Tracking Biometric Markers Can Improve Your Health with Miray Tayfun
At least at one point in our lives, we will all experience body pains and headaches. However, did you know that these may be signs of a vitamin deficiency? Around 60-70% of Americans are calcium and magnesium deficient. We may be vitamin deficient and not even notice it! That's why it's vital to be tracking biometric markers.
Tracking biometric markers and our nutrient levels can be a challenge because of the need to go to clinics regularly for blood tests. Fortunately, there’s a new technology that can help you check your biometric markers in the safety and comfort of your own home.
In this episode, Miray Tayfun discusses how Vivoo can track biometric markers at home. Vivoo can monitor your hydration, liver and kidney functions, Vitamin C, magnesium, and more.
Don’t wait until symptoms start. Stay on top of your health with constant awareness!
If you want to learn more about tracking biometric markers, then this episode is for you!
Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:
- Learn how home diagnostic tools like Vivo can help you stay on top of your health.
- Discover how tracking biometric markers can optimise your health
- Know more about the other necessary actions you need to take to be healthier.
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[04:02] How Miray Started Vivoo
Miray is knowledgeable in bioengineering and epigenetics. Her expertise is on the Internet of Things and biosensors. Vivoo means being alive in Spanish. It is a home diagnostics tool that helps in tracking biometric markers through urine.
The application can measure hydration, liver and kidney functions, urinary tract infections, and ketones.
[06:43] Why Health Tracking is Important
When you are aware of your health statistics, it’s easier to take action. If you’re tracking biometric markers regularly, you’ll learn about their patterns and changes.
Miray shares that Vivoo is also adding new metrics like calcium, vitamin C, magnesium, salt consumption, and free radicals.
[10:43] Looking Out for Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress is involved in cell damage and diseases like cancer. Free radicals can lead to oxidative stress. They can be found in food, objects, and even cosmetics.
Oxidative stress is a byproduct of lipid peroxidation and malondialdehyde (MDA).
[14:21] Who Can Use Vivoo?
Many athletes use Vivoo to track their status before and after runs. Vivoo can help people become more proactive in their health and understand their bodies’ needs better.
On average, 70% of Americans are calcium deficient and 60% are magnesium deficient.
[19:33] How Does Vivoo Measure Oxidative Stress?
When Vivoo uses colourimetric tests, speific molecules activate and change colours depending on the level of the biometric being measured. People's health issues can be addressed by simply taking the right supplements and vitamins.
For example, magnesium can help in 600 enzymatic reactions and be a treatment for depression.
[24:17] How Medicine and the Medical Industry Should Change
Medicine often cures only the symptoms, not the disease. While medicines and treatments can address your symptoms, they won't treat vitamin deficiencies that might cause more significant problems for your body in the future.
Medical trends point to more home diagnostic tools to help people live longer and healthier. Diabetes and obesity threatens the life expectancy of younger generations.
[31:19] The Mindset to Become Stronger
Looking for investors is just similar to looking for customers. You contact leads, pitch your sales, and hope to get funding. It also requires mental toughness and optimism despite uncertainties.
When you believe in negative thinking, it then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
[40:43] How Vivoo Can Help You Make Lifestyle Changes
Take note that Vivoo only helps gauge biometric levels and you can make decisions based on them.
Many in the biohacking community want nutrient information. Miray's team added metrics for calcium, Vitamin C, magnesium, and salts. Vivoo also explains the importance of tracking biometric markers.
We need supplementation because our food may not be in its prime condition. For example, Vitamin C in vegetables can oxidate to 90%. Getting good food nowadays has become difficult due to processing, packaging, pesticides, and modifications.
[54:39] Vivoo and Tracking Biometric Markers
Miray shares that Vivoo does not check one’s overall health. When tracking liver functions, it only measures bilirubin which can check liver damage and cirrhosis. The application also checks for proteins related to kidney function.
Remember that even if you look healthy on the outside, it doesn’t mean you’re healthy.
7 Powerful Quotes
“... I want to know this for my own health, and my family's health so I can track everybody's going.”
“And people like us — sometimes I see hesitancy and people like, why would I pee on a stick unhealthy? But like 70% of Americans are calcium deficient and absorption reduces 30% by age.”
“ …if I had done an ultrasound, even of his stomach — if we would have seen what was going on under the hood, we would have been able to stop the aneurysm happening in his aorta, and we would have been able to fix them. That's just so sad that I didn't have something that could have scanned him and seen that, and fixed that before it became a deadly problem.”
“...we can have genetic disorders, environmentally-caused problems, etc. But our body has actually tools to overcome it most of the times, but they don't allow our bodies to basically find those tools and help itself. They just try to cure the symptom.”
“...this is exciting, because then we will have much more control. And we will be able to live longer and age better and have a healthier [life].”
"And I realised that my biggest weakness is when there's uncertainty, there's two ways. You can be either optimistic, believe in yourself and your dreams, and keep going, or you can go down and save."
“It's okay for you to cost a little bit, in my opinion. It's okay for you to want to live your life and to have a good retirement and some nice times before you depart this world. And it's worth fighting for.”
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- Lifespan by David A. Sinclair
- Learn more about NMN through our interviews with Dr Elena Seranova:
- Episode 183: Sirtuins and NAD Supplements for Longevity
- Episode 189: Autophagy and Increasing Your Longevity
- Vivoo: Website I Instagram I Twitter
- Connect with Miray: Linkedin I Twitter
Miray Tayfun is the co-founder and CEO of Vivoo, the first affordable at-home wellness tracker that utilises urine to help people in tracking biometric markers and stay on top of their health. The application can detect metric levels such as hydration, pH, ketones, kidney and liver functions, among others.
Miray graduated from the Yildiz Technical University with a Bachelor of Applied Science, Bioengineering, and finished the Epigenetics and Nutrigenetics course at Stanford University.
Interested to learn more about Miray’s work? Check out her website.
You can also connect with her on Linkedin and Twitter.
