Aguulp is a new health and wellness brand offering liquid supplements to improve gut, brain, immune health and recovery after a hangover. They have also developed an at-home gut health test. Everything is new to the market.
Aguulp is created by a team of scientists, is clinically developed and trialled, and includes co-founder and musician Stephen Manderson aka Professor Green, who spent a lifetime battling gut and mental health problems, which led to him creating Aguulp.
The Gut Test is an at-home to lab gut health test. It measures short-chain fatty acids – a more precise indicator of gut health than DNA-based tests. You send your sample to Aguulp’s lab and receive a comprehensive health report with advice on how to improve your gut health.
Left - Aguulp - Gut Test - £80
TheChicGeek says, “Firstly, this was very fast, I received my Gut Test results back within the same week. The results are from a mixture of a questionnaire and a stool sample posted to their lab. It’s really simple to collect and the instructions were simple and straightforward. The questionnaire asks you about your diet and habits etc.
Your gut score is how successful your gut is at producing key biomarkers, called short-chain fatty acids, based on your current gut microbial diversity and abundance, genetics, sex, age, diet and lifestyle. Fortunately, diet is the main factor shaping our gut microbial communities. I was 6.5/10. Over 8 is ‘Ideal’, under 4 is ‘Low’.
I had a few further questions about my test which Aguulp kindly answered:
CG : How individual is the test?
A: The same laboratory extraction and analysis is carried out for everyone, but the results and dietary and lifestyle recommendations are personalised because each of our gut microbiome’s are unique. Gut testing is a snapshot in time, so we have made the test as powerful as possible, whilst remaining affordable with rapid results, this means you can retest yourself periodically to see if the changes you have made work for you.
CG: My result was ‘Borderline’, is this something to be worried about?
A: Borderline or ‘Average’ is not cause for concern, but you do have room for improvement. To put this in to perspective the UK average is 5/10 and the healthy average or ideal score is 8/10 so with your score of 6.5/10 you are half way in between. You have an increased risk of developing, or developing further, gut-related health issues. If you already have gut-related health issues, you have found the solution: by improving your gut health you will improve the underlying issue and remove or lessen your discomfort in time. For your information we have revised our reports and now Borderline is categorised as Average as to lessen people’s concerns.
CG: What percentage of people are Borderline?
A: Approximately 50% of people are borderline, 30% low and 20% ideal, so 80% of people have plenty of room for improvement to improve their gut health and reduce their risk of developing gut related issues.
CG: If I can do one thing to help, what is that?
A: Eat more prebiotic fibre and/or consider a prebiotic supplement such as aguulp for gut. Approximately 90% of people in the UK do not eat the required 30g of fibre per day, which is a major contributory factor in the rise in modern illnesses in western culture, such as digestive inflammation leading to IBS, Crohn’s, asthma and allergies, mental health leading to stress, anxiety and depression and other risks leading to type 2 diabetes, obesity and a weaker immune system. Food sources include whole grains (oats, bulgur wheat, brown rice, quinoa, whole-grain bread, whole-grain pasta), fruits (apples with skin, pears with skin, bananas, strawberries), vegetables (carrots, beetroots, broccoli), legumes (kidney beans, lentils, peanuts) and nuts and seeds (chia seeds, almonds).
CG: I eat a lot of sugar, what does this do to me and why should I cut it out?
A: There are many reasons and healthy benefits as to why you should limit your sugar intake from reducing blood sugar spikes, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer, depression and heart disease, the list is long. From a gut microbiome perspective, regular intake of refined carbohydrates or sugar feeds the pathogenic opportunistic or ‘bad’ bacteria and reduces the number and diversity of probiotic or ‘good’ bacteria. Again, this is not good news from a gut health perspective, which is a central hub interconnected to the other organs of the body and so has knock on effects.
CG: I was ‘Borderline’ on coffee, but I said in the survey I didn’t drink coffee?
A: If you did drink coffee in moderation, this has been shown to actually help to improve the bacterial diversity in your gut and contributes to a healthy microbiota, therefore your score was Borderline as there is potential room for improvement. However, excess consumption will increase caffeine levels, which may affect other aspects such as restful sleep or de-stressing. Additionally, if you have digestive issues such as IBS, Leaky Gut Syndrome or Crohn’s Disease, it is recommended to avoid coffee. For your information we have revised our reports and now the section on coffee has been removed as to concentrate people’s attention to areas which are more important and can make a bigger difference to gut health.
CG: Can consumers ask questions about their test results?
A: Of course, we are trying to break to taboo with poo and fully encourage any and all questions. We have designed the customer journey so that you are not forced to speak to anyone about your stools or digestive health if you don’t want to. We have also carefully designed the technical content on the website and report so that the information is nice and easy to understand so that you can ‘digest’ the information yourself, you do not need a medical degree to understand or a doctor to interpret it for you.
CG: Is there any information on your supplement products and tests before and after using them?
