Medical marvel! Saliva-based DNA test could be key to weight management

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Once known for only decoding hard-to-treat diseases like tuberculosis and cancer, DNA profiling is now helping people come up with an insightful approach to a healthier lifestyle.

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New Delhi:Radha (name changed), a 25-year-old technician from Bangalore, has tried several fad diets to lose weight. But nothing seemed to work. A chance Google search informed her of a new saliva-based DNA wellness test that provides insight into genetic response regarding weight management, nutrition as well as physical training.

Intrigued, she undertook the test which gave her suggestions on diet, detox, fitness and weight – all rolled into one. Radha is not alone, DNA profiling is helping dozens of people transform their self-care in India.

Once known for only decoding hard-to-treat diseases like tuberculosis and cancer, DNA profiling is now helping people come up with an insightful approach to a healthier lifestyle.

“Genetic testing has arrived in India, with an increasing number of tests being carried out here and many of them costing half as much as five years ago. Genetic testing is used for a variety of purposes – from the confirmation of a diagnosis., checking a person’s predisposition to a disease to decide on the treatment of certain diseases/disorders”, Anand. K, CEO of SRL Diagnostics, told IANS.

The SRL Wellness Test covers four critical aspects of wellness: diet, weight, skin, fitness, and detox. It analyzes genetic data for several hundred DNA sequence variations and helps unlock a lifestyle tailored specifically to the client.

Until now, people have approached a healthy lifestyle from a one-size-fits-all approach, which may not apply to everyone. This is because the root of the problem differs with everyone – for one it may be the result of a sedentary lifestyle, for another it may be a metabolic problem or hormonal imbalance.

A genetic test, on the other hand, basically provides information about a person’s genes and chromosomes and helps pinpoint the exact problem and suggest changes. Apart from providing better and accurate results, it also eliminates the need for unnecessary checks and screenings. These tests also analyze a person’s response to medications in terms of effectiveness and risk of side effects.

“You could be following the same diet, same exercises, same routine as a friend of yours, but not getting the same result. It gives you the understanding to know your personal diet, vitamins, exercises, regimen weight loss, alcohol, caffeine and nicotine addiction and over 40 genetic lifestyle parameters through your own genetic makeup,” Neeraj Gupta, Founder and CEO of Genes2Me, told IANS.

Genes2Me’s tests give personalized information on important lifestyle characteristics, exercise plans, nutrient requirements, metabolites, eating behavior, food reaction, body and weight.

Although adoption of these tests may be slow for the common man, with the pandemic, personal genomics has garnered a lot of attention in India.

“During the pandemic, people have learned about terminologies like genome and DNA and genes, the role of genes, the awareness of those aspects has become greater and greater than what it used to be. a few years ago,” Gupta said.

“While DNA profiling is still new in India, people have become increasingly proactive towards their health and well-being, and thus have slowly found a taste for personal genomics and genetic testing. The Genetics Industry – mainly personal genomics is getting a lot of attention in India Today, healthcare and wellbeing is important to people and they are ready to use available technology to ensure their wellbeing,” added Sujeeth Nair, Marketing Director and Business Leader at OhMyGene.

OhMyGene is a molecular diagnostic initiative of Sagenome, a Kerala-based genomics company that has a comprehensive personalized genetic test designed to check over 8000 genes to understand one’s susceptibility to over 200 health conditions, which also includes a predisposition for lifestyle traits and genetic diseases/disorders .

“Most of these genetic tests are available in India at a price range of Rs 5,000 to Rs 60,000 per test. contributed to the impetus to what genetic tests are flourishing in India,” Nair told IANS.A

Moreover, the number of tests performed has increased dramatically and many of them are actually half the cost of a few years ago, which will be proof of an iridescent future for genetic testing in India.AA

“It’s a once in a lifetime test. It’s not that you have to do it over and over again. So it can always start from the friendly range of Rs 5,000-6,000 and it goes up to 20 25,000 depending on what you want to do,” Gupta said.

It’s also modular, you can actually add things and things to it at whatever level of information you want to get and you can keep adding it every year, he noted.

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