've got something, right? By the age of sixty, you got two some things.
Kashif: The last 10 years of your life, your in treatment and you're just not enjoying what you were meant to enjoy. Or 'I was born healthy, why don't I die healthy?' It's those choices in between. That's what we did: we set out. The last thing I'll say about it is why we're able to do this is because we didn't go study DNA. There's enough science out there already. We studied people. We said, 'Let's start at what's wrong with this person? What are they expressing as a symptom? Let's drill down genetically to see where is the system failing.'
Lisa: Yeah. You declare– Fascinating.
Kashif: We know what system failures we have that are going on for 7, 10, 15 years that eventually led to that symptom. Then we can start to prevent and reverse that problem. This is what we've been doing clinically in our office, is we've been dealing with executives, athletes, people that are willing to pay for what used to be an expensive process to literally reverse disease or prevent it. Now, we can speak about it. We put some AI to it to make it available to everybody.
Lisa: Yeah. Well, this is the key difference. I want people to bring that out again, just in case people miss that. It's about understanding, not the single gene that's at play, because we have a very simplistic... From what I've learned from Dr. Mansoor and from working with a number of different genetic tests over the years, is that you're looking at single genes, and they're making a conclusion based on that single gene. The difference with your company is that you look at the system, which is a holistic approach. It's good and everything, I think. When you're looking at the end result and then going, 'Hang on a minute.
They've got this gene clusters, this, and this. That combination makes XYZ a problem. And this is what we can do about it.' That is much more difficult to do. This is where the expertise of the world's leading functional genomic scientist Dr. Mansoor really must have been a benefit in pulling that difficult symptomology with the genetics and then making the a systems approach.
Kashif: Yeah. He's certainly just this powerful brain who powered all of this, right?
Kashif: You're touching on where the genetic industry is broken. It's like a dirty secret that's masked with nice marketing. But the problem for the genetic industry and why did it go in the direction you're describing. It's one of the few lab tests that you only need to do once. Right? It was a genetic testing company; the business proposition of, 'I test you once and there's no other engagement with you ever again.' Wasn't exciting to investors.
Kashif: Well, how are you going to create more revenue? How are you going to go back into this? Because the guys that were doing this on scale, the infotainment tests in the world that you can find online; they weren't looking for how do I solve genetic therapeutics or genetic diseases? They're like, 'Well, I'm dealing with consumers. So I have to give them something.' There was nothing to give because the insights weren't deep enough. So they got reverse engineered into, 'Well, we have these people's DNA. I think the pharmaceutical industry may be interested in that.'
So the DNA testing industry became a data collection industry because that's where the reoccurring margin came from. 'I sell you the test as cheap as possible; give you a nice recreational marketing message that you want, whether it's ancestry or learn about your hair color, which you can see in the mirror, if you were to just take a couple of steps over, right?' The real business was you've just signed consent for your DNA to be research, which really doesn't cause you a problem. But that was the business.
Lisa: So that's selling the data.
Kashif: Selling your data. So the front end test wasn't designed for how do I give you the most value? It was designed for, what does Blackstone want me to deliver? They're the guy that's paying me $5,000 per test that you're paying $100 for.
Kashif: They're 50 times more valuable than you.
Lisa: Holy heck.
Kashif: Yeah. So that's what happened with DNA testing; is that it was a big roadblock of like, 'Well, we sell a test and I don't ever need to do anything with you, again. I've stopped.' But Glaxo will buy the data. So I need to collect the right data, which is a bunch of individual genes. That is not the way the body works.
Kashif: So, the reports were dependent on a test that was testing for the wrong stuff to begin with because it was a data collection machine. So that's where things failed; is we started there and said, 'Okay, if we're going to do this over again and that consumer that came in said, "Change my world. Interpret my DNA for me and change everything." That's what we set out to do. Let's actually derive the insights that you wanted in the first place.' That's the key difference.
Lisa: That's... Yeah. That is just mind blowing. So big pharma and collection of big data and that's not... It's anonymous. People are not... They're not connecting it to you personally. But it is a valuable thing that you're giving up for another business model. If we look at the some of the things that we can actually through the reports of The DNA Company...
So I've worked with a number of different genetic testing companies over the years. We, in our company, we use an epigenetics program as well which is very good and very beneficial as well and provides sort of a base framework. But if I'm looking for specifics and going to drill into any detail, then that's when I go to The DNA Company. So if we give people listening, a demonstration, really. So if you come as a young woman, and you're deciding whether you're going on the pill, you need to know what your hormones are doing before you do that young ladies out there. You don't want to go on the pill if you're on the wrong thing.
Generally the pills, not a great idea anyway. But anyway, let's use that as an example. Or you're like me, you're menopausal. You want to know, should you be on hormone replacement therapy or not? You're dealing with some issues. That's when we can dig into The DNA Company's reports. That's just one example. But what information do they get from that? Then how can how can they actually use it in their life? Just to give it an example.
