Nowadays about everything that we are, do and will get in the future is attributed to our DNA. As a result there is a growing market for home DNA testing. And not everybody is happy with that, though for the wrong reasons.
The main concern cited about these test kits is that people might get worried and do weird things. Of course that’s a concern, but it’s not the main problem. The main problem with these tests is that all DNA testing for health reasons is useless. We don’t know that much about DNA, no matter what we are told on a regular basis. Since the discovery of DNA our genes have become the holy grail of about everything and anything, from diseases to criminal behaviour. It would be nice (I think) if things were that easy, but is there anyone who really thinks it is?
Loads of wild stories have been around about DNA. It’s like scientists know about everything about it and only need to figure out what gene is for what and that’s it. But it has already shown many times that it’s an awful lot more complicated. Our eye colour is determined by genes, but not our height, weight or health. You can say that most probably our genetic make-up can give us a certain predisposition to certain health problems, but it’s completely up to us what happens with that predisposition. Well, that’s not fully true either. For we cannot control everything in life. The pollution in our environment, the radiation from wi-fi towers, the drug traces in our water and stress (just to name a few) can be hard to control. But it’s most definitely what we do and what others do to us that determines what happens with those genes.
So what does it mean if you have a gene for Alzheimer’s disease? It means nothing. Nobody even knows what Alzheimer’s disease actually is, so who are these scientists that they dare to point to a gene as the cause? The only fact about this disease is that it’s was almost unknown 100 years ago. And that goes for most “genetic” diseases. We experience an epidemic of genetic diseases and that’s just no possible if it were just our genes that would make us sick.
So the most dangerous side of these home tests is probably that many people will run to the GP for all kinds of tests and come home with prescriptions for drugs they will have to take for the rest or their lives. And if you know that prescription medication kills thousands of Australians every week this sounds like a very bad idea.
Don’t eat processed foods, stay away from poisons as much as possible (this includes medicines!), turn the wi-fi off, go for daily walks, meditate, deal with stress and stay away from doctors. And then you don’t need to worry about your genes. And it saves you $200.