Why do genetics matter?
Our genetic code is inherited from our parents. According to the NSW Health Centre for Genetics Education, around half of all Australians will be affected in some way by a genetic health issue throughout their lifetime. Many health problems, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, may be completely or partially due to our genes. Understanding how external factors affect our genes may help us to manage our health and any related health issues, more effectively.
What is epigenetics?
Epigenetics refers to the effect external influences (such as environmental and nutritional factors) have on our DNA and the ability of these factors to influence the expression of our genetic blueprint. Epigenetics doesn’t physically alter our DNA sequence – our genetic blueprint will never change. However, the expression of particular genes can be affected by external factors which may make some individuals more susceptible to particular health conditions – and gene expression can be turned “on” or “off” by external influences. This explains, for example, why some people who smoke cigarettes get lung cancer and some don’t – the people with a genetic predisposition to lung cancer are more likely to get it if they smoke, than those who don’t.
Why does it matter to have a genetic test?
Genetic tests provide more precise results than other medical tests. Genetic testing has the ability to provide a future health scenario based on your gene profile which can help you to make informed decisions to decrease your chances of developing certain chronic diseases and support your health and healing if you already have a chronic illness. It empowers individuals to take control of their health and manage their health care better.
How can nutrition affect your genes?
One example was found by research conducted by Degagne et al., (2016) which found that a high consumption of trans-fatty acids found in packaged, processed foods is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. If a particular gene is expressed in a certain way, the high-density lipoprotein responsible for transporting fatty acids in the bloodstream is no longer able to perform its cardio-protective properties.
It’s important to find out your genetic predisposition so you can make health choices which may reverse chronic illness if it’s already started and support your body’s inherent healing properties if it hasn’t – in this case, by not eating packaged, processed foods.
What will genetic testing tell me?
- Which nutritional and herbal supplements will provide you with the greatest health benefits;
- the best foods to include in your diet and the ones to stay away from; and
- specific types of lifestyle activities and kinds exercise that are better suited for your body type and metabolism (have you ever wondered why some people lose weight through exercise and some don’t?)
How can genetic testing improve my health?
With a gene test, you can find out your genetic predisposition to certain chronic illnesses and then make informed decisions and health choices. You can also address:
- Weight loss;
- relief from chronic pain;
- improving your sleep;
- enhanced performance of detoxification of organ systems;
- regulation of imbalanced hormones;
- improved cardiovascular health; and
- reducing fatigue and improving your energy levels.
At Elevate, we offer Fitgenes genetic testing. This uses DNA testing to identify a person’s genetic predispositions associated with all kinds of chronic disease states including diabetes, different kinds of cancers, cardiovascular disease, hormone imbalances and dementia. The tests also show the body’s inherent ability to detoxify, the chemical markers of inflammation, nutrient status, fat metabolism and response to stress. Our practitioners combine this information with a full health history and health risk assessment to create a Personal Healthcare Plan which includes treatment protocols to reverse the development of chronic illnesses and achieve an optimal level of health and well-being.
Call Elevate for a consultation with Amanda Harasym, Nutritionist, Naturopath and Medical Herbalist or Anthony Glanville, Nutritionist and Dietitian, all qualified in epigenetics.