Beyond 23&Me: A Deep Dive Into Ben Greenfield’s Personal DNA Results (& How To Get Your Own Genes Interpreted).

Affiliate Disclosure

the dna company
Body, Diet & Nutrition, Health & Wellness, Podcast, Podcast-new, Recovery & Sleep, Self-Quantification

Listen on:

I'm constantly blown away by the amount of genetic data and actionable information one can garner from a simple bit of saliva.

In today's episode, you're going to get an insider glimpse into how to go way beyond something as simple as 23AndMe or Ancestry and instead learn how to get truly useful health information that you can use to enhance health, performance, sleep, gut function, neurotransmitters and cognition, and much more.

My guest on this podcast, Dr. Mansoor Mohammed, has an extremely impressive background in the field of genetics. His credentials include:

  • BSc. Specialized Honours in Molecular Genetics | University of Guelph | Guelph
  • Doctor of Philosophy with Distinction in Molecular Genetics & Immunology | University of Guelph | Guelph
  • Postdoctoral Clinical Cytogenetics Fellowship | University of California | Los Angeles
  • Postdoctoral Clinical Cytogenetics Fellowship | Baylor College of Medicine | Houston

Dr. Mansoor is now the President and CSO of The DNA Company, a leading and innovative provider of comprehensive functional genomics testing and consulting and first in the industry to bring you individually customized supplements based on your genetics.

He is widely regarded as a pioneer in medical genomics and has been the recipient of multiple academic and industry awards. He is the holder of several patents in the general fields of molecular diagnostics and genomics research and is one of the most sought-after national and international conference speakers in the genre of personalized medicine.

Prior to his role at The DNA Company, Dr. Mansoor was:

  • Founder and President of ManaGene (2010-2018)
  • CEO of Combimatrix (Nasdaq traded leader in diagnostic genomic microarrays) (2006-2010)
  • Director of Genomics at Quest Diagnostics (The world’s largest reference laboratory with a market capitalization of over $10 billion US) (2003-2006)
  • Director of Research and Development at Spectral Genomics (one of the industry’s first commercial genomic microarray developers spun out of Baylor College of Medicine under Dr. Mansoor’s scientific leadership)

Dr. Mansoor maintains an active clinical practice as a genomics consultant to some of the leading executive health clinics in Canada and abroad.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-What makes each DNA test different and how to choose what's right for you…9:30

  • Consider the various elements of genetic testing:
    • SNPs (pronounce “snips”; single nucleotide polymorphisms)
    • Copy number variation (CNV)
    • INDEL (insertion/deletion polymorphism)
  • Understand how the various labs go about testing the elements
  • Humans have two identical copies of the DNA code (from each parent)
  • When testing for SNPs, the genetic paragraph is “read” and looks for variations between the two
  • The more paragraphs you try to query simultaneously, the greater risk of error (false negatives/positives)
  • Characteristics of a proper DNA test:
    • Concern is for the physical manifestation of the genes, not the genes themselves
    • Cellular function is key indicator
    • Identify the genes that influence the desired outcome
    • Pinpoint the specific DNA to test vs. “shotgun” approach
    • Avoid drawing data for data's sake

-A review of my DNA test and how it compares to my two sons…25:00

  • Two different reports: Genome Pulse Report and Hormone Pulse Report (looking at the GPR)
  • Vascular function
    • Cells that line the vascular system receive the most wear and tear
    • 9P21 markers (not genes) are correlated with the lining of the blood vessels; “the heart of the human genome”
    • A alleles and G alleles
    • The more G alleles you have, the less resilient is the endothelial lining
    • Increase good quality vegetable matter
    • People with multiple G alleles benefit less from vegetable matter (like red wine) than those with none
    • Smokers are more likely to die of vascular disease than lung disease
    • Glutathione S-Transferase (GST) pathway is one of the key pathways in the body
    • Glutathionylation: the cellular process that neutralizes toxins in the body
  • What happens when someone doesn't have 2 copies of a gene…
    • You sometimes have genes you didn't inherit from either parent
    • Talking about SNPs in the gene is irrelevant;
    • As is epigenetics (alter the expression of the genes, not the genes itself)
  • 3 vitally important GST genes:
    • Theta 1,
    • Pai 1,
    • Nu1
  • Should a person only have 1 copy of a gene, they will produce 50% less than someone with 2 copies
  • I have 1 copy of the GSTT1 gene (as does 60% of the population)
    • Important to not exceed a healthy toxicity threshold
  • I do not have the GSTM1 gene at all
    • Useless to discuss SNPs for that gene
    • The M1 gene is a backup: it can be lost with less consequence than other genes (such as the T1)
  • What this means is that I have low to average glutathione detox capacity
    • Must be more cognizant of diet, environment, etc.
  • My two boys are missing the GSTT1 gene completely

