Unlocking genetic potential

The LifecodeGX genotype analysis practitioner course has been a transforming experience, opening doors to a deeper understanding of genetic testing and its practical applications in optimising the health and well-being of my nutritional therapy clients.


Through this course, I have gained invaluable insights into the personalised, preventative, and proactive approaches to the epigenetics of detoxification, core nutrient metabolism, histamine intolerance, methylation processes, hormone balance, and nervous system pathways.

Understanding genetic testing

One of the basic principles of genetic testing is how modifiable the outcomes can be for an individual struggling with their health, the results can cover individual genetic variations that influence how a body metabolises core nutrients, processes toxins, and regulates various physiological functions.

It is like finding a piece of the puzzle and it enables a nutritional therapist or genetic practitioner to present relevant and practical advice to clients. Genetic testing provides a comprehensive analysis of an individual’s genetic makeup, enabling personalised interventions based on genetic predispositions.

Detoxification pathways

Detoxification is a crucial process for eliminating harmful substances from the body, such as environmental pollutants, food additives, pesticides, medications, mould, NSAIDs, alcohol, and hormones. By analysing genetic markers associated with detoxification pathways, potential weaknesses or inefficiencies can be identified in clients' detox mechanisms.

These genetic variations can significantly impact an individual's ability to detoxify well, allowing these toxins to be excreted from the body efficiently. Poor detoxification can lead to symptoms that could affect the nervous system such as poor memory, headaches, and poor concentration. It could also impact an individual’s immunity leading to food allergies, asthma, and regular infections.

Another area affected by detoxification is gastrointestinal, this issue can result in symptoms such as bloating, constipation, halitosis, and body odour, it can also impact musculoskeletal responses causing aches and pains, arthritis and common problems like gout, fatigue, and premature ageing.

Knowing an individual’s genetic variants can enhance nutritional therapy enabling personalised, targeted strategies to support each unique client with their detoxification processes, such as optimising liver function through specific nutrients and lifestyle modifications.

Core nutrient metabolism

Nutrients play a vital role in every aspect of our health, and genetic variations can influence how effectively a body can absorb, utilise, and metabolise ‘vital’ nutrients.

Through genetic analysis, the profile can present many aspects of health including an individual’s response to food, in terms of caffeine, gluten, lactose, and gut micro diversity predispositions. It can also identify any vital nutrient needs, that a client may be unaware of but may have caused issues for some time, particularly vitamins A, B9 (folate), B12, C, D, K and glutathione levels that are essential for immunity.

The nutrient core report can also identify genetic variations that may affect a client's nutrient metabolism of sugar and fat, appetite, inflammation, blood pressure and circadian rhythms.

Histamine intolerance

Histamine intolerance is a condition characterised by an inability to properly metabolise histamine, leading to symptoms such as headaches, digestive issues, neurological responses such as anxiety and many skin problems such as rashes, itchiness, and eczema.

Because histamine is multifaceted, it often results in mistaken diagnoses and years of struggles with no clear understanding of the root of the problem. Genetic analysis can reveal variations in genes involved in histamine metabolism, providing insights into an individual's susceptibility to histamine intolerance and co-factors that can support health issues. A qualified practitioner can advise clients on dietary modifications and lifestyle changes to reduce their histamine exposure and support histamine metabolism.

Methylation processes

Methylation is a crucial biochemical process involved in the regulation of gene expression, neurotransmitter synthesis, detoxification, and more. Genetic variations in genes associated with methylation pathways can impact an individual's methylation capacity, potentially contributing to various health issues such as mood disorders, cardiovascular disease, energy levels and impaired detoxification.

By identifying these genetic variations through genetic analysis, it is possible to develop targeted interventions to support optimal methylation, such as recommending methylated B vitamins and other cofactors relevant to everyone’s genetic regulation, potentially reducing any weaknesses or bottlenecks.

Hormone balance

More than 50 hormones play a central role in regulating numerous physiological processes, including metabolism, reproduction, and stress response. These hormones have a broad array of functions, including energy levels, reproduction, growth, repair, and development, and they can also respond to injuries, stress, and environments.

Genetic analysis with LifecodeGX focuses on steroid hormones, adrenaline, noradrenaline, insulin, and melatonin. Imbalanced hormones can result in many symptoms including fertility issues, PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), endometriosis, menstrual irregularities, excess facial hair (for women) or breast tissue (for men), osteoporosis, heart disease, blood clots, acne, sexual dysfunction, low libido, mood swings, poor memory, weight gain and hormone-sensitive cancers.

Uncovering genetic variations that influence hormone metabolism and sensitivity can shed light on potential hormonal imbalances or susceptibilities. Results from the hormone report provide critical information, that a practitioner can develop into personalised strategies to support any imbalances. Protocols can include recommendations for lifestyle, and supplements, or a practitioner can advise your GP with potential evidenced targeted hormone replacement therapies.

Nervous system pathways

The nervous system is intricately linked to various aspects of health, including mood regulation, cognitive function, and stress response. Genetic variations can impact neurotransmitter metabolism and receptor sensitivity, influencing an individual's susceptibility to mood disorders, anxiety, and cognitive decline.

By examining genetic markers related to nervous system pathways, interventions can be tailored to support optimal nervous system function, such as recommending specific nutrients and lifestyle practices to support neurotransmitter balance and neuroprotection.

Genetic testing with LifecodeGX focused on the main excitatory neurotransmitters including acetylcholine, adrenaline, dopamine, glutamate, histamine, noradrenaline, and phenethylamine (PEA). It also delves into the key inhibitory (calming) neurotransmitters, gamma amino butyric acid (GABA), serotonin and melatonin.

Symptoms of neurotransmitter imbalance can include mood disorders and depression, attention deficit and obsessive-compulsive disorders, addictive behaviours, motor control disruption, anger, aggression, and restlessness. Many recommendations can be made to support these symptoms, including lifestyle adjustments, and supplementation to environments and stressful situations.

Putting knowledge into practice

To get the most from genetic testing it is always important to work with a fully qualified nutrigenomics practitioner as they will be able to use the most up-to-date research to support clients with practical strategies.

With the recent training from LifecodeGX, I can empower clients to take control of their health journey in a personalised manner. By utilising genetic testing, I can offer targeted interventions that address their unique genetic predispositions so that they can optimise their health outcomes. Whether it's supporting detoxification, optimising nutrient status, balancing hormones, or stabilising nervous system health, I am committed to guiding my clients towards a healthier, more vibrant life.

LifecodeGX has provided me with a powerful toolkit to revolutionise my approach to health and wellness, allowing me to unlock the potential of genetic testing in optimising individual health. I am excited to embark on this journey with my clients, empowering them to harness the transformative power of personalised genetic insights and embark on a path towards vibrant health and well-being. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Nutritionist Resource are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Birmingham B15 & London SW2
Written by Jayne Higgins, PGDip Nutritional Therapy mBANT, rCNHC, mIFM Exp. Chef
Birmingham B15 & London SW2

A graduate in nutritional therapy specialising in gut health, hormone balance for teens to post-menopause, weight management, sports nutrition and inflammatory conditions such as eczema, gout, psoriasis, and bone and joint pain.

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