5 min|Dr. Alex Chan
Genetic Testing: dnaPower ExplainedWellness, Health, Biohacking
Biohacking and Genetic TestingThere are many companies available who offer genetic testing. Not only do the tests range in terms of the specific genetic information is tested, but they also vary in price and privacy. We've partnered with dnaPower and paired it with the Integrative Biohacking Program.
This company is Canadian and meets all clinical laboratory standards (CLIA certified). Privacy is a priority for us and all samples sent to dnaPower are identified by a unique barcode rather than your personal information.
Your DNA sample is also destroyed after analysis. It is important to note that dnaPower does not sell its data. Many of the biggest names in DNA testing subsidize their prices by selling your data to pharmaceutical companies, researchers and others. dnaPower keeps your information secure and confidential. They will never sell or disclose it to third parties, like an insurance company, without your request.
dnaPower also prides itself on assembling the latest genetic variations, called SNPs, into custom SNP panels associated with complex traits. A particular trait can be impacted by multiple genes so it’s important to look at a complex of genetic information and use polygenic scores to help determine if there is a significant genetic risk.
These custom SNP panels produce quality reports that can comment on overall function and how a complex trait can impact a specific aspect of your health. For example, insulin sensitivity is a complex trait and certain genetic variations can increase your risk for developing diabetes. Identifying variations in these complex traits allows us to make wellness recommendations.
So, what's required to test your genes?The collection essentially uses a fancy q-tip to swab the inside of your cheek (called a buccal swab). The swab is inserted into a stabilization medium to ensure sample integrity during shipping and processing. To get the best sample avoid eating, drinking and smoking for 30 minutes prior to the swab collection.The genetic mutations identified will be hereditary mutations as they are present throughout all cells. Specific mutations that are sporadic or acquired, like those in cancerous cells will not be present in every cell and therefore are usually not apparent in the buccal swabs. Once your swab is shipped the results are usually available within 30 days.
You’ll receive a summary plus four unique reports that make up the totalPower Report. Over 200+ genetic variations are reported and are helpfully grouped into complex traits. The reports are organized as follows:
- Your Summary
- Your Action Plan
- Your Detailed Test Area Descriptions
- Key Genes Index
- Your Genetic Profile
When at least two fully functional copies of a gene or combination of genes results in a variation score between 0-25% we expect normal gene function. When this variation increases to 26-50% it becomes important to be aware of these health factors to ensure proper gene function. When the variation rises to 51-100% this indicates that two or more variations may impact your health and this is a possible area of risk
Looks at 35 areas and over 100 SNPs to provide information on diet management including how your body burns fat, your sensitivity to carbohydrates, fats and sugars and your protein requirement.
The report also outlines weight response, food tolerances and taste preferences as well as potential vitamin and nutrient needs. All of this information can be actioned to help determine the best nutrition plan based upon you genetic health risks and response.
Uses 13 areas and over 50 SNPs to comment on how you can best exercise to suit your DNA. Genetically our bodies can have a preference for power vs endurance activity and be more or less prone to injury. Our blood sugar, blood pressure and performance response to exercise are also impacted by our genes and this report helps highlight how we can get the most out of our workouts.
Analyzes 16 areas that are involved in detoxification, hormone synthesis and metabolism, inflammation control and methylation. Understanding these factors highlights how environmental toxicity may impact you and what types of chronic diseases you should be mindful of.
Analyzes 6 areas related to cognitive function and stress adaptation. Preventing cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s onset early is key and being aware of your genetic risk and ability to recover from concussion and stress can be helpful.
All of this data is synthesized in a way that is easy for you and your practitioner to understand and use to form an action plan. As part of the Integrative Biohacking Program - Elite Package, this information provides a foundation on which we layer other specific test results. As a standalone test, DNA results can be helpful at any stage of life to help provide this genetic roadmap that we then can use to inform lifestyle and environmental changes. You are not your genes, but your genes can provide more insight about you.