I had the pleasure of interviewingCyril Moukarzel, the CEO and co-founder of LifeDNA. Cyril’s company uses DNA testing to create personalized diet, fitness, and nutrition programs, as well as high quality supplements. He started his career as a personal trainer, building LifeDNA with a team of Doctors and Scientists to change the way we improve ourselves.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path as a doctor or healer?
My paternal grandparents died early because of genetic related illnesses. My grandfather had diabetes and heart disease, and both grandmothers have had cancer. My mom is now at risk of having breast cancer and gets checked on a regular basis.
Even as a personal trainer at 20 years old, I became prediabetic, so genetics have played a big part in my family and personal health.
Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve had the desire to make a positive impact on people’s lives and make the world a better place. My family’s struggle with disease was and continues to be a key motivator in my mission to improving lives through DNA.
How have your personal challenges informed your career path?
I moved to Canada from Lebanon at the age of 11, which made me kind of get used to taking big risks and overcoming obstacles. I think that helps as an entrepreneur.
When it comes to health, I’ve seen so many close friends and family members struggle with their health and wellness on a regular basis. This made me question the way medicine works today.
We focus on curing illnesses and health issues after they’ve occured. Often times, that’s way too late. The future of health is prevention and personalized treatments. And the only way we can move forward in that direction is by understanding the human genome and its impact on health.
It boggles my mind that most diets, fitness programs, and even doctors don’t take your genetics into account. And that’s really unfortunate, because we can get a lot of very useful information from your DNA, like which illnesses you might be at risk for, what you can do to prevent certain deficiencies, and how best to take care of yourself.
Can you share five pieces of advice to other doctors/clinicians/healers to help their patients to thrive?
- The biggest thing I can share is to start getting informed about genomics and its impact on health. I would even recommend to start giving your patients a DNA test. A lot of companies focus more on ancestry, but the focus should be on more serious health risks, vitamin deficiencies, and other useful information. A lot of practitioners have partnered with us to give their patients more personalized care. It can help you be prepared for the issues you’re most likely to face, and that gives patients a huge advantage. We don’t have to wait for health issues to happen anymore: we can start taking action early on.
- Get back to conversations. It’s easy to get used to reading a chart and telling the patient what to do, but they’re part of their own healing process, too. Medical knowledge deserves respect, and I’m not saying you should let your patients “correct” you, but take the time to listen to them. Sometimes better care is just a matter of really listening.
- Question your own assumptions. Computer programs are already better than diagnosing illnesses accurately, and a big part of that is because computers don’t have biases. Doctors who are willing to rethink their own ideas and abide by the latest research will be able to stay relevant as software takes over a greater portion of the healthcare industry.
- Incorporate new technology and research. You don’t have to be afraid of being replaced by new tools, software, and services. By using them yourself, you gain control of technological trends and improve your patient care.
- Look for trends in other fields. We saw that DNA testing was incredibly popular for ancestry and family discovery, but there was so much potential in the healthcare, nutrition, and fitness industries. See what people are doing beyond medicine and bring that to your practice.
Social media and reality TV create a venue for people to share their personal stories. Do you think more transparency about your personal story can help or harm your field of work? Can you explain?
It definitely helps in my case.
Most people, even practitioners, don’t understand the impact that the human genome has on health and wellness. Our DNA is the blueprint of our lives and studying it is crucial to understanding, preventing, and curing human disease. If sharing my story will get more people interested and involved in DNA, then we can truly start driving the future of medicine together and save millions of lives along the way.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant to your life?
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”- Steve Jobs.
When I was younger, I used to think to myself “I wonder what the future will look like. What will they invent next?”.
Our parents and their parents did a great job. They innovated, they created new things, and built our current reality. Now it is our turn. If we don’t build the future, no one else will. We are here to change the world and shape the realities that our children and grandchildren will live in. Don’t ask yourself “What will the future look like?” Instead ask yourself “How can I create the future?”.
The stage is ours.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
We’ve known about DNA for a long time, but people are only just starting to incorporate that knowledge in their healthcare and personal lives. I think the potential for us to live our best lives really lies in our understanding of our own DNA. Within the next ten years, I think it will become standard practice for all doctors to issue a DNA test for their patients as part of their general intake process.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
You can reach me through the following:
Twitter — https://twitter.com/Cmouk7
LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/cyrilmoukarzel
LifeDNA’s webiste — www.lifedna.com