A Personalized Diet & Exercise Plan Just For You
Rather than looking at your DNA sequences, My Toolbox Genomics examines a specific set of SNPs (or DNA building blocks) in your DNA to see how your body behaves to experiences and various lifestyle factors.
With this information, My Toolbox Genomics claims it can predict everything from your perfect diet to your optimal exercise routine. Does it deliver?
We tested My Toolbox Genomics’ DNA test to see exactly what’s on offer. Does it accurately advise which foods are best for your body? Can it show you where you’re lacking vitamins and minerals? And how valuable is the personalized workout plan?
After our thorough tests, we’d say My Toolbox Genomics is a strong choice for healthy recipes and kickstarting your fitness regime. But we wish the report was more detailed. For more in-depth insights, we’d recommend Living DNA instead.
Easy to Follow Instructions, Simple to Use
The test itself arrives via UPS. I didn’t get a confirmation email when I ordered my kit, which was a bit disappointing as I couldn’t keep track of my package. It also took over a month to arrive at my house, so it’s quite slow compared to most others I’ve tested.
Nevertheless, I was excited to unbox my test. It came with an instructions pamphlet, a specimen tube, and a pre-paid returns envelope to send back your sample.
The instructions were really clear and I liked that they came with imagery to guide you through providing your sample. Make sure you download the app first to your Android or iOS device, as you need this to activate the barcode on your sample for processing. It only took a few minutes to register.
Providing the sample was quick and easy. I had to collect 4mL of saliva using the tube provided. The instructions recommend you do this first thing in the morning, although I’m not sure why. It doesn’t require you to fast.
Before you unpack your DNA sample, remember that you have to register your kit from the app. This is so the laboratory can correctly identify your sample as yours.
When you’re done, pop your sample in the pre-paid envelope and simply mail it back.
I received confirmation that I had registered my kit and to sit and wait for my results, but I didn’t get any further communication. I would’ve liked to keep track of my results, for example by knowing when it had been received or was in the lab for testing.
5 Standout Features of My Toolbox Genomics
Your Meal Guide & Diet Plan
Using your genetic predispositions, My Toolbox Genomics gives you diet and nutritional information to help you maximize your health. It provides you with a personalized meal plan based on your individual goals.
There are four options in the diet plan that you can explore in further depth depending on your goal: weight loss, fitness and endurance, build muscle, or health and wellbeing. I liked that you can customize your profile depending on your personal goals and how you want to manipulate your diet.
You can input your daily eating and activity behaviors, such as how many meals you eat per day, how active you are, or how many visits you pay to the gym each week. Your 7-day meal plan is then calculated for you, with easy-to-follow recipes and calorific information.
Having looked at all the recipes on my dashboard, I have to say I felt they were quite generic, though. I could probably have found these healthy meals just with a quick Google search.
You don’t get any macronutrient information and they don’t really consider how your DNA influences your diet, for example, if you need to follow a pescetarian or low-carb diet. Although it’s fine for some quick, healthy recipes, it didn’t feel that personalized to me and my results.
Fitness & Exercise Suggestions
Alongside diet advice, your My Toolbox Genomics app comes loaded with fitness and exercise suggestions, too.
It gives you a 4-week fitness routine, with a full breakdown of the exercises to do each day. It even tells you which days to work out and which days to take a rest, which I liked.
Each of the exercises advises you of the rep count to stick to and rest period, and I was also pleased to see that you get small demo videos with each one. There’s no audio, unfortunately, but it’s a good idea if you’re not sure what the exercise is and it saves you having to find out yourself. Or you could read the description which helps, too.
You don’t get any information on why those exercises have been picked for you, so I’m not entirely sure that they are personalized to your DNA results. But if you’re new to exercise or just want to stick to a dedicated routine, it’s good for getting started.
Extra Diet Insights
The app also comes with a DNA results section which gives you some more generalized insights into your health, and specifically your diet.
