December 19, 2022

Gifting a DNA test this Xmas not as helpful as you think

New study shows DNA a poor predictor of health.

Written by

Matthew Bradley

Head of Content at Molecular You

Written by

Matthew Bradley

Head of Content at Molecular You

Gifting a DNA test this Xmas not as helpful as you think

New study shows DNA a poor predictor of health.

If you’re thinking of ‘giving the gift of health’ to friends and family in the form of a low-cost DNA test, you might want to check this research first. A definitive study published by a team from the University of Alberta shows that genetics only contributes 5-10% to your chances of developing most common diseases.

What the research shows

The new study is the most comprehensive research ever conducted in the history of genome wide association (GWAS) science. The research shows that the majority of diseases or conditions (cancer, diabetes, Alzheimers, etc.) only have a genetic contribution of 5-10%. Notable exceptions are Crohn's disease, Celiac disease and Macular Degeneration, which have a genetic contribution or heritability of about 40-50%.

Consumer genetic testing promise fades

An entire industry has been founded on the assumption that genes or SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms) can accurately predict a person’s disease risk. The global Direct-to-Consumer genetic testing market was valued at $831.5 million USD in 2018 and is expected to grow to $2.5 billion in 2025. This new study shows that the basic rationale for genetic testing for disease-risk assessment is flawed.

DNA is not your destiny

If you want to know your health risks you should look at metabolite, protein and microbe testing - not genetic testing. DNA testing offers very little in the way of predicting our health nor guidance as to how to improve it. It is your diet, environment, age and lifestyle that are the main predictors of your health. Testing blood biomarkers gives a more accurate picture of your current state of health, your potential risks and how to positively impact your health.

Most accurate for predicting who will have black hair

“The aim of the study was to get a solid, fair and impartial reading of the contribution of genes to human disease risk,” commented David Wishart, distinguished professor from the University of Alberta, founder of the award winning Metabolomics Innovation Centre (TMIC) and CIO at Molecular You. “The most predictive set of SNPs are for predicting who will have black hair - which is visible at birth anyway and certainly doesn’t require an expensive genetic test,” explained Wishart. “What this research tells us in practical terms, is that if you want to know your health risks you should look at metabolite, protein and microbe testing - not genetic testing,” remarked Wishart.

“Simply put, DNA is not your destiny. Genes are duds for disease prediction.”

David Wishart, distinguished professor from the University of Alberta, CIO and co-founder, Molecular You.

Related Articles
Blog
7 hidden warning signs of pre-diabetes
Read more