The vast majority of the people are trying to analyze DNA raw data results from ancestry genetic testing companies like 23andMe, Ancestry DNA, Family Tree DNA (FTDNA), Living DNA etc., and other raw DNA data providers. However, they are completely unaware that their raw DNA data also contains vast amounts of other information.
These companies do not perform genome sequencing. They instead use microarray genotyping to get ancestry and health information. This may be about their health aspects such as diet, nutrition, obesity, diabetes, fitness, allergies, weight loss, detox analysis, skincare etc.
Those who are aware are mostly familiar with Promethease, an SNPedia-based literature retrieval system. Promethease reports gained popularity after the FDA ban on 23andme providing health reports to customers. With the FDA ban, there was a huge demand for alternative 23andme health report providers. Promethease report was positioned well to benefit well from this development.
Fast forward to 2018, the landscape of alternative health report providers and third-party tools has matured significantly. A number of options are available to people with 23andme raw data and data from other ancestry DNA test providers. These options are well covered in our recent blog titled 10 Amazing Tools For 23andme Raw Data Analysis.
In this blog, we address, what more and what else you can do with your ancestry DNA test raw data? This blog will open up a number of possibilities to those who wish to explore their raw DNA to the fullest.
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This is a concept most users of 23andme are familiar with.
Arguably, this is one of the motivations for people to opt for DNA testing services from 23andme in lieu of AncestryDNA.com, FTDNA and other ancestry companies.
23andme used to provide a health report before the FDA ban on their health results.
23andMe now provides a significantly scaled down version of the DNA health reports which are approved by the FDA for $99. However, a lot more health info can be gained from the ancestry DNA test raw data that you obtain from 23andme. Health conditions like hypertension, type 2 diabetes, heart diseases and obesity are all manageable and very much preventable when detected early.
A number of genetic markers have been discovered for a variety of other health conditions, ranging from cancer to autoimmune conditions. Learning about your genetic predisposition helps you keep a tab on early symptoms and take preemptive action.
A comparison between Xcode Life and Promethease as third-party tools for raw data analysis have been done previously.
Nutrition has a profound impact on human health. Several aspects of nutrition are genetically influenced. Macronutrient metabolism, micronutrient requirements, food intolerances like lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance are familiar to many people.
However, there are several more aspects that are genetically influenced. Third party raw data analysis tools will help you interpret your raw DNA data to get these results.
Once you understand your genetic nutritional tendencies, you can align your dietary habits accordingly. Your genetic data will help you eliminate many of the genetic food intolerance and sensitivity related symptoms. These are a useful set of insights to get from your ancestry DNA test genetic data.
Human physical attributes are clearly genetically influenced, for example, height is largely genetic, so is wingspan and flexibility, etc.
Several other attributes such as red blood cell count, heart capacity, lung capacity, muscle strength, all are significantly genetically influenced.
Additionally, whether you are largely built for endurance type of activities or sprint or powertype activities is also genetically influenced. So, whether you are an amateur or professional sportsperson, all you need is your DNA raw data.
Fitness reports generated by analyzing your raw DNA data will help you align your activities with your genes.
Those of us who are allergic to anything can relate to the nightmarish experience that seemingly harmless entities can cause. Allergy information can also be extracted by a raw DNA data analysis.
Close to 20-25% of the adrenaline administrations in schools happen because the allergies were unknown at the time of the reaction. More than 170 foods have been found to instigate allergic reactions in the body. Some of the common food allergies come from milk, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish and crustacean shellfish. You can learn about your susceptibility to these allergens by analyzing your ancestry DNA raw data. These are only food allergies. An estimated 10% of the population is allergic to objects like pollen, animal dander, droppings of cockroaches and contact with dust mites.
Learning about your allergy susceptibilities can be life-saving. And it is as simple as a raw DNA data analysis. You can now extract this information about your allergy predisposition from your ancestry DNA test raw data.
Using hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific literature third-party tools examine genetic markers corresponding to each type of allergy. Based your variant gene, your body is at a higher or lower risk of invoking an exaggerated response to an allergen.