It covers factors like your snacking risk, glutamine benefit, and arginine benefit, so you can understand a bit more about your eating behaviors and nutritional needs. It covers gluten tolerance, caffeine metabolism, and gut health, too.
We liked that each factor comes with a color-code to determine your risk, so it’s easy to see where you sit on the scale. And you can filter your results, too, so that it only shows you anything to be concerned about, for example.
Every factor comes with a summary and some quick tips to help you manage your diet. For example, if it shows you you’re at high-risk of snacking, it explains how eating little and often might benefit you.
You also get tons of other insights from this section, too, not just relating to diet. It reports on your 02 usage, muscle health, your attention span, heart rate, and much more. I was even able to see whether I’m likely to be a worrier or a warrior, and if I’m better suited to being a night worker.
Get Your Virus Risk Score
After you complete the personal profile and various health questionnaires, the app provides a COVID risk rating for you to determine how likely you are to get COVID, as well as other respiratory diseases.
The score you get is linked to 60 different genes that affect your risk of developing conditions relating to lung function, immunity, detoxification, and cardiovascular function.
The only downside I found is that the app does not provide any insights into how it actually comes up with that score. The good news for me? My COVID complication risks are perfectly average, and you get some tailored insights to help you decrease your risk levels.
Health Predispositions & Aging Insights
The health predispositions area of the app comes with loads of practical and helpful insights into various aspects of your health. These are separated into anti-ageing, eye health, gut health, heart health, immunity, and injury risk.
You can click on each section to understand your health predisposition risks. It explores things like your genetic predisposition to disc degeneration, oxidative stress, glaucoma, high cholesterol, and more.
With each health risk, you can see the biomarker tested and which genotype you carry. It then gives you a little explanation into your risk and how your genotype influences the likelihood of you developing that health condition.
You get some quick tips and recommendations, such as adding or limiting certain foods in your diet, engaging in specific exercises, or even taking supplements to improve your health. It’s not as in-detail as a lot of other tests I’ve reviewed, though.
No Report, Just An App
In the instructions pamphlet, it said it would take between 3-4 weeks to get my results. I got mine on time, in 4 weeks.
Before getting your report, you need to fill out the general health questionnaire and complete your profile on the app. The profile collects typical personal information like your height, weight, age, and gender.
With the health questionnaire, you provide more information about your specific daily routines. It covers four general areas:
- Overall health: how often you’re sick, whether you suffer from back pain, and so on.
- Diet: if you take supplements, which diet you follow (for example vegetarian), how much water you drink, if you consume alcohol and caffeine, and if so, how much.
- Exercise: How often you exercise, the intensity of your fitness routine, and generally how active you are.
- Lifestyle: Whether you have a family history of conditions such as anemia, Alzheimer’s, alcoholism, arthritis, asthma, or blood disorders, as well as basic sleep data and alcohol consumption.
The questionnaire sounds very in-depth, and it is, but it was actually really quick to complete. I did think that the diet section was missing some key factors such as how much fiber I eat and my fat and sugar intake, as these are important influences on health and nutrition.
I was notified by email when my results were ready, but I was a bit disappointed I couldn’t actually track my sample through the lab so I had no idea when to expect them.
Your results are accessible from the app. Although you do get a downloadable PDF, it’s not comprehensive at all. It’s only a single-page summary of your results, so there’s no way to actually download all of your data or report, which is annoying, to say the least.
I had to request the downloadable PDF via email, too, so it wasn’t even available to me right away. It only took an hour to arrive in my inbox, though.
The app itself is…OK. It’s colorful and your actual results are easy to understand when you know where to look. From the app homepage, you have various different sections to click into, including your overall results, your meal guide, training plan, and health insights.
Once you’ve found the result you want to explore, you can learn about the genes that were tested and get an overview of what it means for your health.
The recommendations portion of the results was very low-value, though. It explained that I may have increased performance in certain sports, but there was no mention of what these sports are or why that is. If it had told me which exercises my body was best suited to, I could then incorporate these into my fitness routine. I expected to get that info.
