My Experience Wtih Live Wello – Personalized Genetic Analysis + Reporting

We live in an exciting age. Affordable genetic testing and personalized reporting, enabling us to not only figure out our unique health issues and how are genetics play into them (hopefully long before they cause problems in our life), but also allowing us to live more healthily by optimizing our nutritional intake and lifestyle factors based on our own genetic strengths and weaknesses.

On this page, I'll be sharing a little of my experience using a service called livewello. Livewello is a website which allows you to translate the raw genetic data that you get from other services, including; 23andme.com, ancestry.com, Autosomal, and Gene by Gene.

Quick note, the information on this page will be updated over time as I continue to verse myself in the use of the different tools and applications available at livewello.com. It's a fairly complicated treasure trove of tools and data, so this could be a fairly long process.

Livewello and SNPs – What Are SNPs Anyway?

Livewello uses research backed data relating to SNPs and how they have been shown to affect various aspects of health and performance. For this reason it's relative here to discuss (at least on a very basic level) what SNPs are, and how that information is used by livewello.com to create your personalized Variance Reports.

SNPs (most frequently pronounced “snips”) is the acronym for Single Nucleotyde Polymorphisms. SNPs are the most common of the genetic variations between people. A nucleotyde is a single unit of the building blocks used for DNA construction, so a SNP refers to a variation in genetic structure within a certain stretch of DNA [1].

Because we're talking about genetics here, I could go very far down the rabbit hole of scientific explanation, but I'll refrain from that not only to spare my brain, but also to hopefully make it understandable on more simple terms to the majority of you reading this, who simply want to know how the tool works as much as necessary to be able to make a decision on whether or not it's something that is useful for them on their path to reduced disease and optimized health.

It's been stated that there are roughly 10 million SNPs in the human genome, and whilst the majority of them have no consequence when it comes to healthy development and function, a number of these genetic differences are important to human health, and this is where the service that livewello.com and others (like 23andme.com) are offering becomes incredibly valuable, as we can import our personal raw genetic data (SNPs and rsIDs) and basically synchronize all the known information we have on certain SNPs.

This means we now have not only the genetic data personalized to our own genetics and biology, but we can actually interpret what that means based on all the latest scientific on how a specific SNP and it's varying phenotypes affect our health. Powerful stuff indeed.

A Look At The Personal Records 

That Integrate With Livewello

When you first create your livewello.com profile, and import your raw material, you'll see that you have the following 5 record options to review:

  • Health Conditions
  • Treatments
  • Documents
  • Gene Reports
  • Surveys

Let's dig into each one of these options to discuss what you can do with them.

Health Conditions

This is simply where you will enter any of your own personal data about health conditions you may have, for example asthma is something that I would put into this area.

This feature is really just to expand the personal information you have in your livewello.com profile. The more information you have there all the one place the more comprehensive the overall profile will be when it comes to giving a “snapshot” of you and your health.

I think this is also a very useful if you want to share your profile with your health professional or relatives for example. While it may be a little time consuming and dull to have to upload and fill out all this information, the more data in your profile, the more useful it will be to you and those connected to you later on.

Once you have entered in a particular health condition you also have the option to look at the specific SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) that you have that relate to that condition.

Treatments

Similar to the Health Conditions area, the treatments record tab allows you to enter all your own personal information on various treatments that you might be using. For sake of sticking to the same example above, I could enter in some information about asthma medications that I use occasionally to manage that aspect of my health.

You have a few options as to what type of treatment you are using, as in prescription medication, supplements, etc. You also have the option to associated the treatment with one of your health conditions, simply by using the same label as you used in the health conditions section.

Also, when you have entered in your treatment, you'll get a little option that says:

“What effect did _______ have on _______?”

With 3 different options; “Made Better”, “Made Worse”, and “Made No Difference”.

You also have the option to connect with others anonymously in a group discussion to discuss how that particular treatment worked or didn't work for you.

Lastly there's an option to search for information on that particular treatment in various scientific databases, currently including: Medline, Pubmed, Genetics Home Reference, and Wikigenes.

Documents

This section is pretty straight forward really, just allows you to upload any relevant documents that you might want to keep in your profile. For example things like test results, prescription information, medication reactions, etc.

Gene Reports

This is really the meat of the data in livewello. With their current database of over 600,000 SNPs, you should initially have enough information here to keep you busy for quite a while… 🙂

This is the area where you're raw genetic data gets interpreted as “Variance Reports” and you can actually make sense of what it means further, especially when looked at in combination with any current symptoms or longer term health conditions you are experiencing.