This keeps you alert. Also helps you take proactive measures like avoiding certain foods, saying no to tattoos.
Other forms of allergies covered in a genetic report are misophonia and histamine intolerance.
Skin is one of the most dynamic organs in the body. It interacts with environmental agents like sunlight (ultraviolet radiation), pollutants, chemicals and internal factors like hormonal regulation. Maintaining skin health would require knowledge of your underlying genetics.
For example, each of us will display a different kind of reaction on exposure to light. This information can be extracted from your ancestry DNA raw data. Some skin types are immune to strong light but others develop rosacea characterized by red skin eruptions. This is often misdiagnosed as acne and hence becomes worse over time because it is not given specific treatment.
Another example is the development of cellulite or orange peel syndrome that manifests as skin dimpling and nodularity. This is common in the abdomen and pelvic regions. Cellulite affects about 85-98% women. Your susceptibility to cellulite is influenced by the type of gene variants you have in your raw DNA data results.
Even how much you tan is genetically influenced!
Now you can see why generic face creams and medications fail no matter how many times you change brands.
Analyzing DNA raw data will give you skin insights which will help you treat and manage skin conditions. Or just maintain a healthy and glowing skin.
According to industry statistics, on average more than 50% of medications prescribed today do not benefit those who take them.
Precision medicine through genetics promises to deliver right drug at the right dose to the right patient using your personal DNA data.
Doing a DNA raw data analysis will help you learn about your genetic polymorphisms. Specifically those that impact the majority of the drugs you consume on a regular basis.
And what do you need for getting this precious information from your DNA data? Once you analyze your DNA raw data you can download the raw data DNA file. This has most of the information necessary to create your precision medicine drug sensitivity report.
Download your DNA files from the following genetic testing companies now:
Please bear in mind that the vast majority of human traits are not influenced by a single gene. Rather, they are a combination of smaller effects produced by a number of genes. When you order a report from any DNA testing service, you must bear in mind that these are based on likelihood. This means that the effect was observed on a group of individuals, who also happen to carry the same genetic variants.
Whether or not you will see the same effect is dependent on a number of factors, the science of which has not been fully mapped out yet. So, use this information in that context and do not be alarmed when you see concerning information.
Genetics should be considered as additional information to be added to your analysis, not a diagnosis.
Here is another interesting article on What Else You Can Do With Your DNA Raw Data
The story of Eman Ahmed, the world’s heaviest woman weighing nearly 500 Kg is now known to most. Her remarkable recovery has given hope to many that extreme obesity is indeed reversible. However, a factor in weight loss and reversing obesity is find out the root cause. Many weight loss attempts fail because this fundamental step is routinely skipped and instead “standard” advice is given to everyone. A quick search in google and a visit to a few dietitians will tell you that the “basic” weight loss advice is the same - low calories, low carbs, low sugars, low fats etc, with some minor superficial changes to make it appear like it's different than the others. This is more like a magic trick rather than a real weight loss solution. If you are someone who is overweight and seeking professional help or self-help, be aware that the knowledge and understanding of your body through genetics will help you immensely.
If Eman Ahmed had sought traditional weight loss help, she would have gone nowhere. Because the cause of her obesity is not the traditionally assumed “lack of diet discipline,” her obesity was due to an extremely rare mutation in a gene called the Leptin Receptor gene. Before I explain that gene, let me first explain what Leptin is. Most of us do not suffer from these rare genetic defects, however, we carry genetic mutations, that confer varying degrees of similar effect in our bodies.
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Leptin is a hormone in our body. Hormones are key signalling molecules in the body. For example, the hormone testosterone signals the human body to produce male like features and attributes. The hormone estrogen, signals the body to produce more female like features. If you try to inject a female with heavy doses of testosterone, you will see that the female will begin to develop male like features. Every hormone has its functions in the body.
