Knowing your genetic risks based on your genotype can be an incredibly valuable tool in helping you make informed, healthy decisions about your lifestyle.

If you have read my blogs, you understand that you have profound control over your health by providing nutrient-dense food to your genes that will help ‘turn on’ health-promoting genes plus ‘turn off’ disease-promoting genes.

Several companies in the US sell gene testing kits directly to consumers, such as 23andme and FamilyTreeDNA.

In the US, health reports based on your genetic analysis are not generally available to consumers because the FDA believes this information should be conveyed to you by your physician or licensed healthcare professional. Most companies, therefore, provide ancestral information and may also provide comprehensive results as raw data.

The Decision

Choosing to have your genetics analyzed can be a big decision.

Consulting with a genetic counselor or your physician, if they are trained to provide genetic counseling, may be beneficial prior to having your genetic analysis done. They can provide information about testing options as well as discuss what is best for you and your family.

After receiving your results, a genetic counselor can help explain any health implications of your specific genotype and guide you on any lifestyle changes you may want, or need, to take.

Genetic Alliance has some useful resources on their website, such as Making Sense of Your Genes.

Genes in Life is another organization with a lot of information on their website to help you understand a bit more about genetics and how knowing your family history can help guide your lifestyle choices.

Is Your Genetic Information Safe?

GINA, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, is a federal law that prevents health insurers or employers from discriminating against you based on your genetic information.

However, it does not apply to coverage for life, long-term care, or disability insurance.

This document from the GINA website provides answers to common questions about the law.

Personalized Diet Apps

Plenty of services and mobile apps are popping up that offer diet and lifestyle plans based on your specific genes.

It’s a new and evolving science; one which I think will be interesting and exciting to watch.

News of an IBM and Pathway Genomics app, Pathway Panorama, was announced in November of 2014 that would allow users to get personalized gene-specific answers to natural language health questions.

The upstart nutrigenomics company in San Diego, GB Healthwatch, caught my eye. It has some interesting medical research data they are mining (likely from NCBI MedGen) and pulling together regarding the interaction of food and certain genotypes.

GB Healthwatch has built a mobile app and has a few other tools, such as the “diet evaluator.” Although a bit of caution is warranted, I am not sure on what particular nutritional premise they are basing their advice. And as we all know, the macronutrient balance of the US grain-based “pyramid” is quite different than something like the Paleo approach.


 

I hope you find some useful information here. It is not intended to be comprehensive, but instead offer a few resources that I have found useful and/or interesting. Please feel free to contact me if you find something you think would be useful to post.