Why do I think DNA profiling is a breakthrough in personalised health and wellbeing?
More than 20 years ago I chose to go into the field of naturopathic medicine not only to help people to overcome illness and live healthier lives, but also to work preventatively. It is my goal to give people the tools to reduce their risk of illness. For example, we know if cholesterol and heart disease is something that runs in your family then it is good to eat a vegetarian diet, minimise dairy, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, manage blood pressure and supplement with cardiovascular herbs, Co enzyme Q10 and high quality fish oils.
This is all standard, generic advice which we know works but now we can be more specific!
DNA profiling: No more generic advice!
I’m excited that we are now able to give more personalised guidance and advice around nutrition and lifestyle based on having a better understanding of their nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics.
Nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics are the link between diet and genes in particular nutrigenetics is a science that studies genetic variants associated with differential response to nutrients while nutrigenomics is a whole system approach that investigates how nutrients can affect gene expression along with other factors such as exercise and lifestyle which can also affect gene expression.
What is a gene?
A gene is essentially a DNA sequence that produces a molecule with a function. Humans share 99.9% of the DNA the remaining 0.1% is what makes us unique including characteristics such as height and eye colour, as well as our risk for developing health conditions including diabetes or cardiovascular disease. The interaction between your genes and the environment diet exercise etc. has the strongest effect on your health.
Everything that you eat can influence your genes. It is important to note that your genes cannot be changed but you can change how well they function by making the right dietary choices. This means that if you know your genetic makeup you can make better informed choices about your diet to maximise your health as compared to if you only received generic dietary advice.
How can having a gene profile help you?
To achieve your goal of becoming and staying healthy, nutrition and lifestyle interventions based on your genetics may assist with the following:
- Obesity and Pre-diabetes
- Dietary intolerances and sensitivities
- Cardiovascular issues
- General health and well being
- Sports performance
I’m so excited to be able to offer genetic testing to my patients. It is simple as booking in a 15-minute time slot on the online calendar. At your appointment, you will do a mouth swab which is posted away to be analysed and then we check back in to review the results and develop a personalised plan.
Using DNA profiling
DNA profiling enables me to understand my patients causes or drivers of disease from a genetic perspective. It is the systems medicine that gives me true insight into how to design a highly personalised health plan in conjunction with my current naturopathic practises. Understanding the drivers of complex and chronic diseases including autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease, pain and inflammation, weight control, hormonal issues, fertility, fatigue and unexplained illnesses.
The genetic profile contains information about the gene variants you have in your genes which in turn influence your fitness and health now and into the future.
The genetic variants tested to create your profile have are grouped according to the primary physiological effects they have on your body. These have key influencing effects on your health, ageing, wellbeing and performance.
These groups are: inflammation, cell defence, vitamin D receptors, cardiovascular health, methylation and homocysteine metabolism, fat metabolism and cholesterol regulation once we have this report your personal genetic profile is an integral piece of the puzzle helping us to personalise your diet choose your best exercise, minimise your supplement requirements and maximise your potential for healthy living and healthy ageing.
Of course, as your genes do not change this is a once only, need never to be repeated test!
If you are wanting to live your best life, then genetic testing is absolutely the best tool available.