-Personalizing diet and/or supplements based on DNA test results…57:25

  • Youtrients
  • Nothing compares to an optimal diet (eating whole foods)
  • Customized based on dietary limitations (lactose intolerance)
  • Ethnic and geographic factors, as well as the environment during weaning, affect how to interpret test results
  • Elites of Victorian-era England adjusted their lifestyle (living in Scottish highlands in the autumn months)
  • Reduce, not promote, supplementation, to where only necessary
  • Our bodies are not designed to accommodate many of the supplements on the market
  • “Is there a cellular function that is dysfunctional?” Then address that through supplementation
  • More is not always better when it comes to genetics
  • 3 disparate aspects of cellular function:
    • Endothelial quality
    • Detox capacity
    • Insulin productivity and function in response to diet

-Differences between the hormone pulse report and the genome pulse report…1:18:25

  • BDNF (brain-derived neurotropic factor) is one of the most important genes in our body
  • First thing looking at: How does the body (male or female) convert progesterones into androgens, into estrogens
  • T-intersection (4 points):
    • How efficiently converting progesterone into androgens
  • 3 things happen when you make testosterone:
    • Use it
    • Convert some of it into DHT
    • Metabolize (glucuronidation)
  • I have the perfect balance of the t-intersection
  • My boys are identical, except have a higher predisposed conversion of testosterone into estrogen

-About the ACTN3 gene and its relation to exercise types…1:28:50

-And much more…

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

Click here for testing with Youtrients through The DNA Company. Use my link to get their complete functional genomics test package for $399 USD (that’s a savings of $50 from retail price), and your test package includes both Hormone and Genome Pulse panel tests as well as a clinical report for each panel, along with full access to their webinar series, which introduces the science and interpretation of your genomic results with regards to key biological systems and processes. Click here for that special offer from YouTrients for Ben Greenfield listeners.

– My Hormone Pulse results from The DNA Company

– My Genome Pulse results from The DNA Company

Episode sponsors:

Kion: My personal playground for new supplement formulations. Ben Greenfield Fitness listeners receive a 10% discount off your entire order when you use discount code: BGF10.

Halo Sport: Halo Sport revolutionized physical training by being the first-ever product that can increase your neuroplasticity by putting your brain into a state that neuroscientists called hyperlearning. The fully upgraded Halo Sport 2 was just announced and it’s pre-selling for just $349. And get a bonus discount when you use code: GREENFIELD.

Birdwell Beach Britches: Quality is our Gimmick isn’t just our slogan, it’s a commitment we honor with every stitch we sew. 100% money back guarantee. Get 10% off your order, PLUS free shipping on any order over $99 when you use discount code: BENG.

Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Dr. Mansoor or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

Related Posts

39 thoughts on “Beyond 23&Me: A Deep Dive Into Ben Greenfield’s Personal DNA Results (& How To Get Your Own Genes Interpreted).

  1. megan malone says:


    I ordered the kit on September 2nd and have had nothing but PROBLEMS with the company since then. They do not answer or respond to the 866# provided on the website. I have never seen such abysmal customer service. I believe I just wasted a ton of money on this DNA program. Usually when you recommend something I have no qualms about ordering it because I assume that you are vetting the company or product prior to making your recommendation. I am extremely disappointed with this company. Please look into them.

    1. Ben Greenfield says:

      To double check, are these issues with The DNA Company or with 23andMe?

  2. Graham says:


    Previously you had a guy from DNAfit on your show to discuss their product ( Having scrolled through both reports, I don’t see very many genes/SNPs that are included in both (I counted 4 to be exact). The main reason I am interested in getting my DNA profiled is to optimize my diet (and subsequently overall health). Ben or anyone else from your experience with either of these products, would you recommend one over the other? Considering that the report from The DNA Company is about 2-3 times as expensive, is there added value in their report? Thanks!

  3. April says:

    Hi! I have a gene report done through Functional Genomic Analysis and I did not receive an interpretation of it. I realize that genes are very complex, especially after listening to this podcast. What would be the best source for getting my report interpreted? Thank you!

  4. Pone says:

    In the podcast, you indicated that you would link to the interpretive guideline information for these tests. Is it possible to add that link?

  5. Chip says:

    Links to DNA company from this site are broken. Was there some falling out, or problem? Is this still Ben’s preferred DNA test?

    1. There is a new link! Just a new website. :)

    2. No falling out, I think they had some issues with their site. New link here:

  6. Jeff says:

    Do you test the HSPA genomes (HSPA1L, HSPA1A and HSPA1B)? Ben talked about some studies that show how it affects heat shock proteins and whether some people can have a better effect from saunas than others. Thanks!

