Frequently Asked Questions: UK

Not in the UK? Click here for our US FAQs.

General

Where is ZOE available?

The ZOE programme is now available for early access in the UK to people who joined our waitlist before 2022 and expect to be on general release next year. Sign up here to be updated on our progress and notified when you can join the ZOE programme.

We're widely available in the US too. If you're from another country, we'd love you to register your interest and join our waitlist so we can gauge demand as we expand.

I am a ZOE COVID/Health Study Contributor. What is the relationship between this personalised nutrition programme and the COVID/Health Study?

Firstly, thank you so much for taking part in the ZOE COVID/Health Study! Thanks to you, we’ve been able to directly contribute to the fight against COVID-19 and chronic diseases in the UK and across the globe. We’re so proud of everything you’ve helped us achieve!

ZOE means life in Greek.

Founded by Jonathan, George and Tim in 2018. ZOE was designed to be something new. They bet that new technologies like machine learning and microbiome sequencing could enable scientific research at an unprecedented scale, allowing us to understand individual responses in the real world.

ZOE is a global brand that uses data-driven research to tackle global health issues and help optimise health for everyone. Through ZOE’s core research focus on the microbiome and gut health, we discovered that anyone can improve their health by understanding their unique biology.

The PREDICT 1 & 2 Studies were the largest nutritional studies of their kind, enabled by remote data-gathering through a mobile phone app. This research formed the scientific foundation of ZOE’s personalised nutrition programme.

When the COVID pandemic hit, ZOE rapidly applied their predictive data expertise to study COVID-19 at scale. Through self-reported symptoms and test results, contributors built a picture of the pandemic playing out in real time. It enabled scientists to predict case numbers and locations, while also discovering unknown symptoms of the new disease. We’re incredibly proud of the work our team and our ZOE COVID Study contributors have been able to achieve.

The ZOE Health Study is an evolution of the ZOE COVID Study. Using the same approach, we hope to unlock the secrets of the immune system and understand how everyday behaviour can reduce the risk of chronic diseases, from cancer to dementia.

I have a medical condition. Is ZOE suitable for me?

We do not diagnose, prevent, or treat any diseases (including metabolic or inflammatory conditions). If you have any underlying health conditions you should consult your doctor before joining the programme.

This programme is not appropriate for those with an eating disorder or a history of eating disorders.

Chronic conditions and diabetes

We do factor some conditions into our advice, including many common medications for diabetes (e.g. metformin) and heart disease (e.g. statins).

To access the blood sensor you'll also need to consent to take part in our study, which excludes chronic diseases like diabetes. Read more about our entry criteria here.

Gut issues

Unfortunately, if you have a gut disease (e.g. Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or celiac disease) then you are not eligible for the programme.

If you have a sensitive gut (e.g. irritable bowel syndrome) then you may join the programme. However, you should understand that our advice is for general wellness and is not specifically formulated for your condition. Some diet changes we recommend such as increasing fibre and diversifying your plant intake have been shown to trigger adverse responses in some people with a sensitive gut. Whilst we give advice that is suitable for most people, following our advice could make your condition worse. We are actively researching how we might be able to adjust our advice specifically for people living with irritable bowel syndrome.

Is ZOE FSA eligible?

Not at this moment, but it is an idea for the future.

What does the ZOE programme include?

Our programme is the first of its kind to combine microbiome analysis, blood testing, food logging and continuous blood sugar monitoring. This provides 360° metabolic analysis that can be conducted remotely within the comfort of your own home.

Here's what's included in the ZOE programme:

Gut microbiome test

Understand your gut microbiome health. Our simple at-home poo test is patent pending with the most advanced analysis on the market. Using deep shotgun sequencing, we can identify specific 'good' and 'bad' gut bugs that are linked to 'good' and 'bad' metabolic health.

Blood sugar & fat metabolism tests

Understand your unique metabolism. Simple tests (finger-prick blood test, test muffins, and optional blood sugar sensor) measure your blood sugar and blood fat levels after eating food. The specially formulated muffins are the same ones used in the ZOE PREDICT studies.

Your responses to food

6 weeks after testing, you'll get the test results of your microbiome and metabolic health and a ZOE analysis of what it means for your health.

Members app

Get access to the ZOE app where you'll learn your unique responses to any food, recipe or meal. Use the app to track your diet, get a motivating day score, and learn how to improve. You'll also get unlimited chat support with our ZOE Coaches to help you reach your goal.

