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Thanks to advances in human genomics, the days of generalised healthcare are long gone, and personalised healthcare is here
Nowadays, we are lucky to have innovative healthcare companies like DNAlysis Biotechnology, who use cutting-edge DNA testing. They provide medical practitioners and patients with the tools and personal information they need to achieve optimum wellness.
Meet SA’s leaders in DNA testing
DNAlysis Biotechnology is one of the leading genetic testing laboratories in the world. This company has a wide range of DNA tests available in the nutrigenomic and pharmacogenomic spheres. In fact, since its inception in 2007, the company has grown exponentially. One can find its products and services in 30 countries worldwide.
The founder and visionary behind the brand
Dr Daniel Meyersfeld graduated with a PhD in Molecular Biology. He has put his passion for genetics and medical research to good use by starting DNAlysis Biotechnology in 2007. “Through my years of studies and fascination with the Human Genome Project, I’d come across a goldmine of medical information and technological breakthroughs in genetics. There was no pipeline of knowledge, so research findings weren’t being filtered down to the consumer, and I wanted to change this,” he explains.
“A person’s unique genetic code tells such a great story about them- including their history, their health status, their strengths and weaknesses and risk for certain chronic diseases. So, I spent the next few years on a mission to simplify the data and make this genetic information easily accessible to consumers and doctors.”
Daniel believes that the impact of the environment, as well as factors like diet and exercise on a person’s health, shouldn’t be underestimated. However, each person reacts differently to certain foods, medications and types of exercise based on their unique genetic makeup. This is where personalised healthcare comes in. DNAlysis tests are a valuable tool for doctors and their patients. They offer a window into a person’s unique health status, so that treatment is precise, predictable and preventative.
Daniel and his small JHB-based team continue to aim to be at the forefront of the latest, state-of-the-art medical technologies. They continue to research new genes and refine their reports to offer even more valuable information to the consumer. Daniel also travels regularly to stay updated on the global medical trends as well as look for new business opportunities.
DNAlysis’s nutrigenomics tests
As one of the first and most popular DNA tests on offer, DNA Diet remains a firm favourite amongst thousands of healthcare practitioners and dietitians. They have used it as a tool to prescribe the correct healthy eating and exercise plans for their patients. Based on each person’s score, DNA Diet helps to determine whether a person should be following a low fat, low carb or Mediterranean-type diet. Certain DNA patterns also assist the practitioner in determining whether a patient should be performing high or low-intensity exercise. One can also determine what their response is to carbohydrates and different types of fats. Going beyond just eating and exercise, the test looks at lifestyle and behavioural factors that affect weight management. For example, having a sweet tooth, and propensity for snacking. These all assist the practitioner in determining the optimal weight intervention strategies.
This comprehensive DNA test offers a full health picture to practitioners and patients wanting to know if they’re at risk for developing certain chronic diseases/health conditions. The genetic test looks at bone health, oxidative stress, insulin sensitivity, inflammation, detoxification, lipid metabolism and methylation. This is the process of how fast DNA strands repair themselves. All of these important metabolic processes play a fundamental role in the potential for disease onset. They can all be optimised through appropriate nutrition and lifestyle interventions.
This ground-breaking DNA test aims to help patients reach their full athletic potential. It does this by analysing several key areas in the realm of physical activity. The test offers insights into how fast the body is likely to recover after intense exercise, whether the patient is more susceptible to injury, when their peak training times are, how their body responds to caffeine and salt and lastly, which type of exercise (short and intense or endurance-type activities) is best suited for long-term results.
This targeted DNA test is specifically for those who have a family history of ovarian or breast cancer, or an oestrogen dominant disorder with symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue, insomnia, PMS or menstrual problems. Studies have shown that prolonged exposure to oestrogen is a strong risk factor for certain types of cancer. Therefore, the aim of this DNA test is to look at how a patient’s body metabolises oestrogen, as well as their personal risk factors; should they be avoiding oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The results of this test will help the practitioner prescribe interventions that could reduce the patient’s overall risk of cancer.
Pharmacogenomics tests available
Regarded as one of the most reliable tests for medication response, this DNA test looks at how a patient’s unique genetics determines how well or poorly the body will respond to a specific medication. The lab analyses 62 genetic variations within a patient’s DNA sequence. It identifies the possible response to over 150 medications including most pain medications, cardiovascular medications as well as psychiatry medications.
New tests: Watch this space!
The DNA Skin test analyses 18 genes involved in important areas related to skin health. It looks at key factors linked to ageing, such as how well the body forms new collagen, how sensitive the skin is to the sun’s UV rays, and how prone the skin is to inflammation and environmental factors. Based on the results from the DNA Skin test, personalised lifestyle, nutrition, nutraceutical and cosmeceutical recommendations can be given for improved skin care and skin health, and to decrease the visible signs of ageing.
The latest addition to the DNA test offering is DNA Mind. This test looks at key genetic variations that could have a direct effect on a person’s mental health. Weaknesses in certain areas, together with lifestyle factors could increase the risk for a range of neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, plus the test looks at whether a patient might be more susceptible to mood disorders or addictive behaviours. DNA Mind is particularly useful for psychologists and psychiatrists, to help better understand their patients.
How the DNA kit works
Tests are available exclusively through the DNAlysis network of accredited healthcare practitioners. Upon request by the doctor, the patient receives the kit by delivery to their door. It contains everything the patient needs to complete the test at home
• 1. Patients must avoid drinking or eating for an hour before using the swab sample kit
• 2. Use the swab sample kit to take a simple DNA sample (from the inside of the cheek)
• 3. Patients must order the courier service to collect the sample and deliver it to the DNAlysis Biotechnology lab where they will use the DNA sample to analyse the patient’s unique genetic variations. (One can keep the sample in the fridge for up to a week but it’s best to send it off right away).
DNA Life with Nordic Laboratories
Around five years ago, Daniel had the opportunity to work closely with the well-known, lab testing giant- Nordic Laboratories. To date, this company has been largely responsible for distributing DNAlysis Biotechnology tests to various countries all over the world. In fact, DNAlysis and Nordic Laboratories have joined forces and formed a subsidiary company called DNA Life with the sole purpose of providing healthcare practitioners with training and education to accurately interpret genetic results. DNAlysis is now recognised as a global leader in the field of biotechnology, with an established practitioner following in South Africa, Scandinavia, Europe, Far East, Middle East and the USA.
DNAlysis (2018) The Future of Personalised Healthcare is Here, Business Essentials, 30 August. Available at: https://www.businessessentials.co.za/2018/08/30/future-personalised-healthcare/