Nutrigenomics – Personalised Nutrition
The science of nutrigenomics studies the interaction between dietary components of food and our genes. Every individual has a unique genetic profile, and through our understanding of nutrigenomics we now know this means promoting good health through food will also be different for each person.
With the completion of the human genome project and the latest nutritional science, it’s clear that nutrigenomics is no longer the future of medicine. It’s here today. And it’s being applied by cutting-edge health experts worldwide everyday.
There are basically two ways we can use the information from a genomic wellness test to improve health.
First, we look at how common variations found throughout the human genome explain why some individuals respond differently than others to the exact same nutrients. For example, why some people can eat a high fat diet and have no problem with their cholesterol levels while others experience the exact opposite response. Breakfast of champions for some, heart disease risk for others.
The second approach that nutrigenomics researchers use is to investigate how nutrients and components in food turn on or off certain genes. Genomic Wellness testing focuses on the genes that we know impact upon important metabolic pathways in the body. Once you have the genetic testing information, these compromised pathways are identified. The final and most beneficial step being the dietary and lifestyle information on how to switch on or off the gene expression as necessary.
The key to getting this information is in the interpretation of the results. Once we know the pathways that have the potential to initiate disease, the logical next step is to implement changes to the diet and lifestyle in order to mitigate these. This is where a health professional comes in, to help you understand the often quite simple changes you need to make to stay well.
This is the science of epigenetics – the understanding that gene expression can be changed through diet and lifestyle.
Genomic Wellness Testing covers many important pathways including: detoxification; inflammation; methylation; fat metabolism; diabetes/metabolic syndrome; and many more. A couple of examples include anti-aging and obesity
Aging of cells occur because of the accumulation of excess free radicals formed due to the lack of proper nutrition to the cells and external factors like UV rays, pollution, stress, food, etc. It is now possible to apply nutrigenomics in the field of anti ageing and customize nutritional solutions in the form of supplements to meet the optimal nutrition required by the body to prevent aging of cells by the formation of excess free radicals.
Obesity is one of the most widely studied topics in nutrigenomics. There are studies suggesting genetic factors account for a fair proportion of inter-individual body mass index (BMI). By exploring the interaction between diet and genetic factors, nutrigenomics aim to suggest prevention measures and/ or treatment to obesity via personal nutrition.
Multiple studies have found association between genes and obesity. One of the most well known obesity associating gene is the FTO gene. Among studied individuals, it was found that those with AA genotype showed a higher BMI compared those with TT genotype when having high fat or low carbohydrate dietary intake.
For more information on genetic testing offered through The Herbal Dispensary and SmartGenes
Genomic testing is a science, and unfortunately there are many rubbishy tests available. Some cheaper variants employ substandard testing techniques, and many others do not provide you with the essential information on how to use the test to drive wellness and healthy aging. Genetic testing is a once only test, so in order to get the full benefit of the testing you need to ensure you use a quality lab and have a healthcare professional to interpret the results for you.
BhSc (High Dist.), BEd, Dip.Nat., Dip.Herb.Med., NMHNZ
Trained at South Pacific College of Natural Therapies in 2000, Vanessa brings over 15 years natural health care experience to our store. She was appointed manager in 2012 and is the co-founder of Advanced Naturopathics, a Christchurch naturopathic clinic.
A former teacher, Vanessa is a registered Naturopath, Medical herbalist and a Bioresonance practitioner.