About genetics and genomics
1What are chromosomes?
The chromosomes are small filamentary structures, composed of DNA, present in the nucleus of almost all eukaryotic cells.
2What is a gene?
The gene is a DNA sequence that controls the transmission of an hereditary nature.
3All people have genetic variants?
Yes, otherwise we would be all the same: same eyes, same hair color, same voice, same way of metabolizing food, and so on. Genetic variants contribute to make each person unique.
4Genetic variants cause disease?
In most cases, the genetic variants are not per sé cause of disease. Genetic variants may entail an increased risk for the development of a disease or a metabolic decompensation following exposure to unfavorable environmental factors such as a not adequate diet, lack of physical activity or the smoke.
5What is Preventive Medicine?
Preventive medicine, through genetic testing, allows the identification of a predisposition towards diseases or disorders. Being aware of the predisposition to a certain "unfavorable condition" before they manifest the symptoms is to have a powerful weapon for prevention. Preventive medicine is therefore useful to all people who want to be informed about their genetic characteristics. Once informed about its peculiarities, you can take effective lifestyle adjustments, dietary and possibly personalized care, prescribed by your doctor and / or specialist, to prevent them.
6I do some sports: what benefits can be drawn from a genetic test?
You can plan your training, your nutrition and improve your performance. Moreover, you can reduce risks of muscle, tendon, ligament and bone injuries.
7I currently have no health problems: the test can tell me if I get sick or suffer from some pathology in the future?
No. The test can tell your predisposition to some specific diseases and / or disorders, but it can not tell you whether or not they will develope. AIDNA test can help you to change your lifestyle, in order to maintain or improve your health.
8Where can I buy genetic tests?
The tests are not purchased directly by patients. You must contact one of our professionals and request tests.
9A saliva sample is really enough to study my genome?
Certainly. Your DNA is present in almost every cell of your body, that is why DNA analysis can be successfully performed on saliva. The saliva sample is a simple, fast and non-invasive: it is based on the removal of flaking cells of oral mucosa using a swab which is rubbed inside of the cheek.
10What do you do to ensure my privacy?
The saliva sample is identified with a bar code and ensure the highest degree of anonymity throughout the process: from analysis of the DNA to reporting.
11A child may do a test?
Yes. With the parents' consent.
12What kind of information provided in the report?
The report contains information about your genetic predispositions, and provides accurate advice to reduce undesirable effects and improve your health.
13What genetic types of tests you can submit?
Tests can be classified broadly into three categories: genetic genealogy tests, so-called recreational tests and health-related tests.
14What are the genetic genealogy test?
Genetic Genealogy is the evolution of traditional genealogy, which allows us to reconstruct the history of their family. A genetic genealogy testing explores their DNA to discover distant relatives on the basis of the similarity of the genetic code. You can also get an idea of the areas of the world they came from our ancestors, and - with a little 'luck - discovered to be related with some famous character of the past.
15What are the recreational test?
This category includes many genetic tests that have nothing to do directly with our health. It is the category in which it is easier to find dishonest operators, which offer DNA tests can predict non-existent things: the sensitivity of the bitter taste, eye and hair color, freckles, memory and more.
16What are the health test?
This group contains a lot of different tests. The main ones are the nutrigenetics tests, pharmacogenomics tests, tests for carrier status and predictive tests. The nutrigenetics tests begin to be quite common here in Italy, and offer the ability to customize their diet and their lifestyle by adapting them to the genetic profile. The pharmacogenomic tests should enable us to know our optimal dose for some categories of drugs: the same amount of drugs could be insufficient for a person and toxic to another, depending of the genes. Tests for dealing with recessive hereditary disease carrier status, such as Mediterranean anemia and cystic fibrosis. This type of analysis is often done on couples who wish to have a child, in order to avert the possibility that this has the inherited disease a "bad" allele from the mother and one from their father. The predictive tests, finally, are based on genome-wide association studies in which the genomes of large groups of people sick are compared with those of healthy individuals, with the aim of highlighting punctiform variants (SNPs) present with greater frequency in the patient group, and therefore potentially associated with the pathology.
17Predictive genetic tests work?
These tests have great limits, it is useless to hide. The examined variants were chosen because previous scientific studies they have seen over-represented in individuals with a certain disease, and in many cases it is a pure statistical association often do not know why, at the molecular level, the specific variant should contribute to the onset of a disease. Moreover, genomic research is constantly changing, so the same genetic variant that now seems to have a null effect, tomorrow could prove decisive. There is also the ethnic discourse: it is said that a SNP produces the same effects in a European and an Asian, because this effect can be modulated by the genomic context, which in turn depends on the population concerned. All these factors limit the usefulness of predictive tests, at least in many cases it is important to be aware of these limits. However, they will provide a way to pinpoint the weaknesses and the strengths of our genetic code, and thus enable us to forecast small changes in lifestyle to be discussed with a professional. They are also a good workout to get ready at the time (hopefully near) where genetics can really be predictive of our health.
18What does direct-to-consumer (DTC) mean?
DTC is a code indicating a selling arrangement of a genetic test that does not require the mediation of a doctor or a genetic counselor: the user purchases the service (usually the Internet), receives a kit to collect DNA from send the item back and then receives the test results with the interpretations. Of course, genetic testing direct-to-consumer are not suitable for everyone: for dealing peacefully the results you must be aware of genetic test limitations, have the genetic basics and not be a person psychologically fragile. If you think you do not have these characteristics, genetics do-it-yourself is not suitable for you.
19What is the difference between genotyping and sequencing?
