Jeff was in his seventies when he took the Ixcela test to learn more about optimizing his health and to confirm that his current habits were supporting his longevity. As a parent of two preteens, he was invested in maximizing his wellness habits and finding out how to feel good and stay active with his family as long as possible. He felt that getting data about his internal fitness would help him pinpoint his next steps.
Over the past five years, Jeff had already taken several steps that he believed would best support his health: He was following an intermittent fasting schedule and a vegan diet; he avoided processed foods; and he had cut gluten out of his diet because he found it helped him feel better. Thanks to his plant-based diet, he was eating more than five servings of fiber-rich vegetables per day. He also took high-quality probiotic and prebiotic supplements, and he included fermented foods in his diet. Furthermore, he was meeting with a trainer for regular strength and cardio workouts, and he occasionally practiced tai chi.
Although Jeff was already very focused on his fitness, he wanted to know what else he could be doing. Because the many options and opinions about supplements, diets, and exercise routines were overwhelming, Jeff decided to test his gut and get personalized recommendations based on his own internal fitness.
Although Jeff was doing a lot of great things for his health, his Ixcela results revealed that he wasn’t getting enough protein, and stress was taking a toll on his body.
Jeff's Ixcela report indicated that his tryptophan and total indoxyl sulfate (IDS) were below optimal levels. His Ixcela Expert explained that tryptophan is the precursor to IDS, and both of these metabolites are connected to protein in the diet. Jeff was familiar with tryptophan in turkey and other animal proteins, and he was eager to learn more.
Although he had been following a vegan diet, Jeff let his Ixcela Expert know that he was open to reintroducing animal-based proteins, especially fish, to his diet. His expert explained that including fish, grass-fed beef, and free-range eggs (in addition to plant-based proteins) would help him get sufficient protein, which would help him progress with his exercise routine, reduce inflammation, and aid quick recovery.
Because Jeff’s xanthine was above optimal, his Ixcela Expert explained that he would also need to focus on reducing stress. Jeff felt that his stress was due to poor sleep. As they talked, he realized that he had no trouble falling asleep, but he often woke up during the night. He would usually sleep well for about six hours, but then he would sleep only lightly afterward. His Ixcela Expert explained that boosting his tryptophan intake would support his body’s ability to produce melatonin, the sleep hormone.
The Ixcela test confirmed that Jeff’s indole metabolites were in the optimal range, which meant that he was doing the right things: including a variety of vegetables and fermented foods. This was reassuring for Jeff, and he confided in his Ixcela Expert about supplements he had been taking. She was able to reassure him that his current probiotic was of good quality and he should continue taking it.
Jeff and his Ixcela Expert discussed which small changes Jeff could make to improve his sleep, reduce his stress, and support his tryptophan levels. They decided on three goals:
Add animal proteins—slowly.
His ultimate goal was to include an animal protein with each meal, but to ease his body into tolerating animal proteins, 1 serving per day was a good start. Jeff’s expert recommended Ixcela recipes as well as some general meal ideas, such as:
Because he liked to practice intermittent fasting, Jeff and his Ixcela Expert talked about increasing his portion sizes and adding a snack to his routine so he could get sufficient protein during his window for eating. She explained that as his physical activity increased, he might notice that his hunger cues would start earlier in the day, and that although intermittent fasting can help a person avoid overeating, it would be important to hit his calorie and protein goals each day, especially on days of exercise.
Support sleep with simple bedtime habits.
Jeff liked to read, and he frequently read to his kids before bed. Occasionally, he watched videos before bed. He just needed to make some small adjustments to improve his sleep. He would:
After the session with the Ixcela Expert, Jeff felt reassured in his practices and motivated to follow the recommendations to support his metabolite levels. He was happy to hear that the probiotic and the variety of fruits and vegetables he was including were supporting his gut microbiome, but he was also motivated to increase his protein intake and improve his sleep quality.
About one week after his results review session, Jeff reported that the low-dose melatonin supplement was already helping him sleep better. In fact, he was getting a full hour—or two—more sleep per night. He was also enjoying cooking and eating fish and other animal proteins, and he continued to include a variety of vegetables in his diet.
Note: Jeff benefited from the Kickstart Assessment Program. This client's name has been changed to protect his privacy.