Kashif: So you're touching on the health of young women. I would say, of all the things we do, female hormone health is where we had the biggest impact. Not because we're the greatest, because it's the worst experience in current healthcare. That gap between what women need and what they're getting, versus cardiology versus anything else; it sucks. It just goes beyond that. Female healthcare grades really sucks. It's taken for granted.
Well, it's your hormones. You're supposed to have problems, right? You're supposed to have pain, and PMS, and bad menopause. It's just part of life. But that comes from, again, the clinical model of reacting to clinical representation, reacting to symptoms.
Kashif: 'Okay. I have pain. I have cramps.' 'Okay, let's deal with the cramps. We're not going to ask the question of why are you–'
Lisa: Why are you getting the cramp, yeah.
Kashif: So genetically, I can test a five-year-old girl and tell you exactly what that hormonal journey looks like.
Kashif: To prevent all of that mess.
Lisa: It's amazing.
Kashif: Giver her that smooth journey. I'll use my own family as an example. So my niece who is 13, about I would say October-ish. So within the last year, had an anxiety attack. First time ever. She collapsed in the room. So I went over there and she lives with my mom. My mom, my sister and my niece lives together 10 minutes from me. So I went over there. We just figured... Okay, I figured something at school; maybe bullying boys. Who knows what it is, right?
So we let it be where we went to the doctor and I have a friend that's a pediatrician. He said, 'It's normal in these stages; a lot of stresses at school. Let her relax.' It happened again. The second time, she fell over and hurt herself because she actually passed out. So, that time, my mom said, 'Can you please take her to a clinic. She hit herself pretty hard. She can't walk.'
Lisa: Oh, gosh.
Kashif: I took her to the walk-in emergency of the hospital. We spent a good six hours there; any healthcare system because it's government paid, it's also overused and so there's long waits. So this emergency of maybe her legs broken; it took six hours and what was the end result: testing and analysis, clinicians coming out, 'If it happens again, let us know.'
Lisa: Oh, yeah. Nothing.
Kashif: That was the result. 'If it happens again, let us know.' So like clockwork, it happened again.
Lisa: Oh, my gosh.
Kashif: That time my mom called me crying, saying she woke up to a note that my niece had run away from home. This is a few months ago. It was so out of character because she's such a innocent, beautiful young girl. There's no reason, you would never guess. So my mom says, 'Come. I don't know what to do.' She's freaking out and my sister's freaking out. So I come over there. My mom lives in an apartment building. So I go and my niece is literally downstairs at the lobby just standing around. For her that's leaving home. She hasn't really gone past that on her own.
So I looked at her I was like, 'What's wrong? What's going on? Who is bullying you? What is the... Tell me what's actually happening. Don't worry as bad as this is, nobody's judging you. Just tell me.' Because I really thought it was a school thing. She had no clue what it was. I realized she was just so distraught. She was running away from herself. She couldn't handle whatever was going on upstairs. That's when I took a step back. I said, 'Stupid me.' We help all these executives clearly, all day long that I didn't even look at her genetics, which I had already. Because she takes some supplements for certain things. She actually has a cholesterol issue at a very young age. That's actually a genetic issue by those.
Lisa: Wow. So you picked that up.
Kashif: I looked at her DNA, and the glaring red flag was that she's highly endogenous, which means right before her menstrual cycle where the estrogen levels are already so low. She's extremely experiencing that. What else was happening? This is COVID season. What changed in that year? It's the first year that she did school from home.
Lisa: Yeah. So no social interaction.
Kashif: No Vitamin D.
Lisa: No Vitamin D. That came through the report, too.
Kashif: Yes. When did this happen? This happened October, December, and, I think, January. Then I said to my mom, 'When is her menstrual cycle?' She told me. Like clockwork, I looked at my mum's text messages. Each one of those instances were the day before her cycle.
Lisa: Yep, yep. There you go.
Kashif: –which is the lowest peak of estrogen and sort of right before the peak of testosterone. Combine that, which would already cause some sort of anxiety in a young girl. Combine that with zero Vitamin D because she's not going outside and don't have supplement.
Lisa: So lo and behold...
Kashif: Yeah, so now it's just this... Vitamin D is responsible for 10% of your biochemistry.
Lisa: Ten percent?!
Kashif: Of the 22,000 genes in your body, 2,000 require Vitamin D to function.
Lisa: Holy heck. I knew there was 700 or so processes, but I didn't know it was 10% of your genetics...
Kashif: 10% of what's going on your body needs Vitamin D. So just imagine with so many of us are especially during COVID season. So now, I unravel and unpack this thing. I call my friend, the pediatrician who helped me get her into the emergency in six hours instead of 10. I said to him, 'I think this is what's really going on.' By the way, I also spoke to Mansoor about this. I said to Mansoor 'I looked at her genomics, her menstrual cycle on clockwork. That's when she ran away. That's when she had the two anxiety attacks.
He said, 'Yeah. And also the vitamin D...' We went back and I talked to a pediatrician, I said, 'This is what I think this happened.' He said, 'What you're saying makes absolute sense in terms of biochemistry, but I don't have this in my toolkit.'
