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Navigating summer BBQs with your DNA in mind

One of the many remarkable things about your genome is that it holds insights that are valuable throughout your day, each and every day. Now, with summer rapidly approaching and family gatherings and backyard barbecues just around the corner, it’s a great time to see how your genes can help you make Memorial Day weekend (and beyond!) even better.

Taking orders for the BBQ, what’ll you have?

Whatever’s on the grill, it’s likely going to be accompanied by more than just protein. When we consume meat, we’re also eating various types of fat, cholesterol, and a good amount of iron. What your body does with each of these things depends on a number of factors—including your DNA. As you plan for BBQ season, it may be worth checking out LoseIt’s embodyDNA to see how your genetics may affect your post-BBQ metabolism. You might even learn that some of your metabolism comes from way back—like way, way back, in the hunter-gatherer days—with Insitome’s Metabolism.

Do you want some cheese with that?

Maybe you put it on a burger, pair it with a nice wine, or simply enjoy it on a cracker. Any way it’s presented, cheese usually makes its way into a summer festival or two—and with it comes lactose. Lactose is that sugar inside dairy products that causes discomfort for people who are lactose intolerant. Depending on a person’s genetics and their gut microbiome, they may show a spectrum of reactions—both subtle and not-so-subtle—after consuming lactose. If you want to take the guesswork out of it, just ask your DNA with Azumio’s Calorie Mama or EverlyWell’s Food Sensitivity+.

Grabbing a drink, you want one?

Whether you’re drinking soda, iced tea, wine, or something a little stronger, your body relies on genes in your DNA to help you process it. This means that after having one of these drinks, you may have slightly higher or lower levels of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol in your system based on the DNA sequence you’ve inherited. Products like HumanCode’s DNAPassport and Fitness Buddy by Azumio aim to help you understand how your body might respond to these types of beverages. Your ability to taste some the flavorful parts of these drinks is also influenced by DNA, so if you’re looking for any wine suggestions, Vinome’s got you covered.

Pickup game is starting, you in?

Summer gatherings often involve more than just food—there are often some games going on (especially as that sibling competitiveness kicks in). Athleticism is a complex thing, but evidence shows that some variants in your DNA may influence what types of exercise you’re likely to excel at. Products like MyTraits Sport from Intelliseq and others in the Helix Store help you explore your DNA and use this information as a tool when exercising.
As you take in the sunny weather, remember that your DNA is just one part of a much larger puzzle, and moderation is always important when keeping things safe and fun (we won’t blame you if you grab a second hot dog). But learning about your DNA may help you understand your body better—and it might just give you something to talk about around the picnic table.

Helix
Helix is the leading population genomics and viral surveillance company operating at the intersection of clinical care, research, and data analytics.
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