SelfDecode-Review

SelfDecode Review: Comprehensive DNA Testing

There is a lot of confusing information out there about how your genes affect your health, and I have been trying to find the best solution to help my clients make sense of their genetic information

… and with the SelfDecode genetic reports, I think I have found the best solution.

This SelfDecode review will give you the pros and cons of genetic testing, some good cheaper alternatives to SelfDecode, and why if you want the best science-based genetic information, SelfDecode is the best option.

Why Do A Genetic Test Like Self Decode

A lot of people have heard of a gene called MTHFR, this is because there was a lot of information and research going on with this gene a few years ago, and people like Dr. Ben Lynch made this gene famous.

Initially, there was a lot of misinformation out there about MTHFR and methylation, with people finding out they had this gene mutation (I have it along with 30-40% of the rest of the world) and getting prescribed high doses of methyl folate by their doctors.

Sometimes this helped, but often it made things worse as you cannot just give a supplement based on one gene, there are many other genes that affect methylation, plus you don’t want to treat based on genes alone but also assess signs and symptoms and other test results.

Just because you have a genetic SNP that is not considered “normal” does not mean that it is going to lead to health issues - this is where epigenetics and your diet and lifestyle are going to have a big influence.

So Why do a Genetic Test?

While you would not base a treatment program just on someone’s genes it can help to determine what areas of your health to focus on, potential nutrient deficiencies, and also the best diet and foods for someone to eat.

For example, I have a family history of diabetes, so for many years I was eating a healthy version of a low carb/ high fat ketogenic diet: lots of vegetables but also generous amounts of saturated fats, because the whole idea of a high-fat diet causing heart disease had been proven wrong.

But through the SelfDecode gene test, I learned that I had a copy of the APOE4 gene, this is another well-studied gene that is strongly associated with Alzheimer’s and Cardiovascular disease. With the APOE4 gene, a high saturated fat diet is a bad idea!

So I have not switched to a low-fat diet but I have greatly reduced my saturated fats and now focus more on monounsaturated fats like olive oil. I have the gene for an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease but SelfDecode has given me the tools that I need with diet, lifestyle, and supplement suggestions to greatly reduce my risk of Alzheimer’s.

So a genetic test like SelfDecode can help to guide you on the best diet, supplements and lifestyle tips that may be most important to you - plus a guide on the best lab tests to do to find out exactly what is happening with your health.  

Briefly about Self Decode

SelfDecode is a company founded by Joe Cohen, who literally “biohacked” himself and has done experiments on himself to find a solution for his health problems. He managed to boost his own health through genetics and then focused on helping other people.

His services enable people find out what’s happening in their bodies on a biological level and what could help them restore health.

First, he created selfhacked.com and started publishing articles about health and biohacking. Then he founded SelfDecode to improve the health and quality of life of other people by analyzing their DNA.

How Does SelfCode Work?

  • Choose the plan that works for you and sign up for SelfDecode.
  • After signing up for SelfDecode, check out your email box and activate your account.
  • Then download the SNP file and wait a little bit for your report to be generated. 

Note: You can upload genetic data from most DNA analysis websites, including AncestryDNA, 23andMe. If you don’t have your genetic data, you can order a SelfDecode DNA Testing Kit.

 SelfDecode

Pros and Cons of SelfDecode

 Benefits-of-SelfDecode

Pros

  • Detailed and easy to understand genetic reports explaining how specific genes may impact your health levels
  • Personalized health recommendations based on your health risks
  • Numerous blog posts on different health-related topics that contain your personalized SNP table
  • Privacy-focused approach (secured data encryption, payment processing by trusted companies)
  • Working on new features that could help people with interpretation and understanding of their genes

Cons

  • No ancestry or genealogy reports
  • If you want additional reports, it may get pricey

Review of SelfDecode Products

DNA Wellness Reports

SelfDecode reports explain the function of different genes, analyze your DNA, and tell you in case there is an elevated risk of developing this or that health condition.  Also, each report is easy to read and understand and will contain recommendations based on your genotype. 