The Leptin hormone is called the satiety or hunger suppression hormone. If the levels of leptin in your blood are high, then you do not feel hungry. If they blood level of leptin is low, then w feel hungry. It’s the hormone that signals to your brain “I am full”- therefore stop eating. If this signalling is not functioning well, then your brain does not get the “I am full” signal and continues to crave food. Leptin hormone is produced by the fat tissue when the fat reserves are running low, as in, when you are hungry, less leptin is produced prompting you to eat more. The brain thus receives the signal that the body is low on energy and more energy needs to be provided. When leptin levels are high, the feeling of hunger is suppressed.
When Leptin levels are low, feeling of hunger is increased and when leptin levels are high, hunger feeling is suppressed.
As in any signal, there has to be the source of the signal (where the signal come from) and the receiver of signal. For example, in your mobile phones, the source is the mobile tower and your phone is the receiver. Communication can be interrupted when there is a problem at either end. Similarly, the person with a leptin receptor mutation, has a problem at the leptin “receivers” in the brain. Even when the body has enough leptin, because the receptors are not receiving this signal, the signal is not captured and the body thinks there is not enough and hence continues to eat. In another instance, the receptors are fully functional but are less sensitive, so it takes more leptin create the same “feel full” effect than it does in other people. In yet another instance, the does not produce this signal in sufficient amounts, a condition known as leptin deficiency. Such patients have been shown to benefit from leptin injections in reversing obesity. Here is another wonderful write up about Leptin and its actions in the human body. As you can see, there are various possibilities in a single hormone mechanism in how you could be different from others. You can imagine how many such variations exist between you and others in hundreds of such hormonal and metabolic pathways. Learning about just a few of these in how you are different from others, will go a long way in helping your weight loss.
If you have seen a baby formula pack, it highlights in bold that the formula is fortified with EPA and DHA and that it’s good for brain development. The long chain Omega fatty acids, EPA and DHA are essential to humans for brain development, controlling inflammation and immune system performance.
People who are non-vegetarians acquire these directly from the meat and fish they eat. Since vegetarians are unable to get EPA and DHA, their bodies must develop a way of producing those from the plant based diets they eat. It turns out that over thousands of years, this has change has taken place in the bodies of people whose ancestors had been vegetarians. These people are able to produce EPA and DHA from plant based foods, whereas bodies of people whose ancestors were non-vegetarians, do not have this ability.
[Example of evolutionary adaptation: Bodies of people whose ancestors have been living in hot and sunny places for thousands of years have a darker skin tone because their bodies produce more melanin to protect them from sunlight. Bodies of people whose ancestors have been living in cold and less-sunny places for thousands of years have a lighter skin tone because their bodies produce less melanin to produce more vitamin D. This is known as adaptation. If subsequent generations of people are exposed to the same environment, they tend to adapt to the foods that are available in that environment. This happens over hundreds of generations].
Regarding vegetarian and non-vegetarian adaptation, a Cornell University study found such an adaptation occurring in humans via a gene called FADS (FADS1 and FADS2). There is a vegetarian and a non-vegetarian version of this gene. The vegetarian version is great at producing EPA and DHA from plant sources, whereas the non-vegetarian version is not. The consequence is that- if you are a non-vegetarian shifting to a vegetarian diet, you should pay attention to your EPA and DHA needs and adequately supplement.
The FADS1 gene found in the ancestral vegetarian farmers produces enzymes that play a vital role in the biosynthesis of omega-3 and omega-6 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA). While omega-3 and omega-6 can be obtained directly from animal-based diets, they are absent from plant-based diets. Vegetarians need FADS1 enzymes to biosynthesize LCPUFA from SCPUFA found in plants (roots, vegetables and seeds).
There is also a consequence to carriers of the vegetarian version of the FADS1 gene, shifting to non-vegetarian diets. Possibly due to excessive omega’s in the system shifting the omega 3 to omega 6 ratio, they may be at higher risk of heart disease and cancer. So, if you are making that shift, moderate your non-veg intake.
More importantly, it will help you to find out which version of the FADS1 genes you carry to understand whether your body is optimized for EPA and DHA via vegetarian or non-vegetarian sources.