We now have the ability to personalize nutritional and lifestyle recommendations based on your genetic makeup. Nutrigenomics allows us to understand how foods affect your metabolism and, ultimately, your genes. Nutrigenomics also tells us how specific nutrients may support the appropriate gene expression (genes being turned on or off). This knowledge helps us make recommendations about the right types of food to consume based on your individual biochemical and genetic makeup.
Please note: There are two terms associated with how food affects your genes: nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics. Nutrigenomics involves how the food you consume affects gene expression. Nutrigenetics involves how your genetic variations affect your ability to use certain nutrients, such as vitamins, for example. Technically, these terms are very different, but many practitioners combine both meanings and use the term nutrigenomics.
As Dr. Mark Hyman says, “If you can learn the language of your genes and control the messages and instructions they give your body and your metabolism, you can radically alter how food interacts with your body, lose weight, and optimize your health.”
Breaking down nutrition at the genetic level helps you understand, for example, why you still can’t lose the weight, even though you’ve been diligent with your dietary and lifestyle choices. Perhaps the “healthy” choices you’ve made aren’t the healthiest choices for you as an individual. Perhaps your genetic makeup doesn’t allow your body to use certain nutrients, which is why your metabolism isn’t functioning as well as it could be.
Food isn’t just the stuff we eat. Food is information, and your genes respond to your dietary choices. Understanding how this happens allows us to make more precise nutrition and lifestyle recommendations for each individual. In other words, nutrigenomics tells us:
These factors make nutrigenomics a valuable tool for preventing chronic illness and connecting the dots between symptoms and their causes.
Nutrigenomics is a critical part of the investigative work we do at Natural Healthcare Center to find answers for our patients, especially those who seem to be making the right health and lifestyle decisions but aren’t seeing positive results. We also view nutrigenomics as a tool for proactively understanding and preventing health issues that are directly tied to your diet.
There are multiple genetic analysis services available today. Members of our clinical nutrition team, led by Dr. Oscar Coetzee, are trained to analyze DNA data. They share these insights and work collaboratively with other Natural Healthcare Center clinicians to diagnose the root cause of patient conditions and develop individualized treatment plans.
Nutrigenomics is a relatively new area of scientific study that was jumpstarted by the Human Genome Project, which involved the sequencing of DNA in the human genome by researchers around the world from 1990-2003. By the mid-2000s, scientists were connecting the dots between genes, nutrition and disease. For example, researchers identified the gene that causes lactose intolerance in 2002.
Bring your healthcare records, diagnostic imaging, test results, prescriptions and nutritional supplements. We’ll review your records, discuss your history, answer your questions, and offer recommendations to address your specific condition – all at no charge. If you’ve had trouble getting to the bottom of any health issue or you’d like to find out how to reduce the risk of disease by making better nutritional choices, ask about nutrigenomics. Nutrigenomics requires genetics testing. Contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation and learn more how to get started.