Working in health care, I can't help but be interested in the latest in science and research. I also strongly believe that the more you know about you and your health, the better off you are.
A company I have long heard about and respected for its research is 23andMe. Have you heard of it?
23andMe is dedicated to empowering people with information about their health and family history by analyzing their DNA. Watch this short video to understand what I mean.
In late June, I received a kit for my DNA sample. I know it sounds gross, but you simply collect a bunch of saliva in a tube, then mix it with a solution and send it off. Very easy.
I was really excited to receive my results because 23andMe provides over 240 health reports, plus information about your ancestry.
About six weeks later, I received my results. The data is robust, and I am still clicking and digesting it all. These health reports can be incredibly helpful in monitoring your health, how you take care of yourself, etc. I definitely plan to share them with my general practitioner. A few cool things I found.
My DNA shows I am at increased risk for migraines. I have suffered with migraines for more than 10 years, so this was an encouraging piece of data for me. 23andMe offers message board communities around diseases and findings, and it has been interesting reading what others have posted about their migraines.
My DNA told me lots of fun facts about my ancestry – like where my ancestors came from (we can only trace back a few generations) and that I have 3.6% Neanderthal in me. Woah.
Neanderthal bones were found in a Vindija cave in Croatia and then scientists extracted Neanderthal DNA. They then assembled the Neanderthal genome sequence, which they use in research today. Pretty amazing, huh?
My DNA showed me relatives from around the world. 23andMe has more than 250,000 members, making them the largest DNA-based ancestry service worldwide. Check out all the locations I have distant relatives.
23andMe is also doing powerful research in the areas of Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimers and so much more. I can't help but also share this cool video about Muhammad Ali.
When 23andMe was founded, the price of the personal genetic service was $1,000 and over time they have been able to reduce it to $99, making it a widely available information tool. I know for many, $99 is still a lot of money, but when you think of the cost of medical bills, having this information is incredibly powerful and could literally save you thousands.
Definitely check out 23andMe. I'm so glad I did and will be encouraging my family to take advantage of this resource.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.