LifeDNA Aging Report: A Walkthrough

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LifeDNA Aging Report: A Walkthrough

Date of Content: April 21, 2024
Written by: Avanthika Nityanand
Reviewed by: Maarit Tiirikainen, PhD

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This is a LifeDNA Premium Report.

Aging is a natural and complex process involving gradual physiological and biological changes in an organism over time. This process affects individuals on a cellular, molecular, and organ system level. It leads to the eventual decline in physical and mental capacities and increased susceptibility towards certain conditions and  the end of an individual’s lifespan.

Biological markers of aging include:

  • deterioration of cellular functions
  • loss of telomere length
  • accumulation of metabolic waste products
  • decreased regenerative capacity of stem cells 

While aging is a universal process observed across different species, the rate and impact of aging can vary significantly due to genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.

LifeDNA Aging Report

How Aging Works

Aging works through several mechanisms that impact the body on a cellular and molecular level. One primary aspect is the accumulation of cellular damage over time, which includes DNA mutations and oxidative stress caused by free radicals. 

Additionally, telomeres—the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes—shorten with each cell division, leading to cellular aging and dysfunction. Hormonal changes also play a critical role, particularly the decrease in hormones like estrogen and testosterone, which affect various body systems. 

Moreover, the decline in cellular autophagy (a process by which cells clean out damaged components) and increased inflammatory responses contribute to the aging process. These changes collectively lead to the typical signs of aging, such as wrinkles, decreased mobility, and impaired cognitive functions.

LifeDNA Aging Report

The LifeDNA Aging Genetic Report analyzes genetic markers that influence the some of the aging processes and related outcomes. Here’s a general overview of the traits covered in the report and how understanding the genetics can be beneficial:

Age-related Hearing Loss

Age-related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis, is the gradual loss of hearing that occurs as people get older. This condition typically affects both ears and results from changes in the inner ear, auditory nerve, and other structures. Contributing factors include long-term exposure to loud noises, genetics, and changes in blood supply to the ear due to heart disease or high blood pressure. Hearing loss can impact speech understanding, particularly in noisy environments, and often high-pitched sounds are lost first. Genes like SIK3 have been shown to influence this trait.

Age-related Muscle Mass Loss

Age-related muscle mass loss, or sarcopenia, involves the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength beginning as early as the 30s or 40s. This decline can contribute to weakness, decreased stamina, and an increased risk of falls and fractures. Sarcopenia is driven by factors such as hormonal changes, reduced physical activity, changes in protein synthesis, muscle regeneration, and genetics. Genes like VDR and ACTN3 have been shown to be associated with this trait.

Eyelid Sagging

Eyelid sagging, in the forms of dermatochalasis or ptosis, refers to the drooping or sagging  of the upper eyelid that often occurs with age. This can be due to the weakening of the muscles that raise the eyelid (ptosis) or degeneration of the skin and soft tissue around the eyes (dermatochalasis). Eyelid sagging can impair vision if the eyelid falls low enough to cover the pupil. A 2018 GWAS identified several new genes, like MACROH2A2 (or H2AFY2), that were shown to be significantly associated with eyelid sagging.

Age-related Physical Function Impairment

Age-related physical function impairment encompasses a decline in the ability to perform daily tasks and movements effectively, such as walking, balancing, and handling objects. This impairment results from a combination of factors including muscle weakness, joint problems, neurological decline, cardiovascular limitations, and genetics. Genes like ACTN3 and UCP2 have been shown to be associated with this trait.

Risk of Repeated Falls

As people age, they face an increased risk of repeated falls due to factors such as reduced muscle strength, balance disturbances, visual impairments, and slower reaction times. Falls are a major concern in the elderly, leading to injuries like fractures and head trauma, which can significantly impair mobility and independence.  Genes like FHIT have been shown to be associated with this trait.

Vascular Aging

Vascular aging refers to the changes in the vascular system as we age, including stiffening of the arteries and reduced efficiency of blood vessels. These changes increase the risk of cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension, stroke, and heart attacks. Factors like smoking, high cholesterol, and diabetes can exacerbate vascular aging. A 2022 GWAS uncovered nearly 60 significant genes associated with this trait.

Age-related Bone Loss

Age-related bone loss, or osteoporosis, is the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density over time. As bones become less dense, they weaken and are more likely to fracture. This process is accelerated in women after menopause due to a drop in estrogen levels, a critical factor in bone density and health. Studies have shown that genes like ALDH7A1 significantly influence the risk for osteoporosis. The ALDH7A1 gene codes for a protein that breaks down and detoxifies acetaldehyde—a substance that disrupts the growth of osteoblasts (young bone cells) and reduces bone formation.

Age-related Cognitive Decline

Age-related cognitive decline is the gradual decrease in cognitive functioning that includes memory, thinking, and reasoning skills. While not all older adults experience significant cognitive decline, many will notice slower processing speeds and difficulties with multitasking, learning new skills, and remembering information. Studies have shown that the APOE region is significantly associated with cognitive aging. The LifeDNA Aging report covers many more such markers.

You may also like: Walkthrough of the LifeDNA Personality & Cognition Report

Age-related Muscle Weakness

Age-related muscle weakness is a decrease in muscle strength that accompanies aging and is often associated with sarcopenia. It results from a reduction in muscle fiber quantity and quality, impacting an individual’s ability to perform physical tasks and maintain independence. Genetic variation in genes like SLC39A8 have been shown to influence this trait.

Age-related Verbal Memory Decline

Age-related verbal memory decline involves the deterioration of memory functions, characterized by difficulties in recalling names, appointments, and recent events. This type of memory loss is considered a normal part of aging, distinct from the memory impairments seen in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. A first-of-its-kind large genetic study in 2017 found significant associations between genes like APOE and memory-related parameters like immediate recall. 

Hair Graying

Hair graying is a common sign of aging caused by the gradual loss of pigment cells (melanocytes) in hair follicles. This results in hair turning gray and eventually white as pigment production decreases. Genes like IRF4 have been shown to influence this trait.

Healthy Aging

Healthy aging refers to the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables well-being in older age. This concept emphasizes optimizing opportunities for physical, social, and mental health to extend life expectancy and improve the quality of life as individuals age. Factors that promote healthy aging include a balanced diet, regular physical activity, social connections, and effective management of health conditions. Genes like LRP1B have been shown to be associated with this trait.

Can Aging Be Stopped?

Currently, aging cannot be completely stopped as it is an inevitable biological process driven by complex genetic and environmental interactions. However, significant research is focused on understanding and potentially modifying the mechanisms of aging to extend the health span, the period of life spent in good health. 

While it’s unlikely that the aging process can be completely halted, interventions such as gene therapy, caloric restriction, and advanced medical treatments may potentially delay the onset of age-related diseases and extend overall lifespan. 

The field of gerontology continues to explore these possibilities, aiming to break down the biological barriers of aging.

Can Aging from Stress Be Reversed?

Aging accelerated by stress, often referred to as “stress aging,” can be partially reversed or mitigated. Chronic stress leads to increased production of cortisol, a hormone that, in high levels over prolonged periods, can have detrimental effects on the body, including accelerating aging processes. Managing stress through techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, regular physical activity, and proper sleep can significantly reduce cortisol levels. 

Furthermore, adopting a healthy diet rich in antioxidants can help repair some of the cellular damage caused by stress. While it’s challenging to completely reverse the effects of stress on aging, these lifestyle changes can improve both physical and mental health and potentially slow the aging process.

Can Aging Be Slowed Down?

Aging can be slowed down through several scientifically supported methods. Key lifestyle choices such as maintaining a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, regular physical activity, and avoiding harmful habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can significantly delay the onset of aging process with its typical signs and diseases. 

Caloric restriction has been shown in various studies to extend the lifespan of certain organisms by reducing metabolic stress. Advances in medicine, such as the use of antioxidants, hormone replacement therapies, and anti-aging skincare products, also contribute to slowing down the effects of aging.

Additionally, ongoing research into pharmacological agents that target aging processes, like senolytics which remove dysfunctional cells, holds promise for further slowing down the aging process in humans.

Why LifeDNA?

LifeDNA has emerged as a prominent option for analyzing raw DNA data from 23andMe and many other sources, owing to a combination of unique offerings and a commitment to personalized wellness. 

We offer a basic DNA data analysis package to kickstart your journey. Users with raw data from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, etc., can access close to 200 traits across interests such as Nutrition, Wellness, Vitamins and Supplements, Personality and Cognition, Fitness, Sleep, Methylation, and Skincare.

Further, if you do not have raw DNA data, such as from 23andMe, LifeDNA provides that too. Start your personalized wellness journey with LifeDNA’s state-of-the-art DNA kits here.

Here is why many regard LifeDNA as the best option for making the most of your 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and other raw data:

  • Holistic Approach to Wellness: Unlike many other platforms that focus strictly on health-related risks or ancestry, LifeDNA adopts a holistic approach. We analyze genetic data to offer personalized optimizations for nutrition (including a customized grocery list!), skin care, vitamins & supplements, wellness, personality & cognition, and fitness. This range lets users get a complete picture of their wellness needs based on their DNA.
  • Product Recommendations: We go beyond just providing insights. We offer specific product recommendations, skincare ingredients, or supplements tailored to an individual’s genetic profile. It makes our service actionable, allowing users to make immediate changes based on their results.
  • Data Security: At LifeDNA, we place a high emphasis on protecting user data. Our commitment to privacy ensures that users can trust the platform with their sensitive genetic information.
  • User-Friendly Reports: LifeDNA reports are easy to interpret. Our reports are designed to be accessible to the layperson without compromising on the depth and accuracy of the information.
  • Continual Updates: As genetic research evolves, so does LifeDNA’s platform. Users can expect their reports and insights to be updated with the latest scientific findings.
  • Dedicated Research and Development: At LifeDNA, we invest in research to continually refine our algorithms, ensuring that the insights provided are based on cutting-edge science.
  • Educational Resources: LifeDNA also provides ample resources for users to understand their genetic makeup better. This education-first approach demystifies the complex world of genetics, making it approachable and actionable for everyone.
  • Scientific Rigor: To create an unmatched commitment to scientific rigor, LifeDNA partners with CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited, and HIPAA-compliant laboratories.

References

  1. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms10815
  2. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0182448
  3. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-20918-w
  4. https://www.nature.com/articles/mp2012159
  5. https://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1000806
  6. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcvm.2022.1058308/full
  7. https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afy007
  8. https://doi.org/10.7717%2Fpeerj.980
  9. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/exd.13559
  10. https://doi.org/10.1002%2Fjcla.23485
  11. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/4239648
  12. https://doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddu346
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK10041/
  14. https://www.genome.gov/genetics-glossary/Telomere#
  15. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/caloric-restriction#:~:text=Caloric%20restriction%20(CR)%20is%20today,et%20al.%2C%202009).
  16. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32686219/

Customer Reviews

Christopher Devlin
Christopher Devlin
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I am so impressed with this service. I have even discussed these recommendations with my health care providers and they are all impressed too! I can’t compare it with other services as I have only tried this but I recommend. Also I think I pulled my genetics in from ancestry too which was super convenient.
Lei'a
Lei'a
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
Great source of information I was looking for a platform to make use of my existing raw data from Ancestry. I’m glad I found LifeDNA. I originally took a DNA test to learn about my roots and it’s great to know that my DNA could also play a big role in my health, diet, and even my skin. Overall, all the reports are incredible.
Shiraz Dole
Shiraz Dole
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
It is crazy how I felt that I had a strong understanding of my bodies needs, but after having my DNA analyzed by the LifeDNA team, I realized that there was so much I still did not know.
Doc Sheila Lim
Doc Sheila Lim
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I got some pretty useful insight that helped me with my diet.
Previous
Next

*Understanding your genetics can offer valuable insights into your well-being, but it is not deterministic. Your traits can be influenced by the complex interplay involving nature, lifestyle, family history, and others.

Our reports have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The contents on our website and our reports are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to diagnose any medical condition, replace the advice of a healthcare professional, or provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes or if you have any other concerns about your results. The testimonials featured may have used more than one LifeDNA or LifeDNA vendors’ product or reports.

A Full Walkthrough Of The LifeDNA Sleep Report

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Table of Contents

A Full Walkthrough Of The LifeDNA Sleep Report

Date of Content: December 29, 2023
Written by: Avanthika Nityanand
Reviewed by: Maarit Tiirikainen, PhD

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Genetic testing for sleep disorders represents a cutting-edge approach to understanding and managing sleep-related issues. 

This testing can reveal insights into individual predispositions for various sleep patterns and disorders by analyzing specific genes and genetic variations. Such personalized information not only aids in diagnosing sleep conditions but also helps in tailoring effective treatment strategies. 

As research in sleep genetics progresses, genetic testing is becoming an increasingly vital tool in sleep medicine, offering new possibilities for optimizing sleep health.

LifeDNA Sleep Report

The LifeDNA Sleep Report

Daytime Napping

Inclination to nap during the day is partially heritable and influenced by genetic variants that affect sleep-wake regulation and circadian rhythms.

In a 2021 GWAS of daytime napping using UK Biobank and 23andMe data, 123 loci associated with napping were identified, including missense variants in known sleep disorder drug target genes (HCRTR1, HCRTR2), arousal-related genes (TRPC6, PNOC), and genes indicating an obesity-hypersomnolence pathway (PNOC, PATJ). The study also linked frequent daytime napping to increased blood pressure and waist circumference.

Excessive Daytime Sleepiness

Some people tend to feel unusually sleepy during the day. The heritability component of this condition involves genes regulating sleep, wakefulness, and circadian rhythms. 

A 2019 study identified 42 genetic loci associated with self-reported daytime sleepiness in a GWAS involving 452,071 UK Biobank participants. These loci are linked to brain function and neuronal pathways, and their aggregate effect on sleepiness was confirmed in Scandinavian cohorts. The study also found connections with other sleep disorders, sleep traits, and conditions like obesity and coronary heart disease. The sleepiness variants cluster into two subtypes: sleep propensity and sleep fragmentation. Among the genetic variants identified was SNP rs1846644 in KSR2, a gene that regulates multiple signaling pathways that affect energy balance, cellular fatty acid, and glucose oxidation and which are implicated in obesity, insulin resistance, and heart rate during sleep in previous studies in humans and mice.

Sleep Depth

Sleep depth refers to the intensity of sleep, affecting how easily one is awakened. Genetic variations in sleep regulation and brain neurotransmitter systems influence the nightly quantity of the  slow brain wave deep sleep. An early study from 2012 found that the ADA gene variant (rs73598374) affects sleep depth and cognitive functions. Individuals with the G/A genotype showed altered sleep patterns, specifically in non-REM slow-wave oscillations, and performed worse in attention tasks compared to G/G homozygotes.