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To pushing the limits,
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! Lisa Tamati here at Pushing the Limits. Fantastic to have you with me again today. Today, I have the CEO of a company called Vivoo — V-I-V-O-O — which is an at-home urine test technology where you can test all your health and wellness statistics. Areas like your kidney, your liver, your pH, your hydration, your ketones. Now, they've got some new things coming with magnesium salt, even reactive oxygen species. I was absolutely mind-blown.
This is a conversation with Miray Tayfun. She is a bioengineer, and the founder of Vivoo. I'm super excited for this conversation today to get this information out to you guys. On this podcast, I've always been talking about being preventative in your health, and taking control of your health, and this is exactly what I'm talking about. It's doing things like this at-home urine tests that you can do once a week, and keep a track of all of those things.
For athletes, knowing your hydration levels, knowing if there's protein in your urine, if you're training too hard, if there's ketones if you want to be in ketosis or you don't want to be in ketosis — all of these things you can measure with us at-home urine sampling device. It's an absolutely fascinating conversation with the founder. I'm really, really excited.
Before I head over to the show, I would love you guys — if you are interested in this whole health space and being preventative, then check out our Epigenetics Programme — our Peak Epigenetics Programme. This is all about understanding your health, understanding your genetics, and how to optimise those genes — putting your genes in the right environment, so that you really thrive.
What to eat, when to eat, how often to eat, what types of exercise to do, how much exercise to do, what times of the day to do it in, all your biorhythms — all of these sorts of things, as well as your mood and behaviour, and how your personality works, and why maybe you have more trouble than your neighbour with certain mood dysregulation, or understanding really some deep areas in your life, and understanding what your genetics predispose you to so that you can take control and again, be in that preventative space.
Check out what we do at lisatamati.com, and hit the ‘Work With Us’ button, and you'll see our Peak Epigenetics Programme. I also like to mention our NMN, our longevity supplement. Make sure you check that out, too. There's an anti-ageing and longevity supplement. I really highly recommend you read the book Lifespan by Dr David Sinclair, and you will understand all about NMN and what it does.
I've had two podcasts already with the founder of NMN — Dr Elena Seranova, a molecular biologist who started this company. Check out all the science behind that. You can go to nmnbio.nz. That's nmnbio.nz, and check it all out over there. Okay, guys over to the show with Miray Tayfun.
Hi, everyone, and welcome back to Pushing the Limits. This week, I have a very special guest. Someone who's absolutely amazing and fascinating to talk to. We've been chatting already offline, and we thought we better get on with the show. Welcome to the show, Miray. It's lovely to have you with me today.
Miray Tayfun: Thank you, Lisa. It’s great to be here.
Lisa: It's fantastic to have you. I can't wait to dive into this conversation. Where about are you sitting in the States? Because you're in the United States.
Miray: I mean, I said — it's different, though, now. After COVID, everything changed. But I remember the good old days.
Lisa: And you're originally from Istanbul.
Miray: Yes, I'm Turkish originally.
Lisa: Wonderful, and you are a bioengineer. Can you explain a little bit your background, and a little bit about how you got to found this wonderful company called Vivoo which we're going to dive into today — what you do?
Miray: Sure, sure. Again, I'm a bioengineer by education. After that, I went to Stanford for postgraduate studies for growth market strategies, and diet and gene expressions on epigenetics, etc. About my expertise is IoT — Internet of Things — and biosensors.
Lisa: Wow. You have a company called Vivoo. For starters, where did you come up with that name?
Miray: You know ‘in vivo’ in Latin — coming from ‘in vivo, in vitro’ — so, living thing, living organism, We just wanted to put double ‘O’ like Google, Facebook — like lucky charm? So it becomes Vivoo. We learned it in Spanish, it means ‘I'm living’ with a passion, and it really resonated with us.
Lisa: It is a lovely name, and it sort of rolls off the tongue. Now Vivoo, I first came across your, actually, your company online with one of your assistants reached out to me and said, ‘Do you want to try this? And I was like, ‘Hell, yes.’
For me, anything that's an at-home diagnostic test — we should tell the listeners what the heck and how it works. But at-home diagnostic testing where you can check into your house and see what you, what's going on under the hood, so to speak. For me is just really fascinating and an exciting thing that's coming down now with all this new technology. Can you explain what is Vivoo? What does it do? And why is this really cool thing to have?
Miray: So Vivoo is a wellness app. Yes, it has diagnostic elements, too. I understand your point of view. But we think diagnosis can be done only once. What we're trying to accomplish with people is a continuous tracking of certain biomarkers. Yes.
We are a at-home tracker, wellness tracker that allows you to basically monitor important metrics, plus get personalised recommendations. The twist is we do it with urine. It comes with a urine test. It's like this. Basically, user urinates on it, waits two minutes, take a picture, and instantly they'll get their hydration score, pH, UTIs like infections, kidney scar, protein measurements, and liver scores, bilirubin measurements, and ketones.
Lisa: Wow. It's incredible. I was already aware. You can go and buy a pH sticks and test the acidity of urine. But this one has just got so much more. I want to dive into each of the aspects that you cover, and what sort of — why is it important that we track our health?
I mean, for me, I keep an eye on my blood sugars when I'm in ketosis. I do ketone monitoring. I like to — I have blood pressure, I have my oxygen stats. I mean, I'm a biohacking maniac anyway. But I want to know my HRV in the morning, I want to know my heart rate, I want to know my breath rates at night — all the sort of things that we can now track.
For some people — it might sound a little bit obsessive — but the thing is, I know exactly when something is coming before it comes. And this is the thing. We can start to get signs that something is going off beam, and we can actually correct it. I'll tell you a little bit of a story just for listeners, and I've already told Miray.
When I first got my Vivoo kit, and I did the tests on my mum, her white blood cell count came back completely off beam. So, she was a two out of a ten or something. That was the first indication to me something was majorly wrong. Then, I was about to go to the doctor when mom got diagnosed with cancer. This is the short version. But that was the first indication to me that something was completely off beam with her. This is the power of this. You said that your mum had a situation too. Do you mind sharing that one?
