These days, technology is moving along at such a rapid clip that it can be difficult to keep up. However, genetic testing is one area that many consumers should seriously consider, as the implications can be life-changing. With companies such as 23andme offering a glimpse into your DNA risks, now is the time to take a test and become more aware of factors that may impact your health. Here are eight great reasons to test.
Seeing What Your Roots Are
Genetic testing allows you to explore your family’s past in a way that oral history can’t. With science in your corner, you can take a glimpse of your ancestors’ migrations. Now that genetic testing can identify whether you have African, Ashkenazi Jewish or Native American roots, you can truly delve into your own personal history.
Identifying Possible Risks
Those testing with 23andme—and opting for both ancestry and health reports—can see whether they carry certain variants that are risk factors for disease. With tests only running at about $200, checking out your carrier statuses has never been more cost-efficient. Every time 23andme upgrades its reports, for instance, the company releases important information to those who have already tested. It makes sense to sign up as soon as possible so that you will be able to take advantage of new tests available in the future.
Connecting with Family
Companies such as MyHeritage are leading the charge, providing some adoptees with free tests to help determine their parentage and discover their biological roots. Indeed, without DNA testing, those who were donor-conceived or adopted would often go their whole lives without being able to uncover any information about their genetic history. Commercial DNA testing has allowed long-lost relatives to reconnect in a way that was virtually impossible before. With many hospitals, clinics and other organizations losing important records, DNA testing can truly save the day.
Discovering Deep Roots
If you’re curious about whether or not your ancestral family included farmers or Viking warriors, DNA testing can help you to find out what the story is. For those who embrace the past—or those who relish the idea of watching the History channel on the weekends—this can be truly fascinating.
Even Your Preferences Will Be Laid Out Before Your Very Eyes
Did you know that your craving for sweets instead of salty snacks may very well have to do with your DNA? Like many other aspects of your make-up, cravings can come down to your DNA.
You’ll See Whether or Not You Were Born to Be an Athlete
If you test on 23andme, then you will know whether or not you were lucky enough to inherit an athletic gene that correlates to muscle performance. Although sometimes it may seem as if our genes can only determine a few aspects of our lives, you may be shocked to discover that almost all elite athletes carry the “right” version of the ACTN3 gene. At high levels of competition, after all, these athletes need everything working in their favor.
Your Traits Will Be Laid Out Before Your Very Own Eyes
For those who weigh a bit more than average, it may be somewhat comforting to see that this can also be a genetic predisposition. The same goes for your skinny friend who consumes endless amounts of pizza but never seems to gain weight; genetic tests like those available on 23andme will show whether or not you’re one of the lucky few who is destined to stay somewhat on the skinny side.
Determine Which Type of Diet Might Work Better for You
Genetic testing may also reveal whether or not your body weight will change if you consume less saturated fat—or if you’re a person whose body seems to only recognize the amount of calories in a specific item. In the future, it seems likely that genetic testing will be able to provide people with targeted diet plans based upon their DNA makeup. In a world where counting calories can be quite a pain, this path offers a new way to get healthy.