Always on the cutting edge of new medical technologies, Dr. Oz has already tried 23andMe's genetic test. Upon receiving his results, Dr. Oz says he learned he's predisposed to developing macular degeneration, which can cause vision loss. Armed with this knowledge. Dr. Oz is taking preventive measures to preserve his vision and keep his eyes healthy. "That's actually an ailment that you can prevent with eating leafy green vegetables," he says. "So since I don't want to be a blind surgeon, I know I can do things today that will change my life down the road."
Dr. Oz also found out he's 30 percent less likely than the average man is of developing prostate cancer. Which means, he can be a little less diligent about scheduling regular prostate examinations. "Think of the trade-off," he says. "Thanks to this test, I don't have to have rectal exams."
With this test, Dr. Oz believes medical care can become customizable for each patient. "On the show, we are always giving people advice, but in fairness, I'm talking to most people not all people," Dr. Oz says. "With this technology, we can avoid the shotgun approach that we traditionally use in not only giving people advice on their health, but also prescribing them drugs that we think will work for most people, but we know will not work for all."
Some critics of DNA testing say the results could cause genetic discrimination, but Dr. Oz believes it's all about choice. "If you don't want to know your data, that's fine too," Dr. Oz says. "But if you poll Americans and you say, 'Listen, we're going to give you data that you can use to change your life'—for example, eating more leafy green vegetables or maybe not being prescribed a drug that won't work for you—I think most Americans will say, 'I'll take that chance.'"
Dr. Oz also thinks this technology could help people around the world. "As more and more humans take the test—not just Americans or Europeans—we're going to be able to look across the planet to build health in humanity," he says.