Miray: It's crazy. My mom is probably one of the first users of Vivoo, and she's religiously using it. But the thing is, she's Turkish and she doesn't speak English. Whenever she takes her test, she sends me her results to translate. That is the challenging part for me. She takes like a couple of times a day — sorry, a couple of times a week. It's coming pretty frequently.
Once, her protein — like she said, ‘Miray my protein is always high. Like, why? Why do I have protein in my grade? Her pH was always off the chart too. We were seeing times and times like dehydration, etc. My mom said like, ‘I always have this sharp pain in my kidneys, and Vivoo is always showing me my kidney score is always low. I'm going to go to doctor and check it.
It turns out she had this huge kidney stone, and she had to get drugs to basically depart it and remove it from her urinary tract. It was so surprising. Another time actually, she had this laser eye surgery, but she said ‘Miray I felt like I was dying. I was literally dying. I was like feeling so off so bad, and I couldn't move. With that lost energy. I took a Vivoo test. I had high ketones. I was dehydrated.’ Then, she realised she hasn't fed herself. That's why she was having this dizziness.
She saw some Vivoo advice, she saw some visual for a food. She went to the kitchen and eat something and came back to herself, and she said, ‘It's so funny you would know that you're hungry, but until you see the biomarker when you're off yourself. I didn’t think I was fainting.’ She always has these stories because —
Even me. When you continuously track something, then you can see the patterns. That's the whole purpose, right? To be able to see the patterns and changes, and what changed what. I play with myself a lot like I drink alcohol and test myself, I drink coffee and test myself, I eat veggie salad bowl and test myself, and I can see all the differentiators. It's so magical.
Now, with the new metrics, we're adding calcium, vitamin C, magnesium, salt consumption, free radicals. Free radicals are super high
Lisa: Free radicals — how on earth? Because I mean — the science. I want to dig into the science behind this because for me, it's just like a little miracle that I can test my liver function, my kidney function, my magnesium levels, my vitamin C levels, my salt — all of these aspects without having to go and have a blood test which is always horrible and invasive, and you have to go to the doctor.
It's difficult giving them half the time. Free radicals — this takes free radicals because free radicals for those.Can you explain what a free radical is? Because I think people don't generally understand they hear the term ‘free radical’. But what is a free radical, and why is it bad when we have too much? We need a certain amount, but why is too much free radicals not so great in the body?
Miray: As you know, like oxidative stress, it is like one of the mechanisms that is involved with cancer process. Not just that — cell damage, cell ageing, and oxidative stress. Free radicals basically are molecules that is attacking our DNA cells because their structure is damaging because their structure is—They're trying to oxidate some of the molecules in our body, and it can come from food. Basically, the pen you use, the air you breathe, the skin creams that you use. It's technically a lot of places.
Lisa: Exercising too much, people. This is an ultramarathon runner, I know that one. I had a lot of oxidative stress, and then I actually realised, ‘Am I ageing myself faster than I needed here?’ It's things even like exercise.
A little bit of reactive oxygen species, when you do say like a short exercise bout, it’s actually good for the body because it tells the DNA, ‘Well, we need to make more of more muscle fibres, or more, or whatever.’ It's a signalling cascade. When we overwhelm our bodies with reactive oxygen species, this is when they start to damage the DNA, and this is when we get ageing, and so on and so forth.
Miray: We measure, by the way — I opened my notes because it's hard to pronounce. It's basically a byproduct of lipid peroxidation. MDA — malondialdehyde. I cannot even pronounce it. MDA. Thank you — because I know all of them in Turkish.
Lisa: I’d like to try and do all of that in Turkish
Miray: Basically, very striking MDAs in urine. The problem, by the way — I have to be honest with your audience. The problem we face with MDA vendors — UTIs, it also increases a lot. We're trying to figure out the base levels because, yes, it comes out. We did actually some clinical trials, blood measurements, urine measurements, and liver measurements of MDA for a small sample of 20 people.
But what we saw was when there's a urinary tract infection, or kidney infection in place, it also increases slightly. We're trying to, now, naturalise it. We’re trying to figure out what is the real reason there's MDA, if it's the UTIs or really the toxic elements.
They also slightly increase in smoking people. Also, antioxidant taking is also affecting the results, obviously. If you’re taking antioxidants, it’s not really —
Lisa: What fascinates me is like — I want to know this for my own health, so then my family's health so I can track everybody's going. If I have an ultramarathon runner that we're coaching or something, and I get them to wee on a stick after a mess of say, a 100-mile run, what would be really interesting, that'd be a good study, actually, to see what happens before the race and after the race.
What state does your hydration end? I think that was a really important one for athletes. If you are training hard, you need to know that you're hydrated, right? This is a test that you can just wee on a stick of know with, ‘Hey, you're like way dehydrated.’ Or, you're okay.
Miray: Actually, we have a bunch of runners using Vivoo and they share it. You can maybe find in our Instagram stories that you save — highlight — before and after running. The snapshots are super funny. Always.
Lisa: I'd be really keen — if you have any studies on that because… Are you, then, in ketosis? Have you got ketones in your butt? Have you got protein in your urine? What was going on in there? Then, you'll be able to sort of monitor if you're overdoing it. From a coaching perspective, like if I was a high-level exercise scientist or something, this must be just gold for people if they can monitor their athletes that closely.
I think for the athletic side of things, this is super exciting. But also just for everyday people that want to just be on top of everything and make sure that not — Like mom’s cancer journey now that we're on, that was the first thing that was highlighted to me was that her white blood cells were off. That made me go to the doctor, and the rest is history sort of thing.
White blood cells, by the way, comes due to urinary tract infection. Sometimes, stress also —
Lisa: You don't know always why.
