Genetic testing: For or against?
Genetic testing seems to be the new test on the block that many Nutritional Therapists and Naturopaths are becoming excited about thanks to the potential for predicting what could potentially happen health wise. But is your genetic pool really a code for your future health risks, or is it more just a hint of warnings to heed to ensure optimal health?
Many of those not trained in Naturopathy or Nutrition are now more aware than ever of certain genes, such as the BRCA gene mutation thanks to Angelina Jolie’s decision to have both breasts removed to prevent breast cancer, having discovered she’s a carrier of the SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism or mutation one is born with). But this is only one gene mutation in a host of many that can have significant impact on your health depending on likelihood of expression. There are genes, for example, that code for how you handle acrylamides present in BBQ prepared foods, smoking and even toast, which explain why some people can get away with smoking for years while others end up with cancer just from passive smoke and eating some browned toast and bbq. The acrylamide processing mutation has been linked with ovarian, lung and other cancers, for instance.
Genes that tell you how quickly medication and drugs (and even coffee and alcohol) go through your system can help your doctor properly dose your medication and are considered a new frontier in modern medicine being explored through pharmacogenomics.
The methylation gene mutation can mean that you are unable to perform certain common liver processes that help with detox. If your detoxification pathways are slow and toxins are left stuck in your system, this can then predispose you to inflammation and quite a few chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart diseases, autoimmune diseases and many cancers. While the homocysteine gene mutation could make you more prone to atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and heart attack.
However, before you run to get your genetic code tested by screening companies like Lifecode GX or 23 and Me in great trepidation of what you might uncover, know that your genetics is just a plausible blueprint of what could happen and not what definitely will happen. That part is entirely dependent on what YOU DO WITH YOUR GENES and not just the genes you’ve been given.
So what can you do to protect yourself from deadly diseases whatever your genetic codes may be? Well that all comes back to diet and lifestyle of course. How you eat and how you live is what determines how well you live even to a ripe old age. In fact what you do with your genes is much more important than your genes to begin with. The power of switching genes on or off is completely up to us.
Need help knowing how to maximise the potential of your genes and minimise negative reactions? Book a free 20 minute call with me.