Accuracy is king in the genetic testing world
With health-based testing, accuracy is one of the most important factors. When a test is giving you information about your health and promoting potentially large adjustments to your lifestyle in response, making sure those results are accurate is crucial.
Unfortunately, with how many different varieties and brands of health-based gene tests are on the market, it can be difficult to determine the accuracy of these tests and ensure you can fully trust the data you’re getting. While there are certainly accurate tests available, not all tests are created equal, and not all tests will give you truly accurate results.
But, there are a few ways you can assess the accuracy of a gene test before you take it and some key things to consider when researching which test you may want to take.
How to assess the accuracy of at-home genetic tests
The accuracy of a gene test really comes down to the detection of variants or mutations within your genes, and this can be difficult to do when you are looking at such a small percentage of your genetic makeup. After all, humans are 99.9% identical in our genetic makeup, making that .1% all the more important in evaluating our unique body makeup and needs.
When assessing how accurate a test really is, there are a few key factors to keep in mind, including:
- Is the company using best practices in storage, testing, and analyzing samples to ensure the accuracy of results?
- Is there a doctor or medical professional overseeing the analysis and interpretation of results?
- What’s the specific method being used to analyze your genes, and are they looking at genetic markers that are relevant to your desired outcome?
Accuracy versus completeness
In the world of gene testing, there’s a large difference between accuracy and completeness, and you really want your gene test to be both.
Accuracy is how good (or bad!) a test is at detecting variants or potential red flags in your DNA, but completeness comes into play when that variant is interpreted into a meaningful result with an actionable next step.
One of the biggest challenges our clients see with at-home gene testing before coming to 10X Health is that missing piece: completeness. It’s one thing to detect a mutation, but it’s another thing to know what that variant means and what issues it may be causing in relation to your health.
When researching gene tests and ultimately selecting one to take, make sure you’re assessing not just the accuracy but the “so what” that the test will provide.
Here at 10X Health, completeness is equally as important as accuracy, and we aim to provide our clients with not only the full picture of data but also help interpret what the data means and provide tangible actions to optimize your health. We also often recommend blood testing in conjunction with gene testing, because blood tests can help fill in the blanks that gene testing isn’t the best at capturing.
Picking the right genetic test for you
Outside of evaluating accuracy (and completeness!), make sure you’re thinking about what you really want to gain from a gene test while in the research phase. If you want a test that focuses more heavily on your ancestry or family history, make sure your test will deliver those results. If you’re interested in getting some general tidbits of information about your lifestyle based on your genetics, find a test that delivers on that info and maybe focuses on a more high-level view.
But, if you’re looking to get the most complete snapshot of your health to assess how your body is running and how it could run better, then 10X Health’s unique methylated gene test may be for you!
With our at-home gene test, our team of expert analysts looks at a specific set of enzymes and other biomarkers in your genes to evaluate the effectiveness of your methylation cycle, which is a crucial part of your body’s ability to detox, generate energy, repair damage, and more.
Ready to get a deep-dive snapshot of your health? Order your at-home genetic test from 10X Health today, and get started on your health journey with your personalized health optimization roadmap.