Health Testing Reviews for Futura Genetics

At a Glance

Editor's Rating:
5 out of 5 stars
Customer Service:
5 out of 5 stars
Clarity of Results:
5 out of 5 stars
References Cited:
4.5 out of 5 stars
Value for Money:
4 out of 5 stars

Summary

The Futura Genetics genetic health report analysed my DNA to discover my predispositions for as many as 28 conditions. The report provided my risks for each condition as both an overall percentage, and a relative risk compared my genetic risk to the average. For each disease, there were recommendations for environmental factors that could affect my risks, such as healthy eating, smoking, and sun exposure.

For each disease, Futura Genetics listed the areas they had looked at in my genes, and so I felt confident that the results were as accurate as they could be, and backed by scientific research. If I was concerned about any potential health risks raised in my report, it would be easy to share my results with a genetic counsellor or health practitioner.

Full Review

Futura Genetics was established by co-founders Auro Pontes and Efi Binder, and aims to improve wellness and health worldwide by providing unlimited knowledge about the human genomic structure and its implications. Based in Israel, Futura Genetics is a sister company of Vancouver-based Futura Biology Inc. The company is one of the pioneers in the field of genetic testing for healthcare and lifestyle improvement purposes and seeks to offer a DNA health test that is simple, accessible, and affordable.

Product Expectations

From the Futura Genetics website, I learned that their DNA health test would check for 28 common health conditions. After ordering my test, I would be sent a saliva collection kit, which I could have collected using a courier service. My results would be ready four weeks after the lab received my sample.

I saw that the Futura Genetics lab was CLIA-accredited, with 15+ years of experience in genetic testing. There were details about the type of genetic testing used, which was genotyping, meaning they would look through my DNA for specific mutations using a similar method to ancestry DNA tests like 23andMe and AncestryDNA.

I also saw that my DNA test results would be exclusively mine, though I wasn’t sure yet whether this extended to my DNA data. But I saw that my genetic data would be kept secure, and stored without any identifying information.

There was a list of the 28 conditions they tested for predispositions to, and some information about each. The conditions included type-2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, celiac disease, and various cancers, among others.

Clicking on “Inside Our Lab” and “Science” revealed more about the laboratory process for analysing my DNA, and the science behind DNA analysis.

Ordering Experience

Ordering the test through the Futura Genetics website was very straightforward. I needed to provide my name, address, phone number, and card details. I received a confirmation email, and then another email the next day to let me know that my order had been shipped.

The kit arrived just two days after ordering. It was easy to use the saliva collection kit, and the instructions were clear and simple to follow. Before returning, it was necessary to register online so that my DNA results would be linked to an online account. I was required to agree to the terms and conditions, and could choose whether I wanted a hard copy of my report, and whether I wanted the report in English or German. I could also choose whether I wanted to see my results for Alzheimer’s predisposition.

I had a look through the terms and conditions and privacy policy. In the privacy policy, I learned that Futura Genetics would not share my genetic data with third parties. Once my genetic testing was complete, my sample would either be used for control assays or destroyed.

I could arrange for the courier service to collect my sample via my online account, or take it to a UPS collection point. The cost of returning the sample was included, and the courier pick-up was very convenient.

A couple of weeks later, I got an email telling me that the lab had received my sample.

The Results

I received my results email three weeks after returning my sample, which was pretty prompt for a genetic health test! I logged into my account and clicked “View report”, which downloaded my results in a printable PDF format.

There was an introduction explaining how to interpret the report, with a key to the pictograms used to show the environmental factors that could affect the risk of developing certain diseases or conditions, such as “Wear sunglasses” and “Control alcohol consumption”.

Results Section: My Disease Risks

A summary table gave an overview of my risks for different conditions, showing my overall risk percentage, the average risk percentage, and my relative genetic risk compared to the average (shown below).

Click to see larger
A snippet of my results summary table.

A snippet of my results summary table.

My individual results for each condition were given in this format: my risk percentage, the average risk percentage, the name of the condition, with commentary beneath (often detailing how I could reduce my risk), and pictograms showing the environmental factors that could affect my risk of development.