Another problem is that there’s just so much information and it all feels a bit disorganized. Each section has several subsections, and the more I drilled down, I found it increasingly difficult to understand how each section relates to the other.
For example, my results indicated that I’m at increased risk of vitamin B6 deficiency. The sub-menus in this section recommended that I stock up on foods high in vitamin B6. But in the diet section, there was no mention of this at all.
That being said, can you ever have too much information about your DNA and health? Probably not. My Toolbox Genomics certainly covers a lot and even has unique insights that you can’t get everywhere, like sleep and stress. But maybe it’d be better to focus on fewer factors in more detail and actually give some sound, actionable advice.
A Choice of Three Plans, All at a High Price
My Toolbox Genomics has three different plans available. The first and cheapest is the DNA test that we reviewed, which costs $199. Compared to other tests we’ve reviewed, it’s expensive.
Although it covers tons of health, diet, and nutritional aspects, the quality of my report left me questioning the price. You don’t get a downloadable PDF report for one, and secondly, the actionable recommendations are few and far between.
You can upgrade to the epigenetics test for more insights about your memory, hearing, and eye age, plus you get the ability to track your DNA expression changes over time with re-testing. This costs you $249, but actually, you don’t get any of the information from the DNA test included. So it’s very expensive.
You can buy both tests together for a combined price of $299. But is it worth it? I’m not sure.
Timely, Helpful & Responsive Support
My Toolbox Genomics offers live help via chat and I found it to be responsive and helpful each time. It wasn’t always available, but I was able to leave a message and provide my email and someone got back to me within the hour.
First, I was having trouble figuring out how to go back in and tweak my diet plan. I contacted support, got an answer in less than 30 seconds, and they solved my problem.
I also wasn’t sure from the materials whether or not folks outside of the U.S. had access to the app and the testing. Answer? U.S. only for now.
I also had a lot of questions about the “antioxidant-rich” diet suggestions. I once again reached out to the support via chat asking for the science behind those suggestions. Within a day, I got an email with links to published studies with more information.
I would have liked a deeper FAQ section that provides more online tools for people who have made the investment in the app. Even a basic user section or user guide along with the report would have helped my engagement considering I’m not a health professional.
Some Good, Some Bad
My Toolbox Genomics was, for the most part, a good test. I liked that it gives you a meal plan, a fitness routine, and it identifies many factors affecting your nutritional health, whether that’s your eating behaviors or vitamin deficiencies.
For your fee, you also get a lot of extra health insights that many diet and nutrition tests charge separately for. Alongside diet information, you can learn about your gut health, heart function, and risk of genetic diseases.
The actual quality of the report is one of the biggest downfalls, though. Everything feels pretty generic, and despite promising a personalized meal plan, I could’ve got the same results from a quick Google search.
The recommendations don’t go into much detail so even if you find out your gut health is something to be concerned about, you don’t really know where to go next.
For a lot less money, and a lot more value, you could consider a test like Living DNA instead. Granted it doesn’t include all of the health insights, but it’s very comprehensive when it comes to diet and fitness information.
How do I take a My Toolbox Genomics test?
Your My Toolbox Genomics test requires a saliva sample. In your kit, you get everything you need to collect your sample, including a detailed instructions pamphlet to guide you. Once you’re done, ship your sample back using the pre-paid envelope and simply wait for your results.
Does My Toolbox Genomics accept insurance?
No, My Toolbox Genomics does not accept insurance. We also checked to see if you can pay with HSA/FSA cards, but unfortunately not.
How long do My Toolbox Genomics results take?
After speaking with a support agent, we were advised it takes 3-4 weeks for your results. The epigenetics test takes longer, though, with a waiting time of 5-6 weeks.
When we tested the DNA kit, we got our report in 4 weeks.
Can My Toolbox Genomics tell me if I have any illnesses?
No. Your report only indicates a predisposition for a disease. It can determine your risk level, so you can understand the likelihood of you developing a condition. You should always discuss your results with your doctor to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.