Lisa: No, because that wasn't taught in medical school.
Kashif: Yeah. He said, 'The only thing I can do is... You worry about anxiety, I can give you an anxiety pill.' They were not connected to the cycle.
Lisa: Yeah. You could go and then give a Vitamin D and you can also do things to maybe lower the antigen load, if you decide to go that route or whatever you do when you look at the entire cascade of hormones. That's just a very good... Thanks for sharing that example because it just puts things into human terms. Because otherwise, we're just talking about... When I was a young girl at that age, I have a very fast at 17, A1. So my puberty is quite early, and I had a rough ride. I had a heck of a lot of pain and periods that would last for months on end.
The doctors, what did they do? They stuck me on the pill at the age of 13. At the age of 13 they just slapped me on the pill because that covered up the symptoms that gave my cycle regularity. Because it's not a real cycle, ladies, if you're listening. It took away the extreme cramps that I was having, but it masked what was actually going on in my body. Nobody back then knew to... We didn't have genetics we now do. Now, I understand what my genetic profile is, and what I can tweak and, what I can do, and what I probably shouldn't do, and how I can support that whole process.
My menopause has been a lot smoother than the beginning but I had in the middle: infertility, fibroids, horrific bleeding to the point of nearly dying a few times. All of that could have been saved if I hadn't been on the pill for 30 years. I'm exposed to estrogens for all that time, which caused these fibroids to grow and adenomoysis. When I actually have, across the board, across the 90 day ones, average and the others are all red-lighted. So that 1A1, 1A2, one... All of those. So I shouldn't have an estrogen issue. I do because I was on the pill for 30 years.
Kashif: You're on the pill which your body was not designed to do. What one understood is the incorrect beliefs: treating hormones is what you put in is what you get. Meaning that if I take BHRT, for example, give somebody testerone, they have more testosterone. No, what if they converted all to estrogen or hGH and they start losing their hair and get crazy acne? What if that estrogen that they produce turns to the highly toxic like a 4- or 16-hydroxy, which we have breast cancer patients? It's just one thing.
Literally today, one of our major investor's wife, two weeks ago, got diagnosed with breast cancer. So, he came to us and said, 'Before I get on any protocol or whatever, I,' obviously as an investor, understands what we do. He said, 'What are the insights?' There was a glaring red flag: 16-hydroxy estrogen, and she took birth control pills for 20 something years.
Lisa: What do you do then?
Kashif: So now, you're fueling this toxic box. Guess what? She's menopausal. What happens when you menopausal is you start to store toxic estrogen and fatty tissue in your breast tissue. Right? And you wonder why so many women get breast cancer in and around the menopausal age.
Lisa: If they've been on the pill, they're much more likely to be getting it if they've got toxic estrogens. We're getting right down into the weeds. But this is the insights from just one segment of these reports, This is just the hormones we're talking about. Just on that final thing on for the hormones. I was doing a speaking engagement off in Auckland for a gynecologist. She was saying she's got 15-, 16-year-old girls coming in with estrogenized cancers; dying from cancer because they're extremely obese.
When you've got lots of fat tissue and adipose tissue, you make more estrogens. Then the head is this toxic estrogen combination because of the genetics, and you're getting cancers at that ridiculously young age. She said, 'It's just horrific.' So these are the things we can prevent if we know what your genetics are, and what we can do then to optimize, and whether you should be... What one should be doing.
Kashif: To speak to that, this is where we had a challenge. So the challenge was, we can have these conversations. We can dive deep, go into the weeds, like you said, but how do you do that with everybody? We have a certain number of clinicians. There's people like you that have learned. But for the most part, if we go out there and all of a sudden a million people want a DNA test, how can we actually interpret the details, which is what we do better than other people? Anybody can go test for DNA. In fact, anybody listening to go buy a DNA machine, open up a DNA lab, as long as you're regulatory wise, whatever, and it'll print out a report for you.
What does that report mean is what's the difference between what we do and what others do. So that was the challenge, where we said, 'Okay, now that we're of ready. We've studied 6,000 people.' That's what we did in the last few years. We sat in front of one by one 6,000 people, and we felt like we weren't really learning anymore. We were seeing just repeats. So we were now ready to go out and say, 'We've documented all this stuff. We want to go out and get it to people.'
So that started with, we need to train an army of genetic consultants. That turned into 'Well, they're never going to learn it, the more you have, never going to learn to the same degree that we do it today.' There's always going to be some nuance or some influence on what they believe versus the science. So it's not going to work. They've said, well, let's go train other clinicians or people like yourself, right?
Lisa: Yeah, I've been training for a couple of years now.
Kashif: You've been doing it, right. So you take an interest, you've done it. I would argue that if someone comes and speaks with you about it, they'll have an incredible life changing experience. For the most part, clinicians won't go past surface level, they're busy, right, and their staff is busy, he's not gonna learn. So we also got rid of that. So we realized what we needed to do was take what we know, the insights, and apply artificial intelligence to it.
