The Scoop: Genetic testing can help people understand their long-term health risks so they can take precautions now. However, genetic testing hasn’t always been widely accessible. BioViva aims to change that by bringing advanced genetic tests to everyone. Couples and families are a particular focus of the company because of the many ways they can benefit from understanding their bodies. Together, they can see if they’re more likely to develop diseases as they age or even determine if future children would be more at risk for certain conditions.
While many couples worry about the health of their relationship, some may not think about their overall health as a couple. Studies show couples that exercise regularly often see numerous health benefits, but what they don’t know about their biological health can still cost them in the long run.
Those who are focused on long-term physical health and well-being should consider taking a genetic test from BioViva. Using a saliva test in its MapMyHealth product, the company scans DNA profiles to unlock insights about an individual’s particular biology.
From there, BioViva can share a wealth of information about unique traits, including the likelihood someone will develop certain diseases, recommendations for what they should be eating, and advice about how they might react to certain medications.
Once clients receive a risk assessment from BioViva, they’re not on their own to interpret the information. BioViva sends an action plan about what someone with their DNA makeup needs to live a healthier life. Additionally, clients have a 45-minute session with a genetic counselor who will talk them through methods for improvement.
“MapMyHealth is my favorite because it has the widest breadth of testing on the market,” said BioViva Founder Liz Parrish. “It helps you understand your risks, including if you have a higher or lower risk for Alzheimer’s or certain types of cancer.”
All of BioViva’s tests typically provide clients with more information about their bodies and health than they can gain from a doctor’s visit. However, Liz wants clients to remember that an increased likelihood of developing a condition is not a definitive prediction.
“If you have an increased risk for a certain disease, it doesn’t mean you’ll get it,” she said.
BioViva offers tests in addition to MapMyHealth and continues to develop new methods to help couples and families get the most out of their lives together. The company is going beyond testing by using what it has learned to create gene therapy methods that regenerate missing or defective genes that can cause diseases.
On a Mission to Predict Your Future Well-Being
Liz founded BioViva to provide people with more information about their genetic makeup. The company employs researchers who work with medical doctors to collect data and track the connections between genetic traits, biological age, and health risks. The more genes mapped, the more accurately researchers can predict the likely genetic futures of their clients.
“We want to give clients more information about how to prepare for a healthy future that’s vastly predicted by your genes,” Liz said.
Clients first choose the type of genetic test they want to perform. Then, BioViva ships out the test and recipients take it — in the form of a blood test, saliva test, or urine test — and send the sample back to the company. From there, BioViva compares the results to the genetic mapping it has completed and sends a genetic profile back.
While the entire human genome isn’t completely mapped, clients can have their full gene makeup sequenced, so if BioViva’s researchers discover a link to a particular risk or condition, they can receive an addendum to the original report.
“The Whole Genome Sequencing Test codes all of your genes. We don’t know what all of those genes mean yet, but as we learn more about different genes, you’ll get more information about you,” Liz said.
If an individual is at risk for developing a certain disease, BioViva also partners with medical providers that can offer therapies or treatments to alleviate or prevent issues. One of the company’s partners, Integrated Health Systems, even develops drugs that target the aging process, with the intent to slow or reverse it through regeneration.
Epigenetic Tests Can Reveal Risk for Disease
Another popular test that couples can take together is the Reveal My DNA Age test. Each person has a chronological age, a biological age, and an age he or she feels. Rarely are those three the same, and this test helps people understand the connections between them.
“Our age-related epigenetics test can gauge your biological age and reveal your health risks,” Liz said. “It’s the most accurate test for knowing your biological age.”
As people age, more cells activate within their genes. That means that if they’re at risk for certain diseases, that will become more evident as they get older.
However, that likelihood does not mean that their genetic future is set. Instead, through gene mapping, individuals and their partners can make lifestyle changes that could also alter their genetic outlook.
For example, if you’re at an increased risk for heart disease, you could add more exercise to your daily schedule — in addition to consuming less red meat. After making a few lifestyle changes, clients can even test their genetic ages again to see if the adjustments have made them less likely to develop specific diseases.
Genetic testing isn’t just for age-related disease predictions. It is also a consideration more partners take into account when deciding to have children.
“We can look at inherited risk for birth issues,” said Liz. “Looking at genetic risks before having children is something that a lot of people are doing, and I think it makes sense.”
As couples plan for the future, they can consider BioViva genetic testing to help identify the healthiest lifestyles both for themselves and for their children.
The Next Step for BioViva is Developing Biotherapies to Reverse Cell Aging
When couples think of the future of their relationships, health should be an essential consideration. BioViva has made strides in genetic mapping to help people try to live their best — and longest — lives. The company wants to continue being a leader in gene therapy, so people have even more options.
“Our company is all about changing that future for you. That’s why we’re working on gene therapy, so you don’t get things like dementia or heart disease,” Liz said.
Many people believe that their genes are an absolute predictor of the health they’ll always have or the lives they’ll always lead. They may think that they’re stuck with “bad” genes, and there’s nothing they can do about it.
However, Liz said that belief is a myth, and BioViva envisions a world without genetic disease where everyone can live as long and healthily as possible.
“We want to decrease the years anyone lives with a chronic disease, thereby creating more active, healthy lives for people,” she told us. “My dream is to see a world where that happens, and being a part of that through BioViva has been so impactful.”
BioViva is an innovator in a field that will likely soon be at the forefront of the healthcare industry, and genetic mapping and gene therapy will become more common as people proactively work to live longer, healthier lives.
“In the coming years, everyone’s genetic future and health are going to be a bigger focus,” Liz said. “And the biotherapies of the future will help people live better for longer.”