Miray: Because it's off, I think. Like there is an infection in her maybe — urinary tract. Even that is, it can be a sign of your immune system is not functioning well. You can connect so many dots. That's the problem with the healthcare system. It looks like you have urinary tract infection, but maybe you're literally not getting the correct nutrients to protect your body. Maybe you're not sleeping enough, and you're stressed.
There's so many elements that people are ignoring, but just looking at the end result which is the real problem.
Lisa: I love this. This is why these types of tools are so important for us, for those who want to be proactive in their health. Then, that preventative space because the healthcare system is a disease system. It's the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. I'm always trying to get people to be, ‘Hey, before you fall off the cliff, let's do things that can help prevent you going down a really bad pathway.’ Or, ‘If you're already going down and being able to track and see if you're improving.’
This is the space we should all be wanting to be in so that we don't get to the situations like I'm in now with my mum. That's a complicated one, and we couldn't probably see that one coming completely. But this enables us to have a bit more control over our life and our bodies, and their health, and their longevity.
Miray: People like us — sometimes I see hesitancy and people like, ‘Why would I pee on a stick? I’m healthy.’ But 70% of Americans are calcium deficient, and absorption reduces 30% by age. One in four women become osteoporosis. These are crazy numbers. Or magnesium, for example. It's 50% — they don't know the exact number — 50%, 60% 68%. But average, it’s 60% of Americans are deficient in magnesium.
This is not the only problem. Deficiencies vitamin A, B, C — deficiencies are all over the place. They're also teams we are taking too much. For example, sodium. 90% of the Americans are taking more than they need who actually said like… They made this plan for literally reducing the salt consumption globally. They made an action plan. They're predicting — they're trying to reduce salt consumption by 30% by 2025. This only will prevent 2.5 million deaths a year.
It seems like we're very worried about COVID, but sodium kills more.
Lisa: Exactly. Sodium kills more, cancer kills more, heart disease kills more, these are things that we can actually have an influence over, and actually do something about. Even in the COVID sort of thing, if we know we're not deficient in anything, we're going to support our immune system — our innate immune system — to do its thing. Being topped up, so to speak, with the right nutrients is also really, really important.
Let's dive into a couple of other things. We talked a little bit about reactive oxygen species. How does that work? How does it test in your urine? Reactive oxygen species — I mean, it's probably going to get to deeper science, but a little bit…
How does that actually work, and how did you? How did you come to be able to prove that? You talked a little bit about doing some clinical testing, and so on and so forth. How do you actually quantify that in — make that a part of this amazing tool?
Miray: As you know, all of our tests are colourimetric tests. The way it works is when the analyte comes in this instance, and it's MDA, we have a molecule that activates and change colours. Literally, the same structure of ketone tests. It becomes pinker and darker, reddish colour. Yep. It's the ketones structure. But activator reagents we use are different for MDA.
For example, for ascorbic acid for vitamin C, we use a certain one. For calcium, we use certain one. That is how it works. All the colour changes actually are pre-known. What we do is like — there is a scale depends on the sensitivity of it. Let's say, vitamin C 5 milligrams to to 100 milligrams are visible area. Based on the colour change, we identify the colour change through our image processing algorithm.
When you take a picture, it comes to our backend in our cloud servers. We analyse that colour change based on — basically caught by comparing millions of different photographs with different cell phone cameras, different lighting conditions, different personas users, and we give the end result to the end-user… But in an understandable way.
If I tell your MDA is — I don't know — high, that customer will be like, ‘Am I high or what?’ We call it ‘free radicals’. We also thought calling it oxidative stress. But again, even oxidative stress is not something that is so super known. For example, hydration is actually specific gravity of urine. When you say specific gravity, it's not that easy to understand.
Lisa: This is what the app does a really good job of too is explaining, ‘What does this mean?’ My brother the other day — we did one with him. Came back because hydration levels were a five out of ten, and he's been complaining to me, ‘I have a sore back and really tight.’ I'm like, ‘Well, there’s your problem.’
Go and drink some more and maybe have some electrolytes in your drink, and try and get those hydration levels up, and we can see over the next few days how you’re doing and does it improve the pain in your body.
Miray: Take his magnesium.
Lisa: Take his magnesium. Thank you. Yeah, well, the new sticks, that's going to be great. Because, things like magnesium. As a health coach, most people I'm saying to you, ‘are you on magnesium’, because it is one of the things that is like not— is deficient in so many people. And it can make one hell of a difference to the amount.
I have a lady in hospital that I met when Mum was in hospital, and she'd been in the hospital for three weeks with incredible cramps and pains and they're put on every drug they can find and tried to help her and she was in really, really bad pain. I said, Have you been on magnesium obviously? And she says, Oh no, no one's told me to go on magnesium. She went on magnesium that night, no more pain, no more cramps and I'm like, three weeks in the hospital and nobody said to him magnesium and I'm like, That's basic knowledge it's not even rocket science. And he was at a hospital
Miray: It was like it was 300. Now, I saw just the other day Mark Hyman said it was known as 300 enzymatic reactions. Now it's rarefied 600 enzymatic reaction it has a key role. Yeah, from sleep to neuro health, like literally magnesium deficiency, sorry, magnesium supplementation can cure some depression. It's a treatment in the literature. So it is crazy. We should basically assume the worst, right? If 60% of the population is deficient, we should assume that we are probably deficient. You should check it, take supplementation and eat right. If you don't want to take the supplementation.
Lisa: And this is— depression is a key thing. When people are depressed, what do they do ? They go to the doctor, the doctor puts them on an SSRI usually, a serotonin reuptake or inhibitor and then they're on the direct path, but nobody's checked the nutrient levels. If you just take some magnesium and maybe add in some vitamin D and get some sunshine and do some self care with breathing exercises and meditation and going out and having time in nature and things like that. You might not need the drugs. Sometimes you do.
Obviously, more complicated cases. But this should be our first line of defense. That should be our first thing that we try before we go to more serious drugs, which have side effects and have problems with them.
