Alana and Lisa Macfarlane, otherwise known as The Mac Twins, are celebrated presenters, business owners, gut health activists and DJs. And now their worlds are colliding with them taking the science firmly into popular culture. Gut health is about to be put under the microscope and go mainstream! Alana and Lisa are currently producing and fronting their very own primetime Channel 4 series “Know Your Sh!t” – and thriving in their founder/CEO roles at The Gut Stuff driving one of the UK’s most exciting start ups.
Previously they have done everything from hosting the Hogmanay annual street party to over 90,000 revellers, DJ’d at the Olympics, resided as ITV’s Official Love Island DJ’s, presented on the Brits red carpet, performed at Wembley and Twickenham Stadiums, and hosted regular live radio shows for BBC 1xtra and Virgin Radio and spoken at the top health and wellness events.
It all started as twins are a great constant for medical research and Alana and Lisa became the “chief guinea pigs” for Prof Tim Spector and the Twin Research department at Kings College, where they discovered that despite having 100% the same DNA their guts have only 30/40% the same microbiota, which could explain why their bodies behave so differently – if they can’t be sold the same diet/lifestyle, no one can.
With consumer knowledge low, science emerging quickly and the category disparate and spread across food, pharma and public healthcare, the girls dove into every inch of research, the market and, most importantly, what people knew and wanted. They gathered dietitians, nutritionists, GPs and scientists from each corner of microbiome research and thegutstuff.com was born – a hub to educate and empower.
With a business built on education first they were able to launch products by listening and engaging with their community. They’ve since created an ecosystem to encourage daily gut habits. Their products range from diaries, fermenting kits, tools and resources for EVERYONE as well as a range of fibre bars which are stocked across grocery, high street and online.
To bring gut health to the masses, they knew they’d also have to speak in places that weren’t expecting them, knowing they could disrupt workplace wellness one gut at a time. Their suite of talks and bitesize content has taken them everywhere from Balfour Beatty construction sites, the RAF, Visa, Facebook and Accenture.
The business has grown rapidly but never lost it’s roots to make systematic change. This has seated them on the NHS Food Review board, authors of best-selling books with top experts and currently piloting modules for the UK School Curriculum. The company also achieved B Corp status this year.