Melatonin Secretion

Melatonin regulates sleep-wake cycles. Genetic differences in melatonin synthesis and metabolism contribute to variations in its secretion levels.

A 2022 GWAS, the first for melatonin secretion, analyzed urine samples from 2373 Taiwanese Biobank participants. It identified five genetic loci associated with melatonin levels, including loci in ZFHX3, GALNT15, GALNT13, LDLRAD3, and the SEPP1-FLJ32255 intergenic region. These genes are linked to circadian behavior, neuronal differentiation, motor disorders, anxiety, and neurodegenerative diseases. 

Periodic Limb Movement During Sleep

Involuntary limb movements during sleep. Genetic factors, particularly those related to nervous system function, may influence its occurrence.

A 2022 GWAS  was performed on periodic limb movements in sleep (PLMS) involving 6843 participants from four cohorts. Genetic variants in two genes, MEIS1 and BTBD9, were significantly associated with PLMS and linked to restless leg syndrome (RLS). PLMS showed genetic correlations with insomnia, stroke risk, and RLS.

Habitual Snoring

Genetics and factors such as airway structure and respiratory system function play a role in the tendency to snore regularly. 

In the 2020 study, researchers found genetic correlations between snoring and several other factors and conditions, including body mass index (BMI), alcohol intake, and smoking. Through gene-based associations, they pinpointed 173 genes and their genetic variants associated with snoring. Among those, DLEU7, MSRB3, and POC5 are notable genes expressed in various relevant body parts such as the brain, cerebellum, lungs, blood, and esophagus.

Sleep Latency

Sleep latency refers to the time it takes to fall asleep. Genes affecting neurotransmitters and circadian rhythm can influence sleep latency.

A 2016 meta-analysis of GWAS in seven European cohorts (4242 individuals) identified three SNPs in the RBFOX3 gene associated with sleep latency. These findings, replicated in 12 populations (30,377 individuals), suggest RBFOX3’s significant role in sleep onset, given its brain and central nervous system expression and involvement in neurotransmitter release.

Sleep Duration

Genetic variations affecting the total time spent sleeping are known to influence circadian clock genes and sleep homeostasis.  

A 2014 GWAS on usual sleep duration involving 47,180 individuals identified significant associations at two loci, particularly near the PAX8 gene (and LINC02966) on chromosome 2. This association was replicated in an African-American cohort. The variant rs1823125 was linked to a longer sleep duration.

Potential for Insomnia

Genetics, including variants related to stress response and brain function, can predispose individuals to insomnia.

A 2020 meta-analysis of twin studies estimated the overall heritability of insomnia to be approximately 40%. According to a 2012 review of sleep disorders, 35% of people with insomnia have a positive family history, with the mother being the most commonly affected family member.

Chronotype

Personal sleep-wake preference pattern (morning or evening type). It’s highly heritable, influenced by genetic variations in the circadian rhythm regulation.

A notable association was discovered between the CLOCK gene’s SNP rs2070062 and sleep duration. Individuals with the T allele experienced significantly shorter sleep durations compared to those without the allele, even after accounting for socio-economic status, body mass index, alcohol consumption, and smoking habits.

Why LifeDNA?

LifeDNA has emerged as a prominent option for analyzing 23andMe and many other raw data sources, owing to a combination of unique offerings and a commitment to personalized wellness. 

We offer a basic DNA raw data analysis package to kickstart your journey. Users with raw data from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, etc., can access close to 200 traits across interests such as Nutrition, Wellness, Vitamins and Supplements, Personality, Fitness, Sleep, Methylation, and Skincare.

Here is why many regard LifeDNA as the best option for making the most of your 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and other raw data:

  • Holistic Approach to Wellness: Unlike many other platforms that focus strictly on health-related risks or ancestry, LifeDNA adopts a holistic approach. We analyze genetic data to offer personalized optimizations for nutrition (including a customized grocery list!), skin care, vitamins & supplements, wellness, personality & cognition, and fitness. This range lets users get a complete picture of their wellness needs based on their DNA.
  • Product Recommendations: We go beyond just providing insights. We offer specific product recommendations, skincare ingredients, or supplements tailored to an individual’s genetic profile. It makes our service actionable, allowing users to make immediate changes based on their results.
  • Data Security: At LifeDNA, we place a high emphasis on protecting user data. Our commitment to privacy ensures that users can trust the platform with their sensitive genetic information.
  • User-Friendly Reports: LifeDNA reports are easy to interpret. Our reports are designed to be accessible to the layperson without compromising on the depth and accuracy of the information.
  • Continual Updates: As genetic research evolves, so does LifeDNA’s platform. Users can expect their reports and insights to be updated with the latest scientific findings.
  • Dedicated Research and Development: At LifeDNA, we invest in research to continually refine our algorithms, ensuring that the insights provided are based on cutting-edge science.
  • Educational Resources: LifeDNA also provides ample resources for users to understand their genetic makeup better. This education-first approach demystifies the complex world of genetics, making it approachable and actionable for everyone.
  • Scientific rigor: To create an unmatched commitment to scientific rigor, LifeDNA partners with CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited, and HIPAA-compliant laboratories.

Furthermore, if you do not have raw DNA data, such as from 23andMe, LifeDNA provides that too. Start your personalized wellness journey with LifeDNA’s state-of-the-art DNA kits here.

Customer Reviews

Christopher Devlin
Christopher Devlin
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I am so impressed with this service. I have even discussed these recommendations with my health care providers and they are all impressed too! I can’t compare it with other services as I have only tried this but I recommend. Also I think I pulled my genetics in from ancestry too which was super convenient.
Lei'a
Lei'a
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
Great source of information I was looking for a platform to make use of my existing raw data from Ancestry. I’m glad I found LifeDNA. I originally took a DNA test to learn about my roots and it’s great to know that my DNA could also play a big role in my health, diet, and even my skin. Overall, all the reports are incredible.
Shiraz Dole
Shiraz Dole
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
It is crazy how I felt that I had a strong understanding of my bodies needs, but after having my DNA analyzed by the LifeDNA team, I realized that there was so much I still did not know.
Doc Sheila Lim
Doc Sheila Lim
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I got some pretty useful insight that helped me with my diet.
Previous
Next

*Understanding your genetics can offer valuable insights into your well-being, but it is not deterministic. Your traits can be influenced by the complex interplay involving nature, lifestyle, family history, and others.

Our reports have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The contents on our website and our reports are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to diagnose any medical condition, replace the advice of a healthcare professional, or provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes or if you have any other concerns about your results. The testimonials featured may have used more than one LifeDNA or LifeDNA vendors’ product or reports.

Walkthrough Of The LifeDNA Wellness Report: Part I

Latest Posts

Table of Contents

Walkthrough Of The LifeDNA Wellness Report: Part I

Date of Content: February 21, 2024
Written by: Avanthika Nityanand
Reviewed by: Maarit Tiirikainen, PhD

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Genetics And Wellness

Genetics significantly influences physical wellness, as it dictates susceptibility to conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and certain cancers. We can trace back to genetic predispositions, the way our bodies metabolize food, respond to exercise, manage cholesterol levels, and regulate blood pressure. The foundational genetic blueprint is crucial in how individuals approach their diet and physical activity for optimal well-being.

Mental wellness is another aspect profoundly impacted by genetics. The risk for mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, can be inherited. These conditions result from the complex interplay between multiple genes and environmental factors, affecting an individual’s mental well-being and resilience to psychological stress.

Longevity and the aging process are also under genetic influence. Some gene variants are linked to longer life expectancies and a lower incidence of age-related diseases, suggesting that genetics plays a part in determining how long and how well we live.

Nutritional needs vary from person to person, partly due to genetic differences. These variations can influence how the body processes and absorbs vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. This can lead to specific dietary requirements, susceptibilities to deficiencies, or intolerances such as lactose intolerance or celiac disease.

Sleep patterns, such as preferences for being a morning or evening person (chronotype) and the risk for sleep disorders like insomnia or sleep apnea, also have a genetic basis. Various genetic factors contribute to the diversity in sleep habits and quality among individuals.

The risk of addiction and substance use disorders, including those related to alcohol and nicotine, is influenced by genetics. We can see this impact in the metabolization of substances and how the brain reward system responds, affecting an individual’s susceptibility to addiction.

Athletic performance is another area where genetics holds sway. Genetic factors can affect muscle composition, cardiovascular fitness, and how the body responds to physical training, influencing an individual’s natural athletic abilities and how quickly they recover from exercise.

Stress response varies widely among individuals, with genetics playing a vital role in determining physiological reactions to stress and the ability to cope with psychological stressors. Genetic variation affects how individuals manage stress and maintain mental health.

Finally, reproductive health, including aspects such as fertility, risk of miscarriage, and the timing of menopause, is influenced by genetics. This highlights the role of genetics in individual health and wellness and the broader context of family planning and reproductive choices.

Wellness report: Part 1

LifeDNA Wellness Report

Smoking Behavior & Nicotine Dependence

Smoking behavior refers to the act of inhaling and exhaling the smoke from cigarettes or other tobacco products. Nicotine dependence is a condition marked by an addiction to nicotine, a chemical in tobacco, causing individuals to continue smoking despite the known health risks.

The CYP2A6 gene plays a crucial role in the metabolism of nicotine. Genetic variations, such as the rs4105144 polymorphism in the CYP2A6 gene, can lead to differences in how individuals process nicotine. The rate of nicotine metabolism can influence the likelihood of developing nicotine dependence, the number of cigarettes smoked per day, and also how easy or difficult it is to quit smoking. 

Understand how genetics impacts smoking behavior in more detail.

Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol consumption involves drinking beverages containing alcohol (ethanol). It ranges from occasional drinking to heavy and binge drinking, with varied effects on health and behavior.

We can attribute individual differences in alcohol metabolism rates to genetic variations in the enzymes responsible for alcohol breakdown, specifically the alcohol dehydrogenases. Individuals with certain genetic predispositions may break down alcohol more slowly, leading to prolonged exposure to alcohol in the body. This extended exposure can elevate the risk of developing Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).

Understand in-depth the genetics of alcohol metabolism.

Insomnia

Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing restful sleep, leading to daytime fatigue and other symptoms.

The serotonin transporter gene polymorphism, 5-HTTLPR, is frequently studied in psychiatric genetics, including its relationship with insomnia. 5-HTTLPR represents genetic variants in the serotonin transporter gene, SLC6A4, also known as SERT. SLC6A4 is responsible for the reuptake of serotonin, a neurotransmitter playing a significant role in mood regulation, among other functions. The 5-HTTLPR variants affect how efficiently serotonin recycles back into nerve cells after release. They can influence an individual’s susceptibility to mood disorders like depression and anxiety. 

Insomnia has several other genetic associations. Read about it in our article- Is Insomnia Genetic?

Appendicitis

Appendicitis is the inflammation of the appendix, a small pouch attached to the large intestine, causing severe abdominal pain and requiring prompt medical treatment, often surgery.

A LifDNA article is coming soon!

Resting Heart Rate

The resting heart rate represents the number of heartbeats per minute while at rest. It is an important indicator of cardiovascular health, with lower rates generally indicating better cardiovascular fitness.

In a 2010 GWAS, researchers found a significant association with the SNP rs9398652 of the GJA1 gene. This variant is linked to a 12.6 ms shorter RR interval per the minor A allele, equating to a heart rate increase of 0.95 beats per minute. Another SNP, rs11154022, located just 8 kb from GJA1, also showed a significant genome-wide association but in the opposite direction, extending the RR interval and lowering heart rate. These SNPs have a low correlation with each other, suggesting independent genetic influences on heart rate.

Read the complete analysis of the genetics of resting heart rate in our article.

Inguinal Hernia

An inguinal hernia occurs when tissue, such as part of the intestine, protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles near the groin area, often causing pain and swelling.

Variations in the EFEMP1 gene, especially the SNP rs2009262, can affect the structure and function of extracellular matrix proteins. Such alterations in the extracellular matrix can weaken connective tissues, potentially aggravating conditions like hernias by reducing tissues trength and integrity.

Read in more detail: Your Genetic Predisposition to Inguinal Hernia

Motion Sickness

Motion sickness happens when the brain receives conflicting signals from the eyes, inner ears, and other body parts during movement, leading to dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.

Researchers found notable genetic associations with motion sickness in a GWAS involving over 80,000 participants. One such association was rs66800491, located near PVRL3, a gene implicated in eye development. Another genetic marker was SNP rs2153535 near MUTED, which plays a role in balance regulation. Many of the discovered SNPs are near genes involved in neurological functions, such as NLGN1 and CBLN4.

Read in more detail: Unlocking the Genetic Code of Motion Sickness

Inflammatory Response

The inflammatory response is the body’s defense mechanism against infection and injury, involving increased blood flow, white blood cell activation, and release of chemicals to fight off pathogens and to repair tissue.

Genetic markers associated with the inflammatory response encompass various genes responsible for coding proteins that regulate different facets of the immune system. The presence of variations in genes that encode both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines is crucial. Polymorphisms in the genes responsible for producing tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1 (IL-1), and interleukin-6 (IL-6), for instance, are connected to changes in cytokine levels and a heightened risk of developing inflammatory conditions.

Read in more detail: Genetic Insights into Inflammation

Potential For Cannabis Dependence

Potential for cannabis dependence refers to the likelihood of developing a reliance on cannabis. It can affect your ability to stop or control cannabis use despite negative consequences.

Multiple genes are recognized as likely factors in the development of cannabis dependence. Specifically, genetic differences within the endocannabinoid system, notably in the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CNR1) gene, are thought to elevate the risk of developing a dependency on cannabis. Such genetic variations may alter the operation of the endocannabinoid system, thereby affecting a person’s reaction to cannabis.

Read our full analysis: Exploring the Genetic Basis of Cannabis Dependency & Mental Well-Being

Diet & DNA Damage 

DNA damage refers to changes to the DNA structure that can lead to mutations and disease. A major cause of DNA damage is oxidative stress, which occurs when there’s an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body. Diets high in processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats can increase oxidative stress.

You may also like: A Walkthrough of the LifeDNA Nutrition Report

Several genetic variants have been found to influence DNA damage from diet. Of these, the CYP1A2 SNP rs762551 has been extensively researched. Individuals carrying the A-allele face a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC) when their diet includes red meat. Similarly, possessing the A-allele in the AHR SNP rs2066853 has also been linked to an elevated risk of CRC.

Read in more detail: The Role of Your Diet in Genetic Damage

Menstrual Cycle Length

Menstrual cycle length is measured from the first day of one menstrual period to the first day of the next, typically ranging from 21 to 35 days in adults.