Genotyping is the technique used for all the tests previously discussed, and is to detect which genetic variant you have in precise positions of the genome: it's usually change a single letter of the code (SNP), but you can also locate other types of changes as small insertions or deletions. The sequencing of the genome, however, is the complete reading of all the genetic code. The advantages of a fully sequenced genome are, among others, the fact of having to do it only once in the life and the possibility to discover particular changes of the code that are beyond the genotyping. However, the price of sequencing a genome, albeit gradually decreasing, is still too high for the useful information that we can get there.
20Inside DNA is written our destiny?
Absolutely not. With rare exceptions, the diseases have never one genetic cause: many genes contribute to determining the susceptibility to a disease, and in most cases these genes do not even know them all. Moreover, even knowing all the genetic factors from first to last, there is always the environmental component that has enormous importance. Depending on our lifestyle, our diet, the place where we live and our experiences, these genetic factors can be activated or silenced. The genes load the gun, but it is the environment that pulls the trigger.
About microbiota and SYMBYO tests
1What is the microbiota?
The microbiota is the community of microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi) that lives in symbiosis with us. Microbiota is unique for each person. We have gut, genital, oral, ocular and skin microbiota.
2What is the gut microbiota?
The gut microbiota is the community of microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi) that live in our gastrointestinal tract Gut microbiota is different for each person.
3What are the microorganisms that live in symbiosis with us and why do we need them?
The microorganisms that live in symbiosis with us are precious allied for our health. Between microorganisms and human organisms a mutual relationship is established: microorganisms depend on humans to survive but, in return, microorganisms help to modulate the immune system and inhibit the development of pathogens.
4Are diseases related with microbiota?
Scientific studies have shown that the microbiota plays a fundamental role in many human diseases, gastrointestinal diseases (including cancers of the digestive system), immune disorders, obesity, thyroid problems, metabolic syndrome, diabetes as well as mood problems and autism.
5The microbiota is the same for all humans?
No. Each of us has its own enterotipe and its own microorganisme community.
6What is enterotipe?
The intestinal bacterial community of humans can be grouped into three main groups. Each enterotipe has certain features and they are correlated to diet and lifestyle habits.
7What can you do to have a healthy microbiota?
You can feed "good" bacteria every day with food, diet and lifestyle. You should also be careful not to damage it, for example, antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors may alter microbiota balance.
8What is dysbiosis?
Intestinal dysbiosis is an alteration of the intestinal flora.
9Can Symbyo gut be considered a food intolerance test?
Yes, if we think that sometimes the cause of food allergies is precisely the intestinal inflammation. Many times you can solve your intolerance problems by solving your dysbiosis. No, if you want to know which food is bad for you.
10When it is useful to take Symbyo gut test?
It can be useful for prevention, if you want to check gut inflammation or gut infection. Symbyo gut is also useful if you have insulin resistance problems, slow basal metabolism, autoimmune diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, food intolerances, irritable bowel syndrome, cardiovascular problems or suspected sensitivity to gluten. Symbyo gut report gives you a precise analysis of your bacterial community and tailored advice in order to solve your problems.
11Where can I buy Symbyo gut?
You must contact one of our professionals and request tests
12A simple stool sample is enough to study my gut microbiota?
The bacteria that live in symbiosis with you in your intestines can be found in your stool. We use an IVD CE kit which guarantees the stability of the sample for 14 days at room temperature. We have to remember that some bacteria reside in the mucosa or upper intestine. These bacteria are poorly represented in the stool sample; anyway the report is designed considering this aspect. Stool sample is a simple and noninvasive method that allows you to get an overview of your eubiosis or intestinal dysbiosis.
13How do you guarantee my privacy?
A bar code is used to identify the stool sample and ensure the highest degree of anonymity throughout the process: from analysis to reporting.
14A child can do the Symbyo gut?
Yes. With the parents' consent.
15What kind of information are provided in the report?
The report contains an analysis of your gut microbiota (bacterial community only) and offers recommendations to improve the state of intestinal eubiosis and improve your health.
16Which of the microbiota types of tests you can submit?
It is currently active only Symbyo gut: analysis of gut microbiota. Other tests are work-in-progress.
What are salivary hormones and why use HORMON
1What are hormones?
Hormones are molecules that act as messengers and aim to coordinate all our physiological functions. Hormones are synthesized inside the glands and through the blood they reach their target cells, which can be found even in places far away from where they are produced.
2Why a salivary hormone test?
Lipophilic hormones in the blood circulate mainly bound to proteins (in conjugated form), while in saliva they are predominantly present in their free form. The free altitude corresponds to the bioavailable part of the hormones. The analysis on saliva represents, therefore, an index of hormonal activity more accurate and also more easily measurable than the same free concentration of the same hormones in the serum.
3Benefits of a salivary hormone test?
An important advantage of saliva is determined by the fact that its collection does not require an invasive and stressful procedure, such as blood sampling, a condition that makes it particularly suitable for children or those who are afraid of needles.
4What are the hormones examined?
The following are the hormones that are analyzed on saliva samples: Cortisol (up to 4 times a day), Melatonin (up to 4 times a day), DHEAS- Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate, Testosterone (up to 2 times during training), Estradiol, Progesterone, Leptin, Insulin.
5What are the effects of hormonal imbalance?
Hormonal imbalance can play an important role in the presence of many physical and mental disorders, although an accurate assessment of these profiles is rarely considered.
6Why only some salivary hormones?
It is possible to dose only some saliva hormones since, to date, validation studies have been carried out on the range ranges corresponding to the values obtained from analysis on blood, only for some hormones.
7Why make the withdrawal at different times of the same day?
Hormone levels vary greatly even within 24 hours. Cortisol and Melatonin are a typical example: normally in the morning Melatonin is low and Cortisol high, while in the evening Melatonin should be high and Cortisol low.
8How many times can I take the test in a year?
How many times do you want, even several times in the same month, it depends on what you want to analyze. For information ask a professional.