If you’ve ever wondered whether you might be genetically predisposed to a particular disease, you’ll soon be able to find out right at home. This month, the Food and Drug Administration authorized 23andMe, a genetic testing company, to market tests for 10 diseases or conditions directly to individuals. (1)
23andMe’s Personal Genome Service Genetic Health Risk (GHR) tests are first of a kind. That’s because the testing company gained authorization by the FDA to provide information directly to consumers and not health professionals.
This isn’t the first time the company has offered genetic testing directly to consumers. But in 2013, it was shut down in by the FDA. The agency said the company had to prove that not only were test results accurate, but that consumers understood the results. 23andMe has now met those requirements and is allowed to sell the tests; the FDA expects it will allow other companies to sell similar tests, provided they follow the same conditions 23andMe does.
23andMe IDs Genetic Risk Factors for 10 Diseases/Conditions
The way the 23andMe tests work is that customers send in a saliva sample, which is then tested for more than 500,000 DNA variants. Having — or not having — certain variants is associated with an increased risk of developing one of the 10 diseases or conditions that 23andME tests for, which include:
Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, a disorder that may cause lung disease and liver cancer
Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that results in Celiac disease symptoms brought on by the inability to digest gluten
Early-onset primary dystonia, a disorder characterized by progressive problems with movement
Factor XI deficiency (hemophilia C), a blood clotting disorder
Gaucher disease type 1, an organ and tissue disorder
Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD), a condition that causes red blood cells to break down
Hereditary hemochromatosis, a disease that causes the body to absorb too much iron from foods
Hereditary thrombophilia, a blood clot disorder
Late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, a dementia-based brain disorder that robs people of memory and thinking skills and progressively worsens
Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disorder of the nervous system that results in loss of intentional movement and impaired motor functioning
While these GHR tests give consumers information about their genetic risk to a particular disease, they can’t provide information about an individual’s overall risk of developing a disease. That’s because genetic risk factors alone don’t mean a person will definitely develop a disease — other factors, like a person’s particular lifestyle or environment, also play a role.
Lifestyle Factors That Can Improve Your Odds
Just because you have a genetic predisposition a particular disease doesn’t mean it will develop. And while you can’t control your genetics, you can control many of the lifestyle factors that can increase your chances.
Your overall diet, of course, is one of the best things you can do to improve your odds of developing many diseases.
Diets rich in fresh fruits, veggies, lean meats and organic dairy that limit gluten (except in cases of celiac disease, where you should avoid gluten altogether), are important for keeping your body healthy. Avoiding processed foods, artificial sweeteners and added sugars are also key. My Healing Foods Diet is a terrific guide.
The benefits of exercise can’t be overstated, either. Exercise helps strengthen your immune system, keep your brain sharp and increase strength and flexibility, all of which are important in helping your body fight back against disease development or progression.
But there any other lifestyle precautions that you can take to decrease your risk of developing one of these diseases, even if you have an increased genetic risk.
Take ibuprofen. A 2011 study of more than 136,000 healthy men and women over six years found that those who regularly took ibuprofen reduced their risk of developing Parkinson’s disease symptoms by 38 percent. (2) While the study looked at ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs in general, only ibuprofen lowered the risk. I don’t generally recommend NSAIDs because they have their own set of side effects, but if you are predisposed to Parkinson’s, it is especially in your best interest to investigate anti-inflammatory options.
Drink more tea. A recent study found that drinking tea regularly reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s by as much as 86 percent for people already genetically predisposed to the disease. The compounds in tea work to protect the brain while also reducing mental fatigue and increasing memory.
Practice yin yoga and tai chi. For diseases that impact mobility, like Parkinson’s or dystonia, building a tai chi or gentle yoga practice can be effective at helping to maintain strength, mobility and balance. It’s a great way to stay both physically and mentally active as well.
Should You Order a Test?
If you’ve been considering a 23andMe genetic test or something like it, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, is that once you learn information, you can’t “unknow” it, which is why previously, genetic counseling was often part of genetic testing.
If you do get results that show you are genetically predisposed to a disease, it’s a good idea to speak with your doctor about what this means for your health and what you personally should do to minimize your risk of developing the disease.
It’s also important to note that, just because you’re predisposed to a disease doesn’t mean you will ever get it. Similarly, however, even though you might not have tested for any genetic markers for a disease, that doesn’t mean you’re immune from them. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to your health whether or not you opt for genetic testing and no matter what the results might be.
Final Thoughts on 23andMe Genetic Testing
- Genetic testing can be helpful in determining whether or not you have a predisposition to 10 different diseases or conditions.
- These tests will tell you whether you have an increased risk, but cannot determine whether you will definitely develop a disease or not, as lifestyle and environmental factors play a large role in that.
- You can also still develop one of these diseases, even if you don’t have genetic markers for them.
- A healthy diet and regular exercise are some of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk for these diseases.
11 pounds in 22 days?
Is it REALLY possible to lose 11 lbs. of fat in 22 days? Actually yes… BUT only when you’re a level 4 fat burner. Unfortunately, most people are stuck as level 1 fat burners. So, how do you become a level 4 fat burner to lose up to 11 lbs. in 22 days? Simply eat these foods daily:
Did you know that one of the best times to stretch is right before bed? However…
What stretches should you do? Here’s a 1-minute stretch routine you can do before bed...
Lisa, Yoga Coach
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody
...easy, 3-minute exercise that completely cured his horrendous snoring! We can both finally sleep!
Today is a good day. Tonight will be even better. Why?
Because you're about to learn easy throat exercises that cure (not just treated) your stubborn snoring – in 3 minutes – starting TONIGHT!
...even if straps, sprays and even torturing CPAP masks have failed you in the past.
Most people heal their snoring in just a few minutes per day using these powerful throat exercises. And they're so easy, you can do them, regardless of your age or physical shape.
Use them anytime, anywhere... even while stuck in traffic or watching TV.
Plus the results are permanent!
Did you know that your bodyfat can become "calorie-resistant"?
True. And it's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
However, there's good news- Calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive. It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know. Read more to find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:
To your health!
PS - Studies show that it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a debilitating condition-and you"re not sure what the culprit is-now's the time to find out...while you can still do something about it!
--> Grab your FREE copy of this groundbreaking soft cover book today (while supplies still last.)
Over the past year, my friend Dave over at PaleoHacks has been working on a super secret cookbook project with our good friend Peter Servold a Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef and owner of Pete's Paleo...
And today, this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE!
The cookbook is called Paleo Eats, and it's filled with over 80 chef created, insanely tasty Paleo recipes which means they are free from gluten, soy, dairy, and refined sugar.
Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because they only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)
Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.