Personalised program

Learn how to eat for your biology with a personalised week-by-week plan. We’ll guide and empower you to make better decisions daily. Over the months of your membership, these changes will be conditioned into long-term habits.

Our test kits alone cost over £1000. Because of our scale, we can make substantial savings that we pass on to our customers.

We are in the process of testing new pricing and programs so we can continue to learn how to best serve our members. The total cost of the ZOE program will depend on which pricing plan and optional add-ons you choose to purchase.

Gut health guidance

Discover how good your microbiome is and specific foods to help you boost the good microbes you are missing.

How much does the ZOE programme cost?

There are two separate costs associated with ZOE: (1) testing and (2) membership.

Testing: The total cost of the test kit is £259.99. This can be paid upfront or in monthly instalments. This includes:

  • Gut microbiome test

  • Blood fat test

  • Standardised test meals - muffins!

  • Real-time blood sugar sensor (CGM, if opted into our scientific study)

  • Gut health report

  • Personalised insights report

Membership: This phase makes sense of the insights from your report and guides you into positive, long-lasting habits. Nutritional science combines with your personal insights, teaching you how to eat for your own unique biology.

There are three different membership options. Payment is charged the day you receive your results and auto-renews at the end of each period, unless you reach out to us to cancel.

  • 1 month plan - £59.99 per month

  • 4 month plan - £34.99 per month. Paid upfront for £139.96

  • 12 month plan - £24.99 per month. Paid upfront for £299.88

Can I buy the tests individually, without membership?

No, ZOE tests cannot be bought without a membership. The scientific insights from our tests are powerful, but it's the ZOE programme's membership that turns them into long-lasting habits.

The app gives you access to your personalised ZOE Scores for any food or meal, access to our team of expert nutrition coaches and daily bite-sized lessons designed to help you reach your goals.

Taking the tests alone makes achieving long-term health goals harder for our members, so we do not recommend it.

The UK Waitlist & Early Access

Why does the ZOE programme have a waitlist?

We've had over 200,000 people register their interest to purchase the ZOE programme. The ability to purchase is on a first-come-first-served basis. Those who have been on our waitlist the longest are currently being invited to purchase through our early access scheme.

What do you mean by early access?

ZOE is now inviting its UK waitlist to purchase an early release of the ZOE programme.

We have opted to bring the ZOE programme to the UK as soon as we possibly could, which means that some of the digital experience will still appear in American English and the database of foods isn’t as comprehensive as we’d like.

Our early access members in the UK will get immediate access to ZOE’s cutting-edge at-home testing kit and the ZOE app. These first members will be asked for feedback about their experience to help ZOE get the programme ready for general release in the UK.

Am I on the list? How can I find my spot on the waitlist?

Anyone who signed up to the waitlist before 2022 is able to opt into to the early access programme.

Over the coming months, those who have joined the early access waitlist will receive an invitation to purchase the ZOE programme.

If you're not sure whether you are on the list, you can add your email to the signup page. You won't lose or change your original position.

How long will I be on the waitlist for?

Those who signed up before 2022 and have opted into early access can expect to wait a few months for their invite to arrive.

We're offering invitations to those who have been waiting for the longest. At the moment, we’re not able to predict how long people will be on the general waitlist. We have roughly 200,000 people on the list.

We want to thank everyone for their support and patience whilst we have been working hard to bring the ZOE programme to the UK.

Can I join the early access programme with someone else?

Research shows it's easier to start and maintain new habits in a supportive environment. Most eating is a social activity, and it can therefore be particularly beneficial for a couple or family to all go through the programme simultaneously, so collective change can be made.

Those invited to purchase the ZOE early access programme will be able to invite up to three family members or friends to start with them via the ZOE referral programme.

Once you've checked out and purchased the ZOE programme, you'll see a prompt screen to sign up and refer. You'll be given a unique link that you can share that will allow the recipient to purchase at the same time as you.

How do I give feedback on the early access ZOE programme?

ZOE is a personalised nutrition programme that aims to help every member improve their health and reach their healthiest weight sustainably. Every piece of customer feedback is invaluable to helping us ensure we deliver on this promise.

We'll be reaching out periodically with surveys and feedback requests to understand your experience with the ZOE programme. Look out for these in the app or through email.