Research indicates that various genetic factors are involved in determining the characteristics of a woman’s menstrual cycle, including its length, regularity, and the onset of menopause. For instance, variations in genes related to the estrogen receptor, gonadotropin-releasing hormone, and those involved in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis can affect how the body regulates the menstrual cycle. 

A LifeDNA article coming soon!

Excessive Sweating

Excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, involves abnormal, profuse sweating unrelated to heat or exercise and can negatively affect social, professional, and daily activities.

Research has identified genetic markers associated with excessive sweating, highlighting specific variations on chromosomes 2 and 16. The most notable findings were in the chromosome 16 region, where several SNPs, including the well-documented ABCC11 missense variant (rs178229310), were linked to this condition. The ABCC11 protein plays a crucial role in transporting small molecules across the apical membranes of apocrine secretory cells. These genetic insights are instrumental for dermatologists exploring the genetic foundations of skin traits, including hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating).

Read in more detail: Genomic Insights into Hyperhidrosis: Understanding the Genetics of Excessive Sweating

Kidney Stone Predisposition

Kidney stone predisposition increases the likelihood of developing kidney stones. Kidney stones are solid masses formed from crystals in the urine. This can cause severe pain and potential urinary tract obstruction.

A LifeDNA article coming soon!

Male Pattern Baldness

Male pattern baldness is a genetic condition resulting in hair loss in a well-defined pattern. It begins with a receding hairline and thinning on the crown, gradually leading to partial or complete baldness.

A primary factor in assessing the risk of male pattern baldness is family background, especially close maternal relatives, such as the maternal grandfather, who have had this condition. This suggests a higher likelihood of inheriting the genetic tendency towards male pattern baldness. The Androgen Receptor (AR) Gene, found on the X chromosome, plays a crucial role in this type of hair loss. Changes in the AR gene can increase the sensitivity of hair follicles to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that causes follicles to shrink and produce thinner, shorter hair strands.

Read our full analysis: Genetics of Male Pattern Baldness

Longevity

Longevity refers to the length of an individual’s life and encompasses the pursuit of extending life expectancy while maintaining the quality of life. It can be influenced by genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. 

Longevity is a complex trait influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Significant strides have been made in identifying specific genetic markers contributing to an individual’s lifespan. The APOE gene, responsible for transporting fats, plays a key role in this context. Variants such as APOE2 and APOE3 are associated with longer lifespans and decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Conversely, the APOE4 variant is often linked with a reduced lifespan and heightened risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Read our in-depth analysis: Genetics vs Lifestyle: What Influences Longevity?

Unlock your full LifeDNA Wellness Report

Why LifeDNA?

LifeDNA has emerged as a prominent option for analyzing raw DNA data from 23andMe and many other sources, owing to a combination of unique offerings and a commitment to personalized wellness.

We offer a basic DNA raw data analysis package to kickstart your journey. Users with raw data from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, etc., can access nearly 200 traits across interests such as Nutrition, Wellness, Vitamins and Supplements, Personality, Fitness, Sleep, Methylation, and Skincare.

Further, if you do not have raw DNA data, such as from 23andMe, LifeDNA provides that too. Start your personalized wellness journey with LifeDNA’s state-of-the-art DNA kits here.

Here is why many regard LifeDNA as the best option for making the most of your 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and other raw data:

  • Holistic Approach to Wellness: Unlike many other platforms that focus strictly on health-related risks or ancestry, LifeDNA adopts a holistic approach. We analyze genetic data to offer personalized optimizations for nutrition (including a customized grocery list!), skin care, vitamins & supplements, wellness, personality & cognition, and fitness. This range lets users get a complete picture of their wellness needs based on their DNA.
  • Product Recommendations: We go beyond just providing insights. We offer specific product recommendations, skincare ingredients, or supplements tailored to an individual’s genetic profile. It makes our service actionable, allowing users to make immediate changes based on their results.
  • Data Security: At LifeDNA, we place a high emphasis on protecting user data. Our commitment to privacy ensures that users can trust the platform with their sensitive genetic information.
  • User-Friendly Reports: LifeDNA reports are easy to interpret. Our reports are designed to be accessible to the layperson without compromising on the depth of the information.
  • Continual Updates: As genetic research evolves, so does LifeDNA’s platform. Users can expect their reports and insights to be updated with the latest scientific findings.
  • Dedicated Research and Development: At LifeDNA, we invest in research to continually refine our algorithms, ensuring that the insights provided are based on cutting-edge science.
  • Educational Resources: LifeDNA also provides ample resources for users to understand their genetic makeup better. This education-first approach demystifies the complex world of genetics, making it approachable and actionable for everyone.
  • Scientific rigor: To create an unmatched commitment to scientific rigor, LifeDNA partners with CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited, and HIPAA-compliant laboratories.

References

Customer Reviews

Christopher Devlin
Christopher Devlin
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I am so impressed with this service. I have even discussed these recommendations with my health care providers and they are all impressed too! I can’t compare it with other services as I have only tried this but I recommend. Also I think I pulled my genetics in from ancestry too which was super convenient.
Lei'a
Lei'a
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
Great source of information I was looking for a platform to make use of my existing raw data from Ancestry. I’m glad I found LifeDNA. I originally took a DNA test to learn about my roots and it’s great to know that my DNA could also play a big role in my health, diet, and even my skin. Overall, all the reports are incredible.
Shiraz Dole
Shiraz Dole
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
It is crazy how I felt that I had a strong understanding of my bodies needs, but after having my DNA analyzed by the LifeDNA team, I realized that there was so much I still did not know.
Doc Sheila Lim
Doc Sheila Lim
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I got some pretty useful insight that helped me with my diet.
Previous
Next

*Understanding your genetics can offer valuable insights into your well-being, but it is not deterministic. Your traits can be influenced by the complex interplay involving nature, lifestyle, family history, and others.

Our reports and suggestions do not diagnose or treat any health conditions or provide any medical advice. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes or if you have any other concerns about your results.

COMT Gene Insights: Navigating Its Influence on Wellness

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COMT Gene Insights: Navigating Its Influence on Wellness

Date of Content:  February 22, 2024
Written by: Avanthika Nityanand
Reviewed by: Maarit Tiirikainen, Ph

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What is the COMT Gene?

The COMT (Catechol-O-Methyltransferase) gene is essential in the metabolic pathway that breaks down catecholamines. Catecholamines are a group of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters play vital roles in the brain’s functioning and impact mood, stress response, and cognition. 

The COMT enzyme, encoded by the COMT gene, is particularly active in the prefrontal cortex, a brain region associated with memory, decision-making, and emotional regulation. Genetic variations in the COMT gene can affect the enzyme’s activity level, influencing how quickly catecholamines are metabolized. This can directly impact neurological and psychological processes.

COMT Gene

What are the Common COMT Polymorphisms?

The most studied COMT polymorphism is Val158Met (rs4680 G>A), which results from a substitution of amino acids valine (Val) with methionine (Met) at codon 158 of the enzyme (protein). This polymorphism significantly influences the enzyme’s activity: the Met variant exhibits a three to four times lower enzymatic activity than the Val variant. 

As a result, individuals with the Met/Met genotype (rs4680 AA) break down dopamine more slowly than those with the Val/Val genotype (rs4680 GG), affecting various aspects of cognition and emotional regulation.

Which Aspects of Health and Wellness are Influenced by COMT?

COMT polymorphisms, particularly Val158Met (rs4680 G>A), have been linked to several aspects of health and wellness. The slower dopamine metabolism in Met variant carriers (rs4580 GA or AA) can impact cognitive functions, such as working memory and attention, and contribute to differences in pain sensitivity and stress resilience

Additionally, variations in the COMT gene are associated with psychiatric disorders, including anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. It’s important to remember that these relationships are complex and influenced by environmental factors. The gene’s influence on estrogen metabolism suggests a role in conditions like fibroids and certain cancers.

Personality & Cognition

An early 2005 study involving 497 undergraduate students found that two SNPs (rs4680 and rs737865) of the COMT gene were significantly associated with lower levels of extraversion. And, to a lesser extent, higher levels of neuroticism, particularly in women. 

A 2015 study involving 753 healthy participants revealed that individuals with the A-allele of rs4680 or the T-allele of rs4633 demonstrated significantly better performance in insight problem-solving. Additionally, the interaction between the COMT gene’s rs5993883 SNP and gender was significant in determining the success in solving insight problems, notably showing an effect exclusively in males.

A 2020 study aimed to explore how genetic factors influence the effectiveness of working memory training. Data from the 30 participants who underwent adaptive training in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) were combined with data from an additional 71 participants who received the same training outside of the RCT (a total of 101 participants). The study revealed that individuals with the Met(A)allele of Val158/108Met experienced a more significant decrease in brain activation in the left prefrontal cortex post-training than those with the Val-allele homozygotes (rs4680 GG). A decline in brain activation, particularly in a region as crucial as the left prefrontal cortex, often indicates an increase in neural efficiency.

A 2021 study investigated the role of genetic factors in memory performance, focusing on variants in two significant dopaminergic neurotransmission genes, COMT (SNP rs4680) and Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) (SNP rs6265). These genes are associated with memory abilities. After analyzing two independent general population cohorts totaling 5,937 individuals, the findings revealed significant two-way interactions between COMT and BDNF in both cohorts without any direct genetic effects. Further sensitivity analyses indicated that these interactions were predominantly evident in females. 

Learn more about what’s covered in LifeDNA’s Personality & Cognition Report

Wellness

A 2011 study showed that the COMT rs165774 SNP was significantly associated with alcohol dependence. Further, the combined haplotype analysis of rs165774 and rs4680 underscored an association with alcohol dependence, with the G/G haplotype appearing more frequently in alcohol-dependent cases. 

You may also like: The Genetics of Alcohol Addiction

Pharmacogenetics*

A 2021 review of pharmacogenetic studies indicated a significant response to olanzapine in schizophrenia patients with the COMT rs4680 A-allele and rs4680-rs4818 CA haplotype. The review also detailed associations between the COMT rs4680 variant and antidepressant treatment efficacy. Furthermore, particular genotypes of the rs933271 variant were related to better outcomes in methadone maintenance treatment for opioid dependence.

*LifeDNA currently does not offer pharmacogenetic testing reports

Other Influences

A 2017 case-control study (143 patients) delved into the relationship between the COMT gene and Parkinson’s disease (PD) in Chinese patients. The study revealed that carriers of the rs4633 T-allele and/or rs4680 A-alleles and the combined rs4633-rs4680 T/A haplotype were significantly more prevalent in the early-onset PD group than in healthy controls. The findings suggest that the combination of functional COMT SNPs might influence the risk of PD, its progression, treatment response, and symptom severity.

According to another 2017 study, the frequency of the A-allele in the COMT rs4680 SNP was higher in PD patients with pain than those who were pain-free. Pain severity was notably associated with longer disease duration and the simultaneous presence of the COMT rs6267 T-allele. After stratifying PD patients by depression status, the association between the COMT rs6267 GT- genotype and pain severity persisted. Additionally, participants with the COMT rs4680-GG and GA genotypes reported higher pain severity than those with the AA genotype.

How to Check for COMT Polymorphisms?

Checking for COMT polymorphisms typically involves genetic testing through saliva or blood samples. Many direct-to-consumer genetic testing services, like LifeDNA, offer insights into COMT status among their genetic analyses. These services analyze your DNA for specific polymorphisms, including the  Val158Met, providing information about your genotype. 

It is vital to choose a reputable company that ensures the accuracy and privacy of your genetic data. Additionally, genetic counseling can help interpret the results and understand their implications for your health and wellness.

LifeDNA Methylation Genes Report

The LifeDNA Methylation Genes Report is a specialized genetic analysis focused on COMT and related genes, like MTHFR. The MTHFR gene is well-known for its role in folate metabolism and other health-related conditions. The report also provides individuals with detailed insights into their specific COMT gene variants.

What to Do with the Information?

Understanding your COMT polymorphism status can provide valuable insights into your health and wellness, particularly regarding stress response, pain sensitivity, and potential risks for some conditions. However, it is crucial to remember that genetics is only one piece of the health puzzle. Environmental factors, lifestyle choices, and psychological well-being also play significant roles. 

 

If you discover you carry a COMT polymorphism that may impact your health, consider discussing the findings with a healthcare provider or a genetic counselor. They can offer personalized advice on managing any associated risks and optimizing your health through lifestyle adjustments, stress management techniques, and, if necessary, medical interventions.

References

  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/1300787
  2. https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/psychology/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01569/full
  3. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/brb3.1523
  4. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gbb.12737
  5. https://behavioralandbrainfunctions.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1744-9081-7-51
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8553290/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28451382/
  8. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-06782-z

Customer Reviews

Christopher Devlin
Christopher Devlin
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I am so impressed with this service. I have even discussed these recommendations with my health care providers and they are all impressed too! I can’t compare it with other services as I have only tried this but I recommend. Also I think I pulled my genetics in from ancestry too which was super convenient.
Lei'a
Lei'a
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
Great source of information I was looking for a platform to make use of my existing raw data from Ancestry. I’m glad I found LifeDNA. I originally took a DNA test to learn about my roots and it’s great to know that my DNA could also play a big role in my health, diet, and even my skin. Overall, all the reports are incredible.
Shiraz Dole
Shiraz Dole
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
It is crazy how I felt that I had a strong understanding of my bodies needs, but after having my DNA analyzed by the LifeDNA team, I realized that there was so much I still did not know.
Doc Sheila Lim
Doc Sheila Lim
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I got some pretty useful insight that helped me with my diet.
Previous
Next

*Understanding your genetics can offer valuable insights into your well-being, but it is not deterministic. Your traits can be influenced by the complex interplay involving nature, lifestyle, family history, and others.

Our reports have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The contents on our website and our reports are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to diagnose any medical condition, replace the advice of a healthcare professional, or provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes or if you have any other concerns about your results. The testimonials featured may have used more than one LifeDNA or LifeDNA vendors’ product or reports.

A Walkthrough Of The LifeDNA Fitness Report

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A Walkthrough Of The LifeDNA Fitness Report

Date of Content: January 23, 2024
Written by: Avanthika Nityanand
Reviewed by: Maarit Tiirikainen, PhD

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In the realm of fitness and personal health, understanding your unique genetic makeup can be a game-changer. By delving into the details of your DNA, you can gain valuable insights into various aspects of your physical wellness and exercise preferences. This can be leveraged to tailor a fitness regimen that aligns with your body’s intrinsic characteristics. 

Here are some aspects in fitness where your genetic knowledge can come in handy.

