Our health and wellbeing are influenced by many things. Our environment, the choices we make about things like food and exercise and also our own unique genetic make-up or DNA. Understanding how your genes affect your body’s responses to lifestyle and environmental factors can help you make informed decisions to improve your health and wellbeing. That’s where our DNA tests could help.
DNA and why it’s important
Okay. This is the science bit.
The best way to understand DNA is to think of it as your body’s instruction manual. It’s unique to you. Every one of the trillions of cells you’re made from has a copy of the manual that your body uses to both make and repair you.
Your DNA is packed into the nucleus of those cells in structures called chromosomes. You have 23 pairs of chromosomes that are inherited from your parents, half from your mother and half from your father. These chromosomes are organised into short segments of DNA called genes, that instruct your cells on how to function.
Your DNA and genes determine certain traits such as height and eye colour, as well as how our body functions. For example, your genes can determine whether you’re likely to have food intolerances, vitamin deficiencies, how you metabolise different parts of your diet, and aspects of your skin’s reaction to sunlight.
Advances in research in recent years have enabled us to both read and understand more about our genetic makeup. And, unlocking this code is helping to develop new treatments and personalised therapies. So, by knowing more about the variations of the genes YOU have, you can decide to make changes to your lifestyle to optimise your health and wellbeing.
Unlocking your DNA
Evergreen Life’s DNA tests can identify a few aspects of your genetic makeup. They help identify which traits you have, so you can find out more about your diet, fitness, metabolism and skin and consider making adjustments.
We are all unique and our genes come in varieties - slight differences or SNPs (snips). When these variations occur in many individuals they can be used to predict aspects of our health and wellbeing.
While we can’t alter our genes, we can often influence how they impact us. Understanding our genetic makeup and adapting our behaviours appropriately- like making changes to our lifestyle and environment, may mean we can have some positive effects.
For example, if you know that you are a slow metaboliser of caffeine, you can choose not to have a coffee late in the evening in case it disrupts your sleep. You can learn what vitamins your body is more likely to be lacking, so you can enhance your diet to suit your unique nutritional needs. Or, if you know that you are genetically more likely to respond to high intensity exercises over endurance sports like long distance running , you can adjust your fitness plan accordingly.
The Evergreen Life DNA test will only tell you things that you can actually do something about. It doesn’t tell you anything about your ancestors or things you can’t act on, like whether you might be predisposed to Alzheimer’s for example.
How the DNA tests work
You can do our DNA test at home. The process is simple. Order your kit on the website and it’ll be with you within 7 working days. When you get your kit, fill out the details on the test requisition form provided. Then register your test. Download the Evergreen Life app if you don’t already have it and use the code that’s on your swab tube to register your sample.
The instructions leaflet in your kit shows you, step by step, how to get the best possible DNA sample. When you’re ready to collect your sample, put the cotton swab in your mouth and rub it on the inside of your cheek for a good minute. This process collects small amounts of cheek cells that hold your DNA. Be careful not to get the swab too wet: we suggest you air dry the cotton swab for 30 seconds before putting it back into the tube. Then pop the tube into the post with your pre-paid envelope.
Your sample is tested at our certified UK laboratory using a process called SNP genotyping. You get your results in the app so you can discover the inner you and take action on your insights straight away.