DNAFit results offer detail, personal consultation on using the new information

Wendy Pursley, interested in learning how a DNA test can help her stay health, submitted a saliva sample for DNAFit. (WWMT)

At the end of April, Newschannel 3 and Wendy Pursley submitted a DNAFit saliva sample. A little more than three weeks later, (the company promises results in six to 10 weeks) we received a fitness and diet report, a summary, an online meal planner and a personalized exercise program. All of the information within those items are based on Pursley’s genes.

Pursley is a wife and mother of three. She is currently very active and healthy, and determined to stay that way. So, with some help from Newschannel 3, she is going beyond calorie counting by counting on science.

We told you about her interest in the DNAFit Report in May. The company, DNAFit, promises to generate a personalized health and fitness plan based on the customer’s genetics.

The report is broken down into categories. Each one is detailed, including illustrations, charts and graphs.. While thorough, the information is very complex. So, to ensure the customer understands the results, the company, based in the United Kingdom, offers a consultation with a DNAFit dietitian or sports scientist.

“The most important thing to take from this is, again, it’s a stepping stone in the right direction in terms of improving results or in terms of improving your lifestyle,” said Amy Wells, head dietitian for DNAFit.

Pursley said she learned a few things while going through the reports.

“It’s not telling me, you know, hey, you’ve eaten too many carbs and now we need to cut back,” Pursley said. “It’s telling me how my body responds to food.”

While the report does offer a personalized meal plan, tips and training suggestions, Wells reminded us that this test doesn’t gauge how Pursley is doing right now with her health and fitness routine, but instead how her genes can influence her results.

“This is how the genes interact with the environment and if the environment can change, they won’t change or alter the gene, but they will change the end result,” Wells said.

Still, $300 and a spit test later, Pursley said, in a way, these reports confirmed what she already knew.

“It feels like a lot of an overview, not as personalized as I want it to be maybe," she said.

However, she also found the whole process very encouraging.

“I think once I opened it I started to think, OK, they gave me this info that I wanted,” Pursley said. “I feel very motivated by it. I think maybe it’s because we took the time to do something like this that showed me information and I feel motivated.”

Because Pursley’s kit was purchased in the United States, DNAFit said her genetic testing was done in the U.S. However, the dietitian we spoke to via Skype was in South Africa. DNAFit said if you buy the kit in the U.S., you’ll likely have a consultation with someone in South Africa or the United Kingdom.

They also said it's their mission to keep customer data safe and secure, and the company was recently awarded an ISO27001/02 certification, a globally recognized standard for data protection and management.

Pursley's kit was purchased through an online genetics services app called Helix. Through Helix, customers can purchase genetic testing, which is done in United States, and then store their results digitally with the app. Then, in the future, the customer can purchase a number of other apps, and Helix will populate that app with the customer's genetic information; in this case, this results in the DNAFit reports being formed.

Read more:

New health diet plan focuses on DNA-attuned choices and actions

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