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Has anyone joined the Zoe Programme?

(84 Posts)
NotSpaghetti Thu 23-Feb-23 07:43:54

This is about looking at your gut how your body responds to food. It is part of Tim Spector's research which many will be familiar with. I'm interested in this ZOE program but wondered if anyone had been part of this?

I do need to loose some weight but my main motivation is maintaining my heart, lowering BP and preventing stroke.

Skye17 Thu 23-Feb-23 09:34:07

I haven’t, but I would if I had the spare money.

Have you heard about the work of Dr David Unwin? He is a GP who has had very good results with reversing Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes in his patients using a low carbohydrate diet. This included, on average, weight loss and lower blood pressure. His paper in the British Medical Journal says:

“For those choosing a lower carbohydrate dietary approach for an average of 23 months it is possible to achieve a 46% drug-free T2 diabetes remission rate in UK primary care whilst also achieving significant improvements in weight, blood pressure and lipid profiles.”

More info here:

or from the UK Low Carb podcast.

Skye17 Thu 23-Feb-23 09:45:49

I eat low carb. I feel better on it and get hungry less than before (I was eating healthily but higher-carb). I did lose some weight when I started, although that wasn’t the aim.

NotSpaghetti Thu 23-Feb-23 10:15:00

Thanks Skye17. I'll look at Dr David Unwin - the name is definitely familiar.

Zoejory Thu 23-Feb-23 10:36:21

No. But I think I should.

Farzanah Thu 23-Feb-23 10:54:51

A friend has joined it NotSpaghetti and her motivation was to improve an autoimmune chronic skin condition. She has had very good results after a short time, and her skin is better than it has ever been. She is now for example making her own live yoghurts to improve gut microbiome.

I have picked up some hints from her, although of course one size doesn’t fit all, which is what Tim Spectre is keen to emphasise. We all, even identical twins, metabolise food in different ways. For example a particular food may raise blood sugar rapidly in one person, but not in another. Very interesting.

The research into gut microbiome is so exciting, and the balance of healthy microbes can affect so many other functions such as the immune system, and even moods!

FannyCornforth Thu 23-Feb-23 11:02:52

I’m very interested.
I’m convinced that my metabolism is absolutely up the creek and that my gut health is appalling.
I’ve just looked and there are spaces to join in June.
It’s £299 for the tests and £25 per month after.

vampirequeen Thu 23-Feb-23 11:34:12

It seems a lot of money. If you think you have a gut health issue wouldn't it be cheaper and easier to but a month's supply of probiotic tablets and see how you feel when you've taken them.

Farzanah Thu 23-Feb-23 11:39:54

I don’t think it’s so simple. They give kits for blood tests and stools I believe and advice and support is very individual.

MerylStreep Thu 23-Feb-23 11:52:46

For some years I’ve followed Dr Chatterjee.
Five years ago, on his recommendation it took a course of Symprove. I’ve never looked back.
The science of Symprove is entirely different to other probiotics.

vampirequeen Thu 23-Feb-23 11:59:14


For some years I’ve followed Dr Chatterjee.
Five years ago, on his recommendation it took a course of Symprove. I’ve never looked back.
The science of Symprove is entirely different to other probiotics.

Wouldn't it be better to ask your GP for an MOT? You will have weight, blood pressure and bloods done. You'll also be able to discuss your concerns with your GP and if necessary be referred to a dietician.

Farzanah Thu 23-Feb-23 12:32:27

I agree seeing a GP should be the first consideration if you have troubling symptoms. Very often however those with gut problems have not been diagnosed with any specific condition, and frequently go down the self diet, and medication route.
Sometimes with negative consequences.

I will only try something which has reliable, not pop science evidence, and the Zoe programme is well researched and run.

vampirequeen Thu 23-Feb-23 12:36:52

Sorry Meryl I didn't mean to quote you. I meant to answer Farzanah's post about blood tests.

Skye17 Thu 23-Feb-23 13:59:02


I’m very interested.
I’m convinced that my metabolism is absolutely up the creek and that my gut health is appalling.
I’ve just looked and there are spaces to join in June.
It’s £299 for the tests and £25 per month after.

I think they mean that for a 12-month membership, you pay £299 at the beginning of the 12 months, which equals £25 a month.

There are other options, such as paying £60 a month and cancelling when you like.

