Nutrigenomic Testing: Taking the Guesswork Out of Diet and Nutrition

From keto to plant-based to Atkins and Mediterranean dieting, how can you figure out the best nutrition and fitness plan for you? For years we’ve heard amazing weight loss testimonials and how some seemingly lucky person was able to drop three dress sizes by changing their plate and committing to five days at the gym. But what about the people who do all of that — eat clean, exercise every day, get eight hours of sleep every night — and still have difficulty shedding the pounds. We are now even closer to the answer.

Nutrigenomics is an exciting new field of nutritional science which examines how our specific genes determine our body’s response to nutrients in both food and beverages. Your DNA is the story of your life.  Through analysis, we can now look for variations called single nucleotide polymorphisms, frequently called SNPs (pronounced “snips”),  to gain valuable insight into what role an individual’s genes may play on important bodily functions, such as digestive health, physical response to stress and exercise, and how environmental and lifestyle factors are impacting your health.

Genetics plays a crucial role in how efficiently we burn fat with exercise and how capable our bodies are to perform aerobic exercise. Variations in our genetic code can have both positive and negative effects on how our bodies react to the foods we eat and the workouts we put ourselves through. For example, one particular gene variation—FTO—could lead to increased fat accumulation in men and higher fat mass in women.

Genetics also plays a crucial role in how our bodies grow and age, and how that aging process impacts our mood and sleep response. According to current research, nearly 70 percent of doctor’s office visits and a large percentage of prescriptions today are for problems relating to lack of energy, mood changes and difficulty sleeping.  Many of these symptoms are a result of genetics. Variations in our genetic code can have both positive and negative effects on how our bodies manage stress and hormones. For example, one particular gene variation, BDNF, plays a role in comfort food eating and decreased learning, while another, HTR2311, codes for poor response to pharmaceutical intervention to support a healthy mental outlook.

SNPs are a normal occurrence throughout the human body. Researchers have reportedly found over 100 million SNPs in populations worldwide. While many SNPs have no impact on health and development, there are are a number of SNPS that may act as important biological markers, offering healthcare practitioners the opportunity to predict how an individual may respond to certain medications, while also delivering more precise nutritional and pharmaceutical recommendations.

Dr. Melina Jampolis, a certified nutrition specialist, writes, “what many people may not realize is that there is a significant interaction between your environment and your genes, and your diet is one of the most basic and potentially modifiable components of your environment.”  But the one size fits all approach is over. Through nutrigenetics and gene SNP testing, we now know that what’s good for one person may not necessarily be the best advice for another. Dr. Jampolis writes, “One interesting example involves a nutrient that doesn’t get a lot of attention: choline, commonly found in egg yolks. When public health officials began to target dietary cholesterol reduction for heart health, eggs became perceived as unhealthy. Reducing dietary cholesterol may have been useful for some for lowering blood cholesterol levels, but nutrigenetics research has found several genetic variants that may lead to health problems including fatty liver, infertility and muscle loss in individual carriers of the variants who consume inadequate amounts of choline.” You can read more here. 

Thankfully at Seva Health we are able to offer safe, convenient Gene SNP DNA Analysis to our clients. Unlike the popular ancestry DNA analysis tests, our Nutrametrix Gene SNP testing is only available to licensed healthcare practitioners who utilize the testing as an adjunct to diet and lifestyle counseling. NutraMetrix®️ Gene SNP DNA Analysis provides valuable information about gene expression and its impact on factors like cardiovascular, endocrine and mental/emotional health.  In addition, nutraMetrix®️ Gene SNP DNA Analysis also looks at select nutrients and fitness factors that may contribute to chronic health concerns including obesity.

Watch this short video to learn more about Gene SNP testing to learn how we can help you precision-tune your diet and lifestyle interventions to take the guesswork out of your legwork!

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