Surprising 23andMe test results

by Bella

It took a while, but the results are in and they weren’t what we expected.

You may notice that I blurred Jack’s legal name. There are too many whack-jobs out there, so I’m not giving too much away. You’ll just have to take my word for it that these are indeed his results.

Jack is 99.8% Northern European and most of that is English and Irish (76.7%). In a previous post I told you that Jack wanted to do the test for some insight into his unknown paternal line. Well, it looks like his Irish Catholic great-grandmother, though she was wild enough to be an unwed mother in 1920’s Australia, was only wild within her own ethnic group. That does help to narrow things down a bit.

What turned out to be more interesting for Jack than his frighteningly near “purebred” ancestry, is that he found the backdoor way to extract some of the medical stuff out of his DNA. 23andMe tests for your genetic likelihood for numerous medical problems and they used to share the results in a health report that accompanied the genealogical reports until the FDA put a stop to it in the U.S. 

Tests ordered from other countries through 23andMe still get their health reports, but those ordered in the US only get the genealogical results.

Jack found some websites where you can easily upload your raw DNA data and they will, within several minutes, return medical results. Some sites are free while others charge a fee. He explored the freebie sites and was satisfied with what he learned. It’s up to you how deep you want to delve, and how much you’re willing to invest in time and money. I do have to suggest that if you’re a bit of a hypochondriac, you should just avoid the medical results, because the reason the FDA slapped down 23andMe’s health report in the US is because people were freaking out because of what they discovered.

For those of you who have a healthy curiosity and can understand the difference between being at risk for type 2 diabetes and actually having type 2 diabetes, read on.

To get your medical data you’ll need to download your raw DNA data from 23andMe. This will be saved as a zipped file titled “genome_<your name>”  Jack recommends keeping 2 saved files that are ready to be uploaded to sites for medical interpretation. First, keep the zipped file, but rename it for anonymity when uploading to 3rd parties. Be sure that the file type is still .zip. Second, unzip the file and save it with another anonymous name.

[5/25/15 amendment – never mind the anonymity thing (don’t bother renaming the files). Your name is embedded in the file from 23andMe).

Now search for sights where you can easily upload 23andMe raw data for analysis.

Jack was most pleased with the results he got through

Genetic Genie provides Methylation Analysis and a Detox Profile which looks for defects in the Cytochrome P450 detox enzymes.

For Methylation Analysis upload go here.

For Detox Profile upload go here.

After about 20 minutes or so, your results will be available to view in a spreadsheet as pictured above. This is obviously not in layman’s terms and will require some research on your part to interpret the results. At least they break it down by coloring the genes according to your level of risk.

green = low risk

yellow = moderate risk

red = high risk

These are random results from that I pulled from the web. These are not Jack’s results.

Jack researched his red and yellow results by simply copying the gene & variation name from the left-hand column and pasting it into the browser and found that, in general, he’s not at a high risk for anything that he’s genuinely concerned about.

You may find a different site to analyze your data that gives more detailed results. I found this blog post from The Genetic Genealogist that provides loads of links to Apps, Extensions, Programs and Websites to explore.

If you know of any other sites that are useful for interpreting raw DNA results, please share.

We sent a kit to my dad so that we can get my mysterious paternal, genetic genealogy. We also decided to test my own even though, as a female, it will really only yield maternal genetics. We have both submitted our samples and plan to link them on 23andMe for more detailed combined information. The results for both should be in by the end of May. I’m looking forward to sharing them here.

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