NotSpaghetti Sat 25-Feb-23 00:42:56

I don't believe I have a "gut health issue" vampirequeen but probably you were 'talking' to Fanny?
I have yogurt, kimchi home-made kefir, and prebiotic foods such as onions, wholegrains, legumes and nuts & seeds.

My interest really is in other health issues such as heart, brain, preventing Stroke, BP, inflammation etc.

Thanks Farzanah for info re your friend. It's not easy to see what you are "getting" for the fee. Obviously the study is ongoing.

I'm not keen to do things without a proper basis. I'm not easily influenced by no-evidence ideas.

Thanks everyone who has replied. I'm going to have to find out a bit more I think..

Farzanah Sat 25-Feb-23 10:14:28

I wondered about what you are getting for free too NotSpaghetti. I know blood testing kits and so on are not cheap. and there must be individual assessment and monitoring going on, but I only heard brief details from the friend, so will have to ask her.

I must say the expense has deterred me from joining. I don’t think it is just for those experiencing gut issues, and of course not as simple as just introducing more probiotics into the diet.

The gut microbiome is interesting because research is showing that it plays such an important part in the immune system and general health. It has its own enteric nervous system with millions of neurons, in constant communication with the brain, and has a part to play for example in conditions like depression and Diabetes 2.

Farzanah Sat 25-Feb-23 10:27:52

I didn’t mean for free - for the fee!

Farzanah Sat 25-Feb-23 10:40:13

Professor Tim Spector is Professor of Genetic Epidemiology & Director of Twins Registry U.K. at Kings College London.

He directs The British Gut Microbiome Project which I believe is crowdfunded, with a team of international and Kings College scientists.
This is a large scientific nutrition research project showing that the individual response to the same foods are unique, even between identical twins.

NotSpaghetti Sat 25-Feb-23 13:43:01

Exactly Farzanah - but their own info doesn't exactly "sell" it.
I'd be grateful to know a bit more if your friend is able to tell you that would be good. Obviously they may not want to discuss it.
I know they do food tests as well - with some sort of muffins (?).

FionaG Sat 25-Feb-23 14:31:29

I’m on it and can highly recommend. The tests are all done at the beginning then everyday on the app there is good info about food/guthealth etc as well as daily logging of food. The results come back after a month or so and with them a comprehensive personalised list of foods good to eat for your micro biome as well as bad foods for blood sugar, fat and gut.
All my life I’ve got the wobbles occasionally post carbs and using the glucose monitor it has shown me that bread, pasta etc have a really bad effect on my blood sugar giving me a high spike followed by a crash hence the wobbles!

foxie48 Sat 25-Feb-23 15:17:56

I am on it and have just finished my 14 day blood sugar monitoring and waiting for the results of my Muffin tests,( sugar and fat) and my gut biome test. I'm finding it very interesting. I'd been having some symptoms which I thought were related to my heart condition but I now know that I was getting some very low blood sugar readings. I don't seem to spike though as all my readings are in the low area of normal I'm definitely not diabetic or pre-diabetic but I started to tweak my diet and have managed to stop them. tbh my biggest problem was eating the three muffins for breakfast in 15 minutes but I managed it by drinking a lot of water to help them down but generally I've found the ap quite intuitive. I'm looking forward to getting my results though!

foxie48 Sat 25-Feb-23 15:31:14

Just to add, you wear a blood sugar sensor on your arm for 14 days which constantly monitors your blood sugar levels. It gives you feedback if a certain food gives you a rapid spike in your level and also how quickly it returns to a pre meal level. The ap also gives you meal tests to try that demonstrate how you can flatten the curve as spikes in levels because this has been shown to reduce general inflammation which can cause problems such as heart disease etc. You also do a blood test which identifies how well you deal with fat. We are all different so this is why the dietary programme, which is aimed at improving your health although most people seem to lose some weight, is individualised.

Farzanah Sat 25-Feb-23 16:23:52

Thanks foxie and FionaG for more info.

NotSpaghetti Sat 25-Feb-23 22:56:08

Yes. Thank you.
Very interesting.
If you stay on the programme do you have more "tests"?

FionaG Sun 26-Feb-23 10:51:54

I’m hoping there will be an “after” test at the end, I think they are still developing things. I have continued with the glucose monitor buying it separately as it has been a revelation and I like the discipline of logging, recording etc.
I also record how many plants I eat each week and it’s around the 50 mark so very pleased