In the past year, you’ve probably had at least one friend or family member tell you that they’ve gotten their DNA tested. Whether they wanted to find out more about their ancestors or screen themselves for disease risk, many people are curious about what their genes can tell them. Here are 5 things that Gene2Know can tell you about yourself just by testing a tube of your saliva!
1. Your Parents May Not Be Your Parents
While there are many benefits to finding out more about your genes, it may be a good idea to check with family members before sending in a saliva sample. Among the reports of reunited relatives, there have been plenty more unexpected revelations. One woman sent in her DNA only to find out the man she thought was her father was not related to her at all. Another sent her DNA in only to find out she had an entire family of blood relatives that she never knew she had. While the results from your DNA test may be cool to see, it is important that you go into it with no expectations and an open mind. Your life could be something completely different than you thought it was!
2. You’re More Susceptible to Certain Diseases
While this one may be less fun to find out, it’s helpful to understand what your genes say about your likelihood of developing disease. This way, you can tailor your lifestyle to actively avoid getting certain diseases. Genetic testing can detect certain markers and pre-dispositions to some disease states such as Alzheimer’s and certain cancers. Additionally, many diseases are hereditary in nature, giving you the ability to inform your relatives of any genetic predispositions you may have.
3. You’re Related to A Serial Killer
With the database of DNA information growing larger every day, it’s no surprise that law enforcement may use this to their advantage. Though most DNA test companies have policies protecting their customer’s information, there are legal exceptions. Recently, the serial killer known as the “East End Rapist” was caught largely due to information on DNA test sites provided by distant relatives. “When you put your information into a database voluntarily, and law enforcement has access to it, you may be unwittingly exposing your relatives to scrutiny by law enforcement” says UC Berkeley assistant professor of law Andrea Roth.
4. Your Heritage Might Not Be What You Believed
Are you proud of the heritage your parents have told you about? What if it turned out to be false? DNA tests often tell a different story than your parents have told you and in some cases, you may turn out to be 0% of what you thought you were!
5. You’re Allergic To Your Favorite Food
Interestingly, a DNA test can also tell you about the types of things you are allergic to.
While many allergens cause obvious symptoms that make you aware that you are allergic to them, there are some less obvious intolerances that should be considered. Intolerances to wheat, gluten, dairy, and other certain food types can cause symptoms such as G.I. issues, fatigue, and many others. Therefore, it doesn’t hurt to know whether you have these intolerances!
Whatever you hope to find out from your DNA test, you’re bound to find some surprises along the way. Just make sure you’re prepared to learn whatever the test tells you!