Maximizing Your DNA: Know Your Health Risks
Maximizing Your DNA: Know Your Health Risks
If you have taken an ancestry DNA testing kit, you have seen how powerful DNA analysis is. Home DNA test kits have become a popular way to learn more about your ancestry and identity, but did you know that you can also learn a lot about your health with DNA testing? The ease of using at-home tests and their affordability have made it simpler than ever for anyone to use a DNA test for health risks.
Many parts of the human genome affect your health directly. You can learn about a lot of health related information without hiring a genetic counselor or healthcare provider. This can help you make informed decisions regularly about your overall health and wellness.
What Can a DNA Test for Health Risks Show You?
Every person inherits half of their genetic material from their mother and half from their father. This is why children have the biological and physical traits of their parents. Unfortunately, you don’t only inherit your parents’ most desirable traits. Genes that put you at a higher risk for certain types of disease also pass from parent to child.
The genes you inherit don’t directly cause illness, but they can increase your risk of developing that illness. Some of the health risks that are genetic include:
- Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Mental illness
- Addiction issues
If you inherited any of these health risks from your parents, DNA analysis can tell you more. Many people wonder what the purpose is of knowing this type of information. Understanding your health risks may inspire you to take better care of your health and receive more frequent health screenings.
Sharing the results of your DNA test with your doctor is always the best course of action. Together, you can make a plan for preventive care focusing on your specific needs.
Which Companies Offer a DNA Test for Health Risks?
Several companies are currently giving excellent health tests from your raw DNA data, and each has its own pros and cons. Uploading your raw DNA data is a great way to supplement your ancestry DNA test and get a more genetic screening.
Below, we examine some of the most popular raw DNA analysis companies to help you decide which option is right for you.
Promethease is a company that connects DNA data directly to the scientific evidence found in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Promethease is a literature retrieval service based on the SNPs found in your genetic code that relate to health conditions. In other words, Promethease will show you exactly what scientists are saying about the genetic variants you carry!
Promethease can find every medical correlation that has ever been drawn between a particular part of your genome and various diseases and health outcomes. For instance, you can find genetic risk reports on breast cancer and see what the science says about your risk level based on your genetic information.
You may carry the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene variants, which can increase your chances of breast cancer. You might also learn about your risks for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease or Celiac disease. Or, you may learn about your carrier status for a number of diseases like cystic fibrosis and sickle-cell anemia.
However, you will have to beef up on your science before you dive into the full gambit of features that Promethease offers. This is because scientific journals are written for scientists, not for everyone else. With that being said, it is still one of the most powerful tools you can use to research health-related DNA information.
- Analysis of raw data is well detailed
- Information is filterable
- Accessible price point for those who already have access to genetic data
- Can upload multiple data files
- Brief waiting period for results
- Reports may be difficult to understand
- No health or wellness recommendations
- The additional cost of previous DNA testing to obtain raw data
- The report-viewing tool is complicated and too difficult for some clients
Promethease is recommended for people who have already received raw data from a DNA test and want thorough, detailed analysis. Viewing the reports may be too complex for some, but this company provides a large amount of detailed information.
You can learn everything you need to know about the site in our full-breakdown of Promethease.
Silverberry Genomix, operated by LifeNome, is a great service for analyzing your DNA test results for traits related to health. Simply by uploading your raw data, you can get a free Basic Wellness report that will tell you about several aspects of your genetic health. While their comprehensive reports are more expensive, the company details all of the same genetic predispositions covered by 23andMe and other major genetic testing companies.
You can get information on traits related to nutrition, genetic health predispositions, general wellness, athleticism, skincare, and psychological predispositions.
- Personalized reports
- The analysis is based on multiple genes for each trait
- Several health and wellness test options are available
- The website is user friendly
- Sample reports are provided with a free account
- Not originally developed for health testing
- Only select predisposition tests are available
- The cost of individual reports is high
Silverberry Genomix is a popular analysis service for those interested in health and wellness. Users can upload raw DNA data from another source or purchase a testing kit directly from Silverberry Genomix.
Before you get started, read our review of Silverberry Genomix to learn everything you need to know!
If you are an athlete or compete in any sort of physical competition, you may want to find a genetic testing company for fitness and nutrition. Of companies that offer these sorts of reports, Athletigen is one of the best. They offer many basic tests for nutrition and fitness that will help you improve your diet and workout routine.
The company also offers more advanced tests related to sports injuries, recovery, and genetic predispositions you may have towards various types of exercise. These health reports can help you optimize your routine and avoid injuries you are at a higher risk of sustaining.
- A range of price points to choose from
- Personalized recommendations for fitness and nutrition
- A free raw DNA data report for customers who upload existing genetic data
- Athletigen has fewer reviews than many other companies
- Must buy individual reports separately for a complete picture
Athletigen appears to be popular with professional athletes and coaches. For those interested in sampling their services, the Fuel Perform Restore report is available at no charge with existing DNA raw data.
Read more about Athletigen and their offerings in our full Athletigen review.
As Hypocrites said, “Let food be thy medicine.”
GenoPalate takes this charge seriously, offering a full review of how your DNA affects your diet and your ability to process and absorb certain foods. The company not only teaches you about nutrition, but it analyzes certain genetic markers to determine which nutrients you may need more of, and where to get them. Using GenoPalate, you can develop a diet optimized to your genome that can help you perform better mentally and physically.
- Reports are easy to access with an online account
- Provides personalized recommendations for nutrition based on your genetic profile
- Ability to upload raw data from AncestryDNA or 23andMe or purchase a GenoPalate testing kit
- Can only upload raw data from AncestryDNA or 23andMe
- Cannot download raw DNA data provided by GenoPalate
- A smaller company with fewer reviews than many other testing companies
GenoPalate is recommended for people interested in optimizing their nutrition, including identifying any food intolerances indicated by a DNA test for health risks.
Check out our review of GenoPalate to see the type of results you can get, as well as access to a full sample report from the company.
If all of the above companies interest you, take a look at Genomelink. Simply by uploading your raw DNA data, you can get 25 trait reports for free which address a variety of aspects from fitness, to nutrition, to personality, to intelligence.
For instance, you can learn about your increased risk of heart disease and weight gain based on your genetics. Plus, if you subscribe to Genomelink, you can get full access to over 125 traits related to your DNA results, more detailed advice reports, and new Discovery Traits emailed to you weekly.
This is a great choice for people who want to learn the most comprehensively about their DNA. Not only do the reports provided give you information about these topics, but they have been written by a team of science writers trained to help you understand each trait in a digestible language, while showcasing the importance of each gene variant and the impact it may have on your health.
- Scientific resources and data provided with each trait
- Reports are detailed, comprehensive, and easy to understand
- Analysis for the first 25 traits is free
- Can upload raw DNA data from other companies
- No DNA testing is available
- Only accepts raw data from AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, and 23andMe
Genomelink is a user-friendly service that allows customers to receive sample reports before making a full purchase. Users have the ability to compare their data with other Genomelink customers and provide feedback about test accuracy.
You can get started with Genomelink on their homepage!
That’s Not All!
While the above sites are recommended by our editors for customers interested in doing a DNA test for health risks, there are several other sites you may want to check out that offer health, wellbeing, and genetic risk testing. Plus, there are a few that will allow you to find more information on your family history and additional DNA matches. Many of them offer free services simply by uploading your genetic data from any of the major DNA testing companies. Before you go, check them out!
To find out more DNA upload sites, check out our article "The Best DNA Upload Sites"