A quick guide to understanding your DNA results

Sabina Muminović Last updated: 27 October 2023

We help you fully understand DNA results, the role of the environment, and how genetic predispositions can help guide your lifestyle and health decisions.

Whether you’re just waiting for your results or have already received them, this blog post presents the information to help you get a clear picture of what you’re getting.

We’ve carefully combed through the feedbacks of our users and put together this guide to help you get a handle on your DNA report in no time!

A predisposition, not a diagnosis

Each of us is born with a unique genome – a set of genetic instructions. Every human has the same number of genes, but they are subtly different in structure. Those genetic differences, or variants, are responsible for the differences among us.

A “genetic predisposition” means that you carry a specific genetic variant. In other words, one of the possible instructions for a particular trait.

Yes, specific variants are linked with specific outcomes, but this outcome is not guaranteed. This is where the environment takes the stage. We’ll talk more about this connection in the next paragraph, but now, let’s take a look at what it means to have “unfavourable predispositions”.

A girl and a boy jogging

Unfavourable predispositions

If your Home DNA test reports unfavourable predispositions, there is no reason for concern. Remember – a predisposition is not a diagnosis!

Think of them as gentle reminders urging you to get back on track with a healthy lifestyle.
Or as an advanced warning system to help you protect your health in the future!

But what if your report states something you think does not apply to you? Let’s take a look.

Can my results be wrong?

The short answer is – no.

But you might notice discrepancies between your result and your reality. For example:

  • Your report shows you’re likely lactose tolerant, but you can’t stand dairy products.
  • You should be a night owl, but you can fall asleep standing at 9 p.m.
  • And what about that supposedly low cholesterol when your doctor has been nagging you to watch it for months?

This doesn’t mean anything’s wrong with your results, just that there is another player at work … It brings us back to – you guessed it – the environment.

It means practically every aspect of your life: food, habits, stress, sleep, health issues and medications you take, even the pollution and toxins you’re exposed to.

Those environmental factors impact how your body functions, responds, and performs. And they can be powerful enough to change the direction written in your genes!

Young couple preparing a meal together in the kitchen

So, to put the above examples in proper perspective:

Lactose intolerance
is not only genetic; it can also arise due to certain health conditions or occur seemingly without reason. And vice versa – having a genetic predisposition for lactose intolerance doesn’t mean you have to say bye to caffe latte, cheese and other dairy delicacies. Most lactose-intolerant people can enjoy at least some dairy products in moderate amounts. Learn more about recognising and managing lactose intolerance here.

Your habits are very powerful and can, in a sense, overshadow your genetic predispositions. If you start your days early and have a busy schedule, your body’s batteries will run out before your “night owl” mode could kick in. But you might notice that on vacation, when you have time to sleep in and you let go of daily worries, you can easily stay up late and feel productive later than usual.

And when it comes to increased cholesterol – have you turned a critical eye on your lifestyle?
A favourable predisposition is not a shortcut to success! Your genes can’t protect you from the adverse effects of an unhealthy lifestyle.

So despite a favourable genetic predisposition, sedentary life, stress, poor sleep and nutrition (hear that, fast food lovers?) can push your cholesterol into the red numbers.

Being a bit soft despite a predisposition for a lean body? Start working those muscles, and you will feel firmness forming quicker due to your genes.
You can have a genetic predisposition to iron overload but still be iron deficient. The first reason that comes to mind is nutrition – an important factor, but there’s more.
Blood loss (ladies, this includes heavy periods!), chronic anaemia, and pregnancy also affect your iron levels.

Find more examples of why your results might differ from real life in a post where we bust DNA myths.

But the beauty behind all that? You can influence a big part of your environment and, with it, your outcome! Which brings us to …

Real-life value of genetic predispositions

Trying to fix your nutrition, weight, fitness, or sleep can be like trying to fix something without knowing exactly what’s wrong with it.

Which diet to follow?
How to keep the weight off?
Which type of sports will bring the most benefits?
How to wake up rested?
How to deal with stress?

The trial-and-error approach takes time, money, and patience. Diet after diet, paying a fortune for personal coaches, mindfulness apps, nutrition plans, … sounds familiar?

A DNA test helps you take the guessing out of the equation.

A lady sitting on a sofa and checking her DNA results on the GenePlanet's mobile app

Knowing your genetic predispositions can help you address – and even find the root cause of – many issues and shortcomings you experience in your day-to-day life. We’re talking food intolerances, lack of nutrients, weight and skin problems, stress, poor sleep.

In the case of diseases, genetic predispositions help you take timely measures to prevent the disease from developing in the first place.

Print your results

Even though our platform is awesome (have you calculated your Health Score and Food ID yet?), we understand that sometimes, you need it on paper. So we’ve added an option to download an overview of your results.

You can find it under your profile on our platform or mobile app. Please note that you can only print an overview of the results and not the detailed interpretation with recommendations.

A Premium DNA test opens a world of possibilities, giving you control over your wellbeing. Take it, and use genes to navigate your life to health and happiness!



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