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Genomics Basics

The DNA - Food Link

What is DNA?

DNA is a long, complex protein structure within our body’s cells which carries the information that determines almost every aspect of how our body looks and operates. Each of our DNA is made up of various combinations of 4 chemicals. Various combinations of these chemicals create genes that ultimately come together to create a unique code for each of our unique bodies. This is similar to how certain combinations of different letters are grouped in different ways to spell out instructions in an instruction manual.

What are Genetic Mutations?

The code contained in these genes determines not only what traits we may be able to see like eye or hair color; it determines almost every aspect of our body’s being including how it processes food and medicine, how it responds to stress and how its ages. Unintentional variations in these genes are called genetic mutations. When our genes stop dictating the proper instructions, our health can begin to slip. One type of mutation is called a single nucleotide polymorphism, or SNP. This occurs when a cell divides itself into two to make a new cell but does not properly copy its DNA, leaving the new cell with an incomplete set of genetic instructions. While not every SNP (or genetic mutation) creates an observable difference or symptom, specific SNPs can wreak havoc on a person’s health.

What is Nutrigenomic Testing?

Through SNP (genetic mutation) testing, providers are able to determine which genes are not allowing the body to run properly and how one’s nutrition can be exacerbating the problem. Our lab experts have identified 10 key metabolic areas and genes that impact overall health.

Why Nutrigenomic Testing?

When a patient participates in SNP testing, doctors can focus their attention on genetic mutations that can cause the patient harm or discomfort and treat accordingly. SNP testing provides a clear view of which SNPs a patient has, whether it’s medically relevant, and personalized nutritional or supplement recommendations to optimize a patient’s health moving forward. Using SNP testing to determine which nutritional or supplemental interventions may be helpful is called Nutrigenomic testing. In addition to Nutrigenomic testing, we can also arrange for Pharmacogenomic testing which is testing that identifies SNPs and corresponding medication interventions which may be helpful.

Just Remember…

We now know that the presence of certain combinations of genes can indicate someone’s tendency toward certain traits or conditions like depression or a certain drug allergy. However, the presence of a certain gene combination does not mean that that condition is or will be present. It just means that that person may have a higher chance of developing that condition during their lifetime.

The story doesn’t end there. Our genes alone don’t determine EVERYTHING about us. Lifestyle and environmental factors also play a huge role in how your body develops and operates. Smoking, activity level, and the things we eat and drink all play a role too.

How Can Your Genes Help You Now?

At Empowered Medicine, we can arrange for a Nutrigenomics Test Kit to be sent directly to your home. Once received you can use the swab included in the kit to swab the inside of your cheek. The swab is then placed in the prepaid shipping box included. The box is then dropped in the mail where it will go directly to the lab for analysis. An Empowered Medicine Health Coach will notify you when your results are ready. You and your Coach will make an appointment to review your results and any health precautions and interventions that you may want to consider.

Which Genomic Test is Right for Me?

Our lab partners can perform a variety of genetic tests, each specializing in a specific area of overall health. Your Health Coach will gather a thorough health history and work with you to decide which test might work best for you. Based on the results, your health coach will recommend the best supplement/diet/other interventions that may help get your body back on track.

Check out all of our genomic lab panels below.

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