“I felt dizzy as I felt the ground give way under my feet. I was playing badminton early on a Saturday. I gently hopped to the nearest chair. After going through the rigmarole of MRI it was diagnosed with a totally ruptured Achilles tendon in my right foot. Surgery for tendon repair was followed by three months of recuperation, walking with the help of crutches, and another few weeks of physiotherapy to regain my ability to walk and climb stairs.” This was how Dr Vani KM, cofounder, narrated her ordeal, excited about the immense potential of Wellness Genetics.

Why do only some of us get tendon, joint and muscle injury while others are able to enjoy sports without pain? We’re all familiar with the idea that genes influence our abilities, and the debate of nature vs nurture. Today we understand the importance of Nature ‘and’ Nurture, that they go hand in hand in determining everything from sport champions to muscle injury, hair fall treatment to obesity risk, and a lot more.

This is most evident in the case of sport performance. With diets, mind relaxation techniques, and even hyperbaric chambers, athletes go to great lengths in training to reach their absolute potential. PM Modi has announced an initiative to provide our athletes better training and resources to enable them to win more medals at the Olympics. Fitness Genetics will help in this regard by determining the athlete’s genetic profile, which will help personalize their training regimens as well as protect them from incapacitating injuries for which these athletes have genetic risk.

When a child is born the parents and grandparents proudly match the physical traits passed on through their genes to their progeny: comparing the nose, chin and other features. The science of passing on the physical and mental traits to our progeny is a well-known fact. Scientific research has today advanced further and identified genes coding for the way muscles in our body respond to diet and training, skin types and their response to nutrition, the control of hair fall, risk of diabetic complications, obesity, addictions and a lot more.

“This actually came to us from the public. We were getting enquiries about genes for sporting ability, people struggling to treat hair fall, and diabetics with uncontrolled sugar levels”, said Dr Sooraj Ratnakumar, founder. This led the enterprising team at Swagene, a molecular diagnostic startup with established reputation in the field of personalized medicine in Cancer, Gynecology and Cardiology, to launch Wellness Genetics, the consumer-focused personalized care and wellness brand.

Wellness Genetics, the consumer brand of the multiple award-winning biotech startup Swagene, has launched genetic tests to identify sports genes, hair fall genes, and several others. Their results will provide research-backed strategies to identify your strengths and achieve your goals in nutrition, sports, diabetes and aging. “It is like a genetic SWOT to identify your weaknesses and devise ways to overcome them with augmented efforts in training or diet, all backed by science,” explains founder Dr Sooraj.

A lot of people have worries and anxieties regarding activities that are important to their daily life, such as self-confidence, career progression, risks, stress and fitness. Modern research is yielding a treasure trove of information on how genes contribute to various physical and psychological traits that have an impact on such daily activities.

Wellness genetics, aims to help people by not only identifying genetic traits and thereby inherent strengths and weaknesses, but also suggesting lifestyle choices and feasible actions to achieving their goals and dreams. For instance, did you know that while there are a few different genes that indicate an individual is prone to depression, one of the genetic markers can tell you if exercise is going to play an important role in getting you out of depression. So chemicals need not be the only option, and genetics can guide a person’s lifestyle choices.