Genetic testing involves an examination of an individual’s DNA and looks for mutations (changes) that could increase their risk for disease, but positive test results do not guarantee a person will actually develop disease.
Nutrigenomics is an emerging field that utilizes genetic information to provide nutrition recommendations to individuals. Consumers are turning directly-to-consumer nutrigenomics reports over to healthcare practitioners for interpretation, and more HCPs are offering these tests in their practices.
Identifying genetic predispositions to disease
Genetic testing has transformed healthcare, offering numerous solutions for diagnosing and predicting disease. These tests examine an individual’s DNA – deoxyribonucleic acid — which acts like the “programming code” behind their characteristics.
Genetic samples can be collected from various sources, including blood, saliva, skin cells and tissue biopsies from biopsies as well as body fluids such as urine and breast milk. Testing can take place at either an independent lab, clinic, hospital or the office of a health care provider.
Diagnostic genetic tests detect gene mutations responsible for specific diseases, like Fragile X syndrome. Predictive and predisposition genetic testing can identify hereditary variants that increase your risk for certain disorders like hereditary breast or ovarian cancer; then you can make decisions regarding further testing or treatments based on this result. These tests can also be helpful to family members, who want to know their genetic status.
Developing a personalised wellness program
Personalised wellness programs can be straightforward to create and implement, from providing healthy food options and disease education programs, to encouraging behavior change in certain areas and even being tailored based on DNA genetic testing results.
Genetic testing is a medical test which detects inherited changes (mutations) to DNA sequences and chromosome structures that could potentially pose risks of disease development, whether harmful, neutral or unknown effects on risk. Genetic tests may include RNA analysis to measure gene expression and biochemical tests to analyze specific protein outputs.
Some diseases are caused by genetic mutations alone, like cystic fibrosis or Huntington’s disease; more often however, multiple genes interact to determine an individual’s risk for certain conditions, with genetic tests helping people understand their risk for certain conditions and providing guidance regarding potential preventive steps such as screenings or medications with known side effects.
Creating a healthier lifestyle
Genetic testing involves taking a blood sample and analysing it for specific inherited changes or variants that could be harmful or beneficial to an individual, or may have unknown consequences. A person’s genes can play a crucial role in how their body responds to foods and nutrients, potentially altering how the individual’s metabolism works as well.
Scientists have recently discovered that individual genes play a crucial role in how our bodies process and metabolise caffeine.
Before making a decision on genetic testing, it is crucial to carefully consider both its benefits and risks. Testing should only take place if advised by healthcare providers; individuals seeking guidance from a medical geneticist or genetic counselor prior to receiving results can better understand their findings, avoid anxiety or false reassurance and work collaboratively with healthcare providers towards creating personalized plans.
Identifying lifestyle risks
Multiple genetic variants have been associated with lower serum vitamin C levels. Low serum vitamin C levels increase risk factors associated with diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease; fortunately, lifestyle modifications can help mitigate them.
Personalized nutrition is an emerging field that utilizes genetic data to tailor food and dietary recommendations specifically to individuals, with an aim of optimizing health outcomes through their diet. Unfortunately, its practical implementation remains questionable.
Dietary recommendations gleaned from genetic tests can include gluten-free diets for people with celiac disease and lactose intolerance; low lactose diets for lactose intolerance sufferers; and avoiding phenylalanine (an amino acid found in protein foods and artificial sweeteners) altogether for people who suffer from an inherited condition known as phenylketonuria.
Dietary recommendations derived from genetic studies may be beneficial, provided they are clearly articulated. Furthermore, other considerations like metabolic rates and lifestyle habits must also be taken into account when making these determinations.