Promethease is a DNA tool that creates a genetic health report for you based on your DNA. Here, Kelli explains Promethease and shows us parts of her own DNA health report to demonstrate how useful Promethease can be.
DNA testing can be used for genetic genealogy, but your DNA results can also be used to understand your health based on genetics. Promethease is one service that can create customized health reports based on your DNA testing results.
What is Promethease?
Promethease is a DNA tool that creates a genetic health report for you based on your DNA. It’s accessible online–the website is below. (We want you to read about it so you can make an informed decision before you hop over there.)
What can Promethease tell you?
The information found at Promethease comes from advances in genetic studies from the Human Genome Project and provides you with information about your health based on your genetics. (In 1990 scientists set out to map and sequence the Human Genome. The goal was to sequence the approximate three billion base pairs in humans to identify genes critical for life and identify functions of particular genes. Because this was a taxpayer-funded project, information about the discoveries is free at many different .gov sites and matches the health information you would find at other testing platforms.)
What Promethease does is to compare your genetic “readout” from your raw DNA file to an enormous database of genetic markers that have been identified to be associated with various traits, predispositions, and health risk factors.
Before performing any DNA testing, you should make sure you are ready for any potentially upsetting results. Health testing is no different. If you haven’t been to the Promethease site before, you will need to read and agree to their terms, including the advice to seek medical advice and the risk of learning that you may be at high risk for a debilitating disease. Please do not make any health decisions based solely on this type of test without consulting a professional. These types of health tests are about a tendency toward something, not a diagnosis of something.
Is Promethease safe?
How much does Promethease cost?
If you have a prior upload and just need an update, there is no additional cost. If you are uploading raw DNA for the first time, the cost is currently $12 to receive a full report.
Results are emailed to you when they are ready to view. You can view the results online or download to save the link and view later. The boxes of conditions and traits are outlined in green for good, red for bad, and gray for neutral.
One other thing to keep in mind, depending on the original company for the raw DNA you uploaded, you might see miscalls (false positives). It’s also important to note the typical conditions that might not appear in your results: some hereditary cancers, certain drug responses, some adult-onset diseases, trisomies, and other genetic anomalies involving repeats, insertions, deletions, and translocations.
What do you get with Promethease?
Let’s look at my own report. My first two traits are my sex and my eye color. My eyes are green (like my mom’s), but blue eyes are more likely.
The next medical condition in my chart is a higher risk for colorectal cancer correlated with the consumption of processed meats. This risk factor or tendency toward colorectal cancer is partly based on diet. So, I’ll add the item mentioned here (processed meats) to my list of foods to avoid and potentially increase the frequency of my colonoscopies in consultation with my doctor.
The next report is a good one. It shows that genetically I am likely to have a lower heart attack risk than average.
This next one is a new report since the last time I took this test. I have a genetic marker that doubles my risk from COVID. Every time you update your report, new ongoing scientific research will update your Promethease results.
Exploring Promethease for a known condition
In 2017, my eye doctor diagnosed me with Fuchs corneal dystrophy, also called Fuchs endothelial dystrophy. It’s a condition that can cause vision problems due to deposits called guttae in the corneal layers. In addition to consulting with my eye doctor, I also looked at Genetics Home Reference. For now, eye drops have my condition stabilized, but in the future, I might need a corneal transplant to restore my vision.
Not much is known about the inheritance of this disease, but I wanted to learn more about the tendency toward this condition, found on Chromosome 18 when I found this in my Promethease report. When I chose “more info,” Promethease took me to SNPedia.
SNPedia has even more information.
Next-level your Promethease results
Keep in mind that your test results are yours alone unless you are part of a set of identical multiples. Your siblings will likely have different health reports with some overlap that matches the shared DNA you each inherited from mom and dad.
My full siblings, Jodi and Todd, have shared DNA with me and we have some DNA not in common, so I cannot assume that my health conditions will be their health conditions. But I was curious if we have any overlapping segments on Chromosome 18.
I can look at our overlapping segments from visually phasing our DNA from GEDmatch. I chose Chromosome 18 to see whether my siblings shared that same segment with me where Fuchs Corneal Dystrophy is coded. It looks like it’s possible!
The National Institutes of Health has a site to show genomic regions. You can add Chromosome 18 location rs613872 at approximately 55,543,070 to view their site location information.
Should I use Promethease?
Whether you are a beginner just looking for some information to impact your diet or take to your physician, Promethease is a low-cost site you could choose to add to your DNA toolkit. More information about each genome location can be found, and there is plenty to explore if you want to dig deeper.
Your health information is just one thing your DNA can tell you with increasing accuracy and specificity, but it can also estimate your ethnicity. You can download our FREE ethnicity guide to better understand your DNA ethnicity results.