Miray: That's the thing like the medicine, I don't want to be an anarchistic. Medicine, l cure symptoms, not the diseases, if that's the thing. We can get sick, we can get deficient of some nutrients, we can have genetic disorders, environmentally caused problems, etc. But our body has actually tools to overcome it most of the times, but they don't allow our bodies to basically find those tools and help itself. But they just try to cure the symptom. When you cure the symptom, it looks like you're healed, but technically undergo an increase, even if it's simple as you're deficient of magnesium still continues, which will cause bigger harms in time.
That is the unlogical. I've actually I feel like sometimes I built this tool for myself, it's so selfish. And I was telling to my sister the other day, “I feel like this is the product I wanted to use in the last test. And maybe because I needed it”, like, because I did all the tests up there. I am wearing my wearable, but it's not telling me anything anymore. And I did 23andme I know, I might have Alzheimer's one day, but I want to learn more. And I don't want to go to— I don't have to be independent to hospital laboratories to learn things about my body, it’s my body.
Lisa: Yeah, exactly. And this is a thing. I have been able to do this in your own home and I get really excited when I read books about the future and the future of technology and things. And while there's some scary stuff, don't get me wrong, and there's some stuff like I'm like, “Oh, I don't know, if we want that.” There are some really cool stuff in the space, where we're going to be able to they're talking in the future of being able to have MRI scanners in your own home, and you'll be able to test and find. You'll upload the data to your doctor, and they'll be able to tell you in computers, we'll be able to tell you what's going on under the hood without having to have these super expensive MRIs done.
And, you can't get one mostly for the things that you need, the example with my dad last year, if I had done a ultrasound, even of his stomach, if we would have seen what was going on under the hood,, we would have been able to to stop the aneurysm hadn't happening in his aorta, and we would have been able to fix them, and that's just so sad that I didn't have something that I could have scanned him and seen that and fix that before it became a deadly problem.
Miray: That is so ironic, like you don't even have to be a medical reader. Like, you don't even have to look into the image and understand AI like IBM Watson, even like IBM Watson can diagnose better than doctors, radio, when you have everything, when you have the technology, you can get an alert box. Two more going on or something going on in your I don't remember your father's problem, but like, it can be anywhere — yeah, it can alert you.
Lisa: And this is the sort of thing that is coming, and it's probably 10 years away, or a bit longer, that sort of stuff. But this is exciting, because then we will have much more control. And we will be able to live longer and age better and have a healthier—and this is the e other thing, I love the book, I don't know, if you've read Lifespan by Dr. David Sinclair and a must read book everybody just absolutely amazing.
Like, we will be able to live longer, but will be not—-just more decrepit and, having to be looked after for longer we’ll have more vitality. So if you're 100 and 100 is the new 50, like you're going to be still a productive member of society, you're still going to be able to work, you're still going to be able to contribute to the community, and so on and so forth. So it's not jus lifespan for lifespan stake it's actually healthspan that we're wanting to, to improve so that you live a house—-
Miray: I should read that.. Investors sometimes ask me like, “Why do you do this?” Because I always say the same thing because we live longer, but not healthier. Yeah. This is like church, for example, one of the highest now like life expectancies are in Japan, and they all like— amazing cancers came up like stomach cancer, for example, because of the over salt consumption like crazy diseases are more common and the government's don't know what to do with it because they have a universal health care. And they're aware that like they won't be able to cover the costs anymore. The new generation that is coming is going to even live longer and— yeah.
Lisa: And this is the first time in history just in general that we're actually seeing the ages, the expected lifespan actually going backwards now, because our children are so obese and there is—so many not normally every child, obviously, but there's a huge amount of obesity, there's pre-diabetes, there's things like that happening much, much earlier. And that's because of the lifestyle and the food and the big food industry and how it's marketing everything and doing everything, but that's a subject for another day. Probably contact a big food industry—.
Miray: It's a good topic, you know. For example, I have these mushrooms, wild mushrooms in my garden that I know. And like, on the weekend, I collected them and made myself a mushroom omelette I bought eggs from the village nearby. It is such a, like, amazing experience that you know, what you're getting into your body, you collect it fresh, it is full of antioxidants and everything, because you just pick it yourself. Like, I guess, if everybody makes these minor changes. There's the saying like, “the world won't change, with a few people making major changes. But a lot of people making minor changes, I think that will affect the whole communities.”
Lisa: And this is what Vivoo — well, what I love about Vivoo, this is a really cost effective, it's not expensive. This is one way that I would posit really, that if you do this type of — Vivoo and other things that are coming along, the small costs of that is actually going to save you massive in the long term in drugs and hospital visits and doctor visits and being sick, and all of the things if you have these things that can help you prevent that from happening. So it's a really good investment in your health and in your future to be doing these types of things. And this one super excited.
How Miray did you get — like you're a bio engineer, you're obviously a super clever woman, but how the heck do you get investors on board for something like this? Because from for me as an entrepreneur and an entrepreneur who's always into trying to develop the business side of things and stuff, and often get frustrated and like understanding how the investor side of something like this, when you have this great idea, this very super bright person who's got this great, fantastic idea, but you have to make this come to fruition. How did you go about that whole process?
Miray: That's the thing like I don't go to lab anymore. I don't feel like I'm running new medical research. For the sake of my health, to be honest, because we have a team doing that. We're a team developing products, during the medical research writing the advice, nutritionist, doctor-advisors, etc. I'm mostly focused on the business, growth, and funding.
And how do I do it? I don't have —to be honest. It is a pretty systematic game plan. When you're raising it. Let's say you're raising your seed round, right? It's a pretty systematic job to do you have leads, leads are investors in this case, you contact with them, you schedule meetings, you pitch, then you close the deal, and get the cash, and sell a part of your company. It's such a—
Lisa: It sounds easy
Miray: It's not, it's the hardest thing. For example, we just did our Series A. I swear to God, it was the hardest thing I had to do in my whole life. And look, I'm a runaway. I have this crazy life [that] happened. Even though I know I'm young, but I had this crazy life happened. But I bankrupted before other companies that I founded. And this is going well, thank God. But this like just raising fund for a whole round. It wasn't even a huge round . It was the hardest thing I have to top because you have to be mentally— like a steel and I'm learning to be that.
