Japanese Trying Out DNA Testing Due To Rapidly Aging Population

Gabrielle Okun | Reporter

DNA testing that helps identify risks for certain medical conditions is growing in popularity in Japan due to its rapidly aging population.

Genetic testing companies Genesis HealthCare and Genequest Inc. are helping people anticipate potential health risks that are inherited through family bloodlines, according to Bloomberg. These two genetic testing companies are trying to accommodate the aging population in Japan with mouth swab tests that research the customer’s risks for strokes, diabetes, alcohol intolerance and allergies. The genetic tests run from about $44 to $266 to take. The genetic testing market is expected to reach $58 million by 2022, Fuji Chimera Research Institute reported. (RELATED: Cherry Blossoms Make Japan Most Popular Easter Tourist Destination)

Japanese food companies are also trying to accommodate the growing interest in genetic testing. Nestle Japan Co. joined forces with Genesis to create an app that provides nutrition guidelines for consumers based on their genetic tests results.

Health drink and supplement company Euglena Co. bought Genequest in 2017, and the two companies now provide a test to look for alcohol intolerance in customers. (RELATED: More Than A Quarter Of Japan Is Over The Age Of 65)

“I see a lot of potential in the business,” Shoko Takahashi, the founder of Genequest Inc. said, according to Bloomberg. (RELATED: This Island Has More Dolls Than People Living In It)

One-third of Japan’s rapidly aging population is expected to be 65 or older by 2035, according to the Annual Report on the Aging Society: 2016.

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