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DNA Tests Are All The Rage: 5 Things To Know

By: Inter Valley health Plan

DNA testing has become a trending activity over the past couple years. With the launch of several companies like 23andMe, Ancestry.com, and MyHeritageDNA (among others), these tests have now become so affordable that people everywhere are submitting their DNA (by way of a finger-prick or spit sample) to gather more information on their genetics and possible ancestral traits. While the results of these tests are not a sure-fire prediction of future health issues, they can give us interesting insight into what we may want to pay extra attention to in order to optimize our health and longevity.


Since the DNA testing market is so saturated with options, it can be hard to know which to choose and what to look for. Consider these points before purchasing a kit for yourself:

1.     Privacy. Before you agree to send in your DNA sample, be sure to read the fine print. If you decide to, you will be agreeing to give these companies access to your health and gene information.  Your information will help advance future research---however, your data is no longer private and is vulnerable to potential hacking.

2.     Accuracy. Our genetics are only one component to be considered when we measure our likelihood for developing health conditions or diseases. Prepare yourself to take the data you receive with a grain of salt. Just because your genes indicate you have a higher probability for cardiovascular disease, doesn’t mean you’ll develop it.

3.     Connection. Many of these sites offer connections to potential distant relatives. This can be a fun and interesting way to delve into your ancestry or even connect with family.

4.     Research. These DNA testing companies garner their data based on the scientific research that’s currently available. When new and more accurate research is available, they will update your data accordingly. This is a good way to keep updated with new scientific research and see if these changes affect your data.

5.     Utilization. At the very least, the results from you DNA test could be helpful to start a conversation with your doctor and maybe even prevent a health condition from developing.


Inter Valley Health Plan hosts classes regularly on health and vitality. For a full list of classes in your area, please visit https://www.ivhp.com/forhealthandliving

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