DNA – What’s Wrong with Genetic Testing?

 

If DNA testing is done correctly, it’s a spectacular way to personalize your health.

DNA testing in nutrigenomics (specifically, this test) helps you understand which nutrients you may need more of than others and which foods are healthier for you than for others. Most importantly, the results highlight which changes you should make (diet & lifestyle) that are highest priority for you given your genetic vulnerabilities, in order to reduce likelihood of health issues & disease.

DNA testing has been around for several years now. Because there have been a substantial amount of studies on genes and nutrition & lifestyle, there is a ton of scientifically solid substantial info that can help each person understand their body more, and how to change the expression of their genes (i.e. influence how genes work).

If DNA testing is done poorly, they can be inaccurate, point you in the wrong direction, waste your money, and barely help you from a health perspective.

I could’ve chosen to work with many DNA tests, but the test I chose has higher accuracy among many other things and here’s why.

I have viewed several tests from other genetics companies. While these reports seem to offer a load of interesting info, I can easily say, they’re not scientifically valid, among other things.

DNA test in Mauritius, 3x4, HealthUp, Lindsay Kassem

Of the many tests I’ve come across, there are many that have poor criteria. The table above gives a high level summary, and the one below gives all of the details. Definitely have a look if you’re deciding between tests.

For example, some companies are throwing in genes because they seem advanced, but they are only studied in mice or in one human trial. This is not even close to enough to be scientifically valid! There was even one company that unfortunately has all of the characteristics on the right of the table. Not something you want if you’re paying to accurately personalize your health!

 

It’s incredible how much science has advanced to further personalize health.  It’s really important that you work with a solid test though!

Just a disclaimer, I am not affiliated with 3×4 for writing this article; I wish I received something for this! If there were another DNA test/report to use worldwide, I would use it, as I like to offer the best health solutions as possible. Doctors & practitioners from the US are sending their results to 3×4 rather than all of the companies in the US for the very same reasons.

3×4 seems to always strive to be on top of the most current research. I am proud to say that this is the best report on the market that doesn’t “stretch interpretations past the confines of the evidence”, which has been stated by the Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Yael Joffe from 3×4. It takes a lot of strength & ethics to keep the report virtuous and not succumb to the marketing hype of this technologically advancing field!

In summary, what’s wrong with DNA testing is that it is often done poorly. However, there is a really good test out there, and I’m proud to offer it in Mauritius & the US. If you’re interested in taking this test and further personalizing your health, click here!

Below gives more details behind the above picture. Have a look as this is where comparing DNA reports gets juicy!

3x4 Test (the one I use)Other Leading Brands
Well researched - High accuracy in reading your body as every single genetic variant (snp) used has been studied in multiple clinical trials with real people!Poor & inconsistent research - Lower accuracy because they are throwing in genes that look interesting on a report, but poorly researched. There have been in vitro success or studies in mice, but nothing studied on humans. Mice studies translate to humans only 10% of the time. In my opinion, it’s unethical to put these in a report & claim that it’s valid.

Some tests have done one human trial with a small sample but that’s not even close to enough to claim the evidence is strong.
Represents the big picture, how your body actually functions – This report combines many genes into groupings (biochemical pathways) which takes into account the many genes that are involved to do a job. The results & recommendations looks at each pathway its entirety & then gives the summary. This has been well researched to greatly heighten accuracy. Narrow & misrepresentative, reporting gene by gene -reports on genes in isolation. Genes do not work in isolation, they work in groups in the body to do several activities. It’s like having one demotivated employee and the focus is on that one employee when 100 are happy. Or vice versa!

Some reports do include a couple of genes, but most often, it is still not enough.
Uses the most reliable genetic variants, even if expensive. To maintain high quality and integrity of this report, including key genetic variants like deletions, even if more expensive, is essential. Some people just don’t have certain genetic variants i.e. deletions. If there is no gene, there is no enzyme to do a certain function. Factoring these types of genes tells a much more accurate story. Excludes key variants in order to keep the price down. While this is great if you want a cheap test, it lends to a false picture of your genetic blueprint.
Supporting process, accompanied by a trained professional to help you - The test requires the involvement of a trained nutrigenomics practitioner to help communicate & bridge the results in the report with your lifestyle & symptoms. Looking at each on its own has some benefit, but when combining the two, it is more powerful. Causes unnecessary worry as you only receive a report. No one guides you. Things are typically lost in translation – the reports mention disease risks without context. There is typically no counselor nor practitioner involved to put everything into context for you, so you’re left with angst & also without solutions. Did you know that exercise changes gene expression & reduces risk of Alzheimer’s by 50%? If you didn’t know this, you would be left without hope!
Gives you priority areas to focus on
Also, the practitioner gives you an even better summary of priority areas that factors in your lifestyle & symptoms
You need to sort through the large list of items without knowing the most important for you
Everything in this report is modifiable by diet & lifestyle. Every single one of the results in this report can be offset by the diet & lifestyle recommendations, and are the most common genetic variants that people are likely to have.

This is called low penetrance
Includes some genes that you can’t do anything about
There may be a time when you need to look into a specific gene that will highly correlate with a disease or an outcome that you can’t do much about in terms of diet & lifestyle. They are called high penetrance i.e. not able to be modified by diet & lifestyle. Think BRCA or the gene for Huntington’s Disease, or even your eye color. If you have a highly penetrant variant, you can’t do much about it. This may be useful one off. However, the majority of diseases with gene expression modifiable by diet & lifestyle, are in the other report - the most common genetic variants
Highly accurate recommendations that enhance your gene expression
The beauty of this report is giving recommendations that have been properly studied to influence how your genes work
No recommendations or subjective recommendations, not always well researched. They are subjective to the few that put the report together. Also, these recommendations stretch interpretations of the science.

Thanks for reading. Health Up Everyone! 🙂

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