Below are my results for age-related macular degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease.

Click to see larger
My results for age-related macular degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease.

My results for age-related macular degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease.

As you can see, my own risk percentage for age-related macular degeneration was lower than average (4.9% as opposed to 12%). It was recommended that I wear sunglasses that block UV light, and have my vision examined by a professional regularly. The pictograms beneath detailed the risk factors. Looking at the key, I saw that these were to avoid smoking (and passive smoking), maintain a healthy weight, wear sunglasses, control my blood pressure, and to eat healthily.

A part of the key of pictograms is shown below.

Click to see larger
A snippet from the Environmental Factors pictogram key.

A snippet from the Environmental Factors pictogram key.

My result for Alzheimer’s didn’t have any commentary, though I could read more about the disease in the “About the Diseases” section. My risk for developing Alzheimer’s was significantly higher than average, being 90% as opposed to 20%. (As noted in the “Ordering Experience” section, I’d been given a choice of whether I wanted to view my results for Alzheimer’s Disease when registering.) This seemed appropriate since I have had at least two grandparents with the disease. The environmental factors that could help were to keep physically active, and to keep my brain active by doing things like learning new things, reading, playing puzzle games, gardening, and memory exercises. These could increase my reserves of brain cells and help to prevent or postpone the onset of Alzheimer’s.

I was glad that my overall genetic risk was given as a percentage I could compare to the average risk, since for some diseases I was told that my genetic risk was significantly higher than average, but the actual percentages were in fact very low. This was the case for Multiple Sclerosis (MS), which I had a two times higher than average risk of development. However, the average risk was only 0.06%, and so my genetic risk was in fact 0.12%, which is pretty negligible.

For most of the diseases tested, my risk was lower than average, and it was difficult for me to tell from my experience how accurate they really were. However, one condition they had included was migraines, which I actually do suffer from occasionally. The average risk of migraine was given as 43%, while my own risk was 53%, which made sense.

I was surprised that my risk for psoriasis wasn’t higher (the average was 2.5% and my risk was 3.9%), since my mother suffers from it. But I wasn’t unhappy that my risk was still pretty low!

Another interesting result was my genetic risk for obesity, which is normally calculated as fairly high by similar genetic tests. It was the same here, being calculated at 63% (the average was 38%). I’ve never struggled with my weight, however my metabolism may slow down as I age, or there may be other genetic (or epigenetic) and environmental factors that have helped to combat my predisposition for obesity.

Results Section: About the Diseases

The “About the Diseases” section provided descriptions of the individual diseases listed, as well as symptoms. This section seemed useful for helping with early detection, particularly for people with elevated risks of developing certain conditions.

Futura Genetics’ about sections for melanoma and migraines are shown below.

Click to see larger
The descriptions for melanoma and migraine.

The descriptions for melanoma and migraine.

Results Section: Scientific Data

The “Scientific Data” section listed all the genetic variations they had looked for in my genome. For each condition, they listed the genes they had looked at, the SNP ID (precise location in the genome), and my genotype (which version of the genetic variant I had).

Click to see larger
A snippet from my Scientific Data table, showing the genes and variants they had looked at for Celiac Disease.

A snippet from my Scientific Data table, showing the genes and variants they had looked at for Celiac Disease.

I read that it wasn’t necessary for me to understand this section, but it would be useful if I sought a genetic counsellor to discuss my results with.

The report ended with a “Genetics 101” section, and a glossary of terms.

Summary

The Futura Genetics genetic health report analysed my DNA to discover my predispositions for as many as 28 conditions. The report provided my risks for each condition as both an overall percentage, and a relative risk compared my genetic risk to the average. For each disease, there were recommendations for environmental factors that could affect my risks, such as healthy eating, smoking, and sun exposure.

For each disease, Futura Genetics listed the areas they had looked at in my genes, and so I felt confident that the results were as accurate as they could be, and backed by scientific research. If I was concerned about any potential health risks raised in my report, it would be easy to share my results with a genetic counsellor or health practitioner.

Please note we were invited to take this test free of charge.

See a description of this DNA test from Futura Genetics >