LifeDNA Fitness report

Muscle Composition

Genetics can indicate whether you have a propensity for endurance or power-based activities (more on this further in the article). For instance, some people may genetically have more fast-twitch muscle fibers, making them better suited for power and strength exercises, while others might excel in endurance sports due to a higher count of slow-twitch fibers.

Metabolism and Weight Management

Genetic testing can provide information about your body’s metabolic rate and how it processes fats and carbohydrates. This can guide you towards the most effective diet and exercise strategies for weight management.

Recovery Needs

Genetics can influence how quickly your body recovers after exercise. Understanding this can help in designing a workout schedule that allows adequate rest and recovery by preventing overtraining and injury.

Risk of Injury

Certain genetic markers can indicate a higher risk of specific injuries, like tendonitis or stress fractures. Knowing these risks can lead to implementing preventive strategies in your training routine.

Response to Types of Exercise

Your genetic makeup can influence how your body responds to different types of exercise, such as resistance training versus aerobic workouts. Tailoring your routine based on these insights can enhance effectiveness and efficiency.

Nutritional Needs

Genetics play a role in nutrient absorption and metabolism. Understanding your genetic predispositions can help tailor your diet to support your fitness goals, such as optimizing protein intake for muscle repair and growth.

Circadian Rhythm and Exercise Timing

Your genetic profile can influence your circadian rhythm, which affects the best time of day for your body to get exercised for optimal performance and results.

Section Summary

Integrating genetic insights into your fitness routine offers a more personalized approach, aligning your workouts and diet with your body’s specific needs and predispositions. This can lead to improved performance, faster achievement of fitness goals, and reduced risk of injury.

LifeDNA Fitness Report Traits

The LifeDNA Fitness Report offers a personalized analysis of how genetic factors can shape an individual’s fitness journey. 

Utilizing cutting-edge genomic science, the report provides insights into nearly 30 traits spanning aspects such as muscle composition, metabolism, injury risk, and exercise response. 

This information can empower you to tailor your fitness routine and nutritional plans to be in sync with your genetic makeup.

Lactate Clearance 

This refers to the body’s ability to remove lactate, a byproduct of intense exercise, from your muscles. Efficient lactate clearance can reduce fatigue and improve recovery after workouts.

The rs1049434 polymorphism in the gene coding for MCT1 was shown to be linked to the occurrence of muscle injuries among elite soccer players in a 2015 study. MCT1 is one of the lactate transporters and participates in the pH homeostasis during exercise. Insufficient lactate clearance can lead to muscle injuries. 

Power vs Endurance 

Power is the ability to exert maximum muscular contraction instantly in an explosive burst of movements, whereas endurance is the ability to sustain these efforts over time.

Individuals’ genetic makeup plays a crucial role in determining their natural inclination towards power or endurance-based activities. The presence of the ACTN3 R577X polymorphism, especially the RR genotype (marked by rs1815739-CC), has been linked to enhanced muscle strength and power among athletes, highlighting the impact of genetics on athletic performance in power-oriented sports.

Read in more detail: Decoding the Genetics of Power vs. Endurance

Aerobic Capacity 

This measures the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use during exercise. Higher aerobic capacity improves endurance and overall fitness.

Grasping the genetic basis of aerobic capacity helps explain why people respond differently to aerobic training. Research from 2014 indicates that the PPARGC1A gene, particularly its rs8192678 C>T (Gly482Ser) variant, influences the effectiveness of an individual’s response to aerobic exercise.

Read in more detail: What Does Genetics Tell About Your Aerobic Capacity

Muscle Strength 

This refers to the maximum force a muscle or group of muscles can exert against some form of resistance in a single effort.

The CKM gene, responsible for producing the creatine kinase M protein, facilitates the transformation of creatine into phosphocreatine, essential for replenishing ATP (adenosine triphosphate) used up during muscle contraction. The rs8111989-C variant of the CKM gene can influence the function and production of creatine kinase M in muscles, leading to enhanced muscle strength. 

Several other genetic markers can influence how well you can lift weights. Read in more detail in this article: Unlocking the Genetic Secrets of Muscle Strength

Weight Loss and Exercise

Regular exercise helps burn calories and build muscle, both of which are important for weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight.

The FTO gene is widely researched in connection with weight fluctuation. Various genetic variants in  this gene are associated with a higher likelihood of obesity and challenges in sustaining a healthy weight. Those with particular variants inthe FTO gene may experience more difficulty in managing their hunger and regulating how much they eat.

We address the mechanics of the FTO gene in this article: How Your Genes Influence Weight Change

Also read: The Genetics Of Saturated Fat Metabolism

Blood Pressure & Exercise 

Regular physical activity can help lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk of hypertension.

Research indicates that a specific genetic variant (rs5370) in the EDN1 (endothelin 1) gene is associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure, particularly in individuals with lower fitness levels.

Read about more genetic markers related to blood pressure in this article: From Genes to Cardiovascular Health: Understanding Blood Pressure and Exercise

HDL Cholesterol & Exercise 

Exercise can boost levels of HDL cholesterol, the ‘good’ cholesterol, which helps reduce heart disease risk.

Gene polymorphisms in peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) and their coactivators, particularly PPARGC1A and PPARGC1B, have a notable connection with how people respond to aerobic training. Research has shown that individuals with certain variants of these genes may experience unique responses to aerobic exercises. 

Read in more detail: The Science Behind High-Density Lipoprotein: Genetics and Exercise Insights 

Insulin Sensitivity & Exercise 

Regular exercise can improve insulin sensitivity, which can be beneficial for managing blood sugar levels, especially in people with type 2 diabetes.

Explore our in-depth analysis of the link between genetics and insulin sensitivity in this article Genetic Insights into Insulin Sensitivity and Exercise

Motivation to Exercise 

This involves the desire or willingness to engage in physical activity. Motivation can be influenced by various psychological and environmental factors as well as genetics.

A 2012 study on the NOS3 +894 G>T polymorphism (rs1799983) found that it affects physical activity levels and muscle strength response to resistance training. 

Exercise Heart Rate Recovery 

This is a measure of how well your heart rate recovers after exercise, which can indicate cardiovascular fitness and endurance.

Injury Predisposition 

This refers to one’s susceptibility to injury from a workout, which can be influenced by factors like genetics, muscle strength, and flexibility.

A 2017 meta-analysis of six studies involving 933 cases and 1,381 controls v revealed that the rs1800012 SNP in a collagen gene COL1A1 is significantly associated with a decreased risk of sports-related tendon and ligament injuries, particularly ACL injuries, with the TT genotype potentially serving a protective role.

Hand Grip Strength 

This is a measure of the strength in your hands and forearms. It’s a good indicator of overall muscle strength.

In 2017, a comprehensive GWAS involving 195,180 individuals identified 16 genetic loci linked to hand grip strength were identified, implicating genes related to muscle structure, neuronal functions, and psychomotor impairment. The study offered new insights into the biological mechanisms of muscular strength and its impact on age-related health issues.

Bone Density & Fracture Risk 

Bone density refers to the strength of bones, with higher density indicating stronger bones and lower risk of fractures.

A large genome-wide association study (GWAS) using UK Biobank data identified 1,362 independent SNPs linked to bone mineral density, leading to the development of a genetic algorithm that, when combined with physical factors like height, weight, age, and sex, significantly predicts the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

Testosterone 

A key male hormone, also present in females, that affects muscle mass, bone density, and red blood cell production.

Testosterone levels in the body are influenced by a complex interplay of multiple genes and genetic markers, rather than a single gene dedicated to regulating testosterone. Various genetic factors can impact the production, regulation, and sensitivity of testosterone. Notably, several genetic variations in the SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin) gene locus on chromosome 17 are associated with significant fluctuations in testosterone levels and a heightened risk of low testosterone. The rs6258 polymorphism in the SHBG gene, for instance, influences how testosterone binds to SHBG, affecting the availability of free testosterone in the body. 

Read in more detail: Testosterone Genetics: Insights into Male Hormonal Traits

Post-Exercise Recovery Rate 

This indicates how quickly your whole body recovers after exercise, including muscle and tissue repair and return to resting heart rate.

The TNFA G-308A (rs1800629-A) genetic variant significantly influences how the body recovers after intense exercise. This variation affects the systemic response of creatine kinase (CK), a crucial indicator of muscle damage, during strenuous physical activity. People with the TNFA G-308A genotype may show different CK activity following intense exercise.

Explore this in more detail in our article, A Comprehensive Genetic Guide to Post-Exercise Recovery Rate

Exercise-Induced Ischemia 

This refers to reduced blood flow to the heart during exercise, which can cause chest pain or discomfort.

A large 2014 systematic review of nearly 30 case-control studies (including 8,901 cases and 12,623 controls) revealed a significant association between the MCP-1 A-2518G polymorphism and increased risk for both IHD and IS across various genetic models (dominant, allelic, recessive, and additive).

We discuss several other genes and SNPs in our article, Exploring Genetic Factors in Exercise-Induced Ischemia

Circadian Rhythm 

This is your body’s internal clock that influences physical, mental, and behavioral changes in a roughly 24-hour cycle, affecting sleep, hormone release, and even exercise performance.

Studies have identified specific genes, such as CLOCK, PER1, PER2, and PER3, closely associated with regulating circadian rhythms. Read our full article on The Genetics of Circadian Rhythm.

Unlock all LifeDNA Fitness Traits now.

Why LifeDNA?

LifeDNA has emerged as a prominent option for analyzing 23andMe and many other raw DNA data, owing to a combination of unique offerings and a commitment to personalized wellness. 

We offer a basic DNA raw data analysis package to kickstart your journey. Users with raw data from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, etc., can access 194+ traits across interests such as Nutrition, Wellness, Vitamins and Supplements, Personality, Fitness, Sleep, Methylation, and Skincare.

Further, if you do not have raw DNA data, such as from 23andMe, LifeDNA provides that too. Start your personalized wellness journey with LifeDNA’s state-of-the-art DNA kits here.

Here is why many regard LifeDNA as the best option for making the most of your 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and other raw data:

  • Holistic Approach to Wellness: Unlike many other platforms that focus strictly on health-related risks or ancestry, LifeDNA adopts a holistic approach. We analyze genetic data to offer personalized optimizations for nutrition (including a customized grocery list!), skin care, vitamins & supplements, wellness, personality & cognition, and fitness. This range lets users get a complete picture of their wellness needs based on their DNA.
  • Product Recommendations: We go beyond just providing insights. We offer specific product recommendations, skincare ingredients, or supplements tailored to an individual’s genetic profile. It makes our service actionable, allowing users to make immediate changes based on their results.
  • Data Security: At LifeDNA, we emphasise on protecting user data. Our commitment to privacy ensures that users can trust the platform with their sensitive genetic information.
  • User-Friendly Reports: LifeDNA reports are easy to interpret. We have designed our reports to be accessible to the layperson without compromising on the depth and accuracy of the information.
  • Continual Updates: As genetic research evolves, so does LifeDNA’s platform. Users can expect their reports and insights to be up-to-date with the latest scientific findings.
  • Dedicated Research and Development: At LifeDNA, we invest in research to continually refine our algorithms, ensuring that we base the insights on cutting-edge science.
  • Educational Resources: LifeDNA also provides ample resources for users to understand their genetic makeup better. This education-first approach demystifies the complex world of genetics, making it approachable and actionable for everyone.
  • Scientific rigor: To create an unmatched commitment to scientific rigor, LifeDNA partners with CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited, and HIPAA-compliant laboratories.

Customer Reviews

Christopher Devlin
Christopher Devlin
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I am so impressed with this service. I have even discussed these recommendations with my health care providers and they are all impressed too! I can’t compare it with other services as I have only tried this but I recommend. Also I think I pulled my genetics in from ancestry too which was super convenient.
Lei'a
Lei'a
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
Great source of information I was looking for a platform to make use of my existing raw data from Ancestry. I’m glad I found LifeDNA. I originally took a DNA test to learn about my roots and it’s great to know that my DNA could also play a big role in my health, diet, and even my skin. Overall, all the reports are incredible.
Shiraz Dole
Shiraz Dole
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
It is crazy how I felt that I had a strong understanding of my bodies needs, but after having my DNA analyzed by the LifeDNA team, I realized that there was so much I still did not know.
Doc Sheila Lim
Doc Sheila Lim
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I got some pretty useful insight that helped me with my diet.
Previous
Next

*Understanding your genetics can offer valuable insights into your well-being, but it is not deterministic. Your traits can be influenced by the complex interplay involving nature, lifestyle, family history, and others.

Our reports have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The contents on our website and our reports are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to diagnose any medical condition, replace the advice of a healthcare professional, or provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes or if you have any other concerns about your results. The testimonials featured may have used more than one LifeDNA or LifeDNA vendors’ product or reports.

A Walkthrough Of The LifeDNA Vitamins & Supplements Report

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A Walkthrough Of The LifeDNA Vitamins & Supplements Report

Date of Content: January 24, 2024
Written by: Avanthika Nityanand
Reviewed by: Maarit Tiirikainen, PhD

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Overview

What Is A Dietary/Food Supplement?

A food supplement, or  a dietary supplement, is designed to provide nutrients or compounds that a person might not be sufficiently consuming. These supplements can include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, enzymes, and herbs. They are available as tablets, capsules, powders, and liquids. While they can support a balanced diet, they are not intended to replace whole foods or be a sole source of nutrition. Instead, they ensure that an individual’s nutrient intake meets their body’s demands for proper functioning, especially when their diet lacks specific nutrients.

LifeDNA Supplements report

Are Food Supplements Healthy?

Food supplements can be healthy when used appropriately and with a clear understanding of their purpose. They are beneficial in filling nutritional gaps and supporting specific health needs when dietary intake is insufficient. However, they are not a cure-all and should not be a substitute for a balanced and varied diet. Excessive or inappropriate use of supplements can lead to health issues, including nutrient imbalances and unwanted interactions with medications. Therefore, it is vital to use supplements judiciously, under the guidance of a healthcare professional, and as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.

Why We Need Food Supplements?

We may need food supplements to address specific nutritional deficiencies or to meet increased nutrient demands that isn’t fulfilled just through diet. Factors such as aging, health conditions, dietary restrictions, or special life stages (like pregnancy or intense physical training) can increase the need for certain nutrients. In such cases, supplements are the practical means to ensure adequate nutrient intake. However, it is essential to acknowledge that supplements are an adjunct to, not a substitute for, a well-rounded diet, and their use should be based on individual nutritional requirements and under professional guidance.

What Food Supplements Should You Take?

