Thriva is a company specializing in personalized health via blood testing.
The company’s service works by taking a sample of your blood to access your blood biomarkers, and once you’ve done the home test, which involves pricking your finger and squeezing droplets of blood out of it, you post your sample back to a Thriva-accredited partner laboratory and it is analyzed to provide data on how your lifestyle is impacting your health.
The results of these analyses are then uploaded to Thriva, who send you a bespoke report in the form of an online portal along with recommendations from a GP with guidance on how to improve your lifestyle if required.
However, more recently, the firm upped the ante in a bid to make these results more actionable. It teamed up with VitaMojo, a restaurant and software company, to launch a venture which allows people to design a meal which meets their body’s exact needs – based on their blood.
Combining Thriva’s at-home blood testing service with VitaMojo’s food ordering software, the partnership allows diners in the London-based restaurants to develop bespoke meals, while offering guidance on which foods they can eat to improve their personal blood test results as well as their overall health.
To see how the innovation worked, I took a Thriva blood test and then VitaMojo put together a meal suggestion, created under the guidance of registered nutritional therapist Alice Mackintosh and VitaMojo’s head chef, Paul Davies.
My personalized meal, which is said to offer me all the nutrients I need based on my blood biomarkers, consisted of: Veg purees, mixed baby veg, peas, asparagus, mustard greens, baked stuffed sweet potato with couscous and cumin, nut and seed mix.
The nutritional macros of this meal were: 51 percent at, 17 percent protein, and 32 percent carbs; a very large portion with a total of a whopping 900-1000 calories.
“Based on your biodata, high activity levels, and vegan diet, we have suggested a meal around 900 calories, with a macro breakdown of 51 percent fat, 17 percent protein and 32 percent carbs,” Mackintosh told me.
“Your test results showed no deficiencies, which is great news! However, we would suggest also keeping an eye on B12 levels being as you are plant-based and exercise often. We would also recommend always being sure you get a good source of vegan protein on your plate to deliver sufficient amino acid levels. We added extra nuts to up the fat content.”
How to do it yourself
If you want to try the super-personalized, blood-based meal yourself, here’s how you can do it (when it goes live, in August):
- Purchase the Advanced at-home blood test from Thriva to understand more about your blood. Pop it in the post and your results will appear online in a simple dashboard within two working days.
- Give consent to Vita Mojo to access your results and to enable recommendations on your account.
- Log in to your Vita Mojo account – based on your results the system will flag which foods might be suited to your needs on screen, with an explanation of why they have been selected.
- Easily build your perfect dish that is not only designed to meet the needs of your body, but is suited to your personal tastes – select your preferred store, and pickup time and collect your meal.
A previous version of this article suggested Thriva specialized in DNA testing. This was incorrect. The Thriva test is an at-home finger-prick blood test that measures a range of things, from vitamin deficiencies to how healthy your liver is. The company does this by measuring biomarkers in your blood (not DNA), for example, the level of certain enzymes, hormones or proteins. By measuring and tracking these, it can help and advise its customers to make positive changes. For example, if they’re vitamin D deficient, Thriva can advise them on the best foods to eat to boost their levels, which can help to improve their current and long-term health.
The firm sent me a comment for those confusing the blood testing that Thriva does, and DNA testing that some other companies specialize in, such as 23andMe:
“Thriva doesn’t currently analyze your DNA. DNA testing has its own place but it’s separate from what we offer,” the company said. “A DNA test is typically used to tell you more about your ancestry or if you’re more likely to get a certain disease based on your genes, like dementia. But it won’t tell you if your vitamin D is too low or if your blood sugar is too high, for example. You can’t change your DNA make-up, it’s set for life.”