So we then spent the last year working with the AI architect, we actually brought in somebody who used to work at IBM at a very high level, as an architect building these things. He also ran a healthcare system, he ran like seven hospitals as a chief technology officer. So he had the healthcare knowledge, and he had the sort of AI and architecture knowledge. We started to look at all of these 6000, and within each person, there's maybe 10, or 15, different things we learned, right? We started to feed it and train it.
Now we're at the point where we've built these new reports–so very different than what your clients may have seen until now–where the interpretation is built in. The AI literally goes to 200 trillion possible... When I saw that number, it blew my mind. I didn't know how to write it. So 200 trillion data points to come up with your personalized report.
Lisa: Holy heck. Really?
Kashif: Yeah. Yeah. Something as nuanced as... Okay, diet and nutrition; I can tell you what to eat and how you deal with fats and carbs. But what if you're also a binger and you don't realize you're over eating because of an addiction problem? Or what if you're also leaning on food as a coping mechanism? It's an emotional issue. Or what if you're eating too late in the day, and it's a stress thing, and you're... All of these combinations went into the diet and nutrition report, which goes far beyond just diet and nutrition.
How to eat, what time to eat is an example. We built diet nutrition. We built sleep, so in terms of the chronic sleep... With the epidemic that's going on in many countries right now, how is DNA affecting that? Cardiovascular health, which is so important, it's the biggest killer. Mood and behaviour, which is... and this is the biggest report in the whole thing because it drives everything else. How you perceive everything, your personality, how you deal with emotion, stress, trauma–all of that. Then we dove into immunity, detox inflammation, so the health of your cells, which is where disease starts.
The last one, and what I'll expand on is hormones and fitness. What we did there will be focused hormones in the context of fitness because that's the thing that people need. How do I deal fat and muscle? How do I deal with skin, acne, hair? We did not yet get into fibromyalgia, fertility, etc, etc. What we decided to do is this core six report is what everybody needs to go through that sort of, 'I'm optimized. I'm in version 2.0 of myself. If I do everything in here, I'm going to be a pretty healthy person.' We're now building a whole library of individual reports: fibromyalgia, breast cancer, prostate issue; specific so that again, we don't need the interpretation. So that it's all spelled out in a digestible manner.
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Because I've worked with so many different companies, this has always been my bugbear is the actual reporting, you have to have a PhD to understand what the hell is going on. When you've got single reports, and then the evidence is updating all the time as well so you've got that battle going on as well. This covers a very broad area of... This is the one other program that has been very beneficial for a lot of our clients and has worked because that is a broad base program. This is next level. This is like 1.0, 2.0. Both of that, you've really got in the balance and gave us that wide variety.
So, can we dive into a little bit what the single reports are? Because we went over that pretty quickly. So we've got mood and behaviour. So I want people to understand what the hell are they going to learn about... What do I learn about my mood and behaviour. So I'll give you an example from my genetics test with you guys. I've got a hell of a lot of adrenaline and I've got a lack of dopamine receptors. My GIP too, so it isn't good. So I'm chasing you. So Dr. Mansoor laughed when he when he saw my report.
He said, 'Well, that makes a whole lot of sense that you are who you are. You're on a mission all the time. And it's never enough. And you're very hyper vigilant and very action-orientated. Because of those two genes.' What else could we learn from our mood and behaviour?
Kashif: I'm the same, by the way. I have the lowest dopamine expression. I also had the
Lisa: Right off...
Kashif: –the enzyme, for the listeners, that flushes the dopamine out once you're done with that reward-seeking experience. So I feel things at the absolute minimum. Before I'm even done with the experience, it's already gone.
Lisa: Yeah, yeah. I've got the medium, so I'm slightly better off than you.
Kashif: Yeah, you're functional. For me, this now explains if I looked at my growing up, every single uncle I had was an alcoholic on my dad's side. Because what happens if you don't experience pleasure reward, and when you do, it's not going to last; you're going to either become an addict because you're going to go down the path of pleasure, and you're going to feed it, or you're going to become depressed because you just don't experience pleasure reward, or you're going to become entrepreneurial, because you're going to achieve.
Lisa: Wait, wait...
Kashif: That's for both of us. It's like I keep...
Lisa: Or sports.
Kashif: Yeah. So you do get it in athleticism. You can't lose.
Lisa: Just keep running.
Kashif: I'm the same in terms of entrepreneurial spirit, where whatever I did yesterday just isn't good enough anymore. I'll just take bigger risks. Then, sometimes, it leads to reward. Sometimes, it leads to massive failures. I don't care. Because I know that that time to just keep going. But now you layer on to that serotonin. So my serotonin is slightly dysregulated, meaning that my ability for my mood to match the stimuli that I'm experiencing is off. So that could express as being irritable, but also expressed as being overly happy. What it really is, it's hard to stay in the middle.