The need for food supplements varies largely among individuals, depending on diet, lifestyle, age, health status, and specific nutritional needs. It is best to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to assess your dietary intake and determine if you have any nutritional gaps that require supplementation. Generally, they may recommend appropriate supplements if your diet lacks certain nutrients, such as Vitamin D during the winter months, or calcium for bone health. However, indiscriminate use of supplements can lead to unnecessary intake and potential nutrient imbalances, so personalized advice is crucial.

Are Fortified Foods Better Than Supplements?

Fortified foods can offer a more food-based approach to increasing the intake of specific nutrients and are beneficial in improving the overall nutrient profile of the diet without the need to take pills or capsules. They can be helpful in reaching populations with specific nutrient deficiencies and are often part of public health strategies to address those deficiencies. However, the advantage of fortified foods over supplements depends on individual dietary patterns, nutritional needs, and preferences. While fortified foods can seamlessly integrate nutrients into the diet, supplements can provide higher, more targeted doses of specific nutrients when needed. Both approaches have their place in a comprehensive strategy to meet nutritional needs.

Why Can't Supplements Replace Food?

Supplements cannot replace food because whole foods provide a complex nutritional matrix that supplements cannot replicate. Along with vitamins and minerals, food also contains fiber, antioxidants, and numerous other bioactive compounds that work together to promote health. The interaction of these compounds within the body’s biological systems contributes to proper digestion, absorption, and the holistic functioning of the human body. Moreover, the experience of eating—tasting, digesting, and metabolizing whole foods—plays a crucial role in satiety, appetite regulation, and the enjoyment of meals, aspects that supplements alone cannot fulfill.

Impact Of Dietary/Food Supplements

Proper use, tailored to individual health needs and based on scientific evidence, can support disease prevention, immune function, and overall physical and mental performance. However, the balance is key, as indiscriminate use without professional guidance might lead to unintended consequences. As such, dietary supplements represent a valuable tool in the modern health landscape, promising benefits when integrated thoughtfully into a holistic approach to health and wellness.

What Foods And Supplements Lower Cholesterol?

Foods rich in soluble fiber, such as oats, barley, beans, lentils, fruits, and vegetables, can help lower cholesterol levels. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish like salmon and mackerel,  flaxseeds and walnuts, have been shown to lower triglycerides and improve heart health. Supplements such as red yeast rice, psyllium husk, and plant sterols can also help reduce cholesterol levels. However, it’s crucial to use these supplements under medical supervision, as they can interact with medications and might not be suitable for everyone.

Which Food Supplement Is Best For Bodybuilding?

Protein supplements are popular for bodybuilding as they support muscle repair and growth. Whey protein is a favorite due to its high biological value and fast absorption. Creatine is another widely used supplement known for improving strength, increasing lean muscle mass, and helping muscles recover quickly during exercise. Other supplements like branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), beta-alanine, and L-glutamine can also support muscle recovery and growth. However, it’s essential to approach supplementation with a strategy that complements a well-planned diet and workout routine, and ideally, under the guidance of a fitness or health professional.

The LifeDNA Vitamins & Supplements Report

The LifeDNA Vitamins & Supplements Report offers a comprehensive and personalized analysis designed to unlock the secrets of your genetic makeup about nutrition and supplement needs. 

This cutting-edge report delves into how your unique DNA influences your body’s requirement for various vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients, ensuring you can make informed decisions about your diet and supplement intake. 

By understanding your genetic predispositions, the report empowers you to optimize your health and well-being, guiding you towards a more tailored and fruitful approach to nutrition and overall lifestyle choices. 

Whether you seek to enhance your fitness routine, boost your mental clarity, or maintain a balanced and healthy life, the LifeDNA Vitamins & Supplements Report is your gateway to a more personalized health journey.

Learn more here.

Vitamin C Levels refer to the concentration of vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, in the body. This essential nutrient is vital for growth, development, and repair of body tissues. It is involved in many body functions, including collagen formation,  iron absorption, proper functioning of the immune system, wound healing, and maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth. Low levels can lead to conditions like scurvy, while adequate levels are paramount for overall health. Vitamin C levels are significantly influenced by genetics. 

A 2010 study found that a specific genetic variant, rs33972313 (C/T), located in the SLC23A1 gene (which encodes a vitamin C transporter), is significantly associated with lower levels of l-ascorbic acid in the blood.

Read more: The Genetics of Vitamin C Levels

Vitamin E Levels indicate the amount of vitamin E, a group of fat-soluble compounds with antioxidant properties, in the body. It is crucial for maintaining healthy skin and eyes and strengthening the body’s natural defense against illness and infection (the immune system). Vitamin E also plays a role in cellular communication and the formation of red blood cells.

In-Depth: The Genetics of Vitamin E Needs

Vitamin A Levels refer to the concentration of vitamin A in the body, a fat-soluble vitamin  essential for vision, the immune system, and reproduction. Vitamin A also helps the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs work properly.

Vitamin A levels have significant genetic roots. For example, genetic variations in the TRR gene have been linked to vitamin A levels in the body. The TTR gene is responsible for coding the transthyretin protein. Transthyretin plays a crucial role in distributing vitamin A and the hormone thyroxine across the body. 

Read about this and other interesting genetic markers here.

Vitamin B5 Levels, also known as pantothenic acid levels, refer to the concentration of this vitamin in the body. Vitamin B5 is essential for energy production, the synthesis of fatty acids, and the metabolism of fats, proteins, and coenzyme A. Read in detail about the genetics of vitamin B5 levels here. 

Vitamin B6 Levels indicate the concentration of vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, in the body. It is involved in the metabolization processes of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. It further aids in new red blood cells formation and supports the function of the nervous and immune systems.

Vitamin B6 levels have been shown to vary based on variations in genes like ALPL and NBPF3.

Vitamin B12 Levels measure the amount of vitamin B12, a crucial nutrient for nerve tissue health, brain function, and the production of red blood cells. Deficiency can lead to anemia and neurological issues.

Vitamin B9 (Folate) Levels indicate the concentration of folate or folic acid, a B vitamin necessary for proper brain function, plays a crucial role in mental and emotional health. It is also essential for producing DNA and RNA and particularly important in aiding rapid cell division and growth, such as during infancy and pregnancy.

Vitamin B9 levels in the body are strongly associated with genetic variations in the MTHFR gene. The MTHFR gene is a prominent gene that influences several critical functions related to growth and development. We will discuss the functions of this gene in more detail in a future article, stay tuned!

Vitamin D Levels refer to the concentration of vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin essential for strong bones because it helps the body use calcium from the diet. Traditionally, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to rickets, a disease in which the bone tissue does not properly mineralize, leading to soft bones and skeletal deformities.

The GC gene, which codes for the vitamin D Binding Protein, a pivotal player in vitamin D level regulation, is closely tied to how vitamin D influences our wellness.

Read in more detail: The Genetics of Vitamin D Levels

Vitamin K Levels indicate the concentration of vitamin K in the body. It is crucial for blood clotting and bone health. It plays a key role in helping the blood clot, and preventing excessive bleeding.  It is also needed for bone proteins.

Studies on the genetics of vitamin K levels are still ongoing. Two genes are of special interest, the gene coding for VKORC1, which has a role in vitamin K processing and the gene for GGCX,  which encodes an enzyme that activates vitamin K-dependent protein. 

Read in more detail: How Your Genes Affect Vitamin K Levels

Zinc Levels refer to the bodily concentration of zinc, a critical mineral for a healthy immune system, wound healing, DNA synthesis, and cell division. Zinc also supports regular growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence. We require zinc also for proper sense of taste and smell.

Zinc levels have a genetic component. Studies have found variations in genes like PPCDC and CA1 to influence blood zinc levels.

Iron Levels denote the amount of iron in the body, an essential mineral critical for the production of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Iron is also necessary for growth, development, normal cellular functioning, and for synthesising some hormones and connective tissue.

Genetic variations in genes like HFE and TMPRSS6 influence iron levels.

Cholesterol Levels traits (two of them) refer to the amount of cholesterol in the blood, either the low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad” cholesterol) or the high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good” cholesterol). While cholesterol is essential for forming cell membranes, certain hormones, and vitamin D, high LDL cholesterol levels increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. 

Genetic factors play a significant role in determining an individual’s HDL cholesterol levels. Read about it here.

Copper Levels indicate the concentration of copper in the body, a trace mineral vital for making red blood cells and maintaining nerve cells and the immune system. It also helps the body form collagen, absorb iron, and play a role in energy production.

The SNP rs1175550, located in the SMIM1 gene, is linked to serum copper concentrations. Individuals carrying the A allele of this SNP are more susceptible to lower levels of copper. 

DHA Levels refer to the amount of docosahexaenoic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid that is a major structural component of the human brain, cerebral cortex, skin, and retina. Adequate DHA levels are crucial for brain health, visual development, and reducing inflammation. 

From the genetic perspective, variations in the ELOVL2 gene, responsible for producing proteins that extend the chain length of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, have been linked to reduced levels of DHA. This connection is significant, considering the crucial part DHA plays in maintaining brain health and supporting cognitive functions.

Liver Enzyme Levels refer to the concentrations of  the liver enzymes, including alanine-aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), alkaline phosphatase  (ALP), and gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT). These enzymes are released into the bloodstream when the liver is damaged. Monitoring these levels helps diagnose and monitor liver damage or diseases. 

A 2008 GWAS across three populations (7,715 individuals) and validated in three additional cohorts (4,704 individuals) identified specific genetic loci associated with levels of liver enzymes, including ALT, GGT, and ALP. Significant loci were discovered for ALT (on chromosomes 10 and 22), one for GGT (on chromosome 12), and three for ALP (on chromosomes 1, 6, and 10). The study also confirmed known associations with GGT and ALP levels.

CoQ10 Levels refer to the amount of Coenzyme Q10 in the body, a substance that helps convert food into energy and acts as a powerful antioxidant, protecting cells from damage and playing a part in the metabolism.

Genetics significantly influences CoQ10 levels. A 2016 study investigated the genetic factors influencing serum CoQ10 levels. A meta-analysis of two Northern German cohorts identified two significant genetic loci linked to CoQ10 levels. The COLEC12 gene on chromosome 18 and the NRXN-1 gene on chromosome 2, previously associated with neuronal diseases, showed the strongest associations. 

Probiotic Need reflects the necessity for probiotics, live beneficial bacteria and yeasts that are good for the digestive system. They help keep the gut healthy and are often referred to as “good” or “friendly” bacteria because they help keep the gut environment healthy.

A 2016 study examined how genetics influences the gut microbiome by analyzing metagenomic sequencing data from 1,514 individuals. Researchers identified significant genetic associations with microbial species, pathways, and gene ontology categories, pinpointing nine loci linked to microbial taxonomies and 33 loci associated with microbial pathways and gene ontology terms. The study also highlighted 32 loci, related to complex diseases, immunity, and food preferences, with a suggestive association level. Notably, the findings include new associations, like those at the genome-wide significance for CLEC4F–CD207 and CLEC4A–FAM90A1. 

Magnesium Levels indicate the amount of magnesium in the body, an essential mineral for bone health and proper function of nerves, muscles, etc. Magnesium is also involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body.

Variations in the TRPM6 and ATP2B1 genes are commonly associated with changes in magnesium levels and an increased likelihood of developing hypomagnesemia.

 

Thyroid Function refers to how well the thyroid gland works, producing hormones that regulate metabolism, heart rate, body temperature, and more. Tests often measure levels of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), T3, and T4 to assess thyroid function.

Genetics significantly influence thyroid hormone levels, TSH concentrations, and the likelihood of developing autoimmune thyroid diseases. Studies indicate that genetic factors account for nearly 67% of the variation in thyroid hormone and TSH levels. While research has identified specific genes, like those for phosphodiesterase 8B (PDE8B), iodothyronine deiodinase 1 (DIO1), F-actin-capping protein subunit beta (CAPZB), and the TSH receptor, as contributors to these variations, they explain only a little portion of the hormone level differences. More genes and genetic mechanisms affecting thyroid hormone levels remain undiscovered.

Melatonin Levels measure the concentration of melatonin, a hormone the pineal gland produces to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. It is often called the “sleep hormone” as high levels can help you fall asleep.

Genetics significantly influences melatonin levels. For example, the MTNR1B gene variant is linked to endogenous melatonin signaling, sleep status, and circadian rhythm.

Calcium Levels indicate the amount of calcium in the body, essential for maintaining strong bones and carrying out many vital functions such as muscle contraction, blood clotting, and nerve transmission.

Phosphorus Levels measure the amount of phosphorus, or phosphate, in the body, an essential mineral involved in hundreds of cellular activities everyday. The body uses phosphorus to repair cells and tissues, to make the energy needed for daily activities, and to filter waste out of the kidneys.

Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) is a test to check how well the kidneys work. It estimates how much blood passes through the glomeruli, tiny filters in the kidneys, each minute. Several genetic factors contribute to GFR regulation, influencing the efficiency of the glomerular filtration process. 

For example, genetic variants in SHROOM3, such as the SNP rs17319721, have been linked to an increased risk of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and reduced GFR.

Read in more detail: Understanding the Genetics of Glomerular Filtration Rate

Proteinuria refers to the presence of abnormal amounts of protein in the urine, often a sign of kidney damage. It is not normal to have protein in the urine, and its presence can be an early sign that the kidneys are not working correctly.

Genetic studies have unraveled several genetic markers related to proteinuria. Read about it in more detail here: Proteinuria- Unravelling The Clues in Your Urine

Visual Acuity measures the clarity or sharpness of vision. It is a quantitative measure of the ability to identify black symbols on a white background at a standardized distance as being separate entities.

Genome-wide association studies on visual acuity have revealed several candidate genetic markers linked to visual acuity. We go into more details of these studies in this article

To unlock the full list of traits, get started with the LifeDNA Vitamins & Supplements report. Learn more here.

Why LifeDNA?

LifeDNA has emerged as a prominent option for analyzing 23andMe and many other raw DNA data, owing to a combination of unique offerings and a commitment to personalized wellness. 

We offer a basic DNA raw data analysis package to kickstart your journey. Users with raw data from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, etc., can access 194+ traits across interests such as Nutrition, Wellness, Vitamins and Supplements, Personality, Fitness, Sleep, Methylation, and Skincare.

Further, if you do not have raw DNA data, such as from 23andMe, LifeDNA provides that too. Start your personalized wellness journey with LifeDNA’s state-of-the-art DNA kits here.

