What you should know about genetic testing

By Gordon Cohen MD PhD FACS, Chief Medical Officer at PRO Medical at PRO Club

SPONSORED — From linking family members to solving murders, at-home genetic testing is making waves in society today. With its convenient process and low price point, it is no wonder so many Americans are getting to know their genome. My patients often ask my opinion on at-home genetic tests, like those provided by 23andMe or AncestryDNA. I always tell them genetic testing is highly valuable, and I certainly recommend it. That said, at-home genetic testing and physician-guided genetic testing are very different.

At-home testing is really a shotgun approach to health – one that focuses less on disease and risk than it does on novelty items like your ancestral background or connecting you to undiscovered relatives. As we know, there are about 20,000 genes in the human body. Direct-to-consumer tests look at a couple hundred of those, giving a snapshot that, while interesting and even helpful, is not comprehensive. Nor is there support to help you do something with this data to make sustainable lifestyle changes.

Genetic tests directed by your physician are more focused and can offer reliable, critical information about how your body works. For instance, how your body may metabolize fat or how it reacts with different foods so you’ll know what foods work with your body and which foods you should avoid. It can provide direction on how to improve your genetic aging and ensure all of your cells are functioning optimally. Under the guidance of a physician, if you do appropriate genetic testing you can understand where your strengths and weaknesses are. A physician can also provide in-depth analysis of your unique genetic blueprint, to create and support a very personalized and actionable program for a healthy lifestyle.

Dr. Gordon Cohen is a physician at PRO Medical at PRO Club that offers a personalized genetic wellness program supported by a team of experts that includes physicians, registered dietitians, exercise physiologists, licensed psychologists, estheticians and medical spa providers. They translate your unique genetic blueprint and combine it with extensive clinical expertise that blends together education, nutrition, exercise, lifestyle coaching and medical supervision to create a personalized, actionable plan to take your health to another level.

For more information on personalized genetic testing at PRO Medical at PRO Club or the medically guided 20/20 Lifestyles program, visit PROClub.com or 20/20 Lifestyles.com.