People often worry that giving a DNA sample is painful, or that back in the lab we’re cloning people’s DNA. So, what is the truth? Dr Danny Meyersfeld of DNAlysis breaks down the myths.
Myth 1: I can change my genes by eating and living well
Truth: We are born with a genetic code that remains unchanged through our lives. However, more and more we are understanding the interaction that exists between our genes and the environment; meaning that we can control gene expression through the appropriate lifestyle and nutritional interventions.
Myth 2: My genetic information isn’t safe and you can use it against me.
Myth 3: You will use my DNA for your own purposes, and for cloning.
Truth: DNAlysis does not utilise your DNA for anything other than an analysis of the genes requested. Samples are stored for a maximum of three months, or can be discarded immediately upon request.
Myth 4: Taking my DNA is very painful.
Truth: Samples are taken by means of a non-invasive cheek swab; no more painful than brushing your teeth.
Myth 5: You can predict my future looking at my DNA.
Truth: Genes load the gun, and lifestyle pulls the trigger. Your DNA can show us where your health risks lie, or what predispositions you may have. But the outcome is up to you.
Myth 6: You can tell if I have, or if I will get cancer.
Truth: We can look at risk factors for cancer, but these tests are not diagnostic and are not definitive with regards to outcomes. Genes and your chosen environment interact to determine your health outcomes.
Myth 7: My DNA and the results of my DNA will be given to a third party.
Truth: We never share anything with third party, unless it’s a practitioner who has ordered the test on your behalf, and who will be giving you your report, all with your permission.