We all want to take better care of our health but what is becoming more and more apparent is that our individual genetics play a significant role in how our bodies are likely to change over time and in how they react to nutrients and exercise. And none of this has to be a mystery anymore. At-home DNA testing allows us to have a window into the genetic building blocks of our bodies and how they are likely to change over time and in response to environmental triggers. Lifebrain is one company that offers a wide range of these types of genetic tests.
What about the company?
Lifebrain is based in Italy and was founded in 2013 by Professor Michael Havel and Dr. Bernard Aver. They have 360 laboratories throughout Italy that offer in-person testing for a wide range of health conditions, including Covid-19. In terms of their DNA testing, they use online testing via Life DNA.
What about the tests?
The Lifebrain DNA testing comes under three categories: health and wellness, intestinal wellbeing, predictive genetic testing, nutrigenetics, and sport/performance. Some of this testing can be completed from home by sending off a mouth swab, but others need to be completed at one of the Lifebrain testing centers.
Life DNA test for health and wellness
These DNA tests are completed at home. You will be sent a kit that contains a mouth swab and return envelope (as well as instructions). You take a DNA sample from the inside of your mouth using the swab and send it back to Lifebrain for testing.
Anti-aging genetic test
The anti-aging genetic test examines cellular aging, including oxidative stress and detoxification, skin elasticity, and inflammatory response. You can also order each of these tests separately.
Weight gain genetic test
This test can give you your genetic predisposition to weight gain based on nine different genes (including the FTO “obesity” gene) that are related to how your body metabolizes sugar and lipids.
Homocysteine genetic test
This test shows you your genetic predisposition to high homocysteine levels in your blood. These high levels are a risk factor for various health conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, stroke, thrombosis, fertility problems, and some autoimmune conditions.
Bone health genetic test
With this test, you can find out if you have the genetic markers for osteoporosis and genes related to joint weakness and the inflammatory response.
Life DNA test for intestinal wellbeing
This testing needs to be carried out at one of Lifebrain’s labs because it uses samples of your fecal matter to identify the balance of microbiota in your intestines using second-generation genetic testing.
Predictive genetic testing
Some of these tests can be carried out using either a mouth swab or blood collection, but other tests only require blood collection. These tests are carried out in person at a Lifebrain center in either case. They aren’t diagnostic tests, but they can tell you if you are at increased risk of developing certain health conditions.
Coeliac genetic test
This can be carried out using a mouth swab or a blood test, and it looks for the presence of the HLADQ2/DQ8 genes, which are both risk factors for the development of coeliac disease.
You will need to provide a blood sample for this test. It looks for mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which increase your risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.
Thrombophilia genetic test
You will also need to provide a blood sample for this test. It looks at your genetic tendency to form clots that block blood vessels (thrombophilia). These clots can increase your risk of developing severe health conditions such as thrombosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, certain pregnancy complications.
Lactose genetic test
You can either use a mouth swab or a blood sample for this test. It looks at variations in the LCT gene, which demonstrate your genetic predisposition to lactose intolerance.
Life DNA test for nutrigenetics
You can order these tests online to your home, and they include a mouth swab which you use to take a DNA sample and is then sent back to Lifebrain. They examine your genetic risk factors for intolerance or sensitivity to a range of different substances.
- Genetic lactose intolerance
- Genetic intolerance to gluten and coeliac disease
- Nickel sensitivity and intolerance
- Caffeine sensitivity and intolerance
- Alcohol sensitivity and intolerance
Life DNA test for sports and performance
These tests are also carried out at home using a mouth swab. They look at the different ways that your body responds to nutrition and exercise to better plan your training and lifestyle.
- Active metabolism test
- Sport and performance genetic test
- Performance and injury genetic test
What do the customers think?
There are few reviews available for Lifebrain specifically, but there are many reviews for Life DNA genetic testing. It has an average of 2.5 out of 5 stars on Facebook and 4 out of 5 stars (“Great”) on Trustpilot.
The negative reviews mainly center around potentially inaccurate and/or vague test results (although the company responds that most of their testing is not diagnostic and only looks at genetic risk) as well as an inability to contact customer service. Conversely, positive reviews tend to focus on how valuable the insights are about the individual’s health and on the helpfulness of the customer service team.
Lifebrain Pros and Cons
- A wide range of different types of tests is available
- Results come back quickly
- The results can be vague
- It can be difficult to reach customer service
To wrap up
With the development of DNA testing, we have a never-before-seen opportunity to delve into what makes our bodies work. With the in-depth testing available from Lifebrain, you can look at your genetic risk factors for a range of health conditions, as well as understand your body’s sensitivity to different substances and how your genetics affect how you should approach your athletic training.
Most tests can be ordered online and completed by sending your DNA sample back by post, and the results can be shared with your health providers to provide further insight into your healthcare needs. They can also help you plan your lifestyle in the way that suits your genetics the best (as futuristic as that sounds!).