Episode 57: Is Genetic Analysis Really Worth It?

The Ancestral RDs Podcast show

Summary: Thanks for joining us for episode 57 of The Ancestral RD podcast. If you want to keep up with our podcasts, subscribe in iTunes and never miss an episode! Remember, please send us your question if you'd like us to answer it on the show! Today we are answering the following question from a listener: “Hi Laura and Kelsey, thank you for your wonderful podcast. My question is about genetic analysis like 23andMe. Just as someone can become orthorexic, I feel like many of us can become overly obsessive and anxious about our genetic mutations and the potential higher risk for conditions we find out about in the process.Where do you feel like the appropriate line to draw is when it comes to analyzing your genetic testing? How much do you think these SNPs actually determine our likelihood for certain conditions whether it be more immediate concern like miscarriage, blood clotting problems, allergies, or potential concerns down the line like cancer, Alzheimer’s, etc. Thanks.” While the ability to get a picture of your genes is an exciting prospect, the appropriate applications for the data provided by genetic analysis are not completely understood. Along with the information comes knowledge that can be a source of anxiety that outweighs potential benefits. Just how much information do you really get from these tests and to what extent is the data useful? While some see the data as a predictor of disease and a basis for making major diet and lifestyle changes, the evidence to support this practice is questionable. Join us today as we discuss the potential benefits, limitations, and even drawbacks associated with genetic analysis. Here's what Laura and Kelsey will be discussing in this episode: A definition of SNP How most of the genome information is based on correlative evidence The potential uses and limitations of genetic analysis Why having an amount of increased risk of a certain disease does not guarantee that you will get that disease Why the stress caused by anxiety over results can outweigh potential benefit from knowledge uncovered How anxiety of the future is a major contributor of orthorexic behavior The questionable efficacy of using the data to support making major changes to diet and lifestyle in an attempt to prevent a potential disease How being aware of the present and optimizing current state of health is a more beneficial strategy than making modifications with unknown effects in an attempt to prevent a future event The essential question to ask yourself before any lab test Links Discussed: KettleAndFire.com - Use the code AncestralRDs for a 15% discount off your first order of Kettle and Fire bone broth! TRANSCRIPT: Laura: Hey everyone. Welcome to episode 57 of the Ancestral RDs podcast. I’m Laura Schoenfeld and with me as always is Kelsey Marksteiner. Kelsey: Hey guys. Laura: How are you doing lately, Kelsey? Kelsey: Oh man. I’ve been stressed out lately with the whole apartment thing. We’re sort of at the end of the road with it now, but that comes with its own stressors. You always think like, oh gosh, if only this one thing will work out, then everything will be fine from there. Then you forgot that it’s like a whole process of moving and all this other stuff. So we’re sort of almost at that point right now. Laura: Sort of almost? Kelsey: Sort of almost, yeah. We’re getting there is the best way I can put it. We just tried to really take it easy on Saturday because we’ve had a lot of stressors come up, that included with some other things. Especially being in a relationship, when there’s a lot of things going on you sort of can get pulled apart fairly easily, or not pulled apart I guess I should say, but like you’re both doing your own thing and you don’t really connect as much if you’re so busy with all this other stuff. So we were like let’s just spend Saturday cuddling on the couch, and just watching TV, and just being together,