Obesity, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, high blood pressure, and heart disease. These are some of the most common diseases today. They catch most people off guard and cause untold suffering.
‘If only there was a way to know beforehand whether or not I’m susceptible to such diseases!’ You wonder.
Yes, there’s a way. And that’s through DNA testing. The above-mentioned diseases are caused by a combination of mutations in multiple genes and environmental factors. Analysis of your DNA can tell whether you’re likely to get these or other genetic diseases.
Gut health and fitness
Surprisingly, the diseases outlined above are all additionally linked to gut health. If your gut is unhealthy, you have a higher chance of getting these diseases. And if your gut is healthy, your risk of contracting these diseases is reduced.
Similarly, the higher your fitness levels, the lower your susceptibility to these diseases. Now, a healthier gut positively affects your fitness in the following ways:
- It supports healthy weight management by promoting better absorption of nutrients, making you feel full, and ensuring you have regular bowel movements
- It promotes the production of short-chain fatty acids which promote fat burning
- It supports post-work recovery by helping to convert lactic acid into butyrate, one of the short chain fatty acids
- It helps manage the effects of oxidation which is known to break down joint cells and bones.
- It ensures you stay energized for endurance during workouts
From these facts, it’s evident that knowing the status of your gut health and your DNA can help you understand the range of diseases you are at risk of. This knowledge will help you make the right lifestyle choices to reduce the risk of getting these diseases.
Fortunately, what was once a costly and time-consuming test can now be done at the comfort of your home. All you need is a DNA testing kit from a reputable genome sequencing company. While there are several out there, you may want to consider My Psomagen as your starting point.
Typically, the DNA test will be done in two parts:
- The DNA of your gut microbiome
- Your own personal DNA
Testing the gut microbiome DNA
A healthy gut microbiome is characterized by two main features:
- A balance between the good and bad bacteria
- Great diversity of the good bacteria
Your gut has both good and bad bacteria. Microbiologists put the estimate at around 40 trillion. For you to be healthy, there must be a good balance between the good and bad bacteria. The good ones should actually outnumber the bad ones.
If the bad ones multiply beyond a certain number, you’ll start experiencing problems like:
- Acid reflux
- Unhealthy weight gain
- Skin conditions
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Poor immunity
- Chronic fatigue
- Autoimmune illnesses
- Sleep disturbances
- Food intolerance
Additionally, there should be as many species as possible of the good bacteria. Facts have it that the western diet has reduced this diversity by up to 30%. And that points to the prevalence of many lifestyle diseases in western cultures.
That’s why you need to know the status of your gut microbiome. You’re required to take your stool sample and send it back to the company from which you purchase your DNA testing kit. They’ll carry out whole genome sequencing in their labs and give you a detailed report of your gut microbiome balance and diversity.
Additionally, they give recommendations on the kind of foods you need to include in your diet, how to replenish your good bacteria, and the lifestyle changes you ought to make.
Testing your own DNA
For this second test, you’ll be required to provide samples of your saliva. You can either spit into a test tube or wipe cotton swabs around your left and right cheeks.
Once you send the saliva samples to the lab, your DNA will be determined through rigorous testing and analysis. Your genetic makeup reveals the range of diseases that run in your family, as well as your personal and physical traits and nutritional deficiencies.
If your mum or dad suffered from a certain disease, you’re very likely to take the same route because you inherited some genes from them. Sometimes, it may be that your parents were simply carriers, and therefore the genetic diseases never showed up in them. So, DNA analysis reveals even those genes coming right from your grandparents or great-grandparents.
Your DNA ideally tells the whole story about you, including your physical traits, personality traits, nutritional deficiencies, disease susceptibility, and tendencies. That’s why you need a DNA test. Go get it and change your diet and lifestyle accordingly.