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What are the benefits of getting a DNA test?

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Just had a look at 23andme. It ain't cheap.

Has anyone here had a DNA test and then was able to take action with the knowledge of it, that improved their health?

Right now it seems to me that the results are just interesting to ponder. I'm not clear if it's possible to take any action based off results.

https://forums.phoenixrising.me/thr...e-rare-variants-drug-response-etc-free.76245/ - interested to see that this guy has made a free app that might make genetic data more useful for ME/CFS sufferers. But I'm not clear on HOW it would be practicably useful.

Unfortunately brain fog stops me from reading much depth about this and I stumble over technical terms - they won't go in. So I wouldn't be able to crunch complex data about my DNA.

Is it worth doing the test? Is it possible that it would help improve my health?
 

Moof

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Right now it seems to me that the results are just interesting to ponder. I'm not clear if it's possible to take any action based off results.
I think this is about right. Some people feel that they have been able to address certain things based on SNPs, but I remain unconvinced that (a) direct-to-consumer testing is accurate enough to base any kind of treatment on it, and (b) with the exception of a small minority of cases, most SNPs aren't very meaningful anyway – simply having a variant doesn't mean it will have an effect.

Even where we have a good idea whether or not a particular SNP is likely to damaging or benign, we don't yet have the computing power or the research base to understand how genetic variations interact with one another, and with environmental factors. This will take many, many years.

I only did the test because someone bought it for me as a gift, and I thought it might be helpful to donate the data to ME researchers. If the money's going spare, I think OMF could make much better use of it – I actually feel a bit guilty about not asking the family member who bought my test to make a donation instead.
 

Wishful

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I agree with Moof: at present, no the results won't direct you to a specific action that will help you. I'm sure there are people who have done the testing, gotten their results, and taken some treatments based on theories about the results and felt better afterwards. There are also people who are convinced of the effectiveness of treatments they've had based on outright quackery. Yes, there may be a few examples of people who have discovered some genetic defect that can be corrected by treatments, but I expect that's lottery-level odds.

If you have endless supplies of money, go ahead, but you might have a better chance of treatment by donating the fee to research instead.
 

Moof

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Perhaps I should add that some people have discovered they carry the mutations causing haemochromatosis through these tests. Again, having the mutation doesn't mean you have the condition (my mother and aunt both had homogenous mutations, but only the aunt developed the disease); however, as it's a potentially dangerous condition that may not cause symptoms until organ damage has been done, it has been useful for those individuals.

It can be diagnosed by simple blood tests once people reach their 30s, which is cheaper, and – given the variability in penetrance – probably more reliable than the genetic test. I had a couple of blood tests because of the family history, which were negative, and the genetic test confirmed that I'm only a carrier (heterogeneous).

Haemochromatosis is the only condition I've heard of that has been usefully diagnosed through 23andMe, though. The company isn't allowed to inform people about some fatal Mendelian diseases, such as Huntington's.
 
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@Sushi is a pharmacogenetics test something that 23andme would do? It sounds like it's something a bit different.

Thanks for the viewpoints @Moof @Wishful . I was wondering if those tests are advanced enough to be useful - I guess that generally they're not.

Supplements already cost a lot of money... I can get a 5-6 month supply of supplements for the price of the full 23andme test. I doubt it would be as useful as 6 months worth of improved health :)
 

Moof

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@Sushi is a pharmacogenetics test something that 23andme would do? It sounds like it's something a bit different.
You can get these reports if you upload your data to various platforms, including the one offered by PR member @kday.

I've got loads of information about medications, but as I'll never need to take (and indeed, have never heard of) most of them, it's again only theoretically useful. If you were struggling with a heavy-duty med such as a cancer treatment, and your consultant wasn't sure why you weren't responding / were getting unusually severe side effects, then it could possibly be useful. Otherwise – especially as genetic variants aren't the only factors that underlie how people respond, and that there are other ways to find out whether a particular med suits an individual – I'm not so sure.

An example: blood thinners such as warfarin are fairly commonly used in older people, and my genetic results suggest that, should I ever need it, I might benefit from a reduced dose. My late Mum took it for atrial fibrillation, and after a bit of experimentation, they worked out that the best dose for her was quite a low one. She may well have had the same variant as me, but even though no-one knew that, they worked out the right dose anyway.
 

Sushi

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is a pharmacogenetics test something that 23andme would do? It sounds like it's something a bit different.
Yes, this test only gives information on how you would respond to drugs. For me it has been really helpful as some common drugs that I would ordinarily have been prescribed are on their “No, never”! list for me and my doctors have given me something else instead. Since this test is specifically medical, doctors have respected the results.
 

pamojja

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, but if you are aiming to improve your health your money may be better spent elsewhere.
Even if something like a MTHFR defect would be found, one still has to test for example homocysteine repeatedly while addapting folate doses, to see which dose (epigenetic intervention) corrects it.individually Which already would have been found by extensive lab-testing in the first place.
 

Wishful

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Supplements already cost a lot of money... I can get a 5-6 month supply of supplements for the price of the full 23andme test. I doubt it would be as useful as 6 months worth of improved health
The genetic test would only give suggestions of what might work for you based on some theories. Spending the price on a selection of supplements, herbs and whatever else would test their actual effectiveness on you. The things that have worked for me were accidental discoveries, and I very strongly doubt that 23andme would have pointed me to them.