A: Yes we carried out a clinical trial, the summary in on the website here
"It’s good to see Aguulp are standing behind their product because they offer a package of two tests - one before and one after - with a combination of their ‘Brain’ and ‘Gut’ supplements in-between. They say the 'health shots' use liposomal technology to protect nutrients from being destroyed as they’re making their way through the body, delivering 98% nutrient absorption, compared to 20% from some traditional pill-form vitamins."
Takeaway - Everything is about ‘gut health’ at the moment, and I am a firm believer - *gulps apple cider vinegar*. You get out what you put in. It also feels central to everything in our bodies. This test is affordable yet expensive enough to be scientific and offers a nice breakdown with different elements. To be cynical, there’s always going to be room for improvement, especially from a brand that wants to sell you months' worth of supplements.
I was low on fuel for bad bacteria, and I know I eat too much sugar. (I’m trying dark chocolate to control my chocolate addiction while trying to cut down the sugar). I was ‘Borderline’ on coffee, but I said in the questionnaire that I didn’t drink coffee, but they answered that above. I also need to fast more and avoid food or drink (water is ok) for at least 12 hours a day.
I'm yet to try their supplements but these results certainly make me curious. Pass me the oats!"
Disclosure - The Gut Test was complimentary from Aguulp
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Left - Aguulp clinical trial results
Berries Best is a nutritious, doctor-formulated food supplement composed of organic fruit and vegetables. As per its name, the key ingredients in “Berries Best" are specially-selected berry fruits such as blackberry, blueberry, bilberry and lycium berry.
Suitable for vegans and boasting a high ORAC - Oxygen radical absorbance capacity is a method of measuring antioxidant capacities - value.
TheChicGeek says, “You can never have enough berries in your life and this is a good way of introducing more into your diet. The directions of the dry powder is one scoop with 250-350ml of water. You’ll need to really shake this to mix it. I just use a metal flask and give it a really hard shake. It is recommended on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.
It doesn’t taste bad, but it’s more the texture and the wet/dry mix that takes a while to get your tastebuds around. It contains stevia leaf extract, but isn’t too sweet, and, once you start drinking it, it’s soon gone.
I’m not sure you’d want to have more than one a day. It’s got that taste of raspberries, but without the sweetness. In addition to the full range of berry fruits, the blend contains organic fruits such as papaya, pomegranate and cherry and organic vegetables like beetroot and spinach leaf.
This isn’t cheap, it works out to be roughly £1 a serving and a tub will last you around a month. It could be worth mixing it into a smoothie."
Disclosure - A sample was gifted by Water For Health for review
Hims is a new American ‘ personal wellness’ brand entering the UK market. ’You should look and feel your best all the time. Men now have easier access to the care they need - because men trust hims with the things they find hard to talk about.’ or so the company blurb says. The Founder and CEO is Andrew Dudum who is a serial backer of start-ups.
TheChicGeek says, “Hims is more than a grooming brand, and goes deep into the wellness area for men. Covering hair, skin, mouth, sex and health, hims is trying to broaden the grooming scope and make these new areas cuddly and sexy. The branding is great. The phallic images of the flaccid cacti feels more like a premonition when you get to my age… (On that note, they could make the information on the bottles a little bit bigger for those us actually losing our hair and of that age).
I tried the ‘dht shampoo’, ‘morning glow serum’ and ‘immunity’ supplements, all achingly cool lower case. It’s a very Helvetica type brand, - it looks a bit like an underwear brand - but I like its modern approach and tone. It’s an open platform and makes more sensitive subjects feel just as easy and fixable as buying a new moisturiser.
Hims offers erectile dysfunction and hair loss treatments, but you have to go through a consultation and an online doctor will prescribe these. The company works with a large network of doctors to prescribe Finasteride - a proven-to-work hairloss treatment - and Sildenafil - the active ingredient in Viagra - through their website - customers will be assessed by an online consultation with one of the team. If they pass the assessment (in the US an average around 10% of patients are refused), an online prescription will be drawn up by a pharmacist and mailed in a discreet manila envelope. There is a huge emphasis on aftercare and customers will be able to follow up with the same doctor to monitor use.
As for the more traditional products I tried: the blue shampoo blocks DHT to help prevent hair-loss, the serum focuses on vitamin C for its collagen benefits and cute gummy bear shaped supplements support a healthy immune system. I have tried ‘Beauty Candy’ before. (Not quite a replacement for Haribo!)
These are all fairly long term products and need a longer of period of time if you’re going to see and assess any benefits. I did want a bit more ‘glow’ from the serum though.
Hims feels like an inclusive brand rather than one trying to rinse people’s insecurities. I just kinda wish they sold the penis cacti too!”
Because the non-prescription products haven’t launched in the UK yet, they haven’t released prices, but looking at the American website they look pretty keenly priced. The prescription products are: Hair Loss (Finasteride): £35 for a month’s treatment, Sildenafil (50 mg pill): £33 for 8 pills or a months supply. There is also a £10 consultation fee on top - www.forhims.co.uk
Disclosure - The products were gifted by Hims to review