What is DNA and why is it important?
DNA is found within almost all of our cells and is our own individual code and unique ‘blueprint’ of information that determines or at least influences every single function of our body, including how we respond to certain nutrients and our likelihood of getting certain disease traits.
The information in our DNA is stored as a code, made up from four nitrogen-based chemicals also known as ‘bases’, these include: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). The order these four bases within certain regions of our DNA, our genes, determines the information for building and maintaining an organism. It is the difference between these bases within certain regions which make us look different to one another.
Key areas within our 3 billion base code (our DNA) have been identified which impact certain traits, called phenotypes. These range from the colour of our eyes, to how we respond to caffeine to the likelihood of injury during exercise. Slight changes in the bases found in these regions, called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), determine how we differ I these phenotypes to others.
How is my Sample Analysed?
The OME Health Genetic Testing Kit is a simple saliva sample, following instructions to gather your sample and post it off to be analysed by our partner laboratories. Your samples will be analysed by the leading Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) methods. Additionally, we use genotyping by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and specific fluorescent probes to specifically identify particular genetic makers in your genomic DNA. These are the same analysis methods that are used in major studies within this area of science, so it gives us the greatest ability to compare your results with current research, making your data more relevant.
What does the OME Health Genetic Test Search for?
Our test looks at over 1100 genetic markers, we use Polygenic Risk Scores (PRS) to understand and present your data to you. Most phenotypes within our bodies are not caused by one single genetic variant but are influenced by the combined effect of many genetic variants (find out more here).
Some of the genetic phenotypes we report include: your risk of micronutrient deficiencies, your obesity risk, your response to certain diets e.g. low carbohydrate vs low fat, your sensitivity to salt and caffeine consumption, risk of high blood pressure or glucose intolerance or other disease risk factors, eating behaviour traits including how likely you are to feel hungry, or your likelihood to snack. We also provide genetic basis behind food intolerances and allergies, your sleep quality and even insights into your muscle structure, which exercises may be better suited to you and your risk of injury. For a more detailed list of phenotypes we report click here).
How will these be used in my recommendations and meal plan?
These genetic variants will be compiled alongside other test results, your Health Assessment Questionnaire, your food log and any tracker data to help us get a full understanding of your biology and current lifestyle and diet. Taking an evidence-based approach our team of doctors, dietitians and nutritionists will create a bespoke action plan for you, with the help of artificial intelligence.
Using your genetic information, we can help guide you to choose healthier food choices to help obtain enough nutrients you may be lacking in, understand which choices are more or less likely to have an effect on your body and to better understand yourself and your eating behaviours. When this information is paired with your health assessment, blood and/or microbiome tests the data becomes very valuable and key focus areas become very clear.