I recently sent my saliva off so that I could have my DNA tested in the hope it might enlighten me about certain aspects of my own health. In the hope it might allow me to better my training and nutritional plan based on research specific to my own body and not something I had read in a published paper. The process couldn’t have been easier, I received my sample collection kit in the post from IAmYIAm, filled the tube with saliva and sent it back to await my results.
Given that I am a young, very active and healthy individual I was expecting my results to be fairly positive and merely suggest a few small ways to improve what I am already doing. Well no such luck, when I received my results I was very disappointed and a little confused. They were on the whole very negative which could only lead me to assume given that I am in my own opinion in very good health and shape that this DNA testing malarkey is a load of bollocks.
But lets get into the detail. (In the below graphs larger green bars indicate a more positive result, larger orange bars, a less favourable result).
Lets start with the elements which relate to how you consume and respond to food. I.e my genetic response to nutrition. As you can tell from the graph my body does or should respond very poorly to the consumption of most food groups. Protein for example was particularly bad. For this the gene TFAP2B, snip rs97237 was tested, result, I have a genotype of AA which means I have a high requirement for dietary proteins because I process them particularly poorly.
We then progress on from how my body responds to food groups as a whole and look at how my body responds to individual vitamins and minerals. A little better, but again on the whole quite negative. I apparently process Magnesium very efficiently but vitamin C very inefficiently and therefore require more of it. Given how ineffectively my body processes most of these nutrients its s wonder I am not constantly ill. You might be supprised to know the last time I went to the doctor was over 10 years ago.
This is the point at which I started to regain a little faith. My bodies response to exercise. As you can see from the graph below my body should deal with the stresses of frequent high intensity exercise very well, getting perfect scores for anaerobic capacity, metabolism and flexibility and fairly high scores for muscle repair, muscle fatigue, power and so on.
Lastly my general health report. Elements which relate to key physiological processes in my body. My weight management should be fairly good but I am apparently quite susceptible to heart conditions (which I though completely contradicted the previous set of results), high blood pressure and am more likely to have issues with insulin production and metabolism of glucose levels.
Up to this point it has all been results driven, you would struggle to develop a nutritional or training plan based on the information received thus far. That’s why IAmYIAm create you a personal plan. That said I found my results once again somewhat mixed. My top three most required activities were; Pilates (which I already do once or twice per week), nutritional therapy (I eat incredible well thank you very much) and acupuncture (which I cannot afford). Now comes the helpful bit, this is where you get your moneys worth. What to put in your shopping basket. My three most required nutrients. Fish oil, catechins (antioxidants) and Lycopene (the nutrient that provides the red pigment in foods such as tomatoes and water melon). And the three products which that nutrient is most abundantly found. I will be filling my basket with salmon and raspberries from now on.
So has this information helped shape my future nutritional and/or training regime? Well despite not being entirely happy with my results, yes it has. I already consume fish on a regular basis but I will ensure that continues, I will make a conscious effort to consume more red fruit and veg. I will certainly be drinking less coffee as my results indicate I metabolise caffeine poorly and am therefore more susceptible to high blood pressure. I already do, but I shall continue to avoid monounsaturated and saturated fats like the plague. along with many more little tips it has given me.
Anyone else looking to find out more about their body or progress their nutritional and/or fitness regime, the natural progression is to get your DNA teste. It truly is the only personalised plan you will ever get.