FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What will my genetic profile tell me?
• It tells you whether you are an endurance or power athlete; thus which sport you are best equipped for.
• Which game plan will work best for you? A power tennis player will win a match with power serves and powerful shots, but an endurance player can win a match by eliminating mistakes.
• How easy is it for your body to recover? How intense, long and frequent is ideal for you to train? Every day for 2 hours or just 2 times a week for 30 minutes? How long should you rest between work outs? Is it more beneficial for you to slowly become fitter, or can you push yourself hard to achieve optimal fitness?
• What is your chances of getting injured, esp. your tendons and cartilage? Will high impact activities cause arthritis, or are you one of the lucky ones that can easily run 10 km on a paved road every day, do high impact gymnastics or play a game of squash every day?
• Do you need supplements (eg chondroitin or glucosamine) to support your cartilage or is it a waste of money?
• How important is good shoes and insoles for your joints?
• Should you always include activities (like yoga) to keep your ligaments supple and long.
• Are you prone to building up oxidative stress and therefor uses more anti-oxidants that others? Or are anti-oxidants (supplements and fruits and vegetables) not that important for you?
• How important is protein in your body?
• Are you prone to allergies and show strong inflammatory response?
What DNA testing affect my life insurance?
We know that some people may be concerned regarding how DNA testing could affect insurance and coverage liability. We monitor this issue closely and maintain close contact with the Insurance Bureau of Canada to see if there are any new developments.
The short answer:
– There should not be an issue at all with our testing. We do not test for serious disease. We are an information, preventative health oriented test. Our testing helps guide people in their day to day diet and fitness. When I speak to insurance companies, they acknowledge this is not something that would have any relevance to them. They are learning that there is a very wide range of genetic testing available and they need to rethink whether they ask people for it. At this stage, they may ask on some policies – but if you add that it is simply general diet and fitness related, they ignore it.
– However if you are being very careful or are concerned, the only test that might have some relevance is our brainPower test which indicates whether there are any gene variations related to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Few people have any Parkinson’s variations and most of us have a few related to Alzheimer’s (of many genes involved). There should be no other tests that should be of interest to an insurer.
For a longer answer:
– In Canada, there is draft legislation tabled in the House of Commons in May 2016 to protect Canadians from genetic discrimination. This would prevent people from having to disclose their DNA to their employer or insurance carrier. This will still take some time to pass but it is in the works.
– According to the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA), “Where genetic testing has been undertaken and a person is aware of the results and subsequently applies for insurance, the insurer needs to be made aware ofrelevant and material informationderived from the test in order to properly assess the risk…This policy is based on the general principle that an insurance contract is a ‘good faith’ agreement. Both parties have an obligation to disclose any information that may be relevant to the contract so that it can be entered into on an ‘equal information’ basis.”
– Our DNA information would not be considered relevant or material. Almost everything we test for would have no relevance to them at all. We are not testing for serious disease.
– In addition, even if we were testing for serious disease, DNA testing indicates a predisposition only. Having a variation does not mean that gene will be expressed and should not be used as a basis to impact coverage.
– At KarmaLife, we would never release your information to anyone.
– You are welcome to use a pseudonym for your tests should you chose.
How does the DNA testing work?
You will receive a swab (pretty much a large q-tip) that you will roll around on the inside walls of both cheeks to collect the cells needed. After your specimen is received back to our lab, your DNA profile will be emailed to you within 40 days.
Think of any disease that we face: recurring colds, depression, constipation, insomnia, cholesterol, diabetes, anxiety, fatty liver.
You can name them off one by one… then go to Google to find ways to treat these. Or ask your doctor. Exercise is always on the list. It prevents, lowers, lessens and improves almost every ailment in the book.
And when you are older, is exercise just as relevant? Scared of a stroke? Exercise is preventative. Heart disease? Make sure you are active! Blood pressure? Exercise lowers it. Cancer? Fit people are less prone to develop breast-, colon-, and many other cancers. Arthritis? The right exercise can save your joints. Worried about a hip replacement? Exercise keeps your balance and ligaments strong and in good working order to help prevent injuries.
As an added bonus: when you exercise based on your genetic profile, exercise becomes a lifelong joy, instead of a heavy burden!
Parents might want to consider having their teens tested. This will help them to become fit and strong by picking a sport that suits their genetic makeup. Their level of fitness will improve by putting them on the right exercise routine that will prevent injuries. Remember, knowing your genetic profile is not a sifting test for sport talent. Many famous athletes have a very average genetic profile. It’s about identifying the best genetically suited fitness approach for yourself, your family, friends and clients.
What is DNA Sequencing?
Sequencing is the process of determining the exact order of nucleotides in a genome. In the past decade since the human genome was first sequenced in its entirety, researchers have been decoding what specific gene pairs indicate. Countless studies have been done, linking sequences of our DNA, and specific variations in that sequence, to our health.
How is DNA relevant to my health?
Everyone has sections of DNA that are unique to them. Depending on your genetic makeup, you might find that your body responds to certain exercises and foods better than others. The variations in individual’s genetic material can also predispose a person to health issues, such as metabolic problems and cancerous growths. Variations of genes may be beneficial in some circumstances, but problematic in others. We provide you with information on the areas that may pose health risks.
How can DNA Testing help me avoid health risks?
By testing your DNA in areas proven to impact health and fitness, we are able to understand the instructions in your DNA. This knowledge can help you make decisions that are right for you, and can help you to avoid risks based on your personal genetic makeup. We can develop a customized exercise prescription to turn on the genes you need to prevent poor health and chronic disease.
