In this interview, Vieroots Wellness Founder & Chairman Sajeev Nair talked about how the company’s developed EPLIMO genomic plus metabolic assessment system can detect over 250 lifestyle diseases’ risks and suggests personalized lifestyle modifications to keep them at bay, and how Vieroots aims to optimize health and longevity for individuals by tailoring lifestyle modifications based on genetic and metabolic uniqueness.
Read the complete interview:
TechGraph: Can you provide an overview of Vieroots and its mission in biohacking for longevity?
Sajeev Nair: Vieroots Wellness Solutions is a Bengaluru-based health-tech startup launched amidst the pandemic. Vieroots has multiple product lines, with our flagship product being the biohacking solution EPLIMO, which stands for personalized epigenetic lifestyle modifications, which is a genomic plus metabolic assessment system that can detect the chances of developing any among 250+ lifestyle diseases and suggests personalized lifestyle modifications to keep such detected disease risks at bay.
It is India’s first such geno-metabolic wellness solution and one among only a handful of such products in the world. Apart from this, we also have a premium array of unique supplements targeted at longevity, healthspan, productivity, and peak performance.
TechGraph: Biohacking is a term that has gained popularity in recent years. Could you explain how biohacking can help people optimize their health and well-being to live longer and healthier lives?
Sajeev Nair: Modern medicine has excelled in diagnostics and treatments. But as the Covid-19 pandemic proved, it couldn’t protect millions of lives across the globe. Also, many of those who survived the pandemic continue to suffer from syndromes like Long Covid.
Even before the pandemic, and despite modern treatments for lifestyle diseases, they emerged as the leading killer diseases that prematurely take lives. All these show that something way more superior is necessary, and the irony is that this superior solution – preventing diseases before they happen – has been available for some years now, thanks to booming medical research into the roots of lifestyle diseases.
But it was not available to the masses as the healthcare system had its hands full of treatments. This is a major reason why health-conscious individuals across the globe started to take charge of their health, by adopting these research-based preventive methods, and this is basically what biohacking is, and why it is able to optimize health and longevity.
TechGraph: Could you discuss the scientific principles behind biohacking for longevity? How do certain lifestyle changes impact our biology, specifically in terms of reducing inflammation and improving cellular function?
Sajeev Nair: The number one killer that prematurely kills lives is not accidents or catastrophes, but non-communicable diseases (NCDs), commonly called lifestyle diseases. Post the completion of the Human Genome Project (HGP) in 2003, and thanks to the boom in genetic research since then, it became clear that most of these lifestyle diseases have genetic origins. In other words, there are specific genes we inherit from our parents and ancestors that encode these disease risks.
As I explain in my biohacking book, ‘The Making of a Superhuman’, these are like loaded guns. However, these genes may not get expressed or triggered until and unless faulty lifestyles or environmental factors come together to trigger them.
In fact, that is why we call them lifestyle diseases. On the other hand, it has also been proven that positive lifestyle changes in diet, exercise, sleep, meditation, breath work, etc. can proactively prevent these disease-encoding genes from being expressed.
This works at the cellular level through a process called epigenetics, in which lifestyle changes modify how a gene is expressed without actually changing the DNA. But the challenge is how an individual can know which disease risks he carries so that they can be targeted with specific lifestyle changes.
TechGraph: What strategies or practices do you recommend for individuals who want to hack for longevity? Can you provide some examples of effective methods, such as fasting, exercise, nutrition, supplementation, and stress management?
Sajeev Nair: All these methods you mentioned are good lifestyle changes. But despite these lifestyle changes being advocated for years, and even with many people embracing them, the results have not been as impressive as expected. The prime reason for this disappointing outcome is that these are generic changes that are not optimized for each individual according to their genetic and metabolic uniqueness.
While a doctor can clinically assess you and tell whether a specific diet, fasting method, supplement, or exercise is safe for you. However, only a detailed genetic test and comprehensive metabolic assessment can tell whether such lifestyle changes are truly effective or possibly harmful to you. Such personalization greatly improves the efficacy of these lifestyle changes. This same ethos of personalization, precision & prevention drives standards like Health 5.0 today.
TechGraph: Nutrition is often cited as a key aspect of biohacking for longevity. Could you explain the role of nutrition in optimizing health and extending lifespan? What are the benefits of a healthy diet for reducing inflammation and improving gut health?