ZOE Testing

What is the nutrition information of the muffins?

Your muffins were specially designed by scientists to enable you to test your biological responses. The purpose of the muffins is to challenge your metabolism with high doses of fat and sugar over 6 hours.

To be able to package the necessary amounts of nutrients in the challenge in a standardized way, we used muffins. We created two specific recipes to understand your biology and recommend the best foods for you. If you opted into the study, you will have a second day of muffins during your test - you will be eating another set of average meal muffins for breakfast on that day.

  • The metabolic challenge: you'll receive three 'breakfast' muffins. Nutritional information for these is in the 'Metabolic Challenge Muffins' table below.

  • The average meal: you'll receive two 'lunch' muffins. Nutritional information for these is in the 'Average Meal Muffins' table below.

Metabolic Challenge Muffins - Nutritional information

UK Metabolic ChallengePer 100gPer serving: 3 muffins
Energy (kJ)17913457
Energy Calories (kcal)429828
Carbohydrates (g)4383
Of which sugars (g)2039
Fat (g)3650
of which saturates (g)3.77.1
Protein (g)6.612.7
Fibre (g)0.81.5
Salt (mg)0.741.4

Average Meal Muffins - Nutritional information

UK Average MealPer 100gPer serving: 2 muffins
Energy (kJ)16401944
Energy Calories (kcal)386463
Carbohydrates (g)5465
of which sugars (g)2935
Fat (g)1619
of which saturates (g)2.33
Protein (g)6.37.6
Fibre (g)1.11.3
Salt (mg)0.911.1

The muffins include the following ingredients:

  • Plain gluten-free flour

  • Corn flour

  • Sugar

  • Sunflower oil

  • Dried egg whites

  • Liquid egg whites

  • Baking powder

  • Vanilla extract

  • Potassium Sorbate

  • Calcium Propionate

How can I qualify for a blood sugar sensor?

To get a free blood sugar sensor with your test kit you must consent to our clinical study. The cost of the program does not include any study-related costs (including the blood sugar sensor) as ZOE covers these. To be eligible for the study you must meet the following criteria:

  • You are at least 18 years of age

  • You live in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland

  • You have a body mass index (BMI) of at least 16.5kg/m2

  • You are not pregnant

  • You have not had a heart attack (myocardial infarction), stroke/transient ischemic attack or major surgery in the last two months

  • You can safely eat our test muffins (See 'What is the nutrition information of the muffins?' above for the ingredient list)

  • If you are being treated for chronic medical conditions (including type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes), you have checked with your treating physician that this product is safe for you (note that to participate in the PREDICT 3 study you must not have been diagnosed with eating disorders, type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes)

I’m not sure about collecting my poo. Will it need to be stored in my fridge?

The poo test is easy to collect and comes with step-by-step instructions to help you. The sample goes into a solution that preserves it, so there is no need to store it in your fridge. Phew!

How does ZOE analyse my gut microbiome?

There's a variety of next-generation sequencing approaches for studying the human microbiome. We chose shotgun metagenomics as it is the most comprehensive approach at sampling the whole DNA content of a microbiome.

This technique can detect very low abundance members of the microbial community (i.e. those found in very small numbers) that may be missed using other methods and provides information about the metabolic processes and functions present within a microbial community.

You can learn more about how we analyse your gut microbiome here.

Are your muffins suitable for vegans or vegetarians?

Our muffins do not contain gluten or dairy ingredients, but are not certified gluten-free. However, they do contain egg ingredients and have been produced in a facility that also handles milk, egg, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, and soy. They have not been cooked in a Kosher kitchen.

The muffins include the following ingredients:

  • Plain gluten-free flour

  • Corn flour

  • Sugar

  • Sunflower oil

  • Dried egg whites

  • Liquid egg whites

  • Baking powder

  • Vanilla extract

  • Potassium Sorbate

  • Calcium Propionate

How long after ordering my test kit can I expect it to arrive?

Your test kit will ship in 8-12 days after purchase. You can track it online using the tracking number that will be shared with you via email.

Blood Sugar Sensor

Are there any health conditions that mean I can’t join the study and get a blood sugar sensor?

