Pathway Genomics Review

UPDATED Aug. 2018

Founded in 2008, Pathway Genomics Corporation is a private medical diagnostics company designed to provide physicians and their patients with full control over their wellness and health. The company operates from San Diego, California, offering treatment support for a broad spectrum of health conditions.  

The company was launched by Jim Plante after his father died from an inherited polycystic kidney disease. His vision was to make personalized medicine and genetic testing accessible and affordable to everyone. We’ll see his degree of success right here in our Pathway Genomics review.

This test is ranked #5 on our Best Health DNA Tests list.
Pathway Genomics homepage

How Pathway Genomics Works

The testing procedure with Pathway Genomics is very simple, featuring the following steps:

  • Placing an order  After visiting the Pathway Genomics website, you can order any of its tests online, following the comprehensive instructions provided.
  • Sample collection  After the test kit arrives at your address, you should follow the guide and collect your DNA sample. The kit offers cheek swabs, so you won’t have to draw blood or undergo any painful collection method. The procedure, which is completely painless, shouldn’t last longer than a couple of minutes.
  • Sending the sample back  After collecting the sample, you should send it back to the Pathway Genomics lab. The postage is prepaid, so there are no additional expenses to worry about. 
  • Sample analysis  Once it receives your sample, Pathway Genomics will process it and build your genetic profile. 
  • Inspecting the results  In about 6 weeks, your final report will be generated and you’ll be able to inspect the results online.

As with any sample collection kit using cheek swabs, you should make sure not to contaminate your DNA sample by eating, drinking, smoking, brushing your teeth or chewing a bubble gum at least half an hour (preferably 2 hours) before swabbing for buccal cells. Also, make sure the end of the swab doesn’t get in contact with anything else apart from the inside your mouth.  

Pathway Genomics has a proprietary lab, which is accredited by CAP and CLIA. Its cutting-edge processing technology provides you and your physician with accurate and actionable information that can help maintain or improve your health and wellness.

Why Choose Pathway Genomics

We already listed some of the benefits of opting for this DNA testing provider in the previous section of our Pathway Genomics review, but let’s take a deeper look at its biggest advantages:

  • Competent professional team 
  • Proprietary CLIA and CAP-accredited laboratory 
  • State-of-the-art processing technology 
  • Variety of health and wellness-related DNA tests 
  • Comprehensive and accurate results 
  • Quick turnaround times 
  • Professional and knowledgeable user support available via email, phone, and live chat 
  • Free shipping and handling 
  • Reasonable prices 
  • Solid security policy 
  • Multitude of international projects and partnerships 
  • The company takes part in numerous prominent forums and conferences 

Tests

Pathway Genomics offers a grand total of 13 different tests. 4 of those are designed for home use whereas the other 9 can only be ordered by your physician. Without further ado, let’s take a look at its offer:

At-home personalized tests

Fit iQ and PathwayFit (99$ and 299$, respectively)  We are bundling these tests since their only difference lies in the processing scopes. They’re basically the same test, but PathwayFit covers more information than Fit iQ. They are what we call “genetic exercise and nutrition profiles,” providing you with a personalized report with recommendations aimed at optimizing your health.   

The tests cover the following segments: 

  • Eating behavior traits  Eating disinhibition, snacking, sweet tooth, food desire, and satiety. PathwayFit also includes the hunger trait;
  • Food reactions  Alcohol rush, bitter taste, caffeine metabolism, lactose intolerance, and sweet taste;
  • Body and weight  Metabolism, obesity, and weight loss/regain. PathwayFit also includes adiponectin levels;
  • Matching diet  Matching diet, response to monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3/omega-6 levels;
  • Exercise  Aerobic capacity (VO2max), endurance training, loss of body fat response to exercise, muscle power, strength training, weight loss, and BMI response to exercise. PathwayFit also offers reports on Achilles Tendinopathy, blood pressure as a response to exercise, HDL response to exercise, and Insulin sensitivity as a response to exercise;
  • Nutritional needs  Folic acid, vitamins A, B, B2, B6, B12, C, D, and E;
  • Metabolic health factors  Decreased HDL cholesterol, elevated blood sugar, elevated LDL cholesterol, and elevated triglycerides; 
  • Diet guidelines  Free personalized genetic dieting program comes only with PathwayFit.

Skin iQ and SkinFit (99$ and 199$, respectively)  These two tests follow the same pattern as the previous bundle, with one offering a slightly wider scope than the other. They are designed to uncover the genetic prerequisites for the overall condition of your skin. 

Pathway Genomics skin

They include the following results:

  • Skin photoaging  Collagen degradation and wrinkles, tanning response (skin iQ: sun sensitivity), sun spots, and freckles. SkinFit also includes skin photoaging procedure options;
  • Skin elasticity and texture  Cellulite, stretch marks, and varicose veins (superficial veins with Skin iQ). There are procedure options with SkinFit here as well;
  • Skin allergy risk and inflammation  Contact dermatitis (itchy skin with Skin iQ) and eczema (skin irritant sensitivity with Skin iQ). SkinFit also includes rosacea, generalized psoriasis, and procedure options;
  • Skin moisture factor  Dry skin. Procedure options come with SkinFit;
  • Skin oxidation protection  Antioxidation response; 
  • Skin glycation  Glycation protection; 
  • Skin nutritional needs  Omega-3/6 deficiency, deficiency of vitamins A, B2, B6, B12, C, D, E, and folic acid deficiency.