So what have I found? So we've been working with a lot of executive type people and athletes, not just in terms of these expression like, 'I'm irritable,' but how do you use this as a superpower? How does it make you better? So for me, that clinical representation is, 'I'm irritable.' It's very easy to poke at me. Someone shows up late, I can't focus because I need to deal with like, 'Why were you late?' But what it also... Why is that happening, because all the details poke at me. So I see the details and nuances and little subtleties that other people may not see. So when we are attending in that meeting that eventually did start late. I'm actually going to dive a little deeper, and I just make much better decisions. Because I see and analyze and take in details that other people miss.
Lisa: Wow, good. That's my husband. I'm just suddenly going, 'Oh, that's why,' because he's got a serotonin dysregulation in his genetic profile. I've got good serotonin. Thank goodness. I'm a little bit more relaxed. But he was seeing things that I just don't see.
Kashif: In the body, tap, tap, tap like, 'Can you please stop?' 'I don't even I didn't even hear it. What are you talking about?'
Lisa: 'Your breathing. Your breathing.'
Kashif: Well, that's how I can work.
Lisa: 'Your breathing loudly. I'm just breathing!'
Kashif: Yeah. This is where, again, the DNA world looks at things in terms of disease. So you can speak at it that way. But there's so much more to it than that if you know how to interpret it. This is where the reports speak to the problem. So we don't say, 'Here's your version of the gene. Now, good luck.' We say, 'Let's look at anxiety and let's see where you rank. Then we'll tell you why. Let's look at depression. Let's look at bingeing behaviour. Let's look at addictive behaviour. Let's look at procrastination. Let's look at irritability.' We tell you how you rank at all. This is where these reports, you're going to really enjoy this because they're very different.
Lisa: Yeah. Can't wait to get new ones. They're awesome.
Kashif: So they speak to the problems so that they are, first of all, easy to navigate. What do people want to know, 'What's wrong with me? How do I fix it?' 'Okay, great. There's some interesting science here, which proves why it's correct.' But genetic gobbledygook versus what's wrong with me is very difficult for most people to digest. So, this is where we put the eyes. But one other thing I should tell you, which I'm not sure if you even know yet: we set out to say that, 'Okay, we're doing okay in terms of genetic interpretation. But how do we make sure that in a year from now, when somebody gets to report that we get feedback that, 'This changed my life.' It's only if they actually do the stuff we're telling them to do.'
That's been a gap... We also know for whom that's a bigger problem. Because in genetics, we understand what a behavior, who would actually do it, like you and me, we're gonna do it. Then other people are like, 'Yeah. I'll get to it.' So we brought in Dr. BJ Fogg. So Dr. BJ Fogg... So he runs the Stanford University behavioural change lab. He wrote the book, Tiny Habits. He's really the guru and godfather of behavioural change. As an example, his students that sat in front of him in Stanford went out and built Instagram. They built this on his course. His students built Noom, which I don't know if you've seen, so did that weight loss company. So that's what he does.
So we said, 'Okay, we uniquely know what's wrong at the system level. It's not necessarily wrong. It's just what needs to be addressed. It could be, just like we said about serotonin, if you could take it as wrong as irritable, but it's also super powerful because you're detail-oriented. So we know what's going on. We also know what to do about it, if somebody wants to change something, because we know what supplements, and foods, and recommendations. But we need to know how to get people to actually do these things. So when you read the reports, there's these comments that when you read them seem so intuitive and obvious that they're almost too simple.
But that's exactly how you get people to change their behaviours. A simple thing like, 'Okay, I have the low BDNF, brain derived neurotrophic factor so my circadian rhythm isn't the best. So I maybe have trouble sleeping at night. The blue light from my laptop will trick my brain into thinking it's daytime.' So a simple suggestion like setting an alarm to turn your laptop off an hour before bedtime. When you read it, it seems like, 'Yeah, that's obvious.' But are you doing it? Did you even know you needed to do it? So that's where we rock the simple behaviour change elements is, of course. The next generation of it is going to be digital, where it's nudging you and pushing you along, we're just gonna keep making it better.
Lisa: I've got some suggestions for the company. Because this is one of the areas where... Because I work with people, and coach, and do this. This is one of the reasons why we've worked with a couple of different programs is because I need that ongoing change and that accountability. So you need almost like a live, just putting this idea out there, a website that updates so that they can actually take part in this accountability process.
We're actually getting them to, 'Well, did you do the things that you set out to do this week?' I'm trying to implement this now in my company, too, because I've realized that this is the missing piece for other parts of our running and coaching and so on, is that you can give them a run, for example, a customized personalized report through the analysis, have the initial sessions, and they can buy extra coaching sessions if they want.
But we don't have a live accountability document where they can say, 'Hey, I did my training session today, tick' and send that back off. I'm trying to find a way to implement that piece of that strategy. I haven't got the answer to do that yet. But that I know because of people's... If I give them just a report, very often people just go, 'Oh, thanks very much. That was fantastic. I've learned so much today.' Then next week, they're stuck in the top drawer and they're on to the next thing.
