Take control of your own genetic health!
Each of us has a DNA which contains our whole patrimony of genes and coding which inform the make up of our organism. All of us know as much as that. What most people, however, do not know is that our genes are not fixed and immutable, they are in constant becoming adapting to our environment and they have done so for million of years. This is our mode of surviving and adapting to environmental or behavioural changes. We are in constant flux and, as we continuously becoming, so is the expression of our genes in the DNA.
Testing your DNA is a good way to know and understand yourself, not only from a hereditary viewpoint, but also what illnesses you may be predisposed to because of your family and ancestral genetic patrimony. Testing your DNA can give you and your Nutritional Therapist vital information on the state of your current genetic health.
Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression (active versus inactive genes) that do not involve changes to the underlying DNA. Genes are like switches: they may be switched off or on. That is called ‘gene expression’. For example, you may be naturally predisposed to cardio-vascular problems or to cancer, but you will only become ill if your corresponding genes which may trigger hypertension or cancer are swiched on, or certain other genes which may prevent those conditions are switched off.
Testing your DNA can give you and your Nutritional Therapist that information. Based on strong research and experience with nutrition and nutrients, your professional Nutritional Therapist will be able to use nutrients through food and supplements in a targeted way to help modulate the health of your genes to help switch them off or back on if they have mutated their activity, thus creating a preventative action at very profound cellular level.
Genes can mutate due to environmental exposure (heavy metals, pollutants, stress, etc.), but they can also be modulated back. This is where the help of a healthcare professional, such as a Nutritional Therapist, can be of guidance as they understand the profound influence correct nutrients can have on the modulation of your health.
Melanocortin-4 Receptor (MC4R) gene is involved in the regulation of our appetite. People with the genetic variant are deficient in the MC4R protein and show increased food intake, obesity and hyperinsulinaemia. Recent research shows those carrying the genetic variant may have an increased preference for high fat foods and decreased preference for sugar foods.
Knowing this is vital for your Nutritional Therapist to help increase that protein through a targeted nutritional protocol so that the MC4R gene may correctly do its job in regulating your appetite.
DNA testing requires an oral cavity swab to collect your saliva which is then sent back to the labs. The lab analyses 1500 genes and allows you to discover how your genes, diet and lifestyle are impacting your weight, appetite, sleep, stress, blood sugar, saturated fat balance, cholesterol, Omega 3/6 balance and Vitamin D. You will also discover if you are sensitive to caffeine and lactose and if you are more prone to inflammation. This information will help you build healthier habits for life to reduce disease-risk and improve wellness goals.
The role of your healthcare professional
Functional tests should always be performed with the help of qualified professionals as they are able to interpret the test results, explain them to you in a clear and informed manner, as well as create a full dietary protocol that can support your condition. Nutritional therapists have studied and are fully trained in functional testing, are qualified to perform all functional tests and to interpret the results.
What happens at the initial appointment?
I will discuss your symptoms with you, help you understand why you may be experiencing specific symptoms and decide with you whether you’d like to take a DNA test or another type of testing may be more appropriate (Vit. D, Thyroid, IgG for Food Intolerances, Leaky Gut, Candida, Adrenal testing). If you decide to take a DNA Test, I will explain to you exactly how to test and will give you a kit to take away with you.
What happens after the test results?
You will attend a follow up appointment with me and I will assess the results, explain them to you and create a personalised dietary protocol which will also contain lifestyle changes. All foods, supplements and lifestyle changes will be negotiated and agreed with the client to ensure full compliance. The client’s motivation and cooperation in making dietary and lifestyle changes happen is fundamental for the success of the programme.
Initial consultation: £40
DNA Test: £99 (Optimal Health) to £199 (Optimal Health Pro) (MyDNATest Lab costs)
Nutritional Therapy follow-up appointment: £70