Published in Financial Mail. DNA testing: it can help you rethink your diet. DNA testing offers ways for well-heeled consumers to personalise their wellness regimes. By Nafisa Akabor.

One quick swab against the inside of your cheek could open the door to new health information that medical practitioners say will help individual patients understand how their genes relate to illness.

Home DNA testing has already gained in popularity for other purposes: in exchange for a couple of hundred rands and a saliva sample, consumers can receive important information about their origins and ancestors. Websites like provide results that include ethnicity estimates and the option of seeing who else you’re matched with from customers on its database (distant cousins).

But SA consumers are fast realising that family history isn’t the only potential upside to DNA testing. Companies in SA and abroad say DNA tests can help consumers personalise medicine.

Tests that are more extensive — and usually cost more than ancestry checks — can tell a user about the illnesses they may be predisposed to suffer from.

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