Sunday, September 10, 2017

My 23andMe Results!




Some of the questions I get asked most are, "What are you?", "Where are you from?", "What is your ethnicity?" etc... I don't mind anyone asking me this, I don't blame them, I've always looked different than most.  Growing up I always answered, "I'm half Filipino, half white", and for the most part, that is true.  But, when I had Marlowe, who somehow has light hair, and blue colored asian shaped eyes, I really wanted to be able to tell her exactly what she is one day when she asks me.  On top of it, Kyle really didn't know his ancestral background either.  I think having an identity is super important, and I never want her to be confused about hers. We both had been wanting to order a 23andMe kit for awhile, and on Amazon Prime day we finally splurged because the kits were 50% off, only 99 dollars for both the ancestry AND health reports. (They are regularly $199 for both reports, $99 for just the ancestry).





My kit came in a little box, and all I had to do was go online and register the number, and not eat for 30 minutes before spitting in a little tube.  You seal the tube, put it in the box, and send it back.  It was incredibly simple, and the directions were clear.  The company says it takes 6-8 weeks for your results to be emailed to you, but my total wait time was only 4 weeks before I got an email saying it was ready.  

Not gonna lie, my husband was more excited for the results than I was, as he was constantly online checking the status LOL. He knew my results were ready before I did! Upon logging in,  you have options to look at Ancestry Reports, Carrier Status Reports, Genetic Health Risk Reports, Traits Reports, and Wellness Reports.  Here are what my ancestry reports looked like-



I'm basically a mutt. I was about 58% European, and 36% South East Asian (my Filipino side).  My dad's dad, my Lolo, had some Spanish in him which made me 6% Iberian (Spanish, Portugese), and I was surprised to find out I'm 5% Italian.  I am about 23% Northern European, from my mom's side, which includes 7% French and German and 3% British and Irish.  The shocker was my .2% West African, which is a super small percentage, but still kind of fun to know!  There were some rumors that I maybe had some Japanese in me, but my DNA showed that I didn't have any Japanese, but instead 1% Chinese.  Once one of my parents submits a sample, I'll be able to know exactly what part of my DNA came from each of them.



The other cool part about the results is it gives you a timeline of your family tree, and told me that my small percentage of West African was from a grandparent in the 1700s (from my dad's side).  It also showed me that I share DNA with about 1100 + people who have used 23andMe, and I could connect with some of them if I wanted to.  The anthropology nerd in me was fascinated with my maternal line information below.



My health reports were super fun to look at too!  The first section talked was the Carrier Status Reports.  These reports don't tell me about my health, but instead tell me if I'm a carrier for certain conditions that could affect any future children.  There were a total of 42 reports, and I was only a carrier for one.  Something called "Jaeken Syndrome", which means I could have a child with this condition only if my husband was also a carrier.  If he was a carrier too (he's not-he did the health reports too!), then our kids could have a 1 in 4 chance of having Jaeken Syndrome.  I'd recommend doing these tests if you are planning a family because they can tell you if you are a carrier for things like Cystic Fibrosis.




The next section dealt with certain Genetic Health Risks.  This section looks for variants in your DNA for things like Parkinson's Disease or Late-Onset Alzheimer's Disease. There was nothing interesting in this section for me.

The third section, Traits Reports, show how my DNA influences things like physical appearance and certain preferences.  For example, it said my eyes were likely dark and that I have a lot of freckles.  Both true.  Or that I have a heightened sense of taste and can taste bitterness.

These reports were really easy to read, and overall informative.  However, if you are more scientific and want to know A LOT more about your health I suggest going to www.promethease.com and uploading your 23andMe reports into this site.  Promethease only costs an additional $5 and gives you very detailed reports about your health and diseases to watch out for as you age.  I spent a few hours looking at my reports and took away a lot of information.  Some of the more lighter things the reports told me were that I did carry the blue eye gene (which is how Marlowe got blue eyes, despite Kyle and I both having brown eyes!), that I carry the red hair gene, that I am less empathetic than most, that I work better under pressure, and that I likely am more of a sprinter than an endurance athlete (so true! I can't run for ANYTHING).  The conditions I need to look out for include things like heart disease and autoimmune.  I found that to be very telling considering my dad's side of the family has a lot of heart problems, and if you know my story at all you'd know that I suffered from Ulcerative Colitis, an autoimmune disease.  What I really found interesting in these reports were how my body reacts to certain drugs.  I've taken A LOT of different medications due to my UC, and I think it would have been nice to know these reports before.  For example, it said that I likely suffer from GI bleeding when taking Ibuprofen (Advil), and considering there are some links to UC and excessive use of Ibuprofen, I would have never taken it in the past.  Here's some screenshots of some of the results.  Notice, they are more challenging to read.



Kyle's Promethease results were completely different than mine.  He had a lot of warnings for various types of cancer, and Age-Related Macular Degeneration (meaning he has a higher percentage of going blind in his old age!).  Obviously, lifestyle affects all these results, and nothing is definitive, but it's still nice to know things to watch out for and possibly try preventing.

Kyle and I had a lot of fun reading our reports and now we are able to tell Marlowe a little more about who she is and where she came from! I'd definitely recommend splurging and buying the reports, and if anything just pay the $99 for just the ancestry and then the $5 for Promethease.

My Narciso family!  My Lolo and Lola up front, and my cousins!





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