DNA Testing For Health
As with all DNA testing what we are looking for is understanding your specific DNA sequence and specific changes called polymorphisms in the genes. These genetic variances can either be beneficial or harmful.
This article sets out to show you the broad categories that we are testing for and some of the important snips. Of course most commercial DNA testing services in the market will not share with you these specific snips, however, if you use a brand such as DNA Life via a certified practitioner you will be given access to your specific DNA markers.
It is always important to remember that your genes will never change.
Given this, the DNA Health screening is important to understand your baseline risk factors, which you can then control through:
- Diet changes
- Exercise program
- Medication (depending on further tests such as blood-work, blood pressure or other labs tests)
A DNA health test will breakdown specific biological areas
For commercial providers, instead of expressing your results under these broad categories, they are more likely to present a graphical overview as well as suggestions, based upon the results. We want to take a look at the science - so let’s dig deep.
Given the human genome has tens of thousands of genetic markers that make up our entire body in our DNA, science is still playing catch-up to understand a specific snips or groups of markers that have a scientific basis and relevance.
Ensuring that you understand what’s being tested and the science behind the specific snip, is much more important in the long term, than seeing a pretty graph.
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Breakdown of the genetic SNIPs that are relevant for your health
When it comes to heart health it is based upon a complex balance of genetic, environmental and dietary factors. Of course most of us know about LDL and HDL cholesterol levels and they are a strong associations with these levels and the risk of heart disease.
The lipid metabolism panel within a DNA health screening will outline your specific genetics that play a role in your overall risk.
The specific snips that give a practitioner a clear indication of your lipid metabolism are:
- LPL 1595 C>G - Lipoprotein Lipase
- CETP 279 G>A - Cholesterol Esther Transfer
- APOC3 3175 C>G - Apolipoprotien C3
- APOR E2/E3/E4 - Apolipoprotien E
- PON1 A>G - Encoding Gene for glycoprotein enzyme paraoxonas
The process of DNA repair is called methylation. Specifically in order for our bodies to have a strong Methylation process, B vitamins are needed in order to:
1. Protect our genes
2. Assist the use and absorption of other vitamins, to help create new DNA cells
As part of the DNA Health screening, there are several DNA Snips that help to indicate our risk factors in this area.
- MTHFR 677 C>T - Methylenetetrahyrodofolate Reductase (a key enzyme in the folate metabolism pathway)
- MTHFR 1298 A>C (similar to the snip above)
- MTR 2756 A>G - Methionine Synthase
- MTRR 66 A>G - Methionine Synthase Reductase
- CBS 699 C>T - cytathionine beta synthase
- COMT 472 G>A - Soluble catechol-O-methyltransferase
Almost everyone has come across a juice cleanse or a detox diet.
This is the next number of snips which are measured within our body, to see how efficient we are at detoxing our system. Our body has detoxification pathways such as sweating toxins out, through our skin. Depending on your internal genetics you can be better or worse at naturally detoxifying. This has a lot to do with a family of enzymes known as the glutathione S-Transferases (GST).
The specific markers measured to understand the performance of our detoxification system are:
- CYP1A1 Msp1 T>C - An encoding gene
- CYP1A1 lle462Val A>G - An encoding gene
- GSTM1 Insertion/ Deletion - Glutathione-S-Transferase 1
- GSTP1 313 A>G - A GST subtype often found in high numbers in the lungs
- GSTT1 Insertion/ Deletion - a member of a large family of proteins
- NQ01 609 C>T - commonly referred to as Quinone Reductase
Although it has a bad wrap, inflammation is a natural and important immune response. Inflammation occurs naturally, to help us heal tissues.
The issue starts when these genes are not “turned off” and inflammation continues. In fact, this low-grade inflammation has been linked to many common disorders including:
- Heart disease
- And inflammatory bowel disease
Here are the specific snips that we measure to understand your genetic risk of inflammation:
- IL-6 -174 G>C - Interleukin 6
- TNF-A -308 G>A - Tumor necrosis factor-a
- IL-1 (many types) - is implicated as an important leverage point in the inflammation cascade
Another well-known health area is around oxidative stress.
By now most have heard of free-radicals that can damage DNA, proteins and cellular membranes. Antioxidants such as those in vitamin C, or other vitamins found in many vegetables and fruit, can help control the free radicals.
What many do not know if that our own body’s anti-oxidant enzymes play a major role in oxidative defence and this is genetic.
Here we are specifically measuring:
- eNOS 894 G>T - A regulation gene
- MnSoD/SOD2 -28 C>T - An enzyme that Destroys free radicals
- CAT -262 C>T - An encoding Gene for key anti-oxidant enzymes
- GPX1 Pro198Leu - Glutathione Peroxidase 1 a strong enzyme that is in all tissues of the body!
Although we don’t usually give our bones much thought, they are not fixed structures. Our cells are dissolving old bone and regenerating new bone tissue.
As we get older and hit milestones in our lives, our bone mass will decrease. Both nutrition and genetic factors will play a role in your bone health.
Here DNA Health tests will measure:
- VDR Fok1 T>C, VDR Bsm1 G>A, and VDR Taq1 C>T - these are all markers that show your bodies genetic capabilities to bone health
- COL1A1 1546 G>T - showing our ability to use the important type 1 collagen
Specifically important in Singapore (read the full article here) there are a number of genes that indicate our risk of long term insulin sensitively, which has the risks of:
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Heart diseases
- Disrupted fat metabolism
Within this group of snips we measure:
- PPARG Pro12Ala or C>G - peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma
- TCF7L2 rs7903146 C>T - transcription factor 7-like 2
- SLC2A2 Thr110lle - facilitating the first step of glucose induced insulin secretion
- FTO rs9939609 T>A - fat mass and obesity associated gene
Over and above these larger categories a DNA health test will also measure genetic tendencies such as:
- Iron overload
- Lactose intolerance
- Caffeine sensitivity
- PUFA metabolism
- Salt sensitivity
- Bitter taste
- And Alcohol metabolism
This article has been based upon the DNA testing provided by the practitioner only, DNA Life by Nordic Labs.
DNA Life will give you the breakdown of these genetic snips and due to this is highly valuable for the long term
If you want to read about genetic testing in more detail, click our link below