Outsmart Your Genes [Book Reviews]

Outsmart Your Genes

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Outsmart Your Genes: How Understanding Your DNA Will Empower You to Protect Yourself Against Cancer,Alzheimer's, Heart Disease, Obesity, and Many Other Conditions
By Jonathan Roseland

I'm not a doctor, medical professional, or trained therapist. I'm a researcher and pragmatic biohacking practitioner exercising free speech to share evidence as I find it. I make no claims. Please practice skepticism and rational critical thinkingYou should consult a professional about any serious decisions that you might make about your health. Affiliate links in this article support Limitless Mindset - spend over $150 and you'll be eligible to join the Limitless Mindset Secret Society.

Book ReviewPersonal genotyping is a Biohacking gamechanger

It gives you an ocean of actionable data about yourself - what kind of diet is ideal for you, how much coffee you should be drinking, how much Vitamin D you need to supplement, which vices you can flirt with and which you must absolutely avoid, if you should do endurance or power training in the gym, etc. And it lets you know which kind of life-ruining genetic conditions you might need a prevention plan for to enjoy a long life of beauty, joy, and meaning.

Personal genotyping gets complicated fast, so I recently read the book on personal genotyping, Outsmart Your Genes by Dr. Brandon Colby, and I learned some things about the common mistakes health-conscious, prevention-minded people make when it comes to personal genotyping. These are high-stakes mistakes with perhaps the ultimate consequence if you end up misinformed by the genotyping results you get.

1. Freaking out over red-flagged genes correlated to disease based on preliminary research

The real value of a personalized genetic report is the insight into the potential health disasters looming in your future; diabetes, Alzheimer's, cognitive decline, Glaucoma, Schizophrenia, mental health disorders, heart disease, and cancer.
We've all got some problematic genes. Some diseases are 100 percent genetic, and if you have one dominant or two recessive genes for one of these diseases you will most likely be affected by it to some degree.
What's crucial, however, is that we distinguish between preliminary and replicated research, in your genetic risk assessment. We don't want to freak out about a problematic allele if there's anything less than conclusive, replicated scientific research indicating that it may wreck your life. Sadly, not all personal genomics services provide the level of clarity needed in their reports.

2. Choosing anything less than whole genome sequencing

From the book

Full genome sequencing is the pinnacle of genetic testing technology. While other testing technologies have provided us with pieces of information, this is the method by which we are able to determine all 6 billion letters of your entire genetic makeup at a single time. Thanks to the latest advances in genetic testing technology, what took the Human Genome Project 13 years and almost $3 billion to accomplish we can now do in a few days or weeks...

Anything less and you're not getting the whole picture, which is what you really need if the genotyping is going to inform the lifestyle decisions you make for the rest of your (hopefully long) life.

3. Genetic analysis by unregulated or non-certified labs

it is very important for you to ensure that whatever laboratory the company uses has either CLIA or ISO- 15189 certification... which means it is regulated and certified by an independent federal agency. The most important thing for you to understand right now is that there is tremendous variability in the laboratories that offer genetic testing and that not all of them are regulated.

Not surprisingly, many services cut corners by getting the analysis done at labs that don't meet the highest standards. We've all heard horror stories about labs mixing up customer samples leading to dire misdiagnoses (or more humorously, men being told they are pregnant!) This is why you really don't want your genotyping done at a cut-rate lab.

4. Skimping on crucial variant analysis for rare diseases

This is a concern even with whole genome sequencing services...

One misrepresentation I’ve encountered quite often is that a company may advertise the number of genetic variants it tests for, but that doesn’t mean it uses them all in its analysis. For example, the company’s website or marketing materials might state, “We read more than 500,000 locations in your genome,” “We capture over 900,000 markers in the genetic code,” or “We test over 1 million places in your DNA,” but notice that the wording here (read, capture, and test) does not ever mention analyze in relation to disease risk.

If you're going to get your personal genotyping done you don't want to save $100 going with a service that omits the crucial analysis of a gene variant that may be linked to a rare form of cancer, for example. Dr. Colby concludes

The bottom line is that not all companies are able to test for and/ or analyze a large number of variants that are known to be associated with a disease. Even a personal genomics company that offers full genome sequencing (and therefore tests for all variants) may only use a very small amount of that information in its analysis of disease risk.

5. Pre-determination doom-mongering avoidance

Many don't like the idea of personal genotyping because they don't want to live their life in fear of an "inevitable" condition they might suffer from. But this is shallow, low-agency thinking, as almost every disease can be Biohacked and prevented. Dr. Colby writes

The most important piece of information to remember is that even if your genes predispose you to a disease, your total risk of contracting the disease is not set in stone... By predicting your future, you are empowered to change it.

When it comes to your genetic risk factors, ignorance is not bliss and the wages of ignorance may be decades of wholely preventable suffering leading to death.


After writing Outsmart Your Genes, Dr. Brandon Colby went on to found Sequencing.com, a genome sequencing platform, with regulated CLIA or CAP accredited labs, that analyzes 3 billion genetic variants for more than 15,000 rare diseases and critically distinguishes in its reports and on its Next-Gen Disease Screen app between preliminary and conclusive science when it comes to any problematic genes you may have. I also really like their Privacy Forever policy.

Category: Services

When you get your genetic analysis reports from them you can dive into the ocean of data about you, and you'll emerge with a pearl, the closest thing to a perfect prevention plan, that you can use to go on the offensive against the specific to the genetic risks you face.


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