Lisa Fischer

DNA testing

Who, the band from the 70s sang this song and asked, "Who are you? Who who who who?" I recently completed the DNA test 23andme and then further uploaded that data to XCode Life. I found out WHO I am thanks to these tests.

I did Ancestry.com first. Like five years ago. But it's a racket. They want you to join and find family pen pals. Or that's how I felt. I found out the basics of my DNA. I was adopted but not until age 12 so my parents weren't a mystery. They were just out of my life a good part of my life. My mother died when I was 12; my father left me when I was 9 months old. So I didn't know much about him other than some facts he told me. I knew my mother's relatives so I had some information.

I instead completed the 23andme test, and I liked it better. Here are my percentages.

My biological father, who passed away in 2011, was an Ashkenazi Jew. That's the nearly 50% there. Beautiful black hair, olive skin and blue eyes. I have his dark hair and olive skin (though I have vitiligo, the skin condition characterized by white patches of skin so I avoid suntans). My red-haired gentile mother was where I get the other part of my DNA; the northwestern European ancestry. I passed the red-hair gene to two of my children; my third has olive skin, dark hair and blue eyes. Isn't DNA cute like that to skip a generation? Healthwise, there are some markers that I think are valuable: "You have a typical genetic likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. Your overall likelihood also depends on factors like weight, diet, and exercise." My father, his father and his father were all Type 2 diabetics. They were thin men who were alcoholics. I mean, serious drunks here. My great-grandfather died of complications from diabetes; this was before insulin was an option. I don't remember what caused my grandfather's death but my father, that man was a machine. He drank and smoked since he was 13 (I know he started smoking then). He had prostate cancer. And I'll be darned. The guy lived until he was 88. Why? Ashkenazi Jews are notorious for having the longevity gene. It's also known as the "Methuselah Mutation" which causes certain people (many Askkenazi Jews) to live a long time. Despite their lifestyle choices, as in my Kaplan family's case. One thing to note: My father worked out every day and went to the YMCA in Atlanta until his death. My beautiful mother sadly overdosed when she was 48-years-old, so I don't know how her DNA would have fared long term.

After I procured this information, I was then able to upload the raw data to Xcode Life. Are you aware of this site? It's good. For $99, I was able to find out more about myself than I ever thought to ask. Determining factors in your DNA that affect things like allergy, fitness, skin and personality were evaluated. Fascinating information here. I found out I am high risk for age-related macular degeneration but low risk for osteoporosis. I'm at moderate risk for Alzheimer's yet a low risk for Parkinson's. All of this information can be gleaned from this report.

My favorite read in this report was the nutrition section.

This is the question we all want to know: What should I eat? Do I follow this? No. I don't do the math concerning if I'm eating properly percentage wise of each category. But I probably lean toward this graph if I really thought about it. I like more carbs, less protein and then fewer fats.

This next section was telling:

This told all of my secrets! I have a tendency to gain weight, overeat and I like sweet foods! I CAN BLAME IT ON MY DNA! It's not my fault! I feel better just saying it. Now where is my cinnamon roll?

"Well, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
I really want to know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Tell me who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Because I really want to know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)"

I think you really want to know. Get to work on finding out and let me know what surprised you. Email me: lisa@lisafischersaid.com.