These gene-based recommendations will help you adjust your diet and make some important lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of a certain condition. You can also easily share this data with your doctor in order to get answers to all your medical issues.

As the SelfDecode member you’ll receive:

  • The Health Overview DNA Wellness Report
  •  5 specialized reports that you can choose on your own

Note: When you renew your annual subscription, you’ll get five more specialized reports. If you need an additional report, you can get it for $29 or you may also order a pack of three reports for $65. 

Depending on your health issues and , and health-related goals, you can choose from the following types of reports based on your genotype:

  • Inflammation - detects the risks of developing inflammatory conditions such as bone inflammation, brain disorders, respiratory, skin and digestive problems
  • Cardiovascular - detects the risks of developing cardiovascular disorders such as congestive heart failure, stroke, etc
  • Sleep - shows how genes influence the quality of sleep and increase the risks of certain sleep disorders
  • Vitamins - explains how genes affect the way your body absorbs vitamins A (carotenoids and retinol), B9, B12, C, D, E, K
  • Minerals - explains how your genes affect levels of Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Zinc
  • Mood - explains how genes affect your mental health and emotional balance
  • ApoE - interpretation of your ApoE genotype
  • Fitness -  explains your response to exercise and detects risks of exercise-related injury
  • Cognitive function - explains how genes affect your cognitive function
  • MTHFR gene - interpretation of rs1801133 & rs1801131 genotype
  • Longevity - shows how genes affect longevity, cell growth and DNA repair
  • Thyroid - shows if you’re predisposed to thyroid issues (Hypothyroidism, Graves’ Disease, Hashimoto’s Disease, etc)
  •  Covid-19 - shows how vulnerable you’re to the virus
  • Gut Health - helps detect the risk of IBS, Celiac Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease
  • BRCA - detects the risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer
  • TP53 gene - helps find out about risk of cancer
  • Body weight - shows whether genes impact your body weight and metabolism

The Health Overview DNA Wellness Report 

The first overview report contains analysis of traits and genes associated with them. The report will cover the following categories: vitamin processing, eating habits (milk in your coffee, experience of eating), fitness and fat burning abilities, and cognitive function.

 The-Health-Overview-DNA-Wellness-Report-by-SelfDecode

Then in the report you’ll find detailed recommendations based on your genotype and health risks.

The Specialized Genetic Reports 

The specialized reports provide important insights into your health risks. For instance, if you notice difficulty losing weight, your genes can play an important role in this. Even the elevated risk of depression can be detected by analysis of your genes. You may be genetically-predisposed to many diseases, the sooner you find out about this the better. 

If you are aware of your potential health risks, you may implement some necessary lifestyle changes and diet adjustments in order to reduce the risk of disease and prevent complications. 

Here is the example of recommendations I’ve got from SelfDecode report:

Personalized-Health-Recommendations-from-Gut-Health-Report-by-SelfDecode

Personalized Genetics Blog

Personalized-Genetics-Blog-Based-on-Your-Genetic-Data

The SelfDecode blog is not just an average blog with articles on health-related topics. The content and recommendation in each blog post change based on your genetic data. In order to get access to your Personalized SNP Table and personalized suggestions, you just have to sign up and upload your genetic data. 

Each blog post is written by research scientists, physician scientists, people who acquired knowledge in genetics, biology, pharmacology, neuroscience, molecular microbiology, biophysics and bioinformatics.

‘Health Categories’ Experimental Feature 

Health Categories is another interesting option provided by SelfDecode. You can choose a different category and find out more about your gut health, mental health, susceptibility to addiction, drug response, and many more.

