I have long been intrigued by the concept of genetics testing. Yes, I know it is not perfect and the science there is not 100% exact, in fact, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) recently did some investigative journalism on the matter and the results, shall we say, were a head-scratcher. See the CBC’s finding in article format or video format if you are curious.

Nonetheless, curiosity drove me to try it when I found the 23andMe kit for half price online, and also found out that you can cover the cost under your Health Spending Account (HSA) in Canada if you have one. So I pulled the trigger and got the kit.

Getting the sample was quite straightforward, it is just a matter of spitting into a tube, then using a pre-labelled box to return the sample to 23andMe’s lab… Now the waiting game!

About a month later, the results came out. Luckily, no nasty surprises! For example, I have a typical likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, according to 23andMe. However, the real surprise came from the long list of things they can tell you about from your genes. Things that I didn’t even know had a name for diagnoses, let alone could be diagnosed via my genes.

For example, did you know what misophonia is? I certainly didn’t. It is the “condition” of hating the sound of chewing, which apparently is something your genes can tell about you. In case you are wondering, yes, I have that and my report indicated so.

Here is a quick list of peculiar traits that 23andMe offered me insights on:

  • Asparagus odour detection
  • Bitter taste detection
  • Cilantro taste aversion
  • Ice Cream Flavour preference 
  • Sweet vs. Salty preference
  • Fear of heights
  • Fear of public speaking
  • Mosquito bite frequency
  • Motion sickness

I could go on and on but you get the picture. All in all, I think this was a fun experience considering the low cost and effort involved. Had the cost been higher, or effort involved (e.g. blood sample vs. spit sample) then I may have had second thoughts. As it stands, I would do it again if I knew what I know now…