These days, personal genetic assessments are no longer a novelty. More and more people opt to get their DNA tested for markers of potential hereditary diseases or to determine biological relationship with other people. However, there is one area where DNA testing is particularly useful, yet not that widely applied—nutrition.
Your DNA dictates all important aspects of how your body functions, including things like:
- Your ideal weight
- Your daily need for specific vitamins and nutrients
- How you react to specific drugs
- Your body’s response to physical activity
- Hereditary conditions such as high blood sugar or high cholesterol
For example, in a recent study, researchers have identified several gene variants that affect how much coffee we consume depending on how fast our body breaks it down or what kind of effects we experience from drinking it. Knowing that you are genetically inclined to drink a lot of coffee may help you be more cautious and cut down on your coffee intake to improve your health.
It’s a two-way relationship
The relationship between health, nutrition and genes does exist and is studied by a branch of science called nutrigenomics. It’s important to note, however, that this relationship is a two-way one, which means the food you eat also affects your genes. Some of the foods we consume have the power to switch certain genes on and off, influencing individual gene expression. So if you have genes that can encourage fat production or premature aging, you should certainly be careful not to trigger them by eating the wrong foods.
Because our genes are passed on to us though generations, what your parents and grandparents ate played a role in your current genetic markup. Similarly, what you eat, especially during pregnancy, may affect your children’s genes. This is another reason to reconsider your diet, so that you can ensure you give your child the best genetic profile possible.
It’s important to realize that your DNA is not your life sentence. While you can’t swap the genes, knowing that genes “make you drink more coffee” doesn’t mean you should keep indulging a habit you know might not be healthy for you. Having the knowledge about your genetics gives you the power to make the right decisions that will bring you closer to your health goals.
Get the answers with nutrigenetic testing
Personalized nutrition is a diet that is tailored to your specific genetic requirements. Based on the results of a nutrigenetic test, you will be able to focus on eating and exercising the way that impacts your body and your health the most. Unlike the global pollution or other external factors, nutrition is actually something you can fairly easily control and that makes a huge difference for your overall health.
These and many other goals are achievable when you account for genetics in your diet:
- Balance your hormones
- Prevent or delay certain diseases you could be predisposed to
- Slow down aging
- Achieve the desired weight
- Improve cardio-vascular health
The truth is, we are all different , so why should you follow the same diet as thousands of other people? While eating paleo, raw or gluten-free might not harm you, it might not do you any good either. Or it could help with some issues, like weight loss, but mess up your hormones in the process. Only genetic DNA testing can offer you the scientific data necessary to develop a nutrition plan that addresses your specific health risks and works with your assets.
Are you interested in learning more about nutrigenetic testing or ready to get started? Attend one of our upcoming genetic assessment workshops or sign up for a free consultation with Cara-Michele.