LIFESTYLE

Alzheimer's, Cancer And Even Baldness Could Be Detected With This £125 Saliva Test

02/12/2014 13:56 GMT | Updated 02/12/2014 14:59 GMT

A new test which could determine whether your health is at risk from conditions such as Alzheimer's or cancer, has gone on sale in the UK for £125.

Developed by a Google-backed company, the saliva test can assess over 100 pieces of genetic information to find out how likely a person is to develop various health conditions.

The test can also predict the likelihood of somebody going bald or what type of exercise suits them best. As well as offering information about a person's ancestry.

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The test is sold by 23andMe, a company part-funded by Google and run by Anne Wojcicki, wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

To take the test, samples of your spit must be sent to 23andMe in the post. The company will then analyse your saliva - spending four to six weeks testing it - and will send a detailed report back.

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It sounds like a no fuss way to find out if you could develop cancer or Alzheimer's in later life. But there's still plenty of uncertainty across the board surrounding whether a test like this could prove reliable.

Dr Nitin Shori, Medical Director of the Pharmacy2U Online Doctor service and a working NHS GP, tells HuffPost Lifestyle: “It’s an interesting proposition and something that could spark an interest with many people – particularly those who know about an inherited medical condition running in their family.

"However, it’s important to be aware that a genomics test like this isn’t going to definitively answer whether or not you’re going to develop a particular condition.

"Patients may be unclear about what the results mean or unsure what to do in response to them,” he added.

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In America, the Food and Drug Administration banned the company from predicting people’s future health after they failed to prove the accuracy of their tests.

A Department of Health spokesman told The Telegraph: “This Government is developing the use of genomics for patient care within the NHS.

"We welcome initiatives that help to raise awareness of genomics and those which enable people to take more interest in their personal health but we urge people to think carefully before using private genomic services as no test is 100% reliable.”