Genetic Testing

This blogger occasionally is exposed to advertising promoting genetic testing for a variety of reasons, including genealogy, nutrition and medicine. While there are legitimate, but limited, reasons for such testing, direct marketing of genetic testing to consumers should be looked at skeptically. The following article in quackwatch.org, while somewhat dated, is still factual. In summary:

Genetic testing to identify alleged risk factors that have no proven corrective measures is simply a waste of money. As noted by Helen Wallace, Ph.D., Deputy Director of GeneWatch UK: "For most people, tailoring your diet to your genetic make-up is about as scientific as tailoring your diet to your star sign." [28] GeneWatch has also expressed concern that without proper regulation, genetic testing could be used to expand the drug market to healthy people identified as at high genetic risk; many people could receive unnecessary medication and suffer the associated side effects, and the underlying causes of heart disease, cancer, obesity, adult-onset diabetes, and other diseases could be ignored, with serious implications for future health [28].

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Caveat emptor.

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