Is Customizing Your Diet & Exercise Based On Your Genetics A Complete Health Scam?

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In the podcast episode High Protein Breakfast Myths, Genetic Testing For Exercise, Demystifying Brain Waves & More!, I interviewed Matt Reimann about, a smart health app based on personalized epigenetics and gene expression.

After that interview, I received an onslaught of questions, comment and relatively disturbing feedback about the “customized” online dashboard Matt and I discussed. People were concerned about everything from a daily recommendation for soy lecithin and sunflower oil, to high amounts of animal protein, to exercise recommendations that seemed too basic and not really customized at all.

So in today's podcast (and the screenshot video in this post), I got Matt on a call to review all my personal results via both audio and video. During our discussion, I ask Matt some hard questions, and you'll discover:

-Why some foods that are very healthy for one person can wreak metabolic havoc in your own body…

-How your epigenetics can tell you the time of year you should go on vacation, and exactly the kind of places you should go to…

-How the type of exercises you choose affect your organ function and the fascia surrounding the organs in your body…

-Why pushups work for some people, and will injure the shoulder and chest complex in others…

-How the kind of people you hang out with will affect important hormones such as testosterone and oxytocin…

-The difference between Body Mass Index and Body Fat Index…

-Matt's full response to many of the frustrated comments that came in from listeners using pH360 who felt hampered by food choices and exercise choices being recommended to them by pH360…

-And much more!


This episode is brought to you by:

Four Sigma Foods – Visit and use code ‘bengreenfield' for 15% off!

Resources we discuss during this episode:

The website

Matt's TED talk on epigenetics

The science Matt and I discuss on the show

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Matt or I about this episode? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply!

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12 thoughts on “Is Customizing Your Diet & Exercise Based On Your Genetics A Complete Health Scam?

  1. Rodrigo says:

    I’m a PhD-level health researcher and it astonishes me how many health professionals with legit qualifications fall for this bulls*t. And let’s be honest, ph360 is just that: snake oil cloaked in a veneer of science. I’ve been to presentations by people “certified” in pH360 and all my requests for independent research that supports each of their claims have gone unanswered. They cannot be answered because there is no substantive body of research that supports the claims they make. Epigenetics is the new buzz word these days and it’s easy to sell it because people don’t understand it. When they talk about health types, it’s much like astrology and horoscopes. No matter what they tell you, it could apply to virtually anyone. In short, it’s just a clever way of getting people to put down the cans of Coke and doughnuts. But that doesn’t mean that there’s any science behind the theories behind the system. When it comes to epigenetics, it’s an oversimplified explanation for something that is actually not so simple. There are many factors and meta-factors which account for gene expressions and outward health. I also note that they have virtually ignored the role of the gut microbiome which we now know to be a massive influence on health. Anyway, the bottom line with pH360 is this: if you follow any of the diets they offer you, you’ll probably lose weight simply because you’re eating healthier, but it has more to do with marketing and less to do with epigenetics.

  2. Atte says:

    Hi Ben,

    I typically find your podcasts interesting and thought-provoking. However, when you bring people like Matt to the show, I find myself utterly disappointed. Please, I beg of you, do less podcasts if that means you are able to screen your guests in more detail. You do a disservice to the entire health industry when you give airtime to people like Matt. Epigenetics will most surely play a key role in our health during the coming decade, but there is no current research to back any of Matt’s claims (sincerely yours, Ph.D in biochem & biology). I am sure he has a few articles to throw around (which I could probably guess off the top of my head), but these are from poor rep. journals with extremely shady methodologies. Matt is a bonafied snake-oil salesman and it utterly frustrates me when people like him go around throwing words like “science based”, “peer reviewed” etc. If he finds the field interesting, and wants to develop a method based on his n=1 experiments, at least he could be frank about it and stop the lies about science based methods!

    Apologies for venting out a bit, but I respect your work and like your podcast but sometimes feel that you are not critical enough of your guests. I hope this will change in the future. Often less is more.



    1. Got it. Sometimes it's a fine line between not being "rude" to a guest and being critical, but I hear you and will take all this to heart. I'm constantly striving to improve!

  3. Mark says:

    This may be completely legit but Ben asked for research studies confirming some of the claims and the company delivered none. The website only has a very very brief description of the science they claim to use in their algorithm. I don’t see testimonials as being adequate. They probably use each person’s information to refine the algorithm which is fine but perhaps the user should be paid. (LOL)

  4. Jason Leal says:


    Have you done the DNA fit test? Did you find value in that? Thanks.

  5. nmckeehan says:

    Did Matt provide links to any actual research (the link above leads to brief explanation on the ph360 site but not any peer-reviewed science)? It could be an interesting field, but the way he throws around words like epigenetics, neurochemistry, important brain regions, etc makes this seem suspect. I'm not sure the science is here yet.


  6. johane777 says:

    I tried to find the first episode, and I couldn't find it. Can you provide it please. Also, I just signed up for, and I'm extremely impressed already! Thanks Ben for all the work you do!!!

  7. jameso5 says:

    hey Matt – could you please touch on why i might have various nuts as 5 smiley foods when I have an autoimmune condition and digestive problems?

  8. Belgarvm says:

    Interesting as ever, Ben. The starting point to living well being to know thyself has, of course, been known since the Ancient Greeks, so anything that encourages or even manages to accurately quantify this knowledge has to be worth investigating. What most intrigues me is how much more effective is this sort of stuff than simply being a tad more mindful about things (e.g. observing effects of elimination / reintroduction diets, noting which climates / social situations enhance energy and which deplete it and adjusting future plans accordingly etc.)? Outside of the effects of certain fairly specific supplementations (which I understand are fairly tricky to measure outside of a series of 'snapshots'), the effect of most diet / exercise / social changes on energy levels is, I think, easy enough to experiment with for the observant man. Does this help in simply narrowing the focus of the experiments, or is there more to it that careful self-observation couldn't as confidently deduce?

  9. Jim says:

    Ben, I joined ph360 earlier this year based on your first podcast with Reiman. I found no value in their site or the “personal” info they provided. So much of it was contrary to the actual genetic testing that I’ve had done over the past 36 mos. Their advice reminded me of the half baked generic articles one reads in main stream press. I asked for my money back and they did a full refund. It was a waste of time. I find 99% of the info on your site and in your podcasts to be helpful, but not this one.

    1. Yes, we talked about these issues in this podcast!

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