But you don’t always know you have good genes (or not). You may think your friend with legs up to her armpits is lucky, or that a person born with extra short limbs may be handicapped, but most of your genetic traits are internal, and subtle enough that you wouldn’t realise they were there without testing.
It’s also incredibly quick and easy; a swap from the inside of your cheek to collect saliva, at home, which you then post back to be analysed, is all it takes to have your entire personal genome sequenced!
There are all sorts of companies doing gene testing the days, whether it’s family history, risk of diseases, potential as an athlete or what countries your bloodline comes from (perhaps you’re a 16th Brazilian or Mandarin Chinese and never knew!). They range in price and some cost hundreds, but if it’s how to be your healthiest self you want answers to then an easy and affordable way is with VITL’s DNA health profiling.
VITL’s process is as quick and simple as any other cheek swab test and will be sent to you in the post within days of purchase. You’ll be screened for:
Of course many issues can be solved very simply with lifestyle choices such as a good diet, exercise and supplementing where necessary. And in fact depending on your needs that’s something else VITL does – personalised supplement packs.
You can read my review of them here.
For example if you suffer from IBS then probiotics could help. And DNA testing alongside the comprehensive lifestyle questionnaire you fill out for personalised supplement regimes means that they can really nail down what YOU need and you won’t have to waste money popping pills that just aren’t necessary for you personally.
And even if you know what you’re genetically predisposed to, there are times when things in your body may still be a bit out of balance, so getting your blood levels of, for example, vitamin D or thyroid functioning could still be useful.
Thriva can do this for you to save you the hassle going to your GP (I took one of their tests here), and that way you can get an up to date snapshot of your nutritional and health status and make appropriate decisions on how to respond.
Alcohol Sensitivity: I have a ‘normal’ sensitivity to alcohol which means I won’t get drunk quicker on less booze, won’t get adverse reactions (other than getting drunk) and also won’t suffer worse hangovers than most. A tolerance to alcohol can develop which means people require more alcohol over time to get the same feelings, which is what happens in alcoholics, but genetically we all start somewhere.
Caffeine Metabolism: Slow, so it takes a long while for caffeine to get out of my system. I know not to drink tea or coffee late in the day unlike some people who can sleep after a double espresso; I guess this is why.
Appetite, The Fat Gene & Metabolism: Predisposed to over eating. I KNOW I have a big appetite. Left to follow it, I’d easily consume a lot of calories. I have to be conscious of calorie intake and eat lots of veggies and protein to fill me up! I’m a ‘fat gene’ carrier which is what in part causes a big appetite. I also have some genes which indicate a slow metabolism, but others which show high. And metabolism can thankfully be improved with lifestyle changes.
Digestion & IBS: Likely to have problems. Ain’t that the truth. It’s on ongoing battle.
Muscle growth: I’m not naturally going to be Mrs Hulk Hogan (if I wanted to be) which means I’d have to work harder than some people to build muscle.
Fat use: I don’t easily use fat for energy, so would find it hard to keep exercising if I didn’t have some stored carbs in my muscles. I know this – I eat low enough carbs to make keeping calories in check easy (and get more carbs from fruit & veg which are more filling), but too low and I find workouts really tough.
Vitamin Absorption: I absorb vitamins A, B6, C and D well. Good stuff!
Increased vitamin needs: I don’t absorb Vitamin B12, Folate (from green veg) or Iron very well, and I don’t utilise omega 3 and 6 fats well. I take omega 3 and there are enough 6’s in most common foods. B12 is in most fish (which I love) and organ meats; thankfully I’m one of those weirdos who loves liver but don’t eat enough of it, so that’s something I can do. Folate is an interesting one; I actually have a rare gene mutation which means I convert folate very poorly into the absorbable form and this is linked to many health conditions from diabetes to heart disease to mental health problems. I’ve known this for a while and eat a lot of leafy greens deliberately, but it’s such an issue that there are actually supplement blends designed for this very gene mutation (MTHFR gene if you’re curious) so need to stop procrastinating over using these asap.
None of this is helpful without it impacting my choices from hereon, so based on my personal results my action plan would be:
Your DNA results are only seen and held securely by the Nutritionist in the lab analysing them and will never be shared with other parties, so your data is safe!