One of the industry sponsors at this year’s SDA Conference was myDNA, an Australian company offering genetic testing focused on nutrition.
I was curious to get my DNA sampled and compare myDNA’s report with the one I got from DNAFit. I met a couple of representatives from the company and they were kind enough to give me a complimentary kit.
The kit is fairly simple to use. In essence, you just need to rub a cotton bud against the inside of your cheek, put it in a tube and send it off. It doesn’t say in the package, but in uni we were told not to drink or eat anything 2 hours prior to sampling.
I got a confirmation email when my sample was received (5 days after I mailed it) and another one when my report was ready (12 days after the sample was received). My original intention was to do a detailed comparison between DNAFit and myDNA but, unfortunately, they had little in common. Below is a table summarizing the main differences.
|Optimal diet plan||Yes (name only)||Yes (detailed)|
|Serving sizes for meals||N/A||Yes|
|Sample meal plans||N/A||Yes|
|Fitness analysis||Yes||N/A (this option has been added recently)|
|Analysed items||Optimal diet type
Carbohydrate & saturated fat sensitivity
Personal vitamin & micronutrient needs
Salt, alcohol & caffeine sensitivity
|Weight & appetite
Body size & weight regain
Cholesterol & triglyceride levels
Fatty acids processing
|Number of genes tested||38||7|
There are ~30,000 genes in the human genome and, therefore, it is hard for different companies to agree in which genes to test. I could only find 2 genes in common between the 2 reports, and one of them (FTO, analysed under fat sensitivity – weight management by DNAFit and weight & appetite by myDNA) had different results (AT vs TT allele). It certainly makes me wonder how big is the margin of error in these tests.
The other discrepancy that caught my eye was the optimal diet that was recommended for my genetic makeup: Mediterranean according to DNAFit and lower carb (omega-3 rich) by myDNA. While a Mediterranean style diet is certainly omega-3 rich, it doesn’t quite fit myDNA’s specs for the diet suggested by myDNA (i.e. 20% of energy intake from fats). By trial and error I have found that I respond better to a lower carb, higher fat diet, but would be willing to try the recommended meal plans just for fun.
Below is a brief summary of the pros and cons of myDNA.
- Simple to use
- Your sample gets processed in Australia (hence, it’s faster)
- Target macronutrient intake and sample meal plan (with several options per meal) for weight loss and weight maintenance
- Affordable ($99)
- Only a handful of genes tested
- Possible lack of accuracy when compared to other genetic tests
- Focus on weight loss/fat metabolism and not on food sensitivities
Want to learn more? Head to myDNA’s website.