Here is why many regard LifeDNA as the best option for making the most of your 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and other raw data:

  • Holistic Approach to Wellness: Unlike many other platforms that focus strictly on health-related risks or ancestry, LifeDNA adopts a holistic approach. We analyze genetic data to offer personalized optimizations for nutrition (including a customized grocery list!), skin care, vitamins & supplements, wellness, personality & cognition, and fitness. This range lets users get a complete picture of their wellness needs based on their DNA.
  • Product Recommendations: We go beyond just providing insights. We offer specific product recommendations, skincare ingredients, or supplements tailored to an individual’s genetic profile. It makes our service actionable, allowing users to make immediate changes based on their results.
  • Data Security: At LifeDNA, we emphasise on protecting user data. Our commitment to privacy ensures that users can trust the platform with their sensitive genetic information.
  • User-Friendly Reports: LifeDNA reports are easy to interpret. We have designed our reports to be accessible to the layperson without compromising on the depth and accuracy of the information.
  • Continual Updates: As genetic research evolves, so does LifeDNA’s platform. Users can expect their reports and insights to be up-to-date with the latest scientific findings.
  • Dedicated Research and Development: At LifeDNA, we invest in research to continually refine our algorithms, ensuring that we base the insights on cutting-edge science.
  • Educational Resources: LifeDNA also provides ample resources for users to understand their genetic makeup better. This education-first approach demystifies the complex world of genetics, making it approachable and actionable for everyone.
  • Scientific rigor: To create an unmatched commitment to scientific rigor, LifeDNA partners with CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited, and HIPAA-compliant laboratories.

References

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*Understanding your genetics can offer valuable insights into your well-being, but it is not deterministic. Your traits can be influenced by the complex interplay involving nature, lifestyle, family history, and others.

Our reports have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The contents on our website and our reports are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to diagnose any medical condition, replace the advice of a healthcare professional, or provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes or if you have any other concerns about your results. The testimonials featured may have used more than one LifeDNA or LifeDNA vendors’ product or reports.

A Full Walkthrough Of The LifeDNA’s Personality & Cognition Report

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A Full Walkthrough Of The LifeDNA’s Personality & Cognition Report

Date of Content: December 23, 2023
Written by: Avanthika Nityanand
Reviewed by: Maarit Tiirikainen, PhD

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Are Personality Traits Genetic?

The question of whether personality traits are genetic is a crucial one in understanding human behavior. This topic lies at the intersection of genetics and psychology. It seeks to determine how our genetic makeup influences our personality traits. Scientifically, personality traits refer to enduring patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that differ among individuals.

Genetic research, particularly in behavioral genetics, has made significant strides in studying this issue. Studies involving twins, especially identical twins who share the same genetic material, have been instrumental in shedding light on the genetic contribution to personality traits. These studies typically compare the similarities in personality between identical twins and fraternal twins, with the former sharing more genetic similarities.

Additionally, researchers have used genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to identify specific genetic variations associated with personality traits which will be discussed in more detail in the upcoming sections. These studies have found that no single gene determines a personality trait; rather, multiple genes influence these traits, each having a small effect.

However, it is vital to note that genetics is not the sole determinant of personality. Environmental factors, such as upbringing, cultural influences, and personal experiences, also significantly shape our personalities. The interaction between genetics and environment (often called ‘nature versus nurture’) is complex and contributes to developing our personality traits.

LifeDNA Personality Report

Section Summary

Investigating whether personality traits are genetic reveals that while there is a significant genetic component, various environmental factors also shape our personality. This field remains an active area of research, with ongoing studies aimed at unraveling the intricate balance between our genetic predispositions and the experiences that mold our personalities.

Dissecting The Genetics Of Personality Traits

Here is a breakdown of how genetics play a role in personality traits:

Genetic Influence

Research has shown that genetic factors contribute significantly to developing personality traits. Studies involving identical twins raised apart have provided evidence for the heritability of traits. For example, research shows that extraversion, neuroticism, and agreeableness have varying degrees of heritability.

The heritability of these traits is typically estimated to be between 30% and 60%, indicating a substantial genetic contribution. We can attribute some variability across individuals in these traits to genetic differences.

Role of Specific Genes

While it is clear that genes contribute to personality, identifying specific genes and their mechanisms has been challenging due to the complexity of these traits. Personality traits are polygenic, meaning many genes influence them, each contributing a small effect. Genes that affect neurotransmitter systems, such as those involving dopamine and serotonin, are especially interesting because they affect various aspects of mood regulation and cognitive processes.

Gene-Environment Interactions

Environmental factors often influence the expression of genetic predispositions in personality traits. For instance, a person might have a genetic disposition towards high extraversion. But if they grow up in an environment that discourages social interaction, it might develop partially. Similarly, environmental stressors or opportunities can trigger or suppress genetic potentials in personality.

Epigenetics

Epigenetics, which involves changes in gene expression without altering the DNA sequence, also plays a role in personality development. Environmental factors can cause epigenetic modifications that may influence how personality-related genes are expressed.

Limitations of Genetic Determinism

It is critical to avoid oversimplifying the role of genetics in personality. While genetics provides a framework, it does not determine one’s personality. The development of personality traits is a dynamic process involving genetic predispositions and a wide range of environmental influences, including culture, family, experiences, and personal choices.

Section Summary

Personality traits are partially genetic and interwoven with many environmental factors. The development of personality is a complex and dynamic process that reflects our biological heritage and the diverse experiences of our lives.

The LifeDNA Personality & Cognition Report

The LifeDNA Personality Report covers 41  traits and offers a fascinating insight into how genetics can influence various aspects of personality. This report utilizes advanced genetic analysis to explore the potential genetic underpinnings of an individual’s personality traits. 

The report provides a unique perspective on various traits by examining specific genetic markers. It includes fun traits like musical ability, creativity, neuroticism, optimism, and openness to more serious ones like depression, social rejection, and aggressive behavior. Experience the LifeDNA Personality & Cognition report to understand the complex interplay of genetics and personality.

LifeDNA Personality & Cognition Report Walkthrough

Friendship Satisfaction refers to the level of contentment and happiness an individual derives from their friendships. This trait is moderately heritable, with genes like OXTR playing a role in social bonding and thus potentially influencing friendship satisfaction. 

 

Sensitivity to Beta-Ionone Odor is detecting and responding to the smell of beta-ionone, a compound found in many flowers and fruits. Variations influence the heritability of this trait in olfactory receptor genes, such as rs6591536, in OR5A1.

 

Multitasking involves the capability to handle more than one task simultaneously (cognitive flexibility). The heritability of multitasking ability is complex, but genes affecting cognitive functions and attention, such as COMT, may play a role.

 

Abstract Reasoning is the capacity to understand complex concepts and ideas not grounded in physical reality. It has a significant genetic component, with genes like ASPM and MCPH1 associated with brain development and cognitive abilities.

 

Agreeableness is a personality trait characterized by compassion and cooperativeness. It has a heritability component. Genes like OXTR, have been shown to be associated with extraversion and agreeableness

 

Creativity involves the power to produce original and valuable ideas. Creativity has a genetic component. For example, rs2576037 polymorphism in the KATNAL2 gene affects fluency and originality. Additionally, the study identifies a link between the rs5993883 polymorphism in the COMT gene and the rs362584 polymorphism in the SNAP25 gene with performance on the Remote Associates Test (RAT), a measure of convergent thinking.

 

Educational Attainment is often defined as the highest level of education an individual achieves. Numerous genes influence cognitive abilities and learning processes. A 2013 GWAS, involving a discovery sample of 101,069 individuals and a replication sample of 25,490 individuals, identified three independent SNPs – rs9320913, rs11584700 (LRRN2), and rs4851266 (LINC01104). These SNPs were significant at the genome-wide level and were replicated successfully in the second sample.

 

Hearing Function is the power to perceive sound. Genetic factors can influence it. Research showed variations in the SIK3 gene affecting the hearing function.

 

Instant Gratification refers to the preference for immediate rewards over future benefits. A 2017 study on 23,217 European participants indicated the influence of rs6528024 SNP in the GPM6B gene.

 

Musical Ability encompasses skills in areas like rhythm, pitch, and melody. A 2012 genomic analysis showed a strong association between UGT8 variants (e.g. rs12510781) and musical ability.

 

Neuroticism is a personality trait associated with emotional instability, anxiety, frustrations, and fear. A 2016 GWAS found a genetic link between variations in the L3MBTL2 gene and neuroticism.

 

Positive Affectivity represents a predisposition to experience positive emotions. Genes like LINC01221 influence the heritability of this trait.

 

Resilience refers to the power to recover quickly from difficulties. Genes related to stress response, like FKBP51 and LINC01221, have been shown to influence this trait’s heritability.

 

Read our in-depth analysis of the Genetics Of Resilience.

 

Sensitivity to Stimuli is how an individual reacts to environmental inputs. Genes affecting sensory processing, like DRD2 and DBH, may play a role in its heritability.

 

Frequency of Playing Computer Games might be influenced by genetic factors related to reward-seeking behavior and dopamine regulation. A 2022 study showed an association between the DRD2 gene and problematic gaming.

 

Guilty Feeling is a complex trait related to conscience and moral sensitivity, with its heritability potentially influenced by genes affecting emotional regulation and empathy, such as OXTR. A 2014 study revealed that participants with the GA or GG genotype at the rs53576 SNP in the OXTR gene were more inclined to engage in self-punishment than those with the AA genotype.

 

Mood Swings can be influenced by genetic variations in neurotransmitter systems, like serotonin and dopamine pathways, which affect mood regulation. This 2017 GWAS unraveled several candidate genes for their potential influence on mood stability.

 

Social Rejection sensitivity could be heritable, with genes involved in social cognition and emotional regulation, such as OPRM1, potentially playing a role.

 

Aggressive Behavior has a genetic component, with genes like OXTR influencing neurotransmitter systems that regulate aggression.

 

Depression is a complex mood disorder with a significant genetic component. A 2019 GWAS included a total of 807,553 individuals, comprising 246,363 cases (individuals with depression) and 561,190 controls (individuals without depression). The study successfully identified 102 independent genetic variants and 269 genes associated with depression.

Read our in-depth analysis of the Genetics Of Depression.

Emotional Support Seeking may have genetic underpinnings related to social bonding and empathy, potentially involving genes like OXTR.

Gambling behavior can have a genetic aspect, with genes influencing reward and risk-taking behaviors, such as those in the dopamine pathways, playing a part. A large-scale 2012 GWAS examined 2.38 million SNPs and uncovered six promising SNPs across three genes – MT1X, ATXN1, and VLDLR that influence gambling.

Harm Avoidance is a trait linked to anxiety and fearfulness, with a moderate heritable component

Impulsivity involves acting without forethought, and genetic factors influence it. Dopamine and serotonin-related genes like HTR2B and HTR1A  are associated with impulsive behavior.

Ability to Detect Grassy Aroma is linked to the olfactory system’s genetic variations, such as specific olfactory receptor genes that enable the detection of certain scents.

Intergenerational Transmission of Qualities refers to the hereditary passing of traits from parents to offspring. This transmission is a complex interplay of numerous genes influencing various traits.

Verbal Memory is the power to recall words and language-based information. It has a genetic component, with genes like TOMM40 and PVRL2 linked to memory-related cognitive functions.

Extroversion vs Introversion is a fundamental personality dimension, with its heritability influenced by genes affecting neurotransmitter systems, such as dopamine pathways.

Hypnotizability refers to the susceptibility to hypnosis, and genes affecting brain function and cognitive processes, like COMT, might influence its heritability.

Mathematical Ability is influenced by genetic factors. A meta-analysis of three cohorts revealed that four specific SNPs in the SPOCK1 gene are associated with mathematical ability.

Openness is a personality trait associated with creativity and intellectual curiosity. It is partially heritable, with genes influencing cognitive and emotional processing playing a role.

Sensitivity to Blue Cheese Aroma involves the genetic variation in olfactory receptors, influencing the capability to detect and distinguish different scents.

Reward Dependence is the tendency to respond markedly to rewards, influenced by genetic variations in the brain’s reward system, particularly dopamine-related genes.

Perceptual Speed refers to the power to quickly and accurately process visual information, with its heritability influenced by genes related to cognitive function and brain processing speed.

Conscientiousness is a personality trait characterized by organization and dependability. Genes affecting brain function and temperament might influence its heritability. A 2010 meta-analysis showed a strong link between the rs2576037 variation in the KATNAL2 gene and conscientiousness.

Fear of Pain can be influenced by genetic factors. A 2017 meta-analysis identified several genetic loci significantly associated with the fear of minor pain, located near the genes TMEM65, NEURL1, NEFM, NEFL, AGPAT4, and PARK2. 

Loneliness is a complex emotional state with a genetic component. Genes affecting social bonding and neurotransmission may influence this trait.

Optimism is the tendency to expect positive outcomes, and genes affecting mood regulation and cognitive bias can influence its heritability.

Risk-taking is the propensity to engage in behaviors with potentially unfavorable outcomes. A 2018 GWAS on self-reported risk-taking behavior using white British participants from the UK Biobank cohort analyzed 83,677 individuals identified as risk-takers and 244,662 controls. Researchers conducted a secondary analysis to examine sex-specific effects, differences across ethnicities, and the genetic relationship between risk-taking and psychiatric traits. The study successfully identified ten independent genetic loci linked to risk-taking behavior, with eight discoveries and two confirming previous findings.

Worrying After Embarrassment involves the tendency to feel anxious following embarrassing situations. Genetic factors affecting emotional regulation, such as serotonin transporter genes, may play a role in this trait’s heritability.

Maternal Sensitivity refers to a mother’s ability to perceive, interpret, and appropriately respond to her child’s cues, needs, and emotions. It encompasses a range of behaviors and attitudes that foster a secure, supportive, and nurturing environment for the child. A 2011 study demonstrated that maternal genotype could predict variations in maternal sensitivity six months postpartum. Specifically, mothers possessing an S (or functionally similar LG) allele of rs25531 (5-HTTLPR) exhibited higher sensitivity than those without the allele during a 30-minute recorded mother-infant interaction.

Why LifeDNA?

LifeDNA has emerged as a prominent option for analyzing 23andMe and raw data from many other sources, owing to a combination of unique offerings and a commitment to personalized wellness. 

We offer a basic DNA raw data analysis package to kickstart your journey. Users with raw data from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, etc., can access 120+ traits across interests such as Nutrition, Wellness, Vitamins and Supplements, Personality, Fitness, Sleep, Methylation, and Skincare.

Further, if you do not have raw DNA data, such as from 23andMe, LifeDNA provides that too. Start your personalized wellness journey with LifeDNA’s state-of-the-art DNA kits here.

