DNA testing – Nutrigenetics by Nordic Laboratories
DNA and genetic testing is currently gaining traction as an essential tool in modern science. Understanding our genetics means understanding the basis of our unique biology. This can explain why certain diets, medicines or sports work well for one person but not for another, and why it is more about the fine-tuning to the individual than mass marketing to all. It is these minor differences to our DNA that can alter the very way our body functions, metabolises food or even uses energy during sport that can have a major effect on our overall health, weight and athletic performance.
Genetic testing can be integrated into a nutritional therapy consultation as a way of tailoring advice, to make it specific to the individual. By understanding how our bodies work at a cellular level, our advice can be very specialised and accurate.
DNA analysis looks at SNP’S’. These can be related to a molecular pathway in the body which might influence the way a particular function in the body works, such as how an enzyme or a receptor works. DNA testing does not test for disease, but looks at the interaction of particular genes with foods, nutrients and environmental elements, which together could be implicated in disease risk. We call this epigenetics. It is not so much the genes we are born with, but how our envirment, food and lifestyle affect how these genes behave or express themselves.
Nutritional Therapy seeks to make changes to both diet and lifestyle to support the body and its individual genes. By eating well and appropriately for our body and by exercising at the right level for us, it may be possible to influence the extent to which these genes can affect our health.
DNA Life – DNA Health
This is an overall health check which takes a closer look 9 main areas of our overall health and metabolism. DNA Health tests 34 genes that are associated with general health and well-being. This particular test looks at the following areas:
- Cardiovascular health
- Vitamin B metabolism (Methylation)
- Oxidative stress
- Insulin sensitivity
- Bone health, vitamin D status
- Food responsiveness (caffeine, lactose, alcohol, essential fatty acids, salt sensitivity)
- Iron metabolism
DNA health is a DNA test from the genetics experts DNA Life. DNA Health covers 9 main areas of our overall health which are important to our well-being. The results show the individual genetic variations for each client. The results are extremely comprehensive and provide clear health advice and lifestyle responses necessary to each gene. Although we cannot change our genes, we can make certain dietary and lifestyle changes to protect our health.
DNA Health tests genes that are associated with overall health and well-being.
The areas looked at are:
These genes look at the genes that affect both good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol as well as triglycerides (blood fats), and show how the body uses and stores fats in the body. Cholesterol and triglycerides are seen as risk factors in cardiovascular disease. By understanding exactly how the body uses stored fats, it may possible to alter blood fat levels by making specific changes to the diet.
B-Vitamin Metabolism and Methylation
Methylation is one of the body’s most important chemical processes. The B vitamins provide an integral part of the methylation process, which is responsible for building new cells, tissue repair, production of energy, DNA protection, production of neurotransmitters and can also protect the body from the damaging effects of homocysteine, which is believed to play and important role in heart disease.
Those who are weak methylators, are at increased risk of many common diseases, including heart disease and depression. Methylation reactions are usually improved when sufficient B vitamins are made available to the body.
This area looks at genes which determine the quality of our main detoxification pathways that are responsible for eliminating waste products and toxins from our system.
Inflammation is part of the normal immune response and is an essential part of tissue healing. If inflammation is allowed to build up in the body it can increase the risk of common disorders such as: obesity, heart disease, joint pain, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and the slow healing of sports injuries.
Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that are by-products of many chemical reactions in the body. Free radicals increase at times of stress or during sport. We also come into contact with additional free-radicals from the environment. If left unrestrained, free radicals can damage our body cells and the delicate DNA. Antioxidants work against free-radicals by neutralising them and rendering them harmless. Our genes can affect how many antioxidants we can produce in our cells. Low production of antioxidants alongside high levels of oxidative stress has been linked to premature aging, heart disease, inflammation, burn-out and even an increase in certain cancers. Luckily there are many foods that we can eat which also work as powerful antioxidants in the body.
Insulin is a hormone that is necessary for the uptake of glucose from the bloodstream into our cells. Our genes can affect the body’s overall sensitivity to insulin. Diet and lifestyle play a very important role in the activity of these genes. If our nutrition and lifestyle are sub-standard this can result in unbalanced blood sugar levels and an increased risk of developing Type-2 diabetes.
This section looks at the likelihood of having lactose intolerance in adulthood and your omega 3 and 6 fat requirements. It also looks to see how sensitive you are to the effects of caffeine and how salt affects your blood pressure.
This indicates the risk to the individual of excess storage of iron in the body. This may only affect women after the menopause, but can affect men at any stage of life. Normally we absorb around 10% of the iron in our diet, some individuals are capable of absorbing much more, leading to an iron overload. Haemochromotosis is a genetic condition affecting around 1 in 400 people.