By now many of you have heard the phrase “food is medicine,” but what does this mean and how does this apply to you. There are numerous diets out: paleo, vegan, ketogenic, gluten free, fodmap, specific carbohydrate etc but often people aren’t sure which is the best fit for them individually. It can be overwhelming trying to decipher all the research and facts.
What is nutrigenomics?
Nutrigenomics is the merging world of science, genetics, biology and nutrition, and how nutrition and food affect your overall health. Nutrigenomics focuses more on prevention and wellness vs disease and symptoms. It’s a personalized approach to diet based on nutritional requirements assessed through labs aimed at preventing or minimizing risk of chronic medical problems and diseases. Nutrigenomics focuses on supplements more than it does on treatment with medication and how different foods specifically turn on or turn off different genes depending on ailment. We also work with patients to see how improving their overall lifestyle can affect their DNA and genes.
Many patients often ask me for generic diet plan but I like to personally individualize care based on food allergies, intolerances, blood type, genetic markers and lab results. The perfect diet for one person may not be the perfect diet plan for another. This is a good example for patients who try numerous diets and still have trouble losing weight because they are not eating right for her genetics and body type. When you eat what your body needs and requires the results are astounding. Inflammation decreases, energy increases and over wellbeing and quality of life improve.
Genetics is not your Fate!
The functional and genetic testing is important for the future of medicine. Patients are learning now what they are predisposed to including cancers, autoimmune, neurodegenerative conditions, cardiac risk factor and more. It’s also great to explain that just because these gene and conditions are likely, it’s not necessarily your fate or will express itself. This is often important since patients look at their family history and fear they too will get certain medical problems that ail their family like heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and even cancers. Although the gene exists, it needs to be turned on so it can express. Most of the time, the genes are dormant until there is a trigger which then starts the downward spiral. However, knowing in advance that a certain gene or condition is likely, using lifestyle changes you can be cognizant and live a healthy life without certain conditions.
How is Nutrigenomics Used?
We target optimization in health by helping patient address these issues and nip them in the bud via lifestyle changes to nix any potential hazards that may come in their way. We encourage various modalities of healing from diet and nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, detoxifications, mindbody , therapies to name a few.
Everyone can benefit from nutrigenomics. It’s great to see an integrative & functional medicine doctor who can make assessments, manage, treat and guide you to be healthier with the right tools! Nutrigenomics really is an integral part of the future of medicine and the results speak for their self.