I realized that my biggest weakness is when there's uncertainty, there's two ways you can be either optimistic, believing yourself and your dreams and keep going or you can go down and say, “It's not going to happen. Nobody wants that except you. You're going to fail.” It's so hard to find the balance, again, like mental health. We can just skip there because you're talking about all these important nutrients. But mental health, I guess is the biggest, biggest, biggest supporter in the healing process.
I literally— I had a time that I was [had the] flu and I was telling myself I'm healthy, I'm healthy. And that affirmation gives like makes you get out of the bed. Maybe make yourself a nice tea, nice meal. Like maybe you have similar experiences. Your mom is a strong woman.
Lisa: Exactly. Is why she's still here because she's mentally way stronger than I am like. I might have been the hard ass athlete in my day, but she is mentally way tougher than I am. Like to go through what she's been through and to still have a “I want to live. I'm not ready to check out” type of attitude when she's sitting with a doctor. Twice last week, we had two doctor's appointments and they're sitting there telling her “You're not going to survive. And this is the end of the line pretty much.” And my mom come and I'm like, terrified for her. So, psyche coming out of these meetings, and my mom just comes out and she's like, “I don't listen to those guys. They don't know you, and they don't know your people and your things. And I have full trust.”
And I'm like, okay, fake it till you make at least you know, because you got to keep it. I need to keep her that, that mental space. And she's right, because if you buy into that you’ve got— you’re terminal, when you've only got so long to live and you, you're going to die, you've bought into that belief, and then you make it a self-fulfilling prophecy. I truly believe that, so if you go, “No, not listening to that rubbish, you just don't know everything. And thanks for your input and the things that you can do. But I'm going over here to find some more. And I'll find some more from over this way and over that way as well.”
And then we'll find our way through And if at the end of the day, it's like with my dad, and we don't get through, we've given it our best shot, but we're not capitulating. I think, you're encouraged, I think when you're older, you're encouraged to bugger off putting it politely. You are encouraged to not be a burden, stop being a burden to everybody. Be a freakin burden! Like you got to work your whole life. You've been a good citizen, you've done your tax pays, you've raised children, you've done all this, it's okay for you to cost a little bit of my opinion. And it's okay for you to want to live your life and to have a good retirement and some nice times before you depart this world and it's worth fighting for.
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And I think we —I was asked today, sorry, last week by my agents, my talent agents and they said would you do a program for encouraging people to do an advanced care planning. In other words, “Do Not Resuscitate if I Die” plan. Okay, and I'm like, “Hell no, I won't do that.” Because that goes against who I am, I treasure life, I value life. And I'm not like they—six years ago when my mom had her aneurysm. They tried to get me to sign the piece of paper to say that if she had a heart attack or something and she needed to be resuscitated—do not resuscitate and I told them to get off in no uncertain terms.
Because they believed she had no future. It was six years ago and she went from being a baby to being a fully healthy functioning lady with a driver's license, and her life, and her happy home, and her grandchildren, and all of the things. If it had been up to them, they would have just, she's got brain damage she's never coming back out you go. And I just don't think that way.
Miray: This is the mental strength like rather than picking the negative, you're picking the light. And when you pick the light it actually all comes together. That is the weird magic of life. I don't know how it works and even if it doesn't work, you know you did your best. So you don't feel any resentment. So, like, we should always follow the light, like the goodness, like the positivity.
In any case, I wish I'd be quick like I'm always trying but struggling because something so technical in Vivoo. I would dream people, to be honest, to be more friendly, like explaining to you, and encouraging you, motivating you. We couldn't add those elements, but who added like—even Fitbit doesn't motivate you technically. But still, like this is a—-
Lisa: I love your vision, that's your vision, and you will probably make that come to fruition eventually, because you have that as part of your vision, and it is a super friendly, helpful app that gives you all this. You get the results, but then you also get the advice on what to do and how to improve those markers and so on. So it is doing that, but I think—- you keep that vision because that vision that you may be able to make this more interactive.
And with the technologies that are coming soon, maybe you'll be able to have a little hologram that pops up with your friendly health Coach who is able to interact in certain ways. Who knows, there's some crazy stuff out there. But I think this is a super great place to start and I'm really, really pleased to be able to associate with you, guys. And we've sort of worked out a bit of a deal. You guys have sent me a whole bunch of Vivoo kits to give out to people that I follow—that follow me sorry and the people that we work with and in our gyms that my business partner runs and so on and so forth. Because we want to get this out there and we want people to start actually using it to start tracking their health because this aligns completely with our philosophy and what we are all about and so I'm really super excited for this.
Can we just dive into a couple of other markers? Because you've got the new test, has got vitamin C, magnesium, salt, it has your reactive oxygen.
Lisa: Calcium, thank you. And currently we have your liver health, your kidney health, your pH value of your urine, so what acidity you have. We have hydration, we have with ketones in your blood. So yeah, there's a heck of a lot, like it's just like going and getting a blood test every once a week or something almost, in a way.
Miray: That’s why we were very like “Is it too much data?” and then we did surveys and what we realized people were seeking mostly nutrient information in the biohacker community. Because it always requires a blood test and the challenge was for us to basically normally these actually can be tested from urine but it requires 24 hour urines. So we had to do spot urine and 24 hour urine correlation to create these formulations. Also, in the backend even though there's medical literature, how can you correlate spot urine to 24 hour urine? You cannot build a product based off medical literature you have to try and see. Prove its clinical studies if it works, and luckily like in the best one is calcium around 90% received correlation.
Magnesium is not that we are not that happy that it has 80% correlation with the blood serum. Vitamin C, the problem with the vitamin C we can see low-normal, normal-high, but certain deficiencies we cannot see but the low-normal is already not enough. You should be getting supplementation, and the recommended amounts are already certain so we overcome that like that. The only one that I'm super excited that like—want to see some bulk data to analyse is free radicals FDA to understand better, we just want to put the data there you can see your amount of free radicals in urine.
