Back in my 20s, I was obese with a drinking problem and no interest in my health. I finally sorted myself out, losing 100 lbs / 45kg and becoming obsessive about my health and fitness.

Due to my former poor lifestyle choices, my newfound love for health and fitness has always left me a bit paranoid about what damage I may have done or any underlying issues that a healthy lifestyle may not fix.

Over the years, I have reviewed many health products, including smart scales, blood pressure monitors, ECG machines, blood testing services and even smart urine analysis. Many of these are useful for identifying things that you currently have an issue with. If you identify a problem early enough, it will be much easier to resolve and less likely to cause permanent issues. 

But what if you could identify health-related issues before they even happen? Allowing you to take preventative measures to avoid these problems ever occurring.

One health screening service that has become popular in recent years is genotyping and DNA sequencing. DNA tests or genome testing can be used for ancestry information, or in this case, the whole genome sequencing offered by Dante Labs can be used to identify predispositions to common diseases caused by your genetic variants.

Concerns / Warnings About Customer Service and Turn Around Time

Please accept my apologies. I wrote this article before realising that Dante Labs has quite a bad reputation, with a score of 1.8 on Trust Pilot from nearly 1300 reviews, with 75% of them being 1-star.

The main problem appears to be the turnaround times.

Most of the negative reviews on Trust Pilot are in relation to fit-to-fly tests for Covid, so these are not very relevant but an indication of the quality of service the company provides.

For the MyGenome tests, they seem to have the same poor customer service. One Trust Pilot review states he has been waiting 13 weeks with no results, it should be 8 weeks. The DanteLabs Reddit community is rife with complaints, one user has been waiting 4 months with the results still stuck in quality control. One user stated it took 5 months! Which is ridiculous.

It does look like people get them eventually and I do still like the idea of using tests like this to try and give you insight into your genetic predispositions.

I am not saying don’t use them, but do so at your own risk and knowing that it could take up to 6 months to get the results.

Whole Genome Sequencing vs Genotyping

Not all DNA tests are the same. Many popular options will do something called genotyping, whereas Dante Labs does whole genome sequencing.

Genotyping only looks at certain parts of your genome, and the number of parts it analyses is dependent on the SNP chip that is used for the test. This is why some services update their service over time and will try to make you pay for more tests because they need to run the genotyping using a newer SNP chip.

For whole genome sequencing, this technique is capable of determining the complete nucleotide sequence of whole genomes. It will look at known and unknown sequence variants, and the amount of data it produces is huge compared to genotyping. Traditionally, the cost of doing this was exorbitant, but Dante Labs labs now have an affordable solution.

One analogy for these two methods is:

Genotyping is like reading some known words, randomly on a page or book while sequencing is like reading the whole sentence or book.

Genome Sequencing Caveats

DNA testing services are not perfect. These generalised services basically look at genetic variations that are common for certain health-related issues.

DNA testing like this is not intended to diagnose any disease or condition.

It doesn’t mean you will definitely suffer from any particular condition. Lifestyle and environmental factors will often play a large role in many conditions. These tests can be useful to prompt you to make positive lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of any predispositions.

Back when DNA testing started to gain traction for consumers wanting to identify health risks, there was a bit of backlash as these tests can highlight a predisposition to things like Parkinson’s disease. This can be quite a traumatic thing to find out hence why there was some backlash. But, finding out this information allows you to take proactive measures to reduce the risks and will hopefully make you quicker to seek treatment should you experience some of the symptoms.

You should speak with a doctor about anything that concerns you.

It is worth noting that Danta Labs does have some advanced tests, including a rare disease health package which sequences the base in the genome 30 times, increasing the accuracy and reliability of the results. This is then used to diagnose rare diseases, which are often caused by genetic mutations that are difficult to identify using other methods.

MyGenome Whole Sequencing Test

The Dante Labs MyGenome test analyses 100% of your DNA, which will then give you genetic predispositions to over 100 common diseases as well as a nutrition and scientific fitness report.

Because this test analyses your entire genome, you will never need to do another DNA test like this again. Danta Labs provides you access to your full genomic data, and you can use this how you wish.

Due to the amount of data and all the possible conditions that can be identified, the MyGenome test includes four general but comprehensive reports covering health, wellness, fitness and nutrition.

You then have the option to pay for more than 100 additional reports, which cover a wide range of conditions and predispositions that are more specific to your personal requirements.

As science advances, you will then be able to gain access to any new data or additional panels.

The sample is taken using an innovative at-home collection kit which you then send back to the lab.

Included Reports

As part of the MyGenome Whole Sequencing Test, you get four separate reports. While these are generalised, each report is extensive. So you will have plenty of data to digest even without the additional reports. 

