My DNA results arrived so I thought I’d give a little update/ review. If you want to read more about why I decided to get my DNA tested, read this post.
I got my report from a company called ’23 and me’ and it covers a whole range of things from ancestry to health reports. It covers so much such interesting stuff and it’s pretty cool to now know that my DNA is 81.6% British and Irish, for example. I was pleased to learn that I hadn’t inherited any conditions that were tested for – which included things like sickle cell anaemia, cystic fibrosis, hereditary fructose intolerance and much more.
I learned that I have a genotype which metabolises PPI’s (protein pump inhibitor drugs, used to treat gastrointestinal conditions as they limit the production of stomach acid) at a rapid rate. Apparently this is common, with around 70% of people with European or African ancestry also possessing this genotype.
The ‘traits’ section of the report was definitely the most interesting to me. The reports cover everything from eye colour, hair colour, earwax type, muscle performance, caffeine metabolism, freckling and episodic memory, to pain sensitivity, sweet taste preference, hair curl, etc. I wasn’t surprised to learn that I am genetically predisposed to freckling upon sunlight exposure, or that I am likely to prefer sweet foods. I also metabolise caffeine slowly, which the test confirmed to be likely.
Perhaps controvertially, the test also provides reports on genetic risk factors, which includes things like Parkinson’s disease, the BRCA gene which is linked to breast and ovarian cancers and late onset Alzheimer’s disease. I wasn’t nervous about receiving these results but it is completely understandable why such controversy surrounds them, especially for people who have had these diseases run in their family. However, getting bad news may also be helpful if it makes you more aware to check for symptoms and/or get regular screening.
The report also tells you how much neanderthal DNA you have and you get access to your raw DNA (which means nothing to me, but might if you are a geneticist).
Overall I am really happy with the level of detail provided in the reports and I found it really interesting. I do have an interest in genetics, so I understand that this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. When I’ve spoken to family and friends about it, I have had mixed reactions to the price (now £149, I paid £129) – I guess whether you think it’s worth it depends on how interested you are in finding out your DNA… I’m really glad I did it and think it was worth it.
Let me know your thoughts on this. Do you find DNA interesting or would you rather forget about GCSE biology? Would you consider getting tested?