DNA supplement review, does testing help with predicting future disease? by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
March 9 2014

 

Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid — usually in the form of a double helix — that contains the genetic instructions specifying the biological development of all cellular forms of life. DNA is a long polymer of nucleotides (a polynucleotide) and encodes the sequence of the amino acid residues in proteins using the genetic code, a triplet code of nucleotides. DNA is thought to date back to between approximately 3.5 to 4.6 billion years ago.

 

Natural ways to protect DNA from damage
There are countless herbs, fruits, vegetables, and natural foods that can have DNA protecting potential. I will just mention one and will add many more with time:

Watercress supplementation reduces DNA damage.
RNA DNA supplement pills are available without a prescription for sale. I have not seen any human research with RNA DNA supplements to know what effect they have, if any, on health or disease.

 

DNA Testing scams

Home DNA kits that claim to inform people of their risk of certain diseases, ranging from cancer to osteoporosis, offer little real guidance and are often misleading.
   Direct-to-consumer DNA tests are promising nutrition advice customized to people's genes. However, the tests are of no medical value and can mislead people. At issue is a field called nutritional genomics, which researches how complex interactions between genes and diet may affect people's risk of future illnesses. Many genetic authorities say the field has promise but that much more research is needed before offering DNA -tailored advice. Yet people can buy kits, costing from $99 to $1,000, that let them send in a cheek swab for DNA analysis, fill out a lifestyle questionnaire and receive nutrition advice. Investigators bought kits from companies selling through four web sites, and created 14 pretend customers. The questionnaires described consumers of different ages and lifestyles, but were paired with DNA samples from an investigator's infant daughter and a male agent at the GAO. The advice varied greatly, but mostly contained generalities such as do not smoke and that the "customers" with bad diets may risk heart disease. One company advised three of the fictitious customers to buy a "personalized" dietary supplement blend, costing more than $1,880 a year, that the company claimed could repair damaged DNA.
   The advice from one company was not personalized because it was the same blend even though two "customers" had different DNA and all three had very different health risks. A second company recommended a supplement blend for $1,200 a year that contained the same multivitamins that can be bought in any health food store for about $40.

 

Even if every aspect of a person’s DNA is known, it would not be possible to predict diseases in that person’s future.

 

DNA Banking

Recent years have seen the emergence of private companies, such as the Ardais Corporation and DNA Sciences, that — either at hospitals or through appeals over the Internet — collect and analyze samples and personal information for the express purpose of selling them to researchers. The National Institutes of Health also has plans to develop a national repository similar to the U.K. Biobank, a new resource for researchers that will eventually include information and blood samples from 500,000 volunteers. With such developments, DNA banking is quickly changing from an academic research activity to a governmental and commercial enterprise conducted by DNA brokers.

 

DNA damage from Hot Dogs
Hot dogs may contain DNA-mutating compounds that might boost one's risk for cancer. Past research has linked hot dogs with colon cancer. Hot dogs are preserved with sodium nitrite, which can help form chemicals known as N-nitroso compounds, most of which cause cancer in lab animals. Extracts from hot dogs bought from the supermarket, when mixed with nitrites, result in DNA -mutating compounds. When added to Salmonella bacteria, hot dog extracts treated with nitrites double their normal DNA mutation levels. Triggering DNA mutations in the gut might boost the risk for colon cancer.

 

DNA damage in airline pilots from radiation
Airline pilots with long-term flying experience may be exposed to higher than average levels of radiation, resulting in more chromosomal translocations than usually seen. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2008.

 

Questions
Q. i am wondering what are the REAL Benefits of DNA RNA supplement and Youth Tissue Extract? I have read Youth Tissue Extract boost testosterone so will it be good for my father (age 70) to take as he has a mild prostate problem (probably because of DHT), please shed some light on it from this perspective as well. Or can i give it to people who have a history of cancer in their family? Would Youth Tissue Extract be helpful for them?
   A. We are not familiar with Youth Tissue Extract. It sounds like a scam. We have not seen any human research on DNA supplement use or RNA supplement use.

 

Q. You stated on one of your web page that you never heard of youth tissue extract so I thought I would pass on this information to you. Dr. Bjødne Eskeland is widely recognized in Norway as the country's foremost expert on egg research, developing new and revolutionary uses for the common egg. In the late 1990s, working for Med-Eq, he began research on a dynamic new process to extract high-molecular weight substances from fertilized, partially incubated eggs at a critical stage of development, a process he theorized would provide an incredible array of health benefits when consumed by humans. Dr. Eskeland succeeded in this quest, and the material he isolated was called YTE® (Young Tissue Extract).
   A. I guess we now need a few studies on this Young or Youth Tissue Extract before we can make claims that it is "revolutionary," and "incredible."

 

Q. I work with Amerikal Nutraceutical Corporation, the exclusive distributor of the raw nutritional ingredient Young Tissue Extract (YTE) in North America. I came across your Web site through my search for YTE postings, and had the opportunity to review your answer to a question about Young Tissue Extract. I thought it would be beneficial to send the clinical information on Young Tissue Extract. I have attached this data. There is also another study on YTE's ability to enhance mood, recently completed, awaiting peer review. I will gladly forward this to you, should you have any interest in reviewing this as well. Please let me know if you have any questions and/or comments about Young Tissue Extract. Your knowledge is appreciated.
   A. Please let us know when the study is reviewed and published in a peer reviewed journal.

 

Q. Last week I joined a startup network marketing organization called Genewize, that on August 1 2008 will start marketing a customized nutrition program based on a home DNA test. The company that manufactures the test and supplements is called GeneLink BioSciences, Inc. http://www.genelinkbio.com/
   They claim to be the first company to truly formulate each persons nutritional supplements individually, custom blending unique
quantities of up to 77 of the ingredients listed on there website. They appear to have a very impressive advisory board, and seamed very legitimate until I read your page on DNA home testing. I am aware that there are plenty of false claims and bad science done by network marketing companies, but I'm wondering if this company has been researched and found to be as fraudulent as the ones Dr. Sahelian, referred to on the DNA page. Is there any good reason for me to drop out before this thing gets going?
   A. I am not familiar with this company and I am skeptical of DNA home testing as a way to determine nutritional needs.

 

I saw your website and saw a question about GeneWize at one time, seemed old, wondered if you had the opportunity to c heck it out recently. A lady at my church started taking these, and there are so sooo many different things to do that it is hard to find the ones that work, and aren't harmful, and doesn't waste your money. You are wonderful, i appreciate your educated opinion on this important topic.
    As of December 2009 I have not seen such studies.

 

I am impressed by your background and your passion for healthy living. That being said Doctor Sahelian I thought you would like to learn about a break through in Genetics and Nutrition. Please accept my invitation to review this revolutionary science. Our company, GeneWize Life Sciences (based in Orlando) is the only Genetically Guided Nutrition Company in the world. Our focus is Nutragenomics – the science of individual genetic assessment combined with Personalized Nutritional Formularization. The parent company, GeneLink BioSciences (OTCBB: GNLK), is a 12 year old, publicly traded genetic bioscience company. This nutritional technology is cutting edge and is going to change the nutritional world forever. Please see attached sample report and review. I look forward to hearing your thoughts once you have had a chance to wrap your my mind around our unique biogenetic technology.
    There are so many factors involved in determining the nutritional requirements of individuals (which can change daily or weekly) that I am extremely skeptical that any type of genetic assessment as a guide for nutritional requirement is beneficial. There is a potential that it can be completely wrong or misleading.

Also see info on telomeres and their importance.