Here is why many regard LifeDNA as the best option for making the most of your 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and other raw data:

  • Holistic Approach to Wellness: Unlike many other platforms that focus strictly on health-related risks or ancestry, LifeDNA adopts a holistic approach. We analyze genetic data to offer personalized optimizations for nutrition (including a customized grocery list!), skin care, vitamins & supplements, wellness, personality & cognition, and fitness. This range lets users get a complete picture of their wellness needs based on their DNA.
  • Product Recommendations: We go beyond just providing insights. We offer specific product recommendations, skincare ingredients, or supplements tailored to an individual’s genetic profile. It makes our service actionable, allowing users to make immediate changes based on their results.
  • Data Security: At LifeDNA, we place a high emphasis on protecting user data. Our commitment to privacy ensures that users can trust the platform with their sensitive genetic information.
  • User-Friendly Reports: LifeDNA reports are easy to interpret. Our reports are designed to be accessible to the layperson without compromising on the depth and accuracy of the information.
  • Continual Updates: As genetic research evolves, so does LifeDNA’s platform. Users can expect their reports and insights to be updated with the latest scientific findings.
  • Dedicated Research and Development: At LifeDNA, we invest in research to continually refine our algorithms, ensuring that the insights provided are based on cutting-edge science.
  • Educational Resources: LifeDNA also provides ample resources for users to understand their genetic makeup better. This education-first approach demystifies the complex world of genetics, making it approachable and actionable for everyone.
  • Scientific rigor: To create an unmatched commitment to scientific rigor, LifeDNA partners with CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited, and HIPAA-compliant laboratories.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3266986/
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982213008531
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0028393210001697?via%3Dihub
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4376118/
  5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0167876017304439
  6. https://peerj.com/articles/5403/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23722424/
  8. https://academic.oup.com/hmg/article/23/23/6407/2900883?login=false
  9. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41593-017-0032-x
  10. https://jmg.bmj.com/content/49/12/747
  11. https://www.nature.com/articles/ng.3736
  12. https://www.nature.com/articles/mp2016143
  13. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41380-022-01755-9
  14. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0021636
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8951734/
  16. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0191886914003274
  17. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41398-017-0012-7
  18. http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0812612106
  19. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2018.06.002
  20. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41593-018-0326-7
  21. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1010830107
  22. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1369-1600.2012.00463.x
  23. https://doi.org/10.1038%2Ftp.2012.37 
  24. https://www.nature.com/articles/nature09629
  25. https://doi.org/10.1093/chemse/bjs049
  26. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yhbeh.2019.06.004
  27. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0182448
  28. https://doi.org/10.1038/ng.3736
  29. https://doi.org/10.1080/00207144.2017.1348848
  30. https://www.nature.com/articles/srep40365
  31. https://doi.org/10.1038/mp.2010.128
  32. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2013.07.031
  33. https://doi.org/10.1038%2Ftp.2012.37
  34. https://doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.trci.2017.03.004
  35. https://doi.org/10.1155%2F2017%2F7375468
  36. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-04930-1
  37. http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1113137108
  38. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41398-018-0236-1

Customer Reviews

Christopher Devlin
Christopher Devlin
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I am so impressed with this service. I have even discussed these recommendations with my health care providers and they are all impressed too! I can’t compare it with other services as I have only tried this but I recommend. Also I think I pulled my genetics in from ancestry too which was super convenient.
Lei'a
Lei'a
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
Great source of information I was looking for a platform to make use of my existing raw data from Ancestry. I’m glad I found LifeDNA. I originally took a DNA test to learn about my roots and it’s great to know that my DNA could also play a big role in my health, diet, and even my skin. Overall, all the reports are incredible.
Shiraz Dole
Shiraz Dole
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
It is crazy how I felt that I had a strong understanding of my bodies needs, but after having my DNA analyzed by the LifeDNA team, I realized that there was so much I still did not know.
Doc Sheila Lim
Doc Sheila Lim
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I got some pretty useful insight that helped me with my diet.
Previous
Next

*Understanding your genetics can offer valuable insights into your well-being, but it is not deterministic. Your traits can be influenced by the complex interplay involving nature, lifestyle, family history, and others.

Our reports have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The contents on our website and our reports are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to diagnose any medical condition, replace the advice of a healthcare professional, or provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes or if you have any other concerns about your results. The testimonials featured may have used more than one LifeDNA or LifeDNA vendors’ product or reports.

Exploring DTC Genetic Testing: 31 Frequently Asked Questions

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Exploring DTC Genetic Testing: 31 Frequently Asked Questions

Date of Content: September 21, 2023
Written by: Avanthika Nityanand
Reviewed by: Maarit Tiirikainen, PhD

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Navigating the rapidly evolving world of genetics can be both exciting and overwhelming. With the rise of direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests, many individuals have unprecedented access to their genetic information, unlocking secrets about ancestry, health predispositions, and even traits. As with any pioneering technology, a multitude of questions arises. In this guide, we’ll delve into 31 of the most frequently asked questions about DTC genetic tests, offering clarity for those eager to understand more about what these tests can provide and their implications.

genetic testing

What Is Genetic Testing?

Genetic testing examines changes in chromosomes and genes to ascertain genetic propensity to health conditions and the influence of a person’s genetic features on a wide range of lifestyle aspects like nutrition, fitness, supplement intake, and sleep. It includes direct-to-consumer (DTC) tests, available to consumers without a healthcare provider, and clinical genetic tests, which medical professionals administer. 

Can I Use The Raw Data From My DTC Test With Third-Party Services?

Many DTC companies provide users with raw data, which can often be uploaded to third-party platforms for further analysis, though accuracy and quality can vary.

What Can Genetic Testing Tell You?

Genetic testing can show the presence or absence of gene variations (polymorphisms) that influence several aspects of your wellness and inform you of your ancestry. Genetic testing can also identify mutations directly affecting predisposition to certain conditions.

DTC genetic testing typically scores your DNA for common genetic variations or polymorphisms, and clinical genetic testing is more equipped to identify mutations, including the rare ones.

What Are Polymorphisms?

Polymorphisms are variations in DNA sequences that are common within a population. They are also known as genetic variations. While many mutations are very rare, polymorphisms represent the natural genetic diversity among individuals.

Are Mutations And Polymorphisms The Same?

Polymorphisms are common DNA variations found in many people, that is, in more than 1% of the population.

Mutations are rarer DNA changes often linked to health issues or some beneficial traits. For example, individuals with specific mutations in the SLC30A8 gene (solute carrier family 30, member 8) have a 65% reduced chance of developing diabetes, regardless of other risk factors such as obesity. On the other hand, a mutation in a single gene (CFTR) can cause the body to produce thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and blocks ducts in digestive organs, a condition called cystic fibrosis.

What Is A Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP)?

A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) is a type of polymorphism wherein there is variation in a single DNA building block, known as a nucleotide, at a specific position in the genome. These SNPs can act as biological markers, helping scientists locate genes associated with certain conditions. They can also influence response to diet, exercise, allergy predispositions, nutritional deficiencies, and several aspects of wellness like sleep and cognition.

Check out LifeDNA’s full range of reports and traits.

How Is Genetic Testing Done?

DTC genetic testing uses a saliva or cheek swab that you can self-collect. The sample is sent to a lab where your DNA is extracted, genotyped, and analyzed using proprietary algorithms based on population studies and human genome databases.

What Is Genotyping?

Genotyping determines an individual’s genetic variants (like SNPs). It provides a snapshot of specific sites in an individual’s genome to understand their genetic makeup.

What's The Difference Between Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) and Genotyping Done by Most DTC Tests?

Most DTC tests use genotyping to look for specific known genetic markers. However, WGS examines almost the entire length of an individual’s DNA.

Can I Skip Genotyping And Directly Opt For WGS?

You can skip genotyping and directly opt for WGS. While genotyping checks for specific pre-determined variants in the DNA, WGS examines all 3 billion base pairs of your DNA, providing a more comprehensive view of your genetics. If you’re looking for the most detailed genetic information available, WGS would be the choice. However, it is also more expensive than genotyping. Always consult with a genetic counselor or healthcare professional before making decisions about genetic testing.

How Often Do DTC Companies Update Their Databases And Findings As Science Evolves?

It varies by company, but many regularly update their databases and may notify users of new relevant findings.

Is Genetic Testing Accurate?

Most genetic tests are more than 99% accurate and identify specific genetic markers. However, a positive result doesn’t always mean you will develop the disease, just that you are at increased risk.

Are Genetic Tests Confidential?

Medical genetic tests are generally confidential and protected under US law. Still, privacy concerns exist, especially for DTC tests, despite several companies having detailed privacy policies and stringent protocols to protect their customers.

 

At LifeDNA, customer data privacy is the number one priority. Check this video to review all steps taken by LifeDNA to safeguard customer confidentiality and privacy.

How Do Companies Choose Which Genetic Markers To Test In DTC Kits?

Companies select genetic markers based on scientific research, clinical relevance, and consumer interest.

How Do DTC Genetic Tests Differ From Clinical Genetic Tests?

DTC tests are marketed directly to consumers and may focus on broader insights for wellness. For example, how well you process carbohydrates or your genetic predisposition to insomnia. On the other hand, healthcare providers recommend clinical genetic tests for specific medical reasons.

What Disease Risks Can Be Found Through Genetic Testing?

Clinical genetic testing can detect susceptibility to diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, certain types of cancers like those with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, and many more.

We recommend reading this article for a more detailed report on all the different types of information you can get from genetic testing.

How Long Does Genetic Testing Take?

The time for testing varies but generally takes 4-6 weeks. If you already have your DNA raw data from companies like 23andMe or AncestryDNA, you can receive an analysis of up to 120+ traits within 1 hour with LifeDNA.

How Much Does Genetic Testing Cost?

Costs can vary from a hundred to a few thousand dollars depending on the complexity of the test. LifeDNA’s Signature package offers you a DNA sample collection kit, analysis of 120+ traits across six reports, 1-1 sessions with our counselors, and much more for just $199!

Is Genetic Testing Voluntary?

Taking a DTC genetic test is entirely your choice. However, doctors often recommend a clinical genetic test to confirm the diagnosis of conditions with well-established genetic links, such as breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

What Should I Do If My DTC Genetic Test Indicates A Health Risk?

The first thing not to do is panic! Please remember that genetic testing is not deterministic but a part of the bigger picture, albeit an important one. Consult a healthcare professional or genetic counselor to understand the results and potential implications.

LifeDNA’s Platinum Membership subscription plan offers one-on-one consultations with our in-house genomics experts. Learn more here.

Can I Share My DTC Genetic Test Results With Family Members?

You ultimately control what you would like to do with your genetic information. Considering the potential emotional and privacy implications for you and your family is essential.

Do DTC Genetic Tests Provide Information On Carrier Status For Conditions I Could Pass To My Children?

Some DTC genetic tests offer carrier screening for specific conditions, but the scope and comprehensiveness vary among providers.

Do DTC Genetic Tests Provide Information About Potential Drug Sensitivities or Responses?

Some DTC tests offer insights into pharmacogenomics — how genes might affect drug responses.

Are There Any Potential Emotional Implications of Taking a DTC Genetic Test?

Results might reveal unexpected information about ancestry or potential health risks, which could be emotionally challenging. It is essential to remember that while genetics can significantly influence health and wellness outcomes, it is not deterministic. Always consult a healthcare provider for advice if you are unsure how to interpret your results.

How Can I Be Sure The DTC Testing Company Won’t Sell My Genetic Data?

It is essential to read the company’s privacy policy and user agreement. Some companies pledge not to sell individual data but might use aggregated, anonymized data for research.

At LifeDNA, we do not sell or share user information with any third-party companies. Read our complete privacy policy here.

Does Insurance Cover Genetic Testing in the US?

Coverage for genetic testing varies by insurance provider and individual circumstances. It is essential to consult with your insurance to understand your options.

Can DTC Genetic Tests Determine Paternity or Family Relationships?

Some DTC tests can identify close family relationships, making them useful for those seeking biological relatives or verifying paternity.

Is It Possible To Have A False Positive or Negative Result With DTC Genetic Tests?

DTC genetic tests offer a unique window into one’s genetic makeup but aren’t infallible. A false positive result occurs when the test inaccurately indicates the presence of a specific genetic variant and, therefore, a potential predisposition that isn’t truly there. It could lead someone to believe they have a heightened risk for a health condition when they don’t. On the other hand, a false negative result fails to detect a genetic variant or predisposition that is present, potentially giving a false sense of security regarding certain genetic risks. 

Several factors can contribute to these inaccuracies, including the quality of the sample provided, the technology used, and the specific markers the test evaluates. It’s essential to approach DTC genetic test results cautiously and seek guidance and further confirmation from healthcare professionals for any health-related concerns.

What Steps Does LifeDNA Take To Avoid False Positives And False Negatives?

Quality Control Procedures: LifeDNA has partnered with labs that use advanced lab equipment and technologies with built-in quality control mechanisms. Samples that provide ambiguous or unclear results are often re-tested

Use of CLIA-Certified Labs: LifeDNA uses only laboratories certified by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). This certification means the lab meets high standards for quality and accuracy.

Regular Updates Based on New Research: As scientific understanding evolves, we update our testing algorithms and databases to reflect the latest research, ensuring to check for the most relevant and well-understood genetic markers.

Expert Review: LifeDNA has a team of genomics experts to vet the results before releasing them to the consumer.

Clear Communication: LifeDNA aims to communicate results clearly, distinguishing between high-confidence findings and those that might be more uncertain. We also provide information about the limitations of the tests and the potential for false results.

Reference Databases: LifeDNA uses large, well-curated genetic databases and publications as references to ensure that we choose and interpret genetic variants correctly.

Are DTC Genetic Tests Approved By Regulatory Agencies?

Some DTC genetic tests have been reviewed by regulatory agencies like the FDA.

What Is GINA?

GINA, or the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, is a U.S. law that protects people from being mistreated because of differences in their DNA that might affect their health. It means employers and health insurers can’t discriminate against you based on genetic information.

Summary

  • DTC genetic tests provide individuals access to their genetic information, revealing insights about ancestry, health-related predispositions, and traits.
  • Using targeted genotyping or whole genome sequencing methods, these tests can identify gene variations influencing wellness and ancestry.
  • Privacy concerns exist with DTC genetic tests, but some companies, like LifeDNA, prioritize data protection and customer confidentiality.
  • Results from DTC tests can have implications like unexpected ancestry findings or potential health risks, prompting the need for careful consideration and consultation with healthcare professionals.
  • DTC genetic tests vary in approval by regulatory agencies, and while the FDA has reviewed some tests, others have not been reviewed. GINA is a U.S. law ensuring genetic information non-discrimination.