    1. The DNA Co Team says:

      Hello! We do not currently test for the HSPA family of genes. However, our analysis of executive function includes the BDNF gene. Individuals with suboptimal variations of BDNF have been shown to respond favourable to mild heat exposure such as from the sauna, tropical climates, and periods of exercise. Furthermore, individuals with a poor biotransformation profile (indicated by poor methylation and glutathionization activity which we test for) may also see benefits through sauna-based activity. We’re happy to discuss more should you consider having one of our analyses conducted for yourself.

  7. Grant Spedding says:

    Hi Ben

    A number of negative comments here on this and timeframes – wondering if this has now been resolved satisfactorily?

    Q: if you had to chose between this provider and MyDNAPedia Tests (Fitness, Nutrition and Wellness) offered through the Biohacker Centre, which would you choose and why?

    Looking fwd to your advice.



    1. The DNA Co Team says:

      Hey Grant! Previously, we had worked with a third-party retailer to distribute the tests which didn’t go so well. We distribute from our HQ in Toronto and have a process can read about here.

  8. Ben says:

    Great podcast, really got me thinking. Ordered the test, sent it back, nothing! Have been in contact with the DNA Company, ect, ect…. Provide proof of purchase and bar code for the kit and they will see what they can do.?.?. There was no bar code to keep, this is BS. This has pretty much been a SPAM and con-job. There should be a BIG NOTE that this is not a good avenue to pursue and if Ben Greenfield ‘stands behind’ this type of operation I’m pretty sure I won’t be following a whole lot more of his ‘recommendations’.

    1. Hey Ben! We’re sorry to hear about your poor experience and we want to make sure we improve it. Could you kindly get in touch with us via [email protected] so that we can address your concerns and make sure you’re well take care of? Thank you!

  9. Sara says:

    Hi Ben! A huge thank you for this podcast. I have 23 and me and really enjoyed learning how to use it more fully. It was especially timely since I recently moved and had to get a new doctor. When I went to my appointment earlier this week, the new doctor wanted to discontinue the thyroid treatment plan that my old doctor had set up for me and which has been successful for the last four years. It has also been the only protocol that’s worked for me after trying a number of different treatments. I was able to use my raw 23 and me data to show that I have a polymorphism that makes me a poor T4 to T3 converter, and then was able to find a medical study that showed people with that polymorphism do better with T4/T3 combination therapy. The good news is that my doctor better understood why I need to continue to that plan and has since referred me to a specialist who more well-versed in situations similar to mine. I am planning to bring my 23 and me findings with me to that appointment too! Having hard evidence to back my case was critical in helping me to prove to my doctor that I need to continue with the combination therapy, so a huge thank you to both you and Dr. Mohammed for doing this podcast and coming to the rescue!

  10. MartyE says:

    At $400 for the youtrients DNA sequencing, it seems like it would be a better investment to spend a few hundred more and get the whole genome sequenced. Is there a flaw in my logic? Dante labs looks like a good option for WGS.

    1. Hey Marty, thanks for listening to our podcast. At The DNA Company, our goal is to provide you with actionable insights based on the clinically validated functional genes we’ve identified that influence critical biological and cellular processes. The key difference is in the way information is delivered to you. We incorporate a unique methodology and approach in identifying the various ways that these genes influence your overall health and wellness. We also offer clinical consultations with trained health care practitioners so you can build out a personalized program that works for you, based on your DNA. Please reach out to us at [email protected] and we’d be happy to help you with any additional questions, thank you!

  11. James Williams says:

    I just tested heterozygous for APOE4, so I’m E3/E4, and was wondering if you had or could do a podcast looking not just into Alzheimer’s but the implications of APOE4,3, and 2 and what else they do in the body as the difference seems to be huge in Alzheimer’s prevention and other fat and sugar based decisions.

  12. Kyle says:

    Will your results be continually updated as more research is done like with 23 & Me?

    1. Hey Kyle, thanks for posting your question. We continuously release new genes and are planning a launch of our new panel of 26 genes (which includes testing for the androgen receptor, FOXO3 longevity gene, HLA haplotype for gluten sensitivity, GPx for the next step of the redox reaction, and the MAO gene for further understanding dopamine management) in the new year. Get in touch with us at [email protected] to learn more about the new panel of genes we’re planning to launch. Thanks!

  13. Allie says:

    I’m confused. I’m seeing info in these reports that contradict other DNA snp databases. Maybe I’m misunderstanding something basic about genotype reports like this. Just for example. The SOD2 rs4880 snp. In Ben’s hormone report it says the T is the risk variant, but dbSNP says the C/T alleles are from the minus strand, so the the plus strand the alleles are G/A. But it contradicts Bens report by saying the G allele is the variant. G matches with C, and A with T, correct? So why does Ben’s report say T is the variant and dbSNP says G is the variant. That makes it sound like G/G or C/C would be the bad version of this snp. What am I missing?