Health-Categories-Feature-by-SelfDecode

These are the main categories, you may look through to get some extra details on your health risks based on your genetic data:

  • Lifestyle
  • Diet
  • Nutrition
  • Response to Toxins
  • Methylation
  • Aging
  • Addiction potential
  • Drug Response
  • Disease risk

Symptoms & Conditions Analyzer

This is another useful tool you may use to find out what genes are responsible for the symptoms and conditions you have. All you need to do is type symptoms or conditions into the search box, click ‘Analyze’ and check out the report with genes that influence your health levels.

Symptoms-Conditions-Analyzer-by-SelfDecode


Lab Test Analyzer

Lab_Test_Analyzer_by_SelfDecode.

SelfDecode’s Lab Test Analyzer is another great tool to find out whether your lab markers are within optimal ranges or not. As soon as you upload your lab test results, you’ll receive easy-to-understand reports and recommendations on your diet, supplementation, and lifestyle changes.

You can also export your reports in PDF to share them with your doctor.

Alternatives to SelfDecode

 Alternatives-to-SelfDecode

Genetic Genie

Genetic Genie is a free DNA data analysis service. Absolutely anyone can use it to learn more about  DNA genetic variants and health risks. It works simply, you just upload your raw DNA data, wait a few seconds and get access to the information such as genetic conditions, drug response, rare mutations, uncommon mutations, and other risks.

  • Compared to SelfDecode, it’s a little bit basic, yet useful for people eager to learn more about DNA genetic variants. It can also come in handy for researchers and students learning about genetic conditions.

Found My Fitness 

Found My Fitness is another great platform for analysis of your genes. You can also find a lot of useful videos, podcasts and articles.

When you upload your DNA data, just wait 5 minutes and your comprehensive report will be generated. The genetic report will include different specialized reports:

  • Circadian Report 
  • Cholesterol Report 
  • ApoE Report
  •  Longevity Report 
  • Methylation Report 
  • Telomere Report 
  • Fitness Report 
  • Metabolism Report 
  • Micronutrient Report 
  • Viral Report
  • The only problem is that it covers a limited amount of genes. With SelfDecode, you will have a more detailed report.

Stratagene 

Stratagene focuses on well-researched clinically relevant genes. It shows how genetic polymorphisms work and interact with your diet, lifestyle and environment. 

Additionally, you’ll find a lot of useful content and learn about things like methylation, practical application of methylation and epigenetics, and how to approach SNPs.

  • As for the disadvantages, it assesses a limited number of genes and it is a slightly pricey option.

MTHFR Support 

MTHFR Support is one more popular option, it works as simple as the other solutions for analyzing your genes. You just upload your raw genetic data from 23andMe or AncestryDNA to Sterling’s App,and wait a bit for your detailed report to be created. The report will contain SNPs that may negatively influence your health. It will cover the following sections:

  • Eye health
  • Detox
  • Tongue tie/cleft palate
  • Methylation
  • Allergy/mold
  • IgE, IgA, IgG, 
  • Clotting disorders
  • Thyroid 
  • Tongue tie/cleft palate
  • Celiacs/gluten intolerance
  • Mitochondrial function 
  • Sulfonotransferase genes
  • The main drawback of MTHFR Support is that it provides genetic reports with the information on some genes that don’t have science-based evidence showing they affect your health, plus no actionable information.

Bottomline

SelfDecode is a great tool for health-focused people searching for ways to improve health. 

It will help you understand the way your body works better. The genetic report by SelfDecode won’t overwhelm you with a lot of complicated information. Each report has proper explanations and recommendations that you can understand without having PhD in genetics. 

Also, you can learn more from the personalized genetic blog. Other companies that provide genetic DNA testing, may not offer detailed recommendations based on your health risks, or simply cover only a limited number of genes. Also, some other DNA testing options can be quite expensive.

Therefore, if you are searching for an optimal solution to analyze your genes and their impact on your health, SelfDecode is the right choice.

About the Author Michael

Michael is head consultant at Planet Naturopath - Functional Medicine and Nutrition Solutions. As Seen

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