But again, it's not a diagnostic tool. It's not saying you have oxidative poisoning or stress or something. It just shows you the level accurately and based on that information you can make the decisions. Obviously, we have all the information like in the new app, maybe you haven't seen it yet. We didn't force the update but let me show you quickly.
Lisa: No, I haven't gotten the update.
Miray: This is for example, for hydration we only have like this.
Lisa: We're in a podcast too so some people get the—
Miray: We added like how you can improve this. Learn more about hydration, magnesium. What is magnesium deficiency? What are the other symptoms? How will it affect your life? Well you might have muscle cramps, you might have sleep problems, insomnia, etc. So basically, education is a part of this product too.
Lisa: This is gold, because there's educational pieces. So important as well as the indication that something's off or perfect, but having that educational piece of the app, and then people can go and deep dive—dive deeper, if they want to know more about magnesium.
Miray: Medical references—sorry. Essays, that they can read, because we realised that when people don't understand how important it is, they're not trying to fix it. That's an important problem, actually. We have some customers who took like 50-60 tests. And obviously, these are all anonymous data that we are trying to understand, are we making improvements in our customers' lives? Anonymous data we make analysis. And their PH is always acidic, they're always have the same habit of eating, and they're not changing it.
And so, we also make random customer interviews and once I heard, “So I'm dehydrated, so what like, I don't understand, I've been living like this all the time. I love seeing my data, but I don't understand I've been living dehydrated all my life. What is the problem?” Living health alive is a problem, always feeling tired, having a headache, low energy, bad sleep. I don't know, not able to express yourself is a problem. You have to educate the customer, it's not enough to say you're dehydrated, you also have explained the consequences of continuous dehydration for over the years or in short term.
Lisa: This is the place where the coaching in that type of thinking come into it, because this is just pointing you in the direction, giving you some data, some citations and so on that you can go and research. But it's like when I was a kid, and I had to learn maths, and it was hard. And I was like, “Why do I have to learn these fractions” or whatever it was when I was a kid. But nobody ever told me the practical application. Once I was explained the practical application for it, and my dad would do, we make the building something in the garden or something and you'd be showing me how I have to measure and add. And through, then I was like, “Ah, that's why I have to study that”.
And same thing for us adults, understanding, why do I need magnesium? What does it do in my body? What does vitamin D do? What is vitamin C do? All of these nutrients that we just heard about, everyone says you should take them, but they don't actually know what they do. And therefore you don't take them. Because you’re like, “can't be that important”. But just, in the current pandemic, that for example, you'll need your zinc and your vitamin D levels really topped up, you need to be in the optimal range, because they are antiviral, and they will help you ward off.
If you have a high vitamin D level and a good zinc level, then you are much less likely to have a really bad bout of it, or die from it. So these are really important, they're not the only things but these are really important aspects to add in. And this educational piece is something that maybe you can develop out as you grow as a company. And that's what I love doing, is coaching people as in what does this do? And how does that work? And why is that important for you? Because when the people connect the dots, you just see like the light bulb go off in their head and then they take their vitamin C or whatever the case may be.
Because they actually, ah—like the example with my brother before, “I've got such a sore back all the time. I'm tired everywhere.” Well, it's magnesium deficiency too in his case, but hydration, like it was a key thing. “Oh, so hydration means a sore back?” well that can do it, yes.
Miray: Did he see it on Vivoo? Sorry, hydration, you're so right. And the thing is, I just realised, like, this is a sensor, biosensor, but our body is full of its sensors when you think about our receptors. And I was always thinking like, we don't know, but I wish we could know you know, I wish our brain was wired to basically tell us how is it going? But still, like I remember when the lockdown happened for the first time in March last year. I was always at home. All of us was at home we never left home because it was forbidden to leave home. It's not for New Zealand for the rest for the rest of the world.
And after four weeks, I was like really feeling off. I was like, tired. I couldn't figure out then I then I was, again, my mom is an interesting medical genius behind the scenes. I took my mom and she said, “Well, do you ever go outside for even fun?” I said, No, I don't, I'm happy. It's like a zombie apocalypse. She said “Take vitamin D, activated vitamin D.” And I went to pharmacy and take it. And literally in two days, I was back to normal. Something that is so key, even not getting sun
Lisa: and your because you’re a bioengineer you should know that stuff!
Miray: But I'm trying to do— I tried to minimise supplements and like I love colourful vegetables and fruits. So I love knowing what I'm eating. what is inside. But still, we need some of the supplementation, because it's hard to get in these days when it's refrigerated? Refrigerated, it's cold after it, it's collected in two to three weeks, probably it comes to us. And by the time it lasts, like for vitamin C, for example, it oxidates literally like 90% of the vitamin C goes from the spinach until it comes to your plate. So yeah, really, we need supplements.
Lisa: And this is why we do need some supplements and why we and then you've got problems with the soil, and you've got your loose transports and pesticides and all the rest of the problems. So having some organic veggies, if you can get them or start growing them, if you have the opportunity. These are the sorts of things that we need to start working, and I'm still learning how to do my garden, and I'm not very good at that. But, I'll get better over time and I'll get more of my own veggies.
And it's understanding that whole process, where the food is coming from and how it's been made. And it's really, really hard to get good food, unfortunately. If I think we all grew up in the 1970s, and we had organic meats that my dad would get, and we had chickens and we had a huge, great organic veggie garden. So we grew up healthy, pretty healthy. Whereas the children today are getting packaged, processed, “pesticided”, modified, you name it, this additives is preservatives, there's all sorts of things in them. And then we're wondering why they've got issues. It's just—there's no quick answer for that one.
