Well, you may already have a wealth of genetic information about yourself on hand and not even know it!
If you have done either “23andme.com” or “ancestry.com” genetic testing, there’s a simple way to extract very useful and practical information about any polymorphisms in your genes that may affect your health.
This information can then be used to fine-tune the food you eat and the supplements you take.
Polymorphism is a genetic variation in the DNA sequence and is commonly found in the population. The most common type of polymorphisms are SNPs (pronounced “snips”) or single nucleotide polymorphisms. Each SNP represents a difference in a single DNA building block, called a nucleotide. These are not mutations but variations.
Mutations affect less than 1% of the population whereas polymorphisms can affect up to 50% of us. So don’t get freaked out by the SNPs.
Think of SNPs as tools to correct how a gene might be expressed, giving you concrete ways to improve your future health.
Most SNPs have no effect on health or development but some may help predict your response to certain drugs, susceptibility to environmental factors such as toxins, and risk of developing particular diseases because of faulty detox mechanisms, which can be corrected. That’s the exciting part!
Knowing about your SNPs can guide you to alter your diet and supplement program and thereby reduce your risk of developing health conditions by improving specific ways your body detoxifies.
Now, back to genetic testing.
Once you have your ancestry report, you simply transfer your raw data from it to the website www.nutrahacker.com. (If you don’t yet have a report, buy the basic version of the “23andme.com” or ancestry.com profile.) There are simple instructions on the Nutrahacker website to guide you through this process. In literally three minutes they provide you with a free report on the polymorphisms in your genes that affect your detoxification and methylation pathways. It’s super cool!
I have done other, expensive genetic testing before this one, and found prior results confirmed by this free report. It has been very useful information, some of which was quite unexpected!
Of the 600 genes that were evaluated I had polymorphisms in 15. So, I now have 15 ways to improve not only my current health but more importantly my future health.
For example, I discovered:
- For me, the tocopherol from of vitamin E, which is most commonly available, is pro-inflammatory (not true of the tocotrienol form however). I stopped taking my Vita E and am looking forward to the new Tocotrienol only form of Vita E that will be released by Designs for Health in a short while.
- I also discovered that green tea, to which I’ve always had an aversion, is not a good fit for me either, because of its effect on one of the main pathways in my liver.
- Other information that was confirmed includes my inability to store vitamin D, which is why I always have to take it no matter how much sun I’m exposed to.
- I have the common MTHFR mutation, which means I need to take the methylated form of folic acid, rather than other common forms found in most over-the-counter supplements.
BTW, if you have ever had high folic acid discovered on blood work, you probably have this polymorphism and cannot convert the folic acid you’re getting in your vitamins and it’s accumulating in your liver. Not good. It’s important to know which forms of these supplements to use.
Why is this so important to know?
If you are not using the correct form, you’re not only missing out on the benefits, but may actually be causing harm, either of which can affect your health in profound ways.
Let’s take folic acid for example. Folic acid plays so many roles in the body.
Here are a few key areas it affects:
• Normal mental function, including depression, alcoholism, anxiety
• Infertility, both male and female
• Healthy pregnancy, supports healthy fetal development
• High blood pressure
• Periodontal disease
• Cervical dysplasia
• Inflammatory bowel disease
• Healthy cardiovascular function
• Proper homocysteine levels
If you thought about doing genetic testing this would be a great reason to move forward. I know there has been some controversy about the use of genetic testing. Some of that is because sometimes results change as the database grows and the testing companies can identify more specific information about where people’s ancestry comes from. I have personally found it a fascinating and worthwhile process and just like in the commercials, found ancestry I never knew I had!!
Professionally, knowing your SNPs makes us better health detectives. We like to incorporate as much information as we can into your health program so that you get the very best results. Once you get your genetic information, set up a 30 or 45-Minute appointment to review it with us, so we can amend your personalized program to better fit your body’s needs. Or, if you’re a new client, be sure to include this information in your New Client Packet.