Making sense of the new era of genetic testing, what to look out for, and how to get the most information out of it
With genetic testing being the new trend, and direct consumer companies like 23andme.com offering home-test-kits, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and even scared by the information. What if you find out you have 'the Alzheimer's gene'? Or the notorious breast cancer gene, made public by Angelina Jolie? Aren't we doomed by our genes so no point finding out as it will catch up with us sooner or later? These are all questions many patients worry about. However, please welcome epigenetics, the big brother of genetics.
Research has evolved tremendously in the past decade, with exciting new findings. Epigenetics is the field of how environment (epi) influences our genetics. What that means? Our lifestyle, diet and surroundings influence how we express our genes, which ones are being turned on or off at any given moment in time. A common example is of the study of identical twins that were separated at birth and grew up in entirely different environments. Despite having the exact same set of genes, their health and wellbeing, when examined, were completely different. These are exciting findings, confirming the previously only theoretical nature vs nurture debate.
But what does that mean for us? We can now test our genes and run it through comprehensive analytical programs, that tell us our specific nutrient needs, weak spots, and especially also what 'predictive biomarkers' to watch out for, individualized to our genes. What may be ok to do for one person, may trigger problems faster for another. One person may need higher levels of the sunshine vitamin D to reach their cells and do its immune system supporting, bone protective job than others, yet another may need to adopt a modified approach to the new trend of the high fat keto diet to avoid developing Alzheimer's faster. These and may more can be tested, creating your individual blueprint for a healthy life, optimal body and mental performance and wellbeing, and bypassing genetic weaknesses and pitfalls. Make sure to work with an experienced practitioner that not only tells you your genetic weaknesses, but focuses on solutions and how to prevent problems from developing. There are many different programs out there to analyse your DNA now, choose the one that empowers you to take your health into your own hands.
What You'll Need
- A saliva sample sent to 23andme or similar direct-consumer genetic testing company.
- An analysis that puts your DNA's raw data into a comprehensive epigenetic protocol for optimal health and anti-ageing.