Gluten Fit (199$) – This test was designed to establish your level of gluten sensitivity and determine your genetic predispositions for developing celiac disease. Gluten sensitivity is very hard for physicians to diagnose since it can include a whole plethora of different symptoms.

The results include 5 traits to help you determine whether your DNA plays a role in your gluten sensitivity and design the best diet to keep yourself healthy. These traits include:

  • Your matching diet
  • Response to monosaturated fats
  • Response to polyunsaturated fats
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 levels
  • Genetic predisposition for celiac-related gluten sensitivity

The following tests used to be reserved for physicians but were recently made available to the general public:

  • Mental Health DNA Insight (399$) – The test analyzes specific genetic variants within your DNA strain to uncover your response to more than 50 psychiatric medications. The results cover SSRI, SNRI, TCA, and other antidepressants, as well as ADHD medication (NE reuptake inhibitor), Benzodiazepines, mood stabilizers, typical/atypical antipsychotics, and other neurological medications.
  • Pain Medication DNA Insight (399$) – The process is the same as with the previous test, but your DNA is analyzed for a response to analgesic effects. The results cover opioids, NSAIDs, and other pain-relief medications.
  • Cardiac DNA Insight (399$) – This test provides information about the genetic risk of various heart-related conditions. The final report focuses on heart disease/Atrial Fibrillation, peripheral arterial disease/Venous Thrombosis, Hypertension, and cardiovascular health.

Reports for physicians

As we’ve already said in our Pathway Genomics review, these tests can only be ordered by your physician. Note that the DNA sample is extracted from saliva or blood with these tests. The average turnaround time is between 2-3 weeks. They are sorted into 4 different categories, including:

Health & Wellness:

  • Healthy Weight DNA Insight  This test uses a proprietary algorithm to analyze your overall health and wellness. It provides your physician with comprehensive reports on common health conditions, medication response, and nutrigenetic. You are tested to determine your eating behaviors, health conditions, medication and exercise response, weight and diet, metabolic health factors, and nutritional needs.
  • Healthy Woman DNA Insight  The test results provide a unique genetic profile for female users. The information your physician will receive includes eating behaviors, health conditions, medication and exercise response, weight and diet, metabolic health factors, and nutritional needs.
Pathway Genomics Healthy Weight DNA

Carrier Screening: 

  • Carrier Status DNA Insight  This is a prenatal comprehensive preconception carrier screening test following the ACOG recommendations and testing for over 120 recessive genetic diseases. The results cover ACOG-recommended conditions, Ashkenazi Jewish conditions, and genetic maladies.

Hereditary Cancer:

  • BRCATrue  This next-gen DNA sequencing test is designed to identify mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. These mutations significantly increase the risk for ovarian, breast, and other types of cancer. 80% of ovarian and breast patterns in families have been attributed to mutations in these two genes.
  • COLOTrue  This is a 13-gene panel for hereditary colorectal cancer. The test can be ordered by individuals or entire families. Apart from full 13-gene sequencing, the test also includes an analysis of the MDM2-SNP309 allele.
  • BreastTrue High-Risk Panel  This test inspects genes known to cause high susceptibility to breast cancer, including BRCA1/2, MLPA, CDH1, CHEK2, PALB2, PTEN, STK11, and TP53.
Pathway Genomics Hereditary Cancer

Privacy And Security

Pathway Genomics is required by law to provide the optimal security level for your protected health information (PHI). This covers all the information regarding your past, present or future that can be used to positively identify you as an individual.

The company collects data necessary to provide services, conduct healthcare operations, and obtain payment. Your PHI includes name, geographical and email address, telephone number, gender, date of birth, medical history, ethnicity, diagnosis, provider identification, treatment info, medical insurance account number, and credit card information.

The company can disclose your PHI in the following situations/to the following parties:

  • Pathway Genomics Privacy And SecurityTreatment purposes 
  • Payment 
  • Health care operations 
  • Business associates  
  • Law requirements 
  • De-identified info and limited data sets 
  • Research 
  • Family, friends, and caregivers 
  • Personal representatives 
  • Appointment reminders 
  • Other cases permitted by law 

The company has to obtain your permission for: 

  • Marketing activities 
  • Sale of your PHI 

Note that all the sensitive information you share through Pathway Genomics’ live chat are stored in its database.

Shipping And Handling

The company ships within and outside of the US. Shipping for domestic orders is free, but we couldn’t find any info regarding international shipments. Apart from this, there is no additional information to be found on their site. 

Bottom Line

Pathway Genomics is definitely a good mix of different health and wellness DNA tests, providing accurate results for both you and your physician. You can basically look at this company as an additional health clinic in service of your optimal well-being, as this Pathway Genomics review has proved.  

It has its own lab, features renowned experts in their fields, provides comprehensive and error-free results, and has testing options to fit any needs.


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