Customer Reviews

Christopher Devlin
Christopher Devlin
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I am so impressed with this service. I have even discussed these recommendations with my health care providers and they are all impressed too! I can’t compare it with other services as I have only tried this but I recommend. Also I think I pulled my genetics in from ancestry too which was super convenient.
Lei'a
Lei'a
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
Great source of information I was looking for a platform to make use of my existing raw data from Ancestry. I’m glad I found LifeDNA. I originally took a DNA test to learn about my roots and it’s great to know that my DNA could also play a big role in my health, diet, and even my skin. Overall, all the reports are incredible.
Shiraz Dole
Shiraz Dole
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
It is crazy how I felt that I had a strong understanding of my bodies needs, but after having my DNA analyzed by the LifeDNA team, I realized that there was so much I still did not know.
Doc Sheila Lim
Doc Sheila Lim
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I got some pretty useful insight that helped me with my diet.
Previous
Next

Customer Reviews

Christopher Devlin
Christopher Devlin
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I am so impressed with this service. I have even discussed these recommendations with my health care providers and they are all impressed too! I can’t compare it with other services as I have only tried this but I recommend. Also I think I pulled my genetics in from ancestry too which was super convenient.
Lei'a
Lei'a
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
Great source of information I was looking for a platform to make use of my existing raw data from Ancestry. I’m glad I found LifeDNA. I originally took a DNA test to learn about my roots and it’s great to know that my DNA could also play a big role in my health, diet, and even my skin. Overall, all the reports are incredible.
Shiraz Dole
Shiraz Dole
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
It is crazy how I felt that I had a strong understanding of my bodies needs, but after having my DNA analyzed by the LifeDNA team, I realized that there was so much I still did not know.
Doc Sheila Lim
Doc Sheila Lim
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I got some pretty useful insight that helped me with my diet.
Previous
Next

*Understanding your genetics can offer valuable insights into your well-being, but it is not deterministic. Your traits can be influenced by the complex interplay involving nature, lifestyle, family history, and others.

Our reports and suggestions do not diagnose or treat any health conditions or provide any medical advice. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes or if you have any other concerns about your results.

References

*Understanding your genetics can offer valuable insights into your well-being, but it is not deterministic. Your traits can be influenced by the complex interplay involving nature, lifestyle, family history, and others.

Our reports have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The contents on our website and our reports are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to diagnose any medical condition, replace the advice of a healthcare professional, or provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes or if you have any other concerns about your results. The testimonials featured may have used more than one LifeDNA or LifeDNA vendors’ product or reports.

DNA Test 101: How much is a DNA test?

Genetic Testing 101: What and How Much is a DNA Test?

DNA analysis

 

If you’ve ever wondered about your family tree, you might be glad to know that your DNA will tell you more than just who you are related to. While finding out if you are a descendant of a famous historical figure sounds super cool, there’s so much more to learn about yourself, your body, your mind, and even your potential with the right DNA test

What is Genetic Testing?

Genetic testing can give you a myriad of information about your nutrition, wellness, your personality, andeven your genetic likelihood of developing certain conditions. The tests look for changes, also known as mutations or variants, in your genes, chromosomes, and proteins to determine unique traits or changes in your current traits that can give you insights into your well-being,your food response, your body’s ability to absorb certain vitamins and minerals, and even why you have certain behavioral traits. 

 

Some genetic tests are done by drawing blood and examining it, others are via cheek swabs of your saliva and lad-testing it. The results can vary from a few days to a few weeks depending on how detailed your genetic testing results are. If you have mutations in your DNA test results, the likelihood of your family members having the same mutations increases because you share the same genes. 

 

If you’re ready to take a DNA test and gain personalized insights into how you can start taking action on your overall wellness, check out LifeDNA’s plans today. 


The Benefits of Taking a DNA Test

Genetic testing has a ton of incredible benefits. Knowledge is power, thus finding out your genetic predispositions towards certain traits can help you better manage your diet, lifestyle, and personal habits. Below are some of the most powerful benefits of DNA testing. 

Discover your unique genetic traits

Many couples planning to have a family want to be as prepared as possible. Taking a DNA test individually can help determine if one or both parents have genetic mutations that can be passed on to their offspring and the likelihood of these mutations growing or increasing. Genetic testing can also help determine some physical, mental, and cognitive traits of your future offspring.

 

LifeDNA offers over 120 unique traits on nutrition, fitness, vitamins, wellness, personality, skincare, and more. If you’re ready to discover your unique traits based on DNA, click here to get started. 

Identify your genetic likelihood for certain conditions

A DNA test can help your trusted healthcare professional make more informed decisions and recommendations about your well-being. Genetic testing can help some individuals identify potential risks and focus on prevention and treatment. Consulting a medical professional for advice after seeing your results can also give you the peace of mind you might need. 



Remember, LifeDNA’s reports do not diagnose any diseases. We do recommend that you consult your healthcare professional for traits results that may need attention. 

Assessing if a pregnancy or future pregnancy is safe

Some DNA test results can also help parents or future parents make decisions about having children. A prenatal genetic test can help determine if the fetus is growing normally or if there are any abnormalities present while in the womb. 

Screening newborn babies for certain treatable conditions

 

Some genetic testing services offer newborn screening one to two days after birth. This test can identify genetic disorders early at the earliest chance possible so that treatment can be started as early as possible.

DNA test



Is LifeDNA Genetic Testing right for you?

LifeDNA’s non-invasive genetic testing is quick, easy, and can be safely done in the comforts of your own home. A test kit will be sent to you with instructions to follow on how to do a cheek swab. Your results will then be sent back to the lab so we can analyze your sample and generate your reports. .

 

Once purchased, it will take approximately 3 to 7 days for the kit to be delivered to your desired address. When you are ready to send back the saliva sample, it will take around 5 days for it to reach LifeDNA’s labs. 

 

There will be 3 to 5 weeks of waiting for your DNA sample to be analyzed in the lab. Once the reports are generated, you will be notified via the email you provided when you signed up for your subscription and your personalized report will be ready for your browsing.

LifeDNA plans

Comprehensive and Scientifically-Backed Reports

LifeDNA will provide you with a personalized report for every DNA sample you send back to the lab. Our wellness reports will include scientifically-backed and comprehensive results. Each trait report we provide will include the scientific studies and research used to back up the findings. Below are the traits that will be included in your LifeDNA plan:

Nutrition

Food is a vital part of life. It is what sustains the human body for daily tasks and living. The topic of nutrition can be a sensitive one but that is all the more reason why you need to know more about the nutritional traits that may be affected by your genetics. This part of the report can tell you about your metabolism, whether or not you should avoid gluten or dairy, and if you have potential food allergies or sensitivities. 



Ready to discover what foods and nutrients work best for your body? Check out LifeDNA’s Nutrition Report today. 

Wellness

Wellness is a vague and broad term but in this case, this part of the report will tell you about certain wellness indicators that can be affected by your genetics. Some examples of these are kidney stone predisposition, insomnia, and longevity.

Vitamins and Supplements

Vitamins and minerals are essential for a healthy body. However, like in most things, moderation is key. Too much of a certain vitamin or mineral also has its risks. With the Vitamins and Supplements Report, your DNA test result can tell you which vitamins and minerals your body might need more or less in amount. Always consults with your doctor first before taking any medications.

Fitness 

Fitness is not a one-time thing, it is a lifelong endeavor. Some people refer to fitness as a lifestyle and they’re not wrong. In LifeDNA’s reports, the Fitness part will tell you a predicted baseline to help you set realistic and attainable fitness goals in the long run. It will help you figure out which areas of your body and muscles you should particularly focus on. You’ll even find out if your body is more suited for cardio or weight training. 

Personality and Cognition

Your personality and cognitive abilities may also be affected by your DNA. This part of your result will take a deep dive into your personality, intelligence, creativity, and other unique cognitive abilities and personality traits.

Skincare

 

The world of skincare doesn’t have to seem so daunting. With thousands of skincare products to choose from, it can be a bit overwhelming to choose which ones to use. Your DNA test results can tell you so much about your skin type and your genetic predisposition towards acne, psoriasis, facial wrinkles, and other conditions. 

Rewards of Genetic Testing

Genetic testing is a deeply personal choice. It is up to every individual whether or not they want to know more about their DNA and how the results may impact their everyday lives. If you are thinking about taking a DNA test, read on to know more about the benefits of the test.

 

  • Discover your genetic predispositions and know the exact steps you need to take to optimize your well-being based on your results..

  • Help healthcare professionals provide you with a more accurate medical diagnosis and make recommendations for treatment.

  • Helps you take action on your wellness. The reports contain actionable suggestions on how you can improve your nutrition, fitness, wellness, skin, and overall well-being.

  • Lower your wellness-related anxieties once you figure out what is going on with your body and how to better manage conditions that are related to your genetic predisposition.

 

DNA test

Limitations of Genetic Testing

DNA testing can tell you a lot about yourself and your family history. While it is a useful tool for determining many hereditary conditions that you might be afflicted with, there are still certain limitations to genetic testing. For one, a genetic mutation in your results does not automatically mean you will develop a certain disease or that you will pass it on to your offspring.

 

Genetic testing also cannot tell you if you will show symptoms of a certain condition, the severity of the symptoms, how progressive the disease will be, or which course of treatments is guaranteed to treat or cure the condition. Only a medical professional can advise you about all of these. 

 

Geneticists and genetic counselors are qualified to talk more about what a particular test covers, what to expect for the scope of results, and even help you decide whether undergoing testing is the best choice for you. They can also help you deal with your results and understand them in a more objective manner before going to a medical professional for diagnosis.


How to Get Quick DNA Test Results

If you are familiar with genetic testing, you have probably heard of or even tried other DNA testing companies such as 23andMe, Ancestry, or MyHeritage. With LifeDNA, you have the option to upload your past genetic test results from these companies and unlock a ton of other powerful information hidden in your DNA. 

 

Check out LifeDNA’s plans to get started. 

FAQs

Why do I need to get a DNA test?

Genetic testing is purely voluntary. it is still entirely up to you if you want to get it done. In general, DNA tests are done for medical and personal reasons.

How much does a DNA test cost?

DNA testing can cost anywhere from $30 to $350 depending on the details of the report. Most DNA testing companies offer varying plans that cater to people’s budgets. Similar to other subscriptions, the more you pay, the more access and premiums you receive. 

 

LifeDNA offers a DNA test plan for as low as $199, which offers access to 6 personalized wellness reports with over 120 unique traits. Click here to learn more. 

Can you get a DNA test while pregnant?

LifeDNA’s genetic testing kits are non-invasive. A cheek swab is not likely to cause any harm to pregnant or breastfeeding individuals or those with medical conditions. If you are sensitive to these types of things or simply want to be overcautious, you can always talk to your primary care physician first. 

How long does a DNA test take?

The testing itself will not take more than a few minutes if you are using the saliva test kit from LifeDNA. The instructions are printed on the kit itself and can be done anywhere and anytime. 

Is genetic testing the same as paternity testing?

No, these two tests are different. Prenatal paternity tests are designed to determine whether a man is the child’s biological father, while a DNA test is designed to reveal your ancestry, personal traits, and more. 

 

LifeDNA’s Personalized Wellness Plans

LifeDNA have three main plans available. The Diet and Wellness Pack ($39), the Wellness Report Bundle ($129), and the Wellness Test Bundle ($199). The Wellness Test Bundle includes all of the unique traits that LifeDNA offers, plus the DNA test kit and a one-year platinum membership that gives you access to personalized DNA tools designed to help you optimize your well-being even further..

 

After learning more about genetic testing, you can now decide if it’s right for you or not. While the premium plans might be a bit pricey, they are comprehensive and provide with tons of information that can help you optimize your wellness. If you are still hesitant, you can start off with the least expensive plan and see if the results satisfy you.,

Summary

 

LifeDNA provides some of best, comprehensive, and most personalized reports in the marketing. It is important to note that the reports given to customers do not diagnose or treat any health conditions or provide any medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes or if you have any other concerns about your results. Want to get started on your wellness journey? Try LifeDNA today.

*Understanding your genetics can offer valuable insights into your well-being, but it is not deterministic. Your traits can be influenced by the complex interplay involving nature, lifestyle, family history, and others.

Our reports have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The contents on our website and our reports are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to diagnose any medical condition, replace the advice of a healthcare professional, or provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes or if you have any other concerns about your results. The testimonials featured may have used more than one LifeDNA or LifeDNA vendors’ product or reports.

How To Upload Your DNA To LifeDNA

 

How To Upload Your DNA

Ancestry (3)

 

 

Your DNA is incredible, and we’re excited to show you how you can use your existing DNA test results to unlock powerful personalized health insights and suggestions that are tailored just for you. 

 

With LifeDNA, you can instantly generate your LifeDNA reports if you’ve already done a DNA test in the past. There’s no need to take a DNA test again.

 

But before anything else, it is important to understand that LifeDNA’s system is currently compatible with DNA test companies such as:

 

 

Another key thing to keep in mind is that LifeDNA is not associated with these DNA testing companies. 

This means you’ll have to download your raw data from your existing account and upload it to your system to generate your reports. 

 

In the video above, you’ll see exactly how easy it is to upload your DNA in order to begin your journey on personalized wellness.  

 

  1. First, make sure that your raw data is already downloaded to your mobile device or computer. 

  1. If you haven’t done that yet, click on any companies below to get instructions on how to download your raw data. 

Some companies might give you a warning against sharing your DNA with other testing sites. 

 

Your DNA information is vital. It is indeed important that you go for companies that you can trust 

and that can protect your data. 

 

At LifeDNA, we take privacy and security extremely seriously. From the moment you upload your data, you’re in complete control of your information. 

We don’t sell our customers’ data, and we never share anything without your permission. On top of that, you can request to have your DNA data deleted at any time.

3. If you already have your raw data with you, log in to your LifeDNA account and upload it to our system.

 

4. Your DNA will then be analyzed with our unique bioinformatics algorithm to make sure that get the most accurate results based on the latest genetic research.

 

5. This should only take a few minutes. As soon as the analysis is complete, you’ll receive an email notification from us letting you know that your reports are ready to be viewed.

 

We hope this video was able to help you see how easy it is to use your existing results to unlock more powerful information that can help transform your life forever. 

 

If you’re having trouble uploading your DNA, don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] and our Support Team would be happy to assist you. 

*Understanding your genetics can offer valuable insights into your well-being, but it is not deterministic. Your traits can be influenced by the complex interplay involving nature, lifestyle, family history, and others.

Our reports have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The contents on our website and our reports are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to diagnose any medical condition, replace the advice of a healthcare professional, or provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes or if you have any other concerns about your results. The testimonials featured may have used more than one LifeDNA or LifeDNA vendors’ product or reports.