    1. MartyE says:

      I agree, it is confusing with the different reporting on the alleles. Check out “SOD2 A16V – is GG the risk allele?” in the following article

  14. Adrian Bilyk says:

    I didn’t see anything about caffeine metabolism in the reports, unless I missed it. I’ve been curious about seeing if I’m a fast or slow caffeine metabolizer. Will this test show those results?

    1. Hi Adrian! Thanks for your comment. The CYP1A2 gene is responsible for caffeine metabolism, among a host of other responsibilities (including drug metabolism!). We provide results for the CYP1A2 gene in our comprehensive profile testing. Thanks!

  15. Chris says:

    He has a scientist mixed with a travelling preachers delivery. Communication style aside this had some very interesting content.

    1. Sherry says:

      I found his enthusiasm and delivery style quite engaging. The man is brilliant. Brilliance is allowed to be different : )

  16. Trevor says:

    Hi Ben! I want to start using a wireless EMS device. However, is the Compex Mini Wireless a NMES device or just TENS? I want something portable, but I don’t know whether to get a Compex Wireless or PowerDot.


  17. Ben Isabella says:

    I just ordered my test from Dr. Dhanani’s office based on your podcast with him. What are your thoughts on getting this information from Dr. Mansoor as well? what the differences between the information that I will get back

    1. They're quite similar! You will get the same type of results from either company (although admittedly, some have complained about Dr. Dhanani's response time in the past as he is a bit overloaded with clients)…

      1. william says:

        Dr. Dhanani took around two months to schedule an appointment, then the appointment wasnt for another two months after that. This wasn’t necessarily a big deal but after we had the skype meeting to go over my results, he promised to send me the audio version and put together a supplement blend so i could see what he recommended. Long story short he promptly left the country on vacation and i didnt hear back from him for almost 7 weeks. Needless to say at that point i told him i was not interested and that was it. I found working with him and his staff to be incredibly unreliable.

        1. Taylor says:

          Hey Ben I.! Dr. Dhanani was contracting with the DNA Company until they got into some sort of lawsuit/disagreement. It was a whole game of pointing fingers and I guess that contributed to the lengthy response times. Now Dr. Dhanani uses DNALabs. Response times are still pretty terrible but the DNA Labs seems like it gives you some extra details around lifestyle which may be beneficial to some people. Hope that helps!

  18. Doug says:

    Would this be more comprehensive than a blood testing panel?

    1. Dale AKA Healthnut says:

      Doug – Personally, I think both are important. I did the Longevity Blood Panel, Viome and DNA test.
      I found that combining all of them has helped my pinpoint a healthier way of living. I plan on taking
      another test 6 months from now to see if the changes have been beneficial.

    2. It's comparing apples and oranges. Both would give you good, actionable data.

  19. Dale AKA Healthnut says:

    Great Podcast. I just received my results from Dr. Dhanani’s office after excessive wait time.

    I still dont have all the data and it appears I may have to retest as I dont believe my results can

    be transferred. It has been a “bugger” to get my results and curious if there is a recommendation

    if data can be transferred to Dr. Mansoor Mohammed. ???

    Furthermore, I have been curious not only about foods and genes but based on genes –

    – A good match for where to live, sport to play, relationship compatability, type of work and such (based on genes).

    After looking at my preliminary results I am prone to Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. I am super happy that

    I am far from being obese at 5’9/150 and will do what I can to learn more about resisting Type 2 Diabetes.

    Ben, you nailed it on a consult 60 days ago that a Mediterranean diet would probably be best for me from

    my Longevity Blood Panel Test. My DNA results show that as well. I am taking strides to better health

    and performance. I am taking your LivingFuel SuperEssential Omega, some Thorne Products, cutting out things

    and adding others. I must say at 48 I am not where I want to be but happy with progress other than my V Cell therapy

    by Dr. Cook. I am still having hamstring issues but it was worth a try and love Dr. Cook and his wonderful staff.

    Thank you for all you do by providing outstanding content. I am blessed to have big ears to soak in what you have to say. :)

    Much Love from Texas.

    1. Hey Dale! Thanks for your posting your comment. We can absolutely go beyond simply what foods to eat and avoid etc. The concepts you mentioned (which environments, exercise, and relationship management will work best for you) are all absolutely influenced by the genes that we test for. For example, we can help determine if you’ll do better with weight bearing exercises, identify which environments could influence your detoxification profile, and determine how you respond to external stimuli like arguments, traumatic events, happy memories, and stress inducing events. To learn more and book a clinical consultation, please reach out to us at [email protected] and we’d be happy to assist you, thank you!

  20. Terry says:

    Great content!

  21. Dave says:

    The Halo sport 2 is coming up $50 more than what is published here. Wrong code?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *