Understanding genetic profiling

The latest tool being used in personalised nutritional medicine is genetic testing. There are various labs offering genetic testing and often direct to the consumer. This can have implications as many people, including practitioners, do not understand quite how genetic information can be applied to a nutritional protocol for optimum health. 

People think that their genetic data - the single nuclear polymorphisms (SNPs) - dictate their health outcomes. Well they do, to a certain extent.

Probably the best analogy that is banded around it, is that your genes are the loaded gun and the environment pulls the trigger. 

To expand on this, we can imagine that every SNP is a gun with a trigger that has two bullets. The gun can be loaded with no bullets, one or two. For many health conditions, there is more than one gun. So just having one gun with two bullets loaded, although it is often not the ideal genetic profile, is still only one gun, when there may be five in total. However, that gun still has to be fired to have a detrimental impact.

Our environment has the capacity to pull the trigger and includes everything from diet to toxic exposure (car fumes, pharmaceutical drugs, pesticides, etc) as well as how we cope with psychological stress (for example, abusive relationships, lack of sleep or worry).

This is why functional medicine addresses all aspects of health, not just what we are eating. It is really important that every aspect of our well-being is nurtured so that the minimum amount of guns are fired.

Having an understanding of which guns are loaded can help in choosing appropriate lifestyle choices for optimum health. Using genetic profiling in tandem with metabolic analysis, provides the most detailed information to date to create the ultimate personalised lifestyle and nutrition programme.

Contact a nutritionist to learn more about genetic profiling and to devise a personalised programme tailored to your individual needs.

Nutritionist Resource is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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