For me personally, this is where I was able to confirm that I had some serious methylation pathway issues with my genetics, with many of the MTHFR mutations.

In this section of livewello, apart from simply studying the information at hand, you have the ability to view, discuss, write notes on, print, download or share your Gene Variance reports for personal use or sharing the data with your health professional or other.

You also have the ability to click on the specific SNP or rsID (Reference SNP cluster ID – which basically means the ID number used to label and identify specific SNPs), minor alleles and genotypes, which are all organized into columns and rows for your reports, as you can see by my example below.

Surveys

From your profile you also have the ability to partake in surveys. The survey could for example be on the responsiveness to a certain supplement or medication. I haven't used this feature yet, but it seems that the value in this is that if a bunch of people with similar SNPs have the same reactions to a certain supplement as in the example, then this would expose valuable new data about how that SNP potentially affects people's lifestyle/nutritional choices.

You have 3 different sub sections within the Survey menu on livewello.com, them being; Surveys Library, My Surveys, and Responses.

Surveys Library

This is where you have all the different currently available surveys which you can partake in. At the time of writing, showing in my personal account there's an endless amount of new surveys that I could fill out, including one on COMT Gene and Response to Opiods, Gluten intolerance genes, and MAOA – The Warrior gene.

Obviously the value of this is to find a survey that relates to a certain health factor that you're interested in getting more data on, and partaking in that. Otherwise you can create your own of course, and hopefully over time you'll get a decent amount of people to participate.

Underneath each survey in the library, you can see how many participants have currently taken part, and your responses (if any so far). You also have the ability to share that particular survey (like in the Health Village section for example, or with specific individuals), and lastly you can view “Genetic Insights” for that survey. The genetic insights shows you how many of the survey participants have certain genotypes.

My Surveys

This is where you will see a list of any surveys that you have create so far. I have not created any surveys thus far, so I can't comment anymore currently on the use of this section.

Responses

This is where you will see a listing of your responses to all surveys. Again, I haven't yet used this feature so can't comment on how it functions.

Other Features That Come With Livewello.com

I'm sure this will be a section that requires ongoing updates, as their seem to be new features being added to this service often. Just to cover the basic features that you'd care about for now, they are the following:

GWAS Tool – Genome-wide association analysis software – 52K SNPs currently have research studies that directly link them to various health conditions. This tool will allow users to generate reports based on their diagnosis.

Gene Library – A free inclusive library with hundreds of health reports.

Gene Template Builder – This tool will allow you to create and customize your own gene reports, based on health issues or any chosen genes.

Data Tracking Tools – This is a nice little bonus tool which you can use to upload and track the results of your lab work over time.

Health Reports – This is one of the most valuable tools in the livewello paid membership in my opinion. It will give you customized health reports in the dozens or hundreds, based on your own SNPs data. This will give you many insights into potential health issues that you might not be aware of.

The true value in this being that you don't have to know a great deal about these customized health report issues, and you can find some really valuable bits of data in your personalized library. It's like finding valuable nuggets of highly personalized information related to your health and future health that you would have had absolutely no clue of before hand, as you might not be experiencing any symptoms or anything related to these reports currently.

As an example just through browsing through my health reports section randomly, I came across the below interesting fact based on my personal SNPs. Due to a gene called CYP2C9, I metabolize a drug called “Warfarin” (a blood thinning medication) at a higher rate than normal, which means if I ever needed to use this particular drug (and possibly other drugs with a similar mechanism – I'd have to verify that), then I would need to take an increased dose above the average to get the same effect. Interesting stuff indeed!

livewello-review-healthreports1

As mentioned earlier, there will be more features coming that I'll be reporting on and giving a brief introduction to. For now I feel I've covered the most important features of the livewello paid members area.

Livewello's Genetic Reporting Data Sources

Livewello sources it's SNP data from 12 different sources as of writing. Livewello's unique advantage over other services such as 23andme.com is that it offers information for a larger range of SNPs. As long as there is an rsID and minor Allele for that particular SNP, then livewello will generate a report for you.

The data is sourced from the following 12 locations (click each on the list to find out more about that specific data source):

Importing Your Raw Genetic Data From 23andme.com

For those of you reading who originally got your raw genetic data from 23andme.com, or are planning to do so in the future. I'll show you here how quick and easily you can import your raw data from that service into livewello.com to get your Variance Reports and all the other good information available.