They need to be pulled back into the ecosystem in order to make those tiny changes and then to maybe every six weeks or something, have a check in with their coach, if they've got one, to say, 'Hey, did you do the things that you were setting out to do? Or that accountability?' And that's a difficult thing for companies like yours and mine when we're trying to scale, and try, and get that accountability, or mask because you've only got two hands. I can't be on the phone to each one of my clients every day. 'Did you do your training yesterday? Or did you implement the goals that you set for your health or whatever.' So I think there's a piece of the puzzle that both of us need to work on.
Kashif: I think that you're the new counsel for us. There is coaching, which we believe coaching is primarily around accountability. So we have coaches we train that understand the reports that can help, whether that's a call or whether that's a program, to focus on something. I also believe that group accountability, meaning that, because we're working with genetics, we understand that here's the 2,000 people that have diabetes issues, for examples. So let's put them together and let's have them support each other.
So that community function we're building now where we'll say, 'There's this group of people. Let them help support each other.' Because group accountability is not only accountability, it's also motivation. It's also gamified. It's also like, 'I want to...' You would want to win, right? You want to be at the top of the pyramid–
Lisa: I wanna be the best. I'm gonna get well faster than you.
Kashif: A big part of this for us, which we're building, we built the report first, we're now building the behavioural change elements. The next thing that we believe we need to do is the community which is, 'Let's allow everyone to support each other.'
Lisa: Yeah. This is it. Those are the elements that... It's nice to know that a really big company like yours is struggling with the same stuff.
Kashif: We're all coming out of the same model. I suppose this reactive healthcare model, really, we're inventing the future of healthcare. You, everybody in that biohacking wellness performance circuit; it's starting now.
Lisa: It is, and I'm just so excited for the technology, the AI, all this information, BJ Fogg stuff, which we've implemented in our company as well. We didn't get to meet him personally, unfortunately. But all those things that we teach about now. Because that's how people are actually going to get the change. Because otherwise, it is just a report that you stick in your drawer, and then you forget about it, and you don't actually make those changes. That's only then when you have that persistence, and the resilience to actually go through with these changes, that you're actually going to get new results.
Lisa: I've got big visions for the... I want to change our medical system in New Zealand, I'm thinking big here. I want to be... I want to have a place like, I've got this dream in my head, which is getting off topic, but I'll tell you anyway, because you guys probably get this vision. I want a one stop shop where we have an institution where we come in to get a warrant of fitness once a year, where you get your MRI, which is going to get cheaper and cheaper, where we're be able to scan your whole body for doing MRI, echocardiograms, calcium scores, your blood test, your genomic information, this test will be a part of it.
Lisa: Then you come out with your warrant of fitness and all that big data that's been collected on you, then helps you... Well, you got to train up clinicians, and they can actually interpret this data, and actually then tell you, 'Hey, we've, we've seen a couple of cancer cells down in your pancreas, we better get on to it. We can see that your heart wall is doing something. We can see that there's a block coming here. We can see that from a genetic point of view.' I want us to be a one stop shop, like a warrant of fitness that you take your car into every year. You come out the other side with all your reports, and you know where you stand.
That's health prevention. That's disease prevention. Sorry. That's getting it at the... I've lost my father last year to an aneurysm in the stomach. If I had had the scans to see that coming, he would be with me now. I would have been able to intervene. This is why I'm so passionate about this is that prevention is the key to everything. This reactive system that we're living in at the moment and the current model is just bloody bandaid on festering wounds. They're brilliant at surgeries and things; I'm not saying that but the whole chronic disease management and degenerative diseases. We're not doing that well at all.
Kashif: If you're only ever going to aim... If success looks like, 'I got rid of your pain and I don't need to know why it happened.' I would say that. I mean, that's an ambitious goal, but of all the countries in the world, you have a leader where I would say that's maybe a great place to start.
Lisa: Yeah, yeah. She's pretty cool. This is pretty cool.
Kashif: Try and do that in some other places and you're gonna have some issues with it. I will admit, there's a lot of executive clinics that do that. Here in Toronto, there's multiple. There all over the US. You can pay 5, 10, $20,000 a year to be maintained like a vehicle.
Lisa: Yeah. We don't have that here. That's what I want to see. But I would like this to be democratized. So that some of the, it starts off for the rich and then it gets democratized over time as more and more people and the lower cost of these things. But that's the system that I see as being, like what the executives and things have access to over there. If we could do that and implement that here, but en masse.
Kashif: You're right. It starts with the people that are willing to pay. You have to build the model, which is what's happening here. There's already this executive, and now those executives want it for their family, and they want it for their staff. Then, there's pressure. You already have, by the way, in the US, the Center for Disease Control has actually created a Diabetes Prevention Program. So it's the first time they've made, they even acknowledged that you can prevent a disease.
It's just too obvious and with the obesity crisis, and all that's going on in the US, where if you want an American disease, go eat like an American, you can probably get one. So for the first time, now, they've launched a program where companies can go get trained clinicians to prevent diabetes and get paid for it.
Lisa: Wow. So they get paid for the prevention? Now, there's a brilliant change in the model.
Kashif: Yeah. So you see that little, there's a spark of hope there.