Yes - there are some criteria that mean you can’t join the study and therefore will be unable to access the blood sugar sensor (also known as a continuous glucose monitor or CGM):

  • Pregnancy

  • If you’ve had a heart attack myocardial infarction) or stroke/transient ischemic attack

  • If you’ve had major surgery in the last two months

  • If you cannot safely eat our test muffins (See 'Are your muffins suitable for vegans or vegetarians?' above for ingredient list)

  • If you’re being treated for chronic conditions including type 1 and type 2 diabetes

  • If you’re unable to fast for four hours

  • If you have a BMI of less than 16.5

Why do I have to join a study to have the blood sugar sensor?

To get a blood sugar sensor you must consent to our clinical study. There are no additional costs to you for having to do so. After purchasing a ZOE plan, you will be directed to a page where you are prompted to complete your order and consent to our study. To be eligible, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You are at least 18 years of age

  • You live in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland

  • You have a body mass index (BMI) of at least 16.5kg/m2

  • You are not pregnant

  • You have not had a heart attack (myocardial infarction), stroke/transient ischemic attack or major surgery in the last two month

  • You can safely eat our test muffins (See 'Are your muffins suitable for vegans or vegetarians?' above for the ingredient list)

  • If you are being treated for chronic medical conditions (including type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes), you have checked with your doctor that this product is safe for you (note that to participate in the PREDICT 3 study you must not have been diagnosed with eating disorders, type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes)

I have an old mobile phone - will it work with my blood sugar sensor?

The blood sugar sensor (also known as a continuous glucose monitor or CGM) is a blood sugar monitoring device manufactured by Abbott.

To collect data, it connects to an app on your mobile phone, LibreLink, via a form of wireless technology called near field communication, NFC. As such, it can only work with newer devices that have this function.

App compatibility

To check your device meets requirements, please download and attempt to install it as follows:

Device compatibility

iPhone

  • The sensor is only compatible with an iPhone 7 or later / iPhone SE (2nd gen)

  • Your phone will need to run iOS 13.2 or later

  • We can't support iPads

Android

  • You’ll need Android 8 or later

  • The oldest devices we support are: Galaxy Note 8, S7 Edge, S8, S8+, S9, S10; Google Pixel, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL; LG Nexus 5X

  • You need to be able to install apps from the Google Play Store - some recent Huawei phones cannot

Can I shower or go swimming with my blood sugar sensor?

You can shower or bathe while wearing the blood sugar sensor. However, it shouldn’t be taken below a depth of 1 metre (3ft) in water or submerged in water for more than 30 minutes as this could break or deactivate it.

That’s why we recommend that you avoid swimming or using saunas or steam rooms until you’ve finished your test.

How do I apply the sensor? Does it hurt?

The sensor comes provided with a plastic applicator. Cleaning the skin with the provided alcohol wipe, you place this firmly on the skin. With a firm ‘stamping’ motion, it gets applied. Some people may feel a slight pinching sensation, but this goes away soon after and the sensor should be painless to wear.

We recommend placing it on the back of your arm to avoid knocking the sensor and potentially dislodging it. We’ll also provide you with a latex-free sticker to cover the sensor, to keep it extra safe!

Can I exercise while wearing the sensor?

Absolutely! We actually encourage it to see how exercise affects your sugar response. If you play contact sports, plan to wear your sensor when you’re not playing a game, or position it somewhere that is unlikely to get hit.

Do I need to pay for the sensor separately?

No. ZOE covers any specific study-related costs, so you do not pay extra for the sensor.

How long do I have to wear the sensor for?

The sensor lasts for approximately two weeks. We’ll gather the crucial information - your response to the test muffins - over a few days. For the remainder of the time, you’re free to experiment with different foods to get visual real-time feedback on how your body responds to sugar. You can also explore how different interventions can minimise the detrimental impact of sugar on your body.

Will I be able to purchase a new sensor once this one stops working?

No. Sensors are only available as part of the test kit and as such are limited to one per person.

How many sensors will I receive?

You will receive one LibreLink sensor. This sensor is worn and collects data for up to two weeks. We are able to get all we need for your results from this time window.

Results & Programme

How long can I expect to wait after testing to receive results?

To get your results you will first need to complete your tests at home and return your samples in the package provided. From there it currently takes about 6 weeks for our labs to process your samples. You will then receive an email as soon as your insight reports are ready to view.

In some cases, results will take longer to process due to retesting. If you need to retest due to issues with any of your samples, we will contact you via email immediately. From the point of retesting, you can expect to receive your results within 4-6 weeks.

