“With a spit of your saliva sample, you will get a report of 114 traits, 352 genes that covers 8 categories including allergy & food sensitivity, health wellness, health risk, nutrigenomics, personality traits, skin, sports & fitness, weight management.”
They promise to reveal everything from our ancestry to our chances of serious illness. But are DNA tests accurate and do they tell us anything worthwhile?
Here’s a quick guide on the facts of the Saliva DNA test. Get ready with the things that you need to know before taking the test!
Fact # 1: DNA in the saliva is derived from both buccal epithelial cells and white blood cells, making it contains an excellent source of a large amount of high-quality genomic DNA.
Studies show that up to 74% of the DNA in saliva comes from white blood cells, which are an excellent source of large amounts of high-quality genomic DNA. Yielding virtually the same amount of DNA per volume and the same DNA quality as blood, saliva can be considered equivalent to blood for genetic applications. 1
Fact # 2: The vast majority of DNA from saliva is of human origin, not bacterial. 2
As stated in fact # 1, the majority of DNA in saliva comes from white blood cells. As you are aware, human saliva also contains bacteria.
Not to worry. Compared to other oral sampling methods, such as buccal swabs or mouthwash, a 2mL saliva sample collected with saliva collection kits yields a much lower amount of bacterial DNA, with approximately 11% bacterial DNA. It is substantially lower than mouthwash sampling at 66% and cytobrushes at over 88% bacterial DNA.
Fact # 3: They’re not a replacement for medical tests.
These DNA tests can let you know whether you’re a carrier (meaning you may not have the condition, but you could pass on a genetic variant for the disease to your children) for cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anaemia, and other conditions.
Having that information can help you prepare for the future. But these tests are not a panacea — they’re a starting point. Remember, DNA screening does not replace the precision obtained with diagnostic tests.
“Although our genetic makeup is constant throughout life, our genes alone do not determine our future. Changes in the environment, such as diet, exercise, exposure to toxic agents, or medications can all influence our genes and traits” – American Society of Human Genetics.
Interested? Checked with your nearest CARiNG pharmacists or log on to https://caring2u.com/caring_services/dnalysis/ now!
1. Thiede, C. et al. Buccal swabs but not mouthwash samples can be used to obtain pretransplant DNA fingerprints from recipients of allogeneic bone marrow transplant. (2000). Bone Marrow Transplantation. 25(5): 575-577.