Sajeev Nair: Diet is our primary input, and hence positive or negative changes in diet have a far-reaching impact than changes in other domains like exercise, sleep, or de-stressing. To take an example from the computing world, it is truly a case of ‘garbage in, garbage out’. It has been proven beyond doubt that a healthy diet with primarily anti-inflammatory foods can reduce systemic inflammation in the body and even in the brain.
Moreover, diet can impact the composition of our gut microbiome – the collection of good, bad & benign microbes in our gut – and this has been proven as one of the most effective targets for improving not only physical health but mental health and performance too via the Gut-Brain Axis. This is why a regular intake of probiotics like fermented foods, and prebiotics like fiber-rich fruits & vegetables, is essential.
However, here too, such dietary changes are most effective when they are part of a personalized diet based on your geno-metabolic uniqueness. This is because our genes affect the metabolism of the foods we eat, and the foods we eat affect our genes in return. This exciting new domain is called nutrigenomics, and a truly personalized diet is a nutrigenomics diet.
TechGraph: Many people may be looking for small lifestyle changes to improve their health and live longer lives. What are some specific suggestions or strategies you would recommend to individuals who are just starting their biohacking journey?
Sajeev Nair: The first thing to note is that small changes are best to begin with. Start exercising, choosing healthier foods, sleeping optimally, and cultivating a positive mindset.
Also invest a small amount in a smartwatch or health tracker that can count your steps, your heart rate, your oxygen levels, your BP, and so on. But once you are into this groove, don’t stop there, but progress steadily by choosing lifestyle modifications across diet, nutrition, supplements, exercise, yoga, meditation, breath work, etc. that are personalized according to your genetic and metabolic uniqueness.
Adopting such changes will not only provide you with a sharply improved lifespan and health span, but reward you with optimal energy, emotional balance, high productivity, and peak performance which are prerequisites for success today in any career.
TechGraph: How does Vieroots support individuals on their biohacking longevity journey? What resources or services do you provide to help people achieve their health and wellness goals?
Sajeev Nair: Our flagship product in this regard, EPLIMO, is as I mentioned earlier, India’s first and only personalized epigenetic lifestyle modification solution based on each client’s genetic and metabolic uniqueness.
EPLIMO employs Artificial Intelligence to comprehensively assess these huge volumes of data, to find out high probabilities or risk factors for developing any among 250+ lifestyle diseases, and based on this output, generates truly personalized lifestyle modifications across diet, nutrition, supplements, exercise, yoga, meditation, breath work, de-stressing, detoxing, etc., that can keep those disease risks at bay.
EPLIMO is deployed as a smartphone app on the client’s side, and it will provide you with a wealth of information and guidance for taking charge of your own health in the best way possible today. We also have unique families of supplements based on proven Ayurvedic herbs and other safe molecules, for better lifespan, healthspan, productivity, and peak performance.
TechGraph: Biohacking is a rapidly evolving field with ongoing research and advancements. How does Vieroots keep up with the latest scientific findings and incorporate them into your recommendations and programs?
Sajeev Nair: From the ground up, Vieroots is a research-based organization. We have doctors, researchers, geneticists, dieticians, fitness experts, alternative therapists, yoga gurus, and more such specialists in our fold. We have also teamed up with some of the most renowned scientific minds in most of these fields. We have teams that keep track of all the latest advancements in medical research so that they can be included in our recommendations.
We also keep abreast of the latest technological advancements in biohacking, and this has enabled us to pioneer in the Indian market biohacking tools like KardiaMobile 6L which is a unique pocket ECG machine, using which people can take their ECG at home or office, within minutes. We have also published one of the first and most comprehensive biohacking books, ‘The Making of a Superhuman’.
TechGraph: What do you see as the future of biohacking for longevity? Are there any emerging trends or technologies that you believe will have a significant impact on the field in the coming years?
Sajeev Nair: Personalised lifestyle modifications based on genetic and metabolic data will continue to be the leading health tech in biohacking for years to come. Such solutions will continue to dominate the market, as they are simply the most research-validated quantified self-tools available today.
Personalization also includes gut microbiome composition is another area that could emerge in the near future. You will also see better health-tracking wearables coming to the market. Virtual biohacking communities are also emerging that can encourage people to try biohacking in a more systematic way.
I co-founded one such community, Limoverse, which is the world’s first blockchain-based health & wellness ecosystem and metaverse. It has pioneered unique reward programs like HealthFi Burn2Earn that count calories burnt exercising, using wearables, and rewards users with Limo crypto tokens in their wallet as an encouragement to keep modifying their lifestyles.