How does Karmalife choose which genes to test for?
Our team of experts has carefully selected the genes we analyze based on extensive peer-reviewed genetic scientific and clinical research. To avoid confusing our clients with extraneous data, we have only chosen those genetic markers that have a substantial impact on our health.
How old do I have to be before I can take the tests?
There is no minimum age; anyone can have a DNA analysis done! However, parental consent is required if you are under 18 years of age.
Is this like the Blood Type Diet? Or any other type of diet system?
The blood type diet was created on the premise that those with different blood types will also process food differently as well as have different predispositions to various diseases. This concept was put to the test in a 1,455 participant study by the University of Toronto. The study was led by Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy, Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. The findings revealed markers of health are independent of one’s blood type.
Although the blood type diet seemed like a logical approach, we must realize that the body is a very complex network of systems all operating in tandem. We can now see that singling out one component of the body and making a linear correlation with that component is not the best way to approach such intricacies.
At dnaPower, we sequence approximately 150 health and fitness related genes with a system that is 99.9% accurate. Each gene has approximately 20-30 base pairs and there is potential for mutation on each base. We carefully consider all of these components to formulate an abundance of data that is unique to you. The final result is a health-optimization program that incorporates both a nutritional and fitness component strategically designed for you. This is much more comprehensive than what any diet book can suggest.
How are my DNA samples collected
The DNA sample collection kit contains a sterile cheek swab and simple instructions on how to collect your sample at home.
How long can I keep my samples before sending them to you?
When you collect a sample, the swab has cheek cells containing your DNA. These cells and the DNA within them degrade if left at room temperature for an extended period of time. Therefore, we recommend shipping your sample on the same day it is collected or placing it in the freezer until you are able to send.
Why should I not drink tea or coffee for 30 minutes prior to sample collection?
Both coffee and tea contain chemicals that cause cells to tighten and adhere to the cheek more firmly. The effect is temporary, but it may impede collection of sufficient amount of DNA to perform the test.
How safe are the tests?
There is no danger to you and our tests are completely non invasive. A simple cheek swab contains the necessary DNA for our tests.
How long do I have to wait for my results?
Timing depends on the sequencing runs and the number of tests in queue to be processed. We utilize a very thorough deep sequencing process and ensure the utmost care and attention is taken with every run. Generally results are available 14-30 days after we receive your sample in the lab.
Are the results going to be too complicated for me to understand?
We have designed our reports to be user-friendly and easy to understand. You don’t need to have a background in genetic testing to understand your results and their significance to your health. You can also consult our experts if you would like assistance in walking through the results.
Will you test for any serious inherited diseases?
We do testing for a number of common inherited diseases. We will only test for these if you choose to purchase an inherited condition predisposition test. If you think you may carry the genes for an inherited disease, speak to your physician or healthcare professional.
Can my DNA tell me if I am ill?
No, we can only determine what types of genes people have and how they relate to certain metabolic processes involved in well-being. If you think you may be ill, speak to your healthcare professional.
If I have a genetic variation of mutation is this bad?
Genetic variations make us who we are. There is no such thing as a ‘bad’ genotype, however, certain genetic variations will predispose you to certain outcomes. What’s important to keep in mind is that even though you may have an increased risk of a certain condition, nothing is set in stone. By learning your personal DNA, you can be more aware and knowledgeable in making better health and fitness decisions to promote a healthy mind and body.
Who will have access to my DNA?
You will. All of the personal information you choose to share with us is kept strictly confidential. Under no circumstances will your information be disclosed to third parties, such as insurance companies or medical agencies. The exception is if you have ordered your test through a health practitioner and they are receiving your results on your behalf or if you choose to share it with them.
What happens to my DNA?
We use the utmost privacy standards in managing your sample. The sample is managed and stored by bar code to preserve your privacy. We retain your DNA for 1 year in case you wish to order an additional test. If you have chosen to allow your sample to be used anonymously for scientific research, we may keep it on file for a longer period. All DNA is disposed of following regulatory standards.
How are we different then 23 and me or other DNA testing companies?
Karmalife does sequencing of most important genes with exceptional genotyping platforms. Whereas 23 & Me is no longer offering similar products and personal coaching services currently in the market, however in the past they offered genotyping of millions of SNPs which could have compromised results due to the high load of testing millions of them. We at Karmalife does specific key mutations which are important to your health.
Where are you protected from genetic discrimination?
Different regions have different legislation and regulation of genetic testing.
In March 2017, Canada passed Bill S-201, the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act.
The Act prevents people being pressured to undergo genetic testing in order to be eligible for goods or services ( such as insurance ); or from having to disclose their results.
It prohibits employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of any genetic test results. It also amends the Canadian Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on genetic characteristics.
The Canadian Coalition for Genetic Fairness is made up of several advocacy groups, such as the Parkinson Society of Canada or Muscular Dystrophy Canada. They also promote genetic nondiscrimination.
In the United States, the Genetic information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits discrimination based on genetic Information in health insurance and employment. Health insurance companies are not allowed to deny coverage to healthy people based solely on potential genetic risk, nor are employers allowed to discriminate based on genetic data.
In the UK, the 2010 Equality Act prevents employers from discriminating based on genetic data.
In the European Union countries, the 2010 Lisbon Treaty prohibits discrimination based on “genetic features”.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted the Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights in 2003 and International Declaration on Human Genetic Data in 2012, which includes provisions for preventing genetic discrimination and any use of genetic information that would contravene dignity, freedom, and human rights.