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Do you offer testing to the general public?
No. We offer genomic testing only through registered GSN clinicians.
Who can register to be a GSN clinician?
We have a very diverse community of clinicians, including physicians (MD, DO, DC, ND), nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dentists, dieticians, nutritionists, and fitness trainers from around the world. We have found that a good scientific background in nutrition, biochemistry and physiology, along with experience in a patient/client-centered environment, are essential for you and your patients to get the most value from the genomic testing, so we require these to be a registered GSN clinician. Not sure if you qualify? Fill out the registration form and we will review your qualifications.
Can I use the testing even if I have little knowledge and background in nutrition, biochemistry, or genetics?
GSN reports are designed for a busy clinician, with easy-to-understand interpretations and action steps. Genomics is not cookie cutter science, however. Since we use the newer polygenic approach, there is a learning curve in understanding how to integrate the more complex panels into your patient care plan. The more you know about nutrition, genomics and biochemistry, the better you can understand the “why” behind these action-steps and the subtle nuances in applying interventions. We have lots of online resources to help you learn, and you can dive in as deeply as you want.
Are there any age restrictions on the genomic testing?
No. Anyone can get tested at any age. Parental/legal guardian consent is required for minors under age 18.
How is the DNA sample collected?
A simple swab of the cheek.
How long does it take to get results?
Results are available 4 weeks after the requisition and sample are received.
What makes GSN different from other genomic testing companies?
We understand genomic results are of little value unless you have a clear idea of what they mean, how to apply them to improve health in a client or patient, and what biomarkers can be used to evaluate a nutrigenomic intervention.
Here is how we are different:
1. Reports are based on the polygenic approach - looking at many genes across many biological systems to get a more comprehensive assessment
2. You get descriptions of every gene, what that gene encodes for, and how it impacts either a biochemical or metabolic pathway
3. We give you specific action steps along with biomarkers to monitor the effectiveness of your interventions
4. We provide clinical support from clinicians experienced in using genomics in practice
How often do you update GSN genomic test panels?
GSN's staff of MDs and PhDs actively research new information on genomics daily. When information is considered reliable and clinically valid, with actionable interventions, it is then added to the reports.
I thought a SNP was either good or bad, but I noticed for many genes there are several different interpretations in the report. Why is that?
Genes encode for proteins that can have many roles including enzymes, membrane receptors or other proteins which can have many functions across an array of biological systems in the body. The impact of a SNP may have a potentially beneficial impact in one system, whereas a potentially detrimental impact in another. Contrary to what you may have learned or read, knowing if a gene is wild type, heterozygous or homozygous does not tell you what its potential impact may be; its impact on a biochemical or metabolic pathway can differ depending on the biological system, ethnic background, gender and age of the person. GSN's staff of MDs and PhDs read thousands of scientific publications in genomic medicine, summarize the relevant, clinical data, and provide you with easy-to-read, easy-to-understand actionable information.
Does a person need to get retested after they have their initial GSN genomic testing done?
Yes, in some cases it may be warranted as new genes are added based on scientific research and clinical validity. GSN is staying on the cutting edge of this rapidly growing field; we update our test panels when the scientific data supports it; we compile new information about each existing gene SNP in the GSN library regularly, so we keep our panels and information current.
How secure is the data and the reports?
We provide the highest level of security, because your genomic and personal information is our highest priority. Reports are only available to the ordering clinician. Our emails and website adhere to strict security guidelines, protecting any personal health information. Our lab adheres to very strict clinical regulations regarding handling of your personal identifying information, the DNA samples, as well as the data generated in the testing.
Do you sell the data to large companies for data-mining?
No. Our goal in analyzing anonymous data is to discover trends in gene SNP frequencies, which helps guide future genomic testing and panels we create. The results of these analyses, as well as those of clinical trials we may conduct in the future, will be used to further the clinical application of genomics, and we will publish our findings in open access journals or on our website so that all can benefit.
Is there any scientific data behind genomics or is this just another fad?
There are currently more than 1 million scientific articles on genomics and health, and more are being published every day. Our genomic test interpretations are based on thousands of solid scientific studies, and because the science is growing and evolving, that number grows daily. For some general articles and textbooks about nutritional genomics and health, here are some references:
1. Baicker K, Cutler D and Z Song (2010). Workplace wellness programs can generate savings. Health Affairs 29: 304-311.
2. Lvovs D, Favorova OO and AV Favorova (2012). A polygenic approach to the study of polygenic diseases. Acta Naturae 4: 59-71.
3. National Institutes of Health, National Genome Research Institute (2015). What is genomic medicine? https://www.genome.gov/27552451/what-is-genomic-medicine/
4. Price AL, Spence CCA and Peter Donnelly (2015). Progress and promise in understanding the genetic basis of common diseases. Proc. R Soc B 292: 20151684.
5. Rosmond R (2003). Association studies of genetic polymorphisms in central obesity: a critical review. Int. J Obesity 27: 1141-1151.
6. Nutritional Genomics: The Impact of Dietary Regulation of Gene Function on Human Disease (Bidlack and Rodriquez, 2012)
7. Nutritional Genomics: Discovering the Path to Personalized Nutrition (Kaput and Rodriguez, 2006)
8. Nutrients and Epigenetics (Choi and Friso, 2009)
9. Nutrient-Gene Interactions in Cancer (Choi and Friso, 2006)
10. Personalized Nutrition: Principles and Applications (Kok, Bouwman, Desiere, 2008)