Nutrigenomics is the scientific term used to describe the intesection of nutrition with genetics.
Did you know that your DNA is the best indicator of your nutritional prescription?
At Functional Fueling, we strongly encourage all of our Nutrition Coaching Clients to undergo genetic testing and nutrient analysis so that we can better tailor their diet to their specific body's needs.
What exactly is nutrigenomics and how is it useful in better understanding your nutrition needs?
There are several genetic expressions referred to as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that can outline genetic variation in people. According to Genetics Home Reference, "researchers have found SNPs that may help predict an individual’s response to certain drugs, susceptibility to environmental factors such as toxins, and risk of developing particular diseases. SNPs can also be used to track the inheritance of disease genes within families." As you can see, SNPs serve as an excellent indicator of your disease risk factors and can thus provide direction to your food and dietary supplement needs. For example, those with a SNP on the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene may have increased risk of heart disease, miscarriages, depression, ADHD, autism, schizophrenia, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and migraines. When there is a present SNP on the MTHFR gene, B vitamin metabolism is compromised, thus requiring specific dietary supplementation. Also, those with a SNP on the MTHFR gene typically present with higher homocysteine levels, a marker of inflammation, especially in regards to the heart. This is especially important because those with elevated homocysteine should be more cautious of saturated fat intake (Berstad, P. et al., 2007).
Listed above are just some of the many genetic variations that may differentiate your nutrition prescription from your friend's. However, there are many genetic factors that can play a role in one's nutrition prescription. If you have a family history of any of these medical risk factors outlined above, gaining access to nutrigenomic testing can pose a great resource for your health and the health of any offspring. If you are interested in nutrigenomic testing to better understand your nutritional needs, contact us today!