Lisa: Oh, my God. Yeah.
Kashif: They don't yet understand that that's also possible for other diseases. With diabetes, it's just so obvious and hard to dispute. So, they're now even building that for what they call pre-diabetes, which is 80 million Americans, a quarter of the population.
Lisa: Yeah, exactly.
Kashif: The thing that prevent them from getting... So it's diabetes, sorry... Diabetes reversal and diabetes prevention.
Lisa: Wow. Right. It's a big start. That's a good start. What are the some of the other things that we can use for these reports that you guys are doing? So we've talked about mood and behaviour, and we've talked about hormones. You're also looking at detox methylation side reports...
Kashif: That's a huge step. We've combined detox methylation and mitochondrial health into what we call our immunity report. Meaning these are the core things... and there's other things sprinkled in there, some micronutrients like vitamin D, for example. That for you to be healthy, your cells have to be healthy. We all know that current disease is rooted inflammation. But what is inflammation rooted in? There's nobody looking for inflammation coming down the pipeline. Cellular health is what causes-poor cellular health, I should say, is what causes inflammation.
What causes poor cellular health is that toxic load. Where either lack of capacity, 'I'm not wired genetically to detox,' or to didn't have a good... At the mitochondria, literally getting rid of that sort of that smoke that's caused by burning oxygen.
Lisa: Oxidative stress.
Kashif: Yeah. Oxidative stress. Or it's the external load, like something as simple as I golf too much. So I'm breathing in pesticides for four or five hours a day for multiple days a week.
Lisa: People don't know that. They think the golf course is a lovely green place.
Kashif: Yeah, maybe you would think so. Go ahead and do it once in a while. But if genetically... We actually have a patient who we got rid of his cholesterol problem. We started, I should say, we "diagnose his cholesterol problem" as being rooted in golfing too much.
Lisa: Golfing too much.
Kashif: He was golfing four days a week...
Lisa: Causing inflammation from the body and...
Kashif: He was completely void of a detox system so of the three main genes, he didn't even have the first two. He didn't have it. All this stuff he was breathing in was just free-flowing in the blood. That serious. Then the 9P21, which is the endothelial line. The other one version. You see the bad, right?
Lisa: I'm like that guy. I've got the 6G921, and I've only got one copy of the GST.
Kashif: So you're pretty much the same. So what we found was that because he was constantly... In Canada, by the way, has some of the least regulation on the use of pesticides in golf courses, because we have a short summer, so they're just allowed to do more stuff. So they are a lot more aggressive in the uses of usage of chemicals than in most other countries. Some of the stuff we do here is actually illegal in most of Europe.
So he's breathing this stuff in and all this free-flowing toxicity that he can't clear, over 7, 10 years of doing this over and over again, is starting to cause significant inflammation to that lining for which cholesterol is then deployed as a mitigating hormone to actually reduce that inflammation. What happens when cholesterol meets toxicity, it actually hardens, it gets to deposited. It stays.
This is where the thing that 10... I don't know how many years it took to get to there. But the doctor says takes some Lipitor.
Lisa: Of course. Yeah, exactly. Take some Lipitor. Take a drug that you're going to be on for the rest of your life.
Kashif: The thing that was actually saving him, the cholesterol reducing the inflammation is the thing they're trying to get rid of in this vicious cycle of exposure to toxins. Literally, our recommendation was, 'You either have to stop golfing, or we have to detox regularly.' He stopped golfing for six months. Winter, right? He actually felt better. His numbers went down. He didn't realize and on top of that, we gave him a detox protocol. The next summer, he didn't start up again. As an experiment, we gave him the right supplements to be able to play again. But just as an experiment, he said, 'Look, we want you to play.' His number was going down from the further increase. He was only 38 years old, by the way.
Lisa: Oh my gosh, yeah.
Kashif: So I can be 38 with a cholesterol bomb, or what your doctors can't figure out why it just keeps going up, and up, and up, and up, and up.
Lisa: Yep, yep. Wow, that's such a great example of intervention here and preventing him from having a stroke or a heart attack, or an aneurysm, or something drastic, and ruining or killing him very soon. By the age of 50, he could have been in deep trouble. People need to understand what caused it. You've got cardiovascular disease...
Kashif: He had it at the of 38. If he continued that same... They would have told him, 'Go exercise and eat properly.' Which is fair. Because–
Lisa: As well...
Kashif: For six or seven or 10 people, that's good advice. But guess what? For him, he had the weak version of the SOD2, which is that gene that clears oxidative stress from the mitochondria. So what does more exercise mean for him? More oxidative stress which just means more toxicity in the blood, which means more... So he actually started... By the way, I didn't even tell you this part. When he was told to get more exercise; the golf is not really exercise where you're walking around. He started playing tennis three days a week. So aggressive cardiovascular exercise... Oxidative stress, creating more oxidation, which was just compounding the problem.
Lisa: Wow, you've just actually connected the dots for me because I'm hetero for the SOD2. But I've got the worst GST genes and the 921 genes. Of course, I've done ultramarathons, 30-something years, 25 years, at least. Had extreme sports for longer.
