Recent progress in understanding genetic information has led to many companies springing up across the internet marketplace. These companies are quick to offer information on our personalities, disease risks, nutrient needs, and dietary information. The only problem is that it the information is very shortsighted. We think we can understand a complex system contained in our DNA by looking at one or two genes and making assumptions. The thing that is missing in this system is the understanding that genes affect genes. Trying to compensate for a particular genetic variant through diet and lifestyle has an effect on other genes. This is what makes it very difficult to get accurate information about ourselves and our particular nutrient needs with this method.
I have had my genes tested and analyzed by many different companies and have yet to be impressed by the data. The information given is often vague, self-evident or confusing. The supplement recommendations are often contradictory. One gene may indicate the need for a particular vitamin and another gene may indicate that same vitamin is contraindicated.
Another aspect of the inaccuracies of current DNA tests that are generally available to us is that they are often incomplete. These include the very popular tests on the market such as 23andme, AncestryDNA and MyHeritage. These genetic testing companies only include the genes that the company chooses to test for. This means that critical information is often left out of these health equations. This leads to false assumptions and incomplete analysis of genetics and their interactions.
Understanding Genetic Complexity
It is tempting to think that we can know ourselves through looking at one gene and deciding that it is the underlying cause or potential cause of a particular disease. BRCA is one example. It is associated with breast and ovarian cancer. Just because it is “associated” does not mean that because you inherited that gene, that you will definitely get cancer. It is a very small piece of the puzzle. Other genes affect its expression and can cause it to “turn on” or off. Understanding the interplay of genes gives us a greater understanding of the true risk factors. And understanding that our lifestyles and environment also have a role to play in the expression of genes should give us some pause in our assumptions.
A better understanding of the complexity of genetic information must come from a different analysis. This analysis must include the actual genetic patterns, the genes inherited in biochemical pathways that affect methylation and energy production and some sense of which genes are expressing. Only then can we be more accurate in our prediction of future disease risks or underlying causes of diseases. When we are armed with this information, we are getting closer to seeing the truest deepest causes of diseases.
MyHappyGenesTM software program uses a complex algorithm of genetic variants, biochemistry and symptom analysis. It takes into account the interplay of factors such as gene-genes interactions, diet and lifestyle factors and underlying biochemistry of the person. When we examine these various aspects, we get a much more accurate picture of the persons genetic expression which we term epigenetics.