Most people have never heard of Nutrigenomics. Neither had I until a couple of years ago. But I saw the power it has to help you live your life in the way that best suits YOUR unique gene picture and I had to find out more.
Now when I say find out more, I got a little carried away. Some light reading turned into some short training courses and before I knew it I’d signed up to a longer course teaching me in depth about how to use Nutrigenomics to help improve my clients health.
What I didn’t expect to be writing is that I’m now a qualified Nutrigenomics Practitioner with a wonderful company called Lifecode GX. Yay!
So what is Nutrigenomics?
How ‘well’ we feel on a daily basis and our overall health is basically due to the interaction between our genes and the diet and lifestyle we have.
We know we can make changes with our diet and lifestyle, but we can’t do anything about the genetic cards we’ve been dealt, right?
Indeed, you can not change your genetic make-up. However, we each have our own set of genetic variances called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that impact on every function in our body.
We CAN influence the way in which each of these SNPs impacts on our lives by using targeted nutrition and lifestyle actions to ‘upregulate’ or ‘downregulate’ their function.
What does this mean for me?
Ever wondered why you and your partner eat exactly the same foods but they stay slim and you pile on the pounds? Why you have been told you are deficient in particular nutrients but they aren’t?
Ever wondered why you find it harder to control your mood swings or crave doing things that give you an adrenaline high?
Have you and your friend gone on the same HRT but what’s working for her is doing nothing for you? Are you thinking about going on HRT but are concerned how your body will respond?
Do you think your immune system is more susceptible to picking up everything that goes around?
These are just a few of the hundreds of questions that can be explored by looking at your own genetic SNPs.
The crucial thing is – we are only looking at SNPs that we can do something about, and there are over 500 of them!
What kind of things can Nutrigenomics help with?
Understanding the root cause of health challenges and implementing changes to improve these challenges is the main focus of my work. This is already a very personalised and individual service.
However, using Nutrigenomics to compliment this work takes personalisation to a whole new level.
To name just a few examples, if we know how efficiently your body uses nutrients from your food, makes energy, responds to your hormones, detoxifies toxins etc ….. we can create nutrition and lifestyle plans that are guided by your unique genetic picture. It really is mindbogglingly brilliant!
The main Lifecode GX reports are listed here to give you a flavour of the types of information we can glean.
NUTRIENT CORE - A broad-ranging report, suitable for everyone, looking at genes involved in food intolerance (including lactose, gluten and caffeine), appetite, blood sugar, vitamin and mineral needs (including vitamins A and D), detoxification, microbiome diversity, sleep, and susceptibility to inflammation and infection.
METABOLICS - To optimise metabolic health, energy and longevity. Analysing genes that influence appetite, sugar and fat metabolism, cholesterol, mitochondria and longevity.
DETOXIFICATION - For detoxification, including alcohol, pesticides, moulds, air pollutants, heavy metals, hormones, neurotransmitters, and some medications.
HISTAMINE - For high histamine or allergic type symptoms - itching, sneezing, wheezing, swelling, headaches or digestive issues.
NERVOUS - For psychological and mental wellbeing. Looks at genes that impact function and balance of key neurotransmitters including serotonin, melatonin, dopamine, noradrenaline, adrenaline, glutamate, GABA, and the endocannabinoid system.
HORMONES - For hormonal imbalance in men and women. Investigates genes involved in regulation, response (sensitivity) and removal of steroid hormones including oestrogen, testosterone, cortisol and progesterone; as well as HPA regulation.
THYROID BALANCE – analyses the genes involved in the thyroid hormone lifecycle: synthesis - centrally (in the thyroid) and in activation in peripheral tissues, transport and metabolism, processing of cofactors (vitamins D and A) and inhibitors (stress and toxins). It also examines genes that confer susceptibility to inflammation and autoimmunity.
APOE - For concerns around cognition, memory and cardiovascular health.
METHYLATION - For investigation of methylation, a biological process that is critical for immunity, fertility, energy, neurological, cardiovascular, and metabolic health. Includes folate, methionine, neurotransmitter, trans sulphuration and urea cycles.
ATHLETE - For optimising athletic performance. Outlining relevant genes that underpin energy and fuelling, musculoskeletal strength, cardiovascular health, and recovery and repair. To enable a personalised approach to training, recovery and performance.
How does it work?
Lifecode GX reports can only be ordered by qualified practitioners.
Shortly I will be developing some packages which focus on specific areas of health. In the meantime any current clients or new clients are very welcome to discuss Nutrigenomics with me and understand if it’s something they would like to undertake as part of my standard consultation packages.
The analysis of the reports will be included in our consultations, you just pay for the tests themselves. To give you a rough guide, a test sample and 2 reports currently costs just under £300.
The process is very simple. Together, we choose the reports we think most relevant to your health challenges and you provide a cheek swab sample from the kit sent by Lifecode GX. In just a few weeks the results are returned to us and I will analyse them for you and translate them alongside your health history into your super-personalised plans to get you to optimal health.
I’ll bring to life how this works using some case studies in future blogs, but in the meantime, please do get in touch if you’d like to know more.