Kashif: It's something to watch. This is where...
Lisa: You want oxidants support.
Kashif: That's what you have to do. That's why you'll see that marathon runners that don't take care of themselves, they age rapidly because of the amount of oxidative stress. It seems counterintuitive. You would think, 'Wow. That guy runs a lot or that gal runs a lot. They're gonna be pretty healthy.'
Lisa: This depends on your genetics. You do see... This is why, for me, now, I do a lot of weight training. So not heavy weights because it's my genetics are not built for heavy weights, either. It's both for short, sharp, high intensity, 45-minute gym sessions, and then 5-10k runs, and yoga, and Pilates, and that type of thing. That's the perfect combination for my body to maintain. Now, I know that because of my genetics. Not before. I've done a lot of damage. I'm lucky that I've haven't seemed to do too badly. But I have had some health issues along the way.
Understanding these little nuances of what... You just told me about the SOD2. I hadn't actually connected that to my oxidative load. I know I have a high oxidative load. To that, add the 2B gene and the DRB2 and you've got a real mission-based person. You've got a problem. I'm gonna probably die of a heart attack by 60. If I didn't dial it back.
Kashif: This is exactly what we mean by preventing disease. Tell me your genetics. Then tell me what you're doing. I'll tell you what's gonna happen in 15 years. Or tell me your genetics and I'll tell you what to do to get the result you want in 15 years.
Lisa: So that you don't have a heart attack at 60.
Kashif: Those questions and recommendations aren't the same for all of us.
Lisa: No. This is just the key to this whole conversation. Everyone has all of these genes, and we're only looking at 100 odd genes at the moment. We're one inch into a mile long journey with the genetics. This is going to get more and more information as we get into it. But we already have enough to make a massive impact on how long we live and how well we live. If we're willing to do these simple before.
Kashif: Yeah. We've narrowed it down to just under 100 that we think are the most actionable. So there's... Like we said, there's 22,000 genes. If you look at a typical consumer test, they're usually testing for 5, 6, 700 genes. But you're not getting five, six, 700 pieces of valuable information. Again, it goes back to that's the data that needed to be collected.
Lisa: Yeah, it's not actionable. It's overwhelming, too. As a clinician, I know, I need to get this and then simplify it into that into those actionable steps. This is what you do today.
Kashif: What's wrong with me and how do I fix it?
Lisa: Yeah. This is what we worked this month and this is what we work on next month you. With a coach, it can be really valuable as well.
Kashif: For sure.
Lisa: Wow, I think, we've had very interesting conversation because Kashif has spun into directions I never thought we'd go into but...
Kashif: I'm glad I'm talking to you because you're very knowledgeable. So it's easier to talk to you and I'm sure that listeners love it.
Lisa: I love this area. I'm just so grateful that I've come across you guys and what you do there. It's just helping me to help more people. So, check out everything in the show notes, people, the links, I'll have all those in there. Because if you want to get your DNA tested and know this sort of information and work with us, then we'd love to have you do that. Kashif, any last sort of things that you want to leave? Was there anything that we missed that you think we should also talk about, or we covered a lot of the bases today?
Kashif: Well, I can tell you that our core business is to support clinics; meaning that we supply them, they do the testing, they talk to their patients. Just for the sake of your listeners, they should know that they're very lucky that they're able to work with you particularly. Because most people don't dive as deep as you have. So it's not just about the test or the report, but they have someone to lean on that can actually guide, and direct, and coach, and that is unique. I'll say that like, worldwide, Europe, Dubai, US; there are some clinics that are doing really well that they sell a lot, but they're not getting the value out of the reporting because there's no person there with the knowledge base.
Lisa: This is why the reports are so good. Because even if you don't have... That you will have at least a very good understanding when you get to work with someone, then you have accountability. This is a problem that my company has, too. We need to replicate me and my partner, Neil, he's got an extremely amazing knowledge in other directions. We need to replicate ourselves. You need a 100 document source and you need a hundred of us so that we can scale. But what's important for me in the scaling is that you also actually make a difference. That means you actually have to dive deeper because even you go to the doctor, and you get the test done, and you get 10 minutes with them to interpret the test; it's just not going to work.
Your company and my company are both struggling with this whole scale of validity and helping lots of people versus helping in-depth. We haven't come up with a complete solution. And it does lead to me being burnt out and working 18 hours a day, but whatever it takes. We love it. We're passionate about what we do. Both of us are passionate about what we do. We're riding the wave now of a paradigm shift. I'm sure that this is a huge paradigm shift coming in. It's long overdue, and we need to have this.
We're getting lots of great doctors on board to with us need to change and I'm excited for the future. I'm excited for the AI, I'm excited for the virtual reality, the robots, the artificial intelligence, super computing abilities. All of this is going to make us live longer, if we take this by the horns.
Kashif: It's accessible now. That's the key difference is timing wise. If we were talking 10 years ago, we'd be talking about a $50,000 test.
Lisa: Yes, exactly.