Every day in my practice, people tell me that it’s “their genes’ fault.” “My father had acid reflux.” “My mother had breast cancer.”
I say you can eat to defeat your poor genes!
Genetic variation makes up a mere 1% of human DNA, but it’s this variation that programs our differences. This would explain why one’s eyes are blue, while another set of eyes are brown.
With the human gene sequence, experts believe that when one cell is out of place, called the SNP (Single nucleotide polymorphism,) imperative information about your chronic disease development can be revealed.
Nutrigenetics expands on this theory by exploring the influence of diet on these cell variations. The goal of Nutrigenetics is to be able to recommend a diet specific to each person’s individualized gene makeup. Nutrients have the power to either activate or silence gene expression.
FOOD CAN, IN FACT, BE OUR BEST MEDICINE!!
So often people ask me “What diet is best to follow?” I tell them that each person is as unique as their fingerprint, or there genes, and must make a individualized food plan!
Diet will always lead the way in fixing what ails you; even helping to fix the deadliest of diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Here’s the bummer-part of all of this: one person who expresses the Glu27 gene is particularly sensitive to carbohydrates and will become obese when they consume them, while another person who does not express this gene will not have the same effect while stuffing their face with all the bread they can eat. Nothing could be more frustrating than this for our teenage girls.
Another common variation is the APOE gene; a highly-polymorphic gene that plays a role in removing cholesterol from the blood stream. People generally have one of three variations of this gene makeup. However, about 20% of the population carries a variant known as APOE-4 - this polymorphism is associated with elevated cholesterol levels, as well as an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
Scientists have shown that people who express this gene should definitely stay away from wine, as it increases risk of vascular disease.
These people also see increased triglycerides with fish oil and respond very well to a diet low in fat. Using this customized gene-information, physicians will be able to cater to a specific nutritional regime around their patients’ genetic makeup.
Now how do we find out what our genes look like, so we can get sense of what the best-fit diet for our particular genealogy is? Dr. Raymond Rodriguez, PHD, director and professor at the Center of Excellent for Nutritional Genomics in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of California, Davis, says that there are some companies who are actually selling tests that will look at your SNP and give you your risk factors for specific diseases. You then bring those results to a holistic-based doctor, such as myself, who can help develop a personalized way-of-life that helps to prevent, mitigate, or delay the onset of disease – specifically the diseases which you are predisposed to.
Traditionally, the medical professional will focus on illness. It might, instead, be time they focus on the solution rather than the problems. The good news with this gene diet is that it opens up a line of communication between doctor and patient in terms of nutrition, so doctors might one day need to learn more about how foods effect their patients, and subsequently be equipped to advise us on the specific nutrition that would be best for us.