Taking control of my health: DNAlysis

DNAlysis is one of South Africa’s premier genetic testing laboratories. You may remember the test I did in 2017. The result of that test helped my psychiatrist to prescribe the best meds for me, and take me off the ones I don’t metabolise. It has also helped me to know which pain meds work best for me.

Since then I’ve been thinking I really want to do some of the other DNAlysis tests to better understand how I can improve my health.

DNAlysis test options

Initially I only wanted to do DNA Diet and DNA Sport because I felt those would give me the most relevant information to assist me with losing weight. I enquired about the cost of the different tests and was informed that until the end of January there was a bundle that included DNA Diet, DNA Sport, DNA Oestrogen, DNA Health and DNA Skin.

I made an appointment with one of the DNAlysis-affiliated dieticians to do the tests.

Health at DNAlysis


The dietician I chose is actually based at DNAlysis’ offices in Illovo – a quick 2.5km from my office.

We started by talking about my general health and habits, and I told her about my my chocolate-covered secrets, and how lunch is often just a little block of cheese. Like Grant she agreed that three big cups of coffee with three teaspoons of sugar each do not make a breakfast.

With a few other of my dietary shortcomings laid bare, I went into a cubicle where I proceeded to rub a swab against my cheeks for what felt like an eternity.

My order was processed online, I maid payment and then I excitedly waited for two weeks to pass.

Interpreting your DNAlysis results

DNAlysis Health

My dietician mailed me when my tests were ready and we set up an appointment for her to take me through my results. Due to the mass of information from these five tests, we did two feedback sessions.

We discussed DNA Health first, and if you’re only going to do one of these tests, this should be it. It highlighted high risks for inflammation, poor methylation, caffeine resistance and salt sensitivity

NB: Just because your genes say you are not at risk of obesity and shouldn’t have trouble losing weight – as is the case of my DNA – environmental factors like stress and medication can cause you to gain 65% of your body weight in 23 years.

And just because there’s a high post-menopausal risk for breast cancer, it doesn’t mean you’re definitely going to get it. These tests provide you with information to help you take control of your life.

It turns out that when you reduce your salt intake to lower your blood pressure it doesn’t make that much of a difference unless you’re biologically sensitive to salt.

And when you’re caffeine resistant it takes a lot longer to feel the effects of those morning coffees, and it takes a lot longer for my body to get rid of it – more so with my tendency to poor methylating.

What else did I learn?

DNAlysis Sport

Genetically speaking I’m a night owl with an increased likelihood of suffering from soft tissue injuries (again, not helped by the high marker for inflammation). Exercise won’t make much of an impact on my weight loss journey, although I should still aim for 25 Met hours of activity weekly in combination with the Mediterranean Diet.

I need to steer clear of hormone replacement therapy and take care of my heart health.

My dietician prescribed an Omega3 supplement to help counter the inflammation, together with magnesium and a multivitamin with a potent vitamin B component.

What changed since getting my DNAlysis test results

DNAlysis Food

I tried to cut out coffee; I even tried decaf. What I’ve settled on (most days) is one big cup and one regular cup of coffee, with two sugars each. On weekend I generally only have on regular cup.

I’m eating more fish and chicken, less red meat, a lot less pasta and refined carbs. Vegetables feature more prominently in my diet, and most weekday mornings I have two slices of low GI seed loaf with avo for breakfast. I try to go lights-out by 22:00.

Granted, it’s not that big of a change, because I still have cold drinks on the weekend, the occasional gin and tonic and I’m not drinking nearly enough water. I’m also failing to meet the 15 Met hours most weeks. Having said that, I’ve lost just over 4kgs in six weeks. I’ve set myself three goals with the intention of giving myself a little reward (not food) when I reach each of them.

My biggest challenge is patience and accepting that this will not happen overnight.

Poor Grant is trying to keep up with these changes, and he’s been very supportive. We have very different sleeping/waking habits, so that’s still a bit challenging for now.

One more DNAlysis test to do

DNA Mind was not included in the combo, and my dietician suggest that I might want to consider doing it in to also take firmer control of my mental health. Maybe that can be my reward when I reach my first goal. Or a Nutribullet – I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

Have you done any DNAlysis tests and would you recommend it to friends? Would you consider doing any of these tests?


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