Genetic Testing: DNA Tests In India And How To Choose Them

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Nutrition, Fitness, Health and Ancestry

What is genetic testing?

Genetic testing is the process of using technology to probe into the unique DNA sequence of an individual to estimate predispositions with regard to both health and wellness. Genetic testing has two branches: clinical genetics and consumer genetics. Clinical genetics involves genetic testing aid the diagnosis in complex conditions like cancer. Consumer genetics encapsulates the non-medical angle of genetics including nutrigenomics, ancestry genetic testing, and fitness genetics.

In contrary to the popular belief DNA tests in India costs only between Rs. 2,500 and Rs. 10,000.

 

Genetic Testing for health conditions

A majority of health conditions and most physical traits have a genetic component i.e. they are influenced by your genes either directly or indirectly. However, we have narrowed down our genetic assessments to chiefly concentrate on three areas of health and wellness:

  1. Disease Genomics
  2. Metabolic/Nutrigenomics
  3. Fitness Genomics
  4. Ancestry genetic testing

Each of our products includes a comprehensive and well-researched list of genetic markers that have been proved to show significant association with the specific trait or condition being assessed. In this section, we explain the SNP selection process to help you understand better the science behind our various genetic assessment programs.

 

Why do genetic testing?

Genetic testing will be relevant to conditions that fulfill the general criteria below:

Conditions that have high social relevance
Conditions which have a strong genetic background
Conditions manageable through diet and lifestyle recommendations

Nutrigenomics

Specific metabolic pathways that have a significant role in determining health of a person in the long term
Metabolic pathways that are involved in the metabolism of major nutrients
Metabolic pathways or mechanisms which are affected by genetic variations and by modifications in a person’s nutrition, lifestyle and fitness

Health Genomics

 Health conditions which are preventable and/or manageable
Lifestyle conditions like Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes that are affected to a great extent by diet and lifestyle
Conditions for which appropriate management strategy through nutrition, lifestyle and fitness recommendations can be made in order to manage, prevent or delay the onset of these conditions

 

Identification of genetic markers for genetic testing

  • Genes and SNPs whose expression and effect can be improved or counteracted through nutritional and lifestyle changes
  • Genes which play a role (directly or indirectly by regulating other genes which are involved directly) in the underlying biological mechanism/pathway of the disease/condition
  • Specific mutations/SNPs within each of these genes are identified and researched with the help of primarily two types of research studies namely, GWAS, Candidate gene studies.
    • GWAS – Genome-Wide Association Study is done to by randomly screening several thousand SNPs for identification of specific SNPs that are associated with the specific health condition under study.
    • Candidate Gene study – This kind of study focuses on specific genes that have been shown to have a significant role in certain biological pathways implicated in a health condition. SNPs within these genes that show an association with this health condition are identified and the strength of association is determined.
  • Data on the strength of association between various SNPs and health condition, allele frequencies of the SNPs in the tested population, etc, published from the above mentioned research studies are publically available on biological information databases like NCBI, SNPedia, GWAS catalogue, etc.
  • These data are used to shortlist the SNPs to be tested for each condition, based on the following factors:
    • Effect of SNP: Based on its effect on the gene and protein produced, we have included SNPs that:
      • Increase or decrease the expression of gene producing a specific protein/performs a certain function
      • Increase or decrease the expression of gene that controls the production of receptors which affect the function of the protein
    • Statistical significance of association between SNP and condition (threshold value: p <10-6 (GWAS), <0.05 (Candidate Gene studies))
    • Ethnicity: SNPs which have tested to show a positive association with the condition in Indian and/or Caucasian populations (giving preference to Indian population studies)
    • SNPs with two or more replication studies confirming association
  • Testability of SNP and accuracy of allele call/genotype call
  • Scientific evidence (i.e., research publications) are compiled for each marker-health condition and this information is constantly updated in our database.

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