After putting my hand up to get tested, I suddenly felt unsure. What if I found out something bad? But, curious (and with a deadline for this piece), I mailed my saliva swab to the lab. Three weeks later, I’m on the phone with Dr Denise Furness to talk through my results.
She starts by putting my mind at rest: “The purpose isn’t to put fear in people, but to educate and empower. To help them know what their body’s good at, and how they can compensate for things it’s not so good at.”
I learn my genes say I’m a good sleeper (I am) and I have issues with appetite control (true story – chocolate is a serious vice). They say I metabolise carbs better than fats, which again I recognise. Avo, salmon et al leaves my stomach unhappy. M (which “breaks down neurotransmitters like stress hormones”) is slow.
So when I get stressed, my body doesn’t deal with it as quickly as others. I admit I get worked up easily, so Furness recommends I aim for plenty of B vitamins (they help the breakdown process) and consider a quality magnesium supplement for its calming influence.
In my oestrogen report, she flags the gene FACTOR V. It’s associated with blood clotting and my variation has a ‘moderate’ risk. “If you’re on the contraceptive pill, which has some risk of blood clots, chat to your doctor to weigh up the pros and cons,” she advises.
Finally, my sport report indicates I have a slightly high injury risk. Don’t freak out, says Furness – the running I do is fine, but just make sure to factor in active recovery and build distance gradually.
My verdict? I do feel empowered, and pleased that lifestyle tweaks can compensate for not-ideal gene variations. DNA testing, I’m sold.
LAB USED: Research Nutrition, the Australian distributor for testing company DNALife.
COST: $529 for four reports on health, diet, sport and oestrogen. $369 for two.