Genetic Testing: Advantages and Limitations – Innovita Research

DNA testing has become one of the most valuable tools that humans can rely on to discover possible traits and limitations. Simply put, DNA is the code in our cells, the most complex and richest piece of information we have about our existence. Genetic testing helped us identify changes in chromosomes, proteins or genes that can further confirm a suspected genetic condition and establish an individual’s chances of developing a genetic disorder.

Before undergoing a DNA test it’s essential to be sure that the test is useful and valid.

This is usually determined by two main measures of accuracy such as clinical validity and analytical validity. Additionally, genetic testing is voluntary and has its limitations besides numerous advantages. This is truly based on its usefulness or clinical utility that delivers details about diagnosis, management, treatment or prevention that will be helpful to a patient. Since genetic testing has both risks and limitations, the choice about whether to be tested is an intricate and personal one.

Genetic testing in laboratory. Image source:, CC0 Public Domain

Genetic laboratory. Image source:, CC0 Public Domain

Predicts Genetic Potential

Various companies have developed research programmes to determine numerous traits such as educational attainment, height, or eye colour. Even though these can be attainable, genetic variations in individuals are far from simple. Genetic potential can be easily influenced by many different genes.

For instance, traits such as educational achievement and height are both highly heritable. Nonetheless, these traits are under the effect of thousands of genetic markers that have can have considerable effects on the trait. These genetic markers that are known to cause changes in traits are usually the rarest ones. For example, those genetic markers that are known to influence height, are known to exist in no more than 0.2% of the population.

Genetic prediction is already common practice, especially when it comes to traits. But even though these traits can be highly heritable, height and educational accomplishment are strongly influenced by the nutrition and parental educational potential, not just genes.

Brings You Closer to Your Roots

A DNA test can help individuals discover valuable insights about their heritage and connect with biological relatives. Genetic testing companies such as CRI Genetics may offer individuals a deeper connection to their roots offering results with 90% accuracy. Usually, a genetic ancestry testing, allows people interested in their family history to go beyond what they’ve learned from their relatives and historical documentation. This can provide valuable clues about where an individual’s ancestors might have come from and more details about the relationships between families.

For instance, variations in the Y chromosome, that is delivered entirely from father to son, can be used to discover ancestry in the direct male line, while the mitochondrial DNA testing can be used for both genders, and offers details about the female ancestral line. However, genetic ancestry testing also has several limitations besides its numerous advantages.

Usually, these tests are compared with other individuals’ test results from various databases of earlier tests, therefore the estimation of ethnicity may not be reliable. Additionally, because the human population had migrated and mixed numerous times with different groups, ethnicity results based on DNA testing may offer unexpected results. In other aspects, these combined results can be used to discover the history of the human population as they ascended, mixed with other groups and migrated.

Offers Warning for Kids at Risk for Type 1 Diabetes

Considered to be an autoimmune disease, type 1 diabetes usually appears during the early years but it can also develop in adults. There is no cure for diabetes but with suitable and disciplined care, those who face diabetes can live a long and healthy life. DNA testing plays a major role here, while those whose relatives have type 1 diabetes are usually at 6% risk of developing it.

Oftentimes this risk is higher when the relative that has type 1 diabetes, is the father or a sibling. In other cases, for those that have no family history of type 1 diabetes the risks are even under 0.5%. Since the risks of type 2 diabetes are half genetic and half unknown, genetic testing can’t do more than just eliminate the risks where children that have developed type 1 diabetes don’t know they have it, until they end up in the emergency room.

Gives Valuable Insights Towards a Healthier Life

Genetic testing promises to be the answer to a much-wanted weight and fitness. This is the newest trend for revealing the secrets to living a healthier life only by looking at the details in our DNA. For instance, tests such as wellness and traits testing offer details on other traits related to your overall health. This may include a natural “genetic weight”, a predisposition for addiction and sleep disorders.

People can make use of this information to establish a proper diet and lifestyle, but usually, they underestimate these results. For example, an individual can weight much less than an average person of the same age and sex, but his normal genetic weight is in fact 7% above average. That’s because genetics cannot offer exact information since the environment and lifestyle are the most important factors covered in this test.

Nutrition is another aspect covered by a DNA test, giving people actionable recommendations that allow them to live an easier and healthier life. Oftentimes, genetic testing offers individuals gene variants that are related to certain traits such as muscle tissue, gluten sensitivity, metabolism and nutrient abortion. These results are usually valuable but, but most of the times environmental and lifestyle influences matter the most. Genetic tests cannot prove diagnosis therefore, people should interpret the results carefully, and most ideally with the assistance of a genetic counsellor.

Since genetic data is the most personal information an individual can have, there is a lot to consider when interpreting test results. Moreover, it’s essential that individuals discuss any upsetting DNA health test results with a healthcare provider or a genetic counsellor rather than trying to understand or interpret the risks by themselves.