DNA Testing has soared in popularity over the past few years. In Australia, more people ordered a genetic test in the last year, than the previous 10 years! Companies such as AncestryDNA and 23andMe have made DNA testing simple and cost effective, opening up the tests to a huge global audience.
You can take a DNA test to learn a raft of different aspects about yourself, including everything from your heritage, ethnic mix, lost distant relatives and family trees. Thanks to the popularity of these tests, there is a huge database of people that these companies can link to and find people with shared DNA.
DNA Testing for Health is a relatively new area of the science, which looks at unique DNA traits, that can help people understand their health and be proactive with their lifestyles.
What is a DNA Health Test?
Your DNA sample is collected via saliva and sent to a laboratory for analysis. This genetic test can potentially provide an extremely large volume of data and depending on what test you have signed up for, you get the results.
A DNA Health Test will require an expert in clinical genetics to interpret the data. Depending on what you have requested, they will create reports around key aspects of your health, such as genetic predispositions to certain diseases or food intolerance’s. They will then meet with you to review results, and customise a health plan, based on your unique DNA health traits.
What Can a DNA Health Test Tell Me?
Quite a lot. Your DNA carries a unique genetic code, which determines characteristics such as hair and eye colour, and also how you react to your environment. So as an example, how your body processes certain foods, and if you have any gene mutations which make you predisposed to certain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Diabetes. By understanding these health traits, you can create a lifestyle program to help you improve your health.
Some of the specific DNA Health Tests you can take include:
Gluten Intolerance DNA Test
In recent years, many people are opting for a gluten free lifestyle for ‘health’ reasons. However, this may not be the best option. You can take a DNA Health test to screen for any gluten intolerance genetic mutations, to get a better understanding of your body and how it processes gluten.
It’s also important to identify if your children are gluten intolerant, as early prevention may help prevent autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease and Type 1 Diabetes.
According to recent studies, around 65% of the world’s population are lactose intolerant. This is an impaired ability to digest lactose, a sugar found in dairy products. Understanding if you are lactose intolerant can help you create a better health and lifestyle plan.
Alzheimer’s is a global health concern. World leading Alzheimer’s researchers have determined that what you do in the 20-30 year before the onset of symptoms, are the most important. Taking a DNA test for Alzheimer’s can help you adopt a preventative lifestyle plan, to avoid the disease.
It’s important to discuss your health with your Doctor, and ask them advice on getting a DNA test, to help you understand and find solutions to your unique health issues and intolerance’s. The science surrounding this will continue to improve overtime, and will allow people around the world to tailor their diets and lifestyles for their DNA traits.