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Personalized Health and Genetic Testing

Home/Blog/Personalized Health and Genetic Testing

The Fountain of Youth exemplifies the human desire for a long life. The belief in an elixir with magical restorative powers demonstrates how mysterious and elusive health can seem to be. People will go to great lengths to facilitate the anti-aging process – injections, lasers, supplements, hormones and surgery are now part of everyday life in 2016.

Recently, a more practical and personalized approach is gaining momentum as the Human Genome Project is beginning to uncover the genetic factors associated with aging. Scientists have been able to unravel many of the mysteries surrounding health, disease and longevity. It’s now possible to search within our DNA for glitches that could result in disease, given certain environmental conditions.

Genetic tests are now available to physicians that will identify the specific lifestyle that is ideal for you. The labs provide personalized information, based on your genetics and lifestyle, to help you meet the following goals:

  • Understand your metabolism and behavior traits
  • Reach and maintain a healthy weight
  • Get the most benefit from physical activity and exercise
  • Optimize the nutritional balance of your diet

Epigenetics

First, a quick lesson about genes. You know that many of your traits, like your height or eye color, were inherited from your parents. You also probably know, that you didn’t receive every trait that your parents passed on to you through their chromosomes (i.e. you received your father’s brown eyes, not your mother’s blue eyes). This is because only certain genes in us are actually turned on or expressed.

But did you know that not every trait of ours is inherited from our parents? These arise when other factors, like environment, modify our genetic makeup, turning on or off specific genes. This process produces different cell types that form nerves, muscles, bones, organs, etc.

These modifications continue to occur to your genes throughout your life as part of your adaptation to an ever‐changing environment (2). The study of these modifications is known as epigenetics.

The exciting news is that genes alone do not determine our destiny! The discovery of epigenetics has opened up new possibilities for disease prevention and lifestyle prescriptions.

In many instances what drives these modifications are factors that you can control, like your diet. Your genetics load the gun, but it’s your lifestyle that pulls the trigger!

In conjunction with expert nutritional advice, the implications of genetic testing extend from the body (like which exercise regimen is the most beneficial for your muscle type and unique biochemical functions) to the cellular (like what form of a vitamin is best for your biochemistry (4)).

What Genetic Testing Tells Us

Our modern understanding of epigenetics has created an exciting new field that is the drive behind individual genetic testing. Genetic testing measures Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) within the genetic code. SNPs are essentially normal, single variations in your DNA building blocks that occur fairly frequently (1 in 300). These SNPs are easy to identify because they show up as a difference in the usual pattern of your DNA.

Most SNPs have little to no impact on your health, while others can help us identify important factors in your health, like your risk for certain, life-threatening diseases, including heart disease, cancer or diabetes. Following this detection through genetic testing, we can now take the steps towards treatment, or possibly prevention, with a tailored nutritional plan specific to your genetic requirements (7).

Summary

The possibilities for personal health improvement are nearly endless. Perhaps, the resolution to the fountain of youth dilemma rests in the influence we have over your own epigenetic expression and how you allow your genes to interact with your environment. Maybe the fountain of youth should be redefined from life longevity to the quality of life you want to achieve.

What if you could have a health plan personally tailored based on what your genes are telling us we need? What if there was a program that identified your lifestyle genes and provided a personalized wellness prescription?

Welcome to Wellness Warrior Rx – Your blueprint to achieve your genetic potential!!

References:

  1. Epigenome at a Glance. Genetic Science Learning Center. The University of Utah. http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/epigenetics/intro/
  2. Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms. National Human Genome Research Institute. National Institute of Health. http://www.genome.gov/glossary/index.cfm
  3. Weinhold, Bob. Epigenetics: The Science of Change. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2006 March; 114(3): A160‐A167. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1392256/
  4. Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms. National Human Genome Research Institute. National Institute of Health. http://www.genome.gov/glossary/index.cfm
  5. Genetics Home Reference. The National Institute of Health: What are single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)? http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/genomicresearch/snp
  6. Genetics Home Reference. The National Institute of Health: MTHFR http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/gene/MTHFR
  7. Lynch, Benjamin, N.D. MTHFR.Net. http://mthfr.net/
By | 2017-05-18T20:13:56-04:00 March 18th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

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