Most of us know our DNA as the blueprint of life, a double-helix series of genes that direct the way we look and other traits. DNA testing has become fairly common, including tests that track the regional origins of our remote ancestors (Ancestry.com). We know about genetic mutations that cause changes in human form and health (Down’s Syndrome). What we may not know is that most of the genetic variances in humans are more subtle, still allowing a fairly normal human physiology, but with differences. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are those genetic variances that still allow gene -to-protein production, but with altered functionality of that protein. Critical proteins for health have many genes within the DNA to make them, so that one SNP may not be a big deal. However, different proteins interact in different ways, and enough variance in the pathways involved will lead to significant potential health impacts. For example, a SNP in the gene for MTHFR may affect mental health, and some SNPs are associated with better responses to chemotherapy in certain cancers.
The field of study that looks at these interactions is Genomics.
It turns out that our genome (and health) is largely determined by our lifestyle and nutrition. This should not be a surprise to you. In terms of Genomics, our DNA provides a template for critical proteins needed for different uses: structure, energy, detoxification, metabolism, etc. The cell directs which genes are transcribed based on the environment in which it exists at that time. Different signals inside and outside the cell direct that cell’s activity. Substrates, or basic essential nutrients, are needed to maintain the cell’s ability to respond, and ultimately the body’s ongoing survival. Without access to, and ability to work with these essential nutrients, the cell, and ultimately the body, would not be sustained.
We are excited to offer you the opportunity to explore your genomic information and to develop strategies that improve your health, with an emphasis on the foods that you eat. This pragmatic approach has already provided specific and profoundly validating data that has changed the quality of health for some of my patients. We are collaborating with Amanda Archibald (www.genomickitchen.com) to provide a program that could very well enhance yours.
Please contact us for more information.