Health and Risk Panel

You can download sample reports on the MyGenome product page

The main health and disease risk report includes many of the big conditions and disorders that people want to know about with these things.

Examples include a predisposition to Parkinson’s disease, breast and prostate cancer, insulin resistance, pulmonary fibrosis, coronary artery disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Wellness Report

This report focuses on general wellness, and this report is a good example of how DNA tests are not really diagnosing anything but giving you an early warning allowing you to adjust your lifestyle to avoid potential issues.

Some of the traits highlighted in this report include:

  • Blood flow and predisposition to headaches
  • Effect of appetite on waist circumference
  • Panic disorder
  • Motion sickness
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Effect of caffeine on sleep

Scientific Fitness Report

The fitness report has interesting training data because it can highlight genetic strengths and weaknesses, for example, if you have genetic variants that make you better at endurance or sprints. In reality, these genetic advantages will likely only have a significant impact on high-level athletes. The quality of training, diet and recovery will play the biggest role for all normal people.

The injuries section may be more useful as this will prewarn you of conditions such as a propensity to the development of arthritic problems, knee osteoarthritis and various tendon injuries.

Similarly, the diet and metabolism sections may give you some insight into areas that you might struggle with and how best to minimise these problems. Things like glucose tolerance and lipid metabolism, risk of being overweight and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes are things many people are concerned about (or should be).

Nutrigenetic Report

This report shares some issues raised in the fitness report, such as lipid metabolism regulation and if you have an increased risk of obesity. Again, it provides a lot of useful data that can help guide you into making healthy decisions based on your personal genetic predispositions.

Additional Reports

Beyond the general reports that you receive, you can optionally pay for additional reports. At the time of writing, there are 100+ reports to choose from, and these all cost £29 each.

You don’t have to buy these reports when you order the MyGenome test, you can choose to buy them later on, and the report should be available within 24 hours (because they have already done the time-consuming work).

There are too many additional reports for me to cover, but I have highlighted the three that piqued my interest.

Cardiovascular Panel

With my interest in fitness, getting more information on any cardiovascular issues would be important for me.

This panel looks at:

  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
  • Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia, Familial
  • Timothy syndrome
  • Hypertriglyceridemia

Metabolic Panel

The metabolic panel is a comprehensive panel that tests for genetic variants associated with a wide range of metabolic disorders, including amino acid disorders, organic acid disorders, and fatty acid oxidation disorders.

The main conditions this tests for is:

  • Maple syrup urine disease
  • Gaucher disease
  • Niemann-Pick disease
  • Tay-Sachs disease

Autism Panel

The autism panel is something of personal interest to me as I have been diagnosed with ASD. There is no blood or DNA test that can confirm someone has ASD, but it has been known for a long time that genes contribute to ASD. There are many environmental factors with ASD, including older parents, a difficult birth, or infections during pregnancy.

This panel states that:

This panel is particularly suitable for subjects presenting the typical manifestations of autism in order to identify any genetic mutations and choose the most appropriate interventions for each case. Some mutations linked to autism, in fact, can also lead to other pathological manifestations such as seizures.

The conditions they look at include:

  • Autism/Autism spectrum disorder
  • Autism X-Linked
  • Developmental Delay With Or Without Dysmorphic Facies And Autism
  • Developmental delay with variable intellectual impairment and behavioral abnormalities

Privacy / Genomic Data access

Another concern that has been raised with services such as this is privacy. Dante Labs appear to have an excellent privacy policy.

On their site, they state:

We strictly perform all our activity within the EU and the US. Other Whole Genome Sequencing companies send your samples to China.

We do not sell your data to anyone. Your data is only yours.

We are fully compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

We built a Cloud Database Infrastructure on Amazon Web Services (AWS) to guarantee you the highest level of security.

If you do not want us to keep your data (personal and genomic), we will delete your data. It is enough to request a personal data cancellation any time.

Price and Availability

The MyGenome Sequencing Test has an RRP of £400, but at the time of writing, it has a massive discount taking it to a very reasonable £199. The standard turnaround time for this is 8-weeks.

The additional reports all cost £29, and if the sequencing has been done, these should be available within 24 hours. 

 

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3 Comments

  1. Good morning,
    are you aware of the negative reviews the Dante labs are currently receiving at the Trustpilot site? Do you promote them without any fact-checking? Have you personally used their platform and can you comment on their customer service?

  2. In this article it was mentioned that the standard turnaround time for Dante Labs is 8 weeks. This is not the case. For the past twelve months, the standard turnaround time for Dante Labs has been between 24-28 weeks. Potential customers should be aware that Dante Labs is having trouble meeting demand, and will likely not return results for at least six months after purchase date.

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