There is a wealth of genetic information one can learn from just a single tube of saliva.
However, I have found that understanding the data is complex.
At some point I would like to work with a genetic expert and apply more specific nutritional supplementation for healing.
For now, here are the steps I have taken to understand my genetic profile:
- Test with 23andMe.
- Interpret My Raw Data.
- Get Additional Reports.
- Protect My Privacy.
Testing With 23andMe, Raw Data, And Reports
I chose to do my genetic testing with a company called 23andMe. Mostly because I could get information about certain genes I was interested in knowing for less than $100 at the time. And I did not have to pay for a doctor’s appointment to order the test through a doctor like most other tests.
Unfortunately, the day I ordered my test, the FDA decided that 23andMe could no longer provide reports interpreting the raw data for customers. They could only provide the raw data without any interpretation. So I had to go through third-party companies in order to get interpretations.
23andMe has worked with the FDA and now is allowed to give customer’s a report with less information. I have not found it to be as helpful compared to the original intent.
Interpreting 23andMe Raw Data
There are a handful of places to go and a growing field of experts who can help interpret genetic predispositions. To start, I used 3 external companies to interpret my data:
1. Genetic Genie asked for donations but in essence is free. It is helpful in getting information on methylation and detoxification (e.g. MTHFR status):
2. Prometheus costs $5 and you can pay through your Amazon account (privacy concerns so I read some set up fake accounts. After running and downloading all of the reports, I had to go back into 23andMe and un-allow this company access to my raw data). The reports are definitely not as good as receiving the original interpreted data report from 23andMe but there is helpful info using the snp data base and being able to sort and search in an excel spreadsheet).
3. Dr. Amy Yasko is another free resource for interpreting raw data. I ran my raw data through her site, but think it was a subset of info I had already received from genetic genie. Dr. Yasko is well-known in the autism community and prescribes a very long list of her own branded supplements based off genetic info. While it made sense to me to supplement based off genetics (PLUS blood work, hair and stool tests, aka genomics), I chose not to pay for this protocol as I personally do not like too many additives in supplements.
There are also more recent apps like HealthWatch360 that may help with deciding what to eat based on one’s genetic data. I do not use apps because I do not like giving away personal data and losing my privacy but also because I do not use a cell phone anymore due to high RF radiation exposure.
It is hard to say how genetic information can or will be used for or against people in the future. Recently, a court of law allowed the use of genetic information in a trial (client was forced to share data — will add link here later).
And who knows what 23andMe (founded by ex-wife of a large silicon valley company CEO) or any of the third-party companies really do with this information?
I try as much as possible to leave less of a digital fingerprint. In this situation, I downloaded my raw data, made a copy of the file, and changed the name of the file before uploading the raw data to a third-party site. No personal contact info is listed in the raw data file so the third-party companies are less likely to know who the raw data belongs to (unless they track email addresses, IP addresses, etc.)
Epigenetics = Genes + Environment
Epigenetics has since evolved since I started this post and continues to change quickly. So far, I have learned quite a bit of interesting information from my genetic reports that may or may not be helpful in healing.
The two most important things I can share from getting my 23andMe genetic info is 1. I need to supplement vitamin D and make sure to get out in the sun during the mid-day without sunblock (VDRTaq mutation) and 2. my body methylates well (no MTHFR gene mutations) — I just had more mercury flooding into my body from my dental amalgams and cell tower radiation than possible to detox or store in organs, tissues, and bones.
But genes can get turned on and off based on how we interact with the environment, chemicals, toxins, etc. So while knowing some of my genetic make-up has been helpful in understanding how my body is able to handle things like vitamin D or methylation, it is just one piece of the wellness puzzle. As I mentioned above, using other tests like blood work and hair or stool tests to confirm supplementation has been just as if not more important in my healing journey.
To read more about the rest of my healing protocol, I’ve provided an index with links below.
In good health!
Healing Naturally = Nutrients In + Toxins Out
1. Nutrients In
- Nutrition: Microbiome, Healing Food & Probiotics
- Tests: Gut Bacteria, Nutrients & Metals
- Supplements: Vitamins, Minerals & More
- Sleep: Training For Mercurial Night Owls
- Support: Anxiety + Depression
2. Toxins Out
- Dental Revision: Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal
- Detoxing: Saunas & Rebounding
- Cleansing: Parasites, Candida & Humaworm
- Chelating: Frequent, Low-Dose ALA
- Avoiding: EMF, Travel, & Beauty Products
What about you? Have you found any other helpful ways of using the 23andme raw data results or better genetic tests (even if they cost more?). Please let me know in the comments below.