Miray: But still in between, it's so hard to raise your—I tried, by the way, at the end of the day, I'm just eating tomatoes and strawberries, because I eat them a lot and it's easier but it is hard. A lot of effort goes. I wish like governments, companies, takes the actions on behalf of us, rather than poisoning the world. Because it's in the world, like agriculture individually, that is a huge challenge, once you like start raising in the garden, not in a pot, but in the garden, literally, then you understand, “How will I kill these bugs, organic ways to kill these bugs, I need like, fertilizers, what is a good fertilizer? Can I make it at home?” like it is such a complex job
Lisa: It is for the busy person, like you running companies and you still got to try and grow your veggies, like it's pretty tough, right? And humans in the past, they didn't have to be a CEO of a big company and get investors who know they can actually just go and grow the veggies, the chickens, and that was the job, maybe build their own house or whatever. And so we as modern day humans have to try to undo some of the damage and look after ourselves. And this is one of the tools in the toolkit Vivoo is very exciting for me. And it's—I know that you're going to develop more things and make this even greater. And I'm excited to be working with you and your company.
And what I want to say to listeners in my team will have all the show notes and all the links to Vivoo. I have a whole lot of strips that Miray sent me kindly and I would like to share them with you guys, for you to test them out. And even if you can't, because you live far away from me or whatever, you can use the code Lisa25 that's Lisa25 to get 25% off the strips if you want to have. Add this to your weekly regime that you do maybe once a week or however often you want to do it and keep a track. The cost is really minimal. And it's a really good thing. So go to the App Store. It's on Google and Android as Apple and Android. It's just the Vivoo App, isn't it?
Miray: It’s Vivoo they can just search Vivoo.
Lisa: V-I-V-O-O and download that and then see what it's all about. And then order some strips and then away you go. Because it's really, really exciting. I think this is just absolutely brilliant. So Miray, anything else that you would like to talk about from a science perspective? One of the questions that did pop up in my head was like, it comes back like “liver function: great”. Mine came back liver function great. What does it actually measuring in the liver? For example? Like what is it? It does say on the bottom of it, this is not looking at your entire health of your liver. What part of it is it looking at? And what should I also keep an eye on?
Miray: That's a great question. That's not like for example, any— a problem we had problems before because when they look at the liver enzymes, for example, in a hospital, there might be a problem. And they come back to us and say, “Hey, you said My liver is good. But I have problems.” If you’re tracking bilirubin can never be a byproduct plus urobilinogen. So those notes are giving us indications. They shouldn't be technically by the way, in the urine, in normal cases, and yes, liver damage, cirrhosis, etc., may cause that bilirubin presence in your urine. But again, it's not the only indicator. Liver is a complex organ. There are other elements if you'd like to, if you're worried about your liver health, you should go to your doctor's office.
Lisa: So for your kidneys and your liver, it's not a complete, it's not going to give you everything it's just going to give you the indications for some things. So in regards to the liver is bilirubin checking in kidneys, what is it checking in kidneys?
Miray: Protein, in kidneys we are checking proteins. Again, they shouldn't be present in your urine at least it should be present really minimal. If your kidneys filtering blood, well, it shouldn't leak proteins then. But we are also seeing some interesting like heavy exercise, yeah, doing supplementation on protein powders, we also saw some leakage because they damaged kidneys. Fun fact, like protein in urine and dehydration is like a combo. And if there is also ketones we understand like if the person—like its a sign that probably heavily exercising. Is probably drinking protein powder, drinking not enough water, for the muscle definition etc. And like again, just I understand some for some people, it's their job to look fit. But the expense shouldn't be their health. They don't—because you look healthy, you look healthy and beautiful, it doesn't mean inside your organs, your body is beautiful.
Lisa: For example, an ultramarathoner, like what I did, that if I did it after an ultramarathon, I would see protein in my kidneys, because I know because I’ve had rhabdomyolysis a hundred times in my life, because I'm pushing really hard. So that's where my muscles are breaking down, and they're actually clogging up my kidneys. And your hydration is going to be down, your pH levels probably going to be out, you'll probably have ketones and having ketones in your urine can be a good thing if you're going on to a keto diet and you wanting to actually get some ketones, so it's not always a bad thing to–
Miray: I’m praying for ketones.
Lisa: My doctor was like, “Oh, you have some ketones, you may need to check or something”, I can't remember what it was. And I was like, “Actually, no, I want the ketones because I'm wanting to get into ketosis.” So that's great.
Miray: In Vivoo app, if you pick when you're registering a high protein diet, or low carb or keto diet, when you have ketones in your urine, you will get a higher score. Like if you have ketone in an optimum amount, you will get ten. Again, we wanted to not discriminate any diet or lifestyle, because that's your goal. You don't want to see weak point for ketosis because you haven't. That's your purpose. Your experience should be tailored.
Lisa: That's great. Yeah, and that explains a little bit more for me too then how that whole side works. So yeah, now this is really exciting. Alright, Miray, I think I've taken up enough of your time but I'm just super excited to know you, know your company, to work with Vivoo. I think it's really really exciting. And I can't wait for the new test because I want to know what's my magnesium level and what are my other things doing. So really excited for that. So anything else you wanted to add, anything where should people find you, will reach out to you or your company if they want to connect on a deeper level?
Miray: Sure, just like one minute I would like to summarize something quickly. You said its affordable that was like a really important point. Because I was— because as a Turkish person, and because the currency changes. I was always struggling to make these 23andme, MiO, Everlywell test because there's expensive a couple of $100 a time and Vivoo starts from $2 a test and for the new one with magnesium, calcium, vitamin C we're just going to make it start from $4. And investors always tell us “Sell it for higher”. And I'm like, no, our mission is to make wellness tracking, accessible, affordable, easy to use. So go check vivoo.io and our Instagram, we will be happy to share more information and don't forget to use Lisa’s code Lisa25 for your purchase. Yeah and thank you so much for listening. Thank you.
Lisa: It's been wonderful having you today, Miray. Thank you so much for being on the show.
Miray: Thank you.
That's it this week for Pushing The Limits. Be sure to write, review and share with your friends and head over and visit Lisa and her team at lisatamati.com
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