Step 1 – Download Your Raw Data Within 23andme.com

All you need to do to accomplish this is to login to your 23andme.com account and look for the little link that says your profile name in the top right, once you've found that there is a link in that dropdown menu that says “BROWSE RAW DATA”. You simply click on that link and then when you get to the browse raw data page in your account, look in the same area – top right of your dashboard – and you'll see a link that says “DOWNLOAD”.

Once you click on that link, you'll be taken to a screen with some details about your file download, including file format, size, etc. You'll have to enter your password again here I believe for security purposes, and once you've done that the download should begin. Simple stuff.

Step 2 – Upload Raw Data Into livewello.com

Once you have your raw data file from 23andme.com, you simply need to create a free account at livewello.com, which you can do here. This will create a profile for you, and once you have logged in for the first time, you'll see a drop down menu at the top like this:

livewello-review-rawdataimport1

 

Once you have clicked on the “All Profiles” link, you should find yourself on a page looking very similar to this:

livewello-review-rawdataimport2

 

Then you simply click on the dropdown and go to the “Gene reports” link as shown here. You will then be directed to the page where you need to agree to their terms and pay the $19.95 to upgrade your account so you can use the Gene Variance reports function, which is where the true value of having a livewello account comes in.

That screen should look similar to this:

livewello-review-rawdataimport3

 
A Look At The Members Area

Here's some screenshots of the various areas within the membership once you've paid the $19.95 to get your Variance Reports created from your raw genetic data.

My Personal Experience So Far

While I've used livewello.com mostly so far to confirm some ideas that my health coach had about my current challenges, and haven't really even delved into the full power of all of it's features, so far my impressions are pretty positive.

The layout and interface is cool, intuitive and simple to use. It currently has more features than I have time to explore, which is great! The main reason for me using livewello.com was to upload and interpret my 23andme.com raw data (as I'm sure will be the case for a large amount of their users, if not 23andme then one of the other raw data providers) and this was simple, quick and painless to do from within the dashboard.

I was able to quickly send my health coach the PDF version of my Gene Variance report, and from that he could move me forward in the process of figuring out my own personal health issues.

The community aspect is very welcome, and I feel that it's in fact almost a necessity to have such a component built into a service like this, as the power and importance of people coming together and creating discussions on various SNPs and their respective health implications cannot be understated. It's also nice to see the discussions of others, as it creates a kind of “community aspect” which adds to the value of the site.

It also seems as if this is a site that's been very well planned out, and there are a lot of intentions to grow this into one of the authority's in personal genetic data reporting. It's already making headway as a much more comprehensive service than 23andme.com for example from what I can gather from talking to a few folks in the field who use these services with a lot of their clients.

Final Thoughts

I'm very excited by what's been made available on livewello, and I look forward to making it one of the foundational tools in my kit to building greater health and resilience in the future.

I also really look forward to being able to share this resource with friends or family, because I can see how helpful it's been to me already, and what a valuable resource it will be for those I care about.

As mentioned previously, this is really just the start when it comes to this type of technology becoming more widely available, so we're going to see some very exciting things in this area in the future, and I'll be sure to keep my finger on the pulse and report back here with any exciting new developments in this area.

Discussion On Livewello And Similar Services

Have you used either livewello, 23andme.com or any similar services? As mentioned, I personally think this is one of the most exciting areas of health and the future of personalized disease prevention, management and optimized living, and it's still early days for this type of service becoming more accessible to the public. After getting my own 23andme.com raw data and incorporating it with livewello.com I've been able to confirm a few suspicions I had about my own genetic variations that were contributing to various health issues.

what-about-youNot only that of course, but I now have an amazing tool box, and powerful resource at my command which I'm sure will serve me very well into the future. I think for the price of livewello.com at less than $20, it's ridiculously good value, and I plan on continuing to spread the word about it to my friends and family, and of course you my dear reader (thus the basis for this article).

So if you have any questions about my experience, comments or just want to join the discussion on this fascinating area of health, I'd love to hear from you and have you join the discussion below in the comments section.

References
  1. https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/genomicresearch/snp
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Nick Earl

About The Author - Founder at Healthvibed.com, Nick is passionate about learning and implementing all information related to achieving optimum health.

He's since made it his mission to learn, live and share these principles, many of which you can find on this blog.

Read more of Nick's personal story here, as well as our mission here on this site, here.

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wolf - last month

hey, nice read. two typos early on incl ‘how are genetics fit’ aka should be ‘our’ to fix when you update this article. why not date the article so we know how old it is.

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