Can I access a sample report?

No, we don't have sample reports that we can share.

Here's what you can expect to receive:

  • A dietary inflammation profile (blood sugar & blood fat control), scored from 0-100, 'Bad' to 'Excellent'

  • An introduction to our food scores

  • Personalised food insights for your meals logged during your testing week

  • The abundance of 15 "good" and "bad" microbes from your gut health sample

How does ZOE define the 15 'good' and 15 'bad' bugs?

This is based on the microbiome research we have done in which we did an analysis of correlation of the health of the PREDICT participants and the bugs that were present in their microbiome. For the PREDICT participants, we had data on various health markers and on what bugs were present. We found the 15 top bugs associated with good health markers, and the 15 bugs associated with bad health markers.

You can learn more about this research here.

Technology

Do I need a smartphone to access ZOE?

Yes. The ZOE app is currently available on both iOS (iPhone or iPad with iOS version 13.2 or later) and Android devices (Samsung, LG, Motorola etc. with Android 8.0 or later).

You'll also need to download and use the Abbott FreeStyle LibreLink app if you've opted-in to our study and will be using the blood sugar sensor.

UK

In order to be able to opt-in to the study, your phone must be compatible with the Abbott FreeStyle LibreLink app.

Device requirements:

  • iiPhone iOS 13.2 or later and an iPhone 7 or newer. / iPhone SE (2nd gen). We can't support iPads

  • Android 8.0 or later. The oldest Android devices supported are: Galaxy Note 8, S7 Edge, S8, S8+, S9, S10; Google Pixel, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL; LG Nexus 5X. You'll also need to check you can install apps from the Google Play Store (some recent Huawei phones cannot)

Is my data secure? What is your privacy policy?

We take data security and your privacy seriously and your information will be stored securely. Our full privacy policy can be found here.

Coaching

What can ZOE coaches help me with?

ZOE is designed for general wellness and does not diagnose, prevent, or treat any disease (including metabolic or inflammatory diseases). ZOE recommendations do not take into account allergies or intolerances, medical conditions you may have, or medications you take. Before making any changes to your diet, please consult your physician.

ZOE coaches are there to help guide you through using your ZOE results and the app in order to reach your goals. Coaches will not be able to provide any medical advice or medical nutrition therapy. If you have any medical conditions that affect what you are able to eat, or if you have a history of eating disorders or disordered eating, ZOE coaching is not the best fit. Please speak with your physician for medical advice.

What qualifications do ZOE coaches have?

All ZOE coaches have received a bachelor's degree or higher in nutrition science.

How can I access additional support from a coach?

ZOE coaches are available via the in-app chat feature.

What are the benefits of having a coach?

Your ZOE coach will help guide you through using your results and the app in order to reach your goals. Your coach will be able to help tailor your results and plan. They'll also be able to provide accountability in reaching your health goals.

When in the process does coaching start?

You can chat with ZOE coaches as soon as you log in to the ZOE app. As a member, you'll have unlimited chat coaching throughout your programme.

Cancellations & Refunds

What is your returns & refund policy?

Because test kits contain medical equipment and food, it would not be safe for us to accept returns. All test kit sales are therefore final and may not be cancelled unless your order has not yet been prepared. Preparation typically occurs within 24-48 hours after order completion, although it may happen sooner. Except where you cancel your order before we have prepared it, all fees are non-refundable.

We also offer a 14-day money-back guarantee, starting from the date you receive your test kit.

How do I update or cancel my ZOE membership?

Your account can be managed through our support team. If you have any questions about your account status or wish to cancel or update your subscription, open up the ZOE app.

In the menu, tap on 'Chat with us' to talk to a member of our team. Alternatively, you can email us at hello@joinzoe.com.

How can I give feedback?

We are always trying to improve and really value your thoughts and ideas for how we could do this. If you are already a customer, please get in touch with us through the ZOE app. Alternatively, you can get in touch with us at hello@joinzoe.com.

Partnerships

I would love to partner up with ZOE! Who can I contact?

Please forward any affiliate/partnership requests to social@joinzoe.com and our team will get back to you.

Didn’t find an answer to your question? Get in touch

Existing ZOE members:

Get the quickest response by using the in-app chat

General enquiries about the ZOE Program:

hello@joinzoe.com

COVID Symptom Study enquiries:

covid@joinzoe.com

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