"Interpreting genomic data enables patients to take charge of their health by understanding and controlling for risk (and health) factors in their daily lives"
- Nathan Price, Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM)
What is Nutrigenomics?
The term ‘nutrigenomics’ refers to the interaction between our genes and our diet and the different ways in which we respond, based on our unique genetic makeup.
While the genes we are born with don’t change, whether or not they are ‘expressed’ (turned on or off) depends very much on our diet, lifestyle and environment. Lifestyles today are often detrimental to our health, leading to underlying health issues and long term chronic disease.
BUT, Your genes are not your destiny. You can influence your genes in a positive way
DNA testing helps to identify weaknesses in certain genes before they have a chance to impact on health. It can help reveal which diseases we may be more susceptible to, or see which areas of our lifestyle and health we will need to take extra care.
By understanding the effect of food on certain genes, this information is used to provide a personalised, DNA based nutrition and diet plan to help positively influence YOUR gene expression and ultimately improve overall health outcomes.
Knowing your gene traits helps you take preventative action before disease sets in
What happens when I take a DNA test?
Taking a DNA test with 23andme involves saliva collection by spitting into a small plastic tube. Alternatively, myDNAhealth or DNAFit use a simple mouth swab. This requires you to rub a swab stick - a bit like a cotton bud, around the inside of your mouth. DNA tests are then sent off to the laboratory. Your results will be complete around 4 weeks later (longer for 23andme) and these will be discussed with you during your next consultation.
Genes may load the gun, BUTenvironmental factors pull the trigger, especially for chronic illnesses e.g. type 2 diabetes, arthritis heart disease cancer.
What information can I find out?
myDNAhealth and DNAFit do not test for medical conditions, only genetic predispositions. These are the genes that are strongly influenced by diet and lifestyle, which means you can do something about them! This can be a hugely motivational factor, especially for those who feel anxious or resigned to the fate of their genes.
If you're interested in finding out what your own genetic predispositions are and how you can best support your genes through diet and lifestyle, please contact me for a free 15 minute chat.
The most common genetic information relating to health includes:
Sugar metabolism and sensitivity to carbohydrates
Fat sensitivity and over-absorption
Fat release ability and exercise type
Essential fatty acid pathway
Liver Detoxification ability, inflammation and oxidation potential
The reports include personalised, colour-coded genotype results together with the environmental factors impacting gene expression and overall health. The results are interpreted and presented in an easy-to-understand guide which includes recommendations for lifestyle, nutrition and exercise modifications.
The choice of DNA test will be discussed during your initial consultation or over the phone prior to your appointment.
Note that DNA testing is used as an additional tool to help with supporting your health. Your gene traits are not treated in isolation, but as one part of the whole picture of your health which is always taken into account. If, after evaluation, your DNA results and your current health symptoms warrant it, further functional testing may be advised. This helps to provide a more complete picture of you.
Alternative DNA Tests - 23andme
If you have already taken a 23andme DNA test and don't wish to take another, that's absolutely fine. The data produced from your 23andme test can be interpreted by other carefully selected genetics applications. You will still receive all the detailed information in relation to your genetic results that you would receive with myDNAhealth.
Alternatively, I will personally analyse the specific genes which I believe are most relevant to your presenting condition(s) and provide you with nutritional and lifestyle advice accordingly.
These options can be discussed during your consultation.
Please contact me for further information on consultations with genetic testing.