Nutrigenomics is the study that examines the intersection of the diet and genome as they relate to optimal health. Read on to determine if investigating your nutritional genome (aka nutrigenomics) will give you added insight into achieving your health.
What is a genome?
The human genome is the entire set of genes, or DNA instructions, required for a human to develop and function. All of this information is packed inside the nucleus and mitochondria of each cell!
How does the genome affect us after birth?
After birth, we’re pretty much programmed to develop a certain way according to our genome, right? The answer isn’t quite that straightforward. Yes, we are set to develop into adulthood by following a specific set of instructions influenced by our biological parents. We also know that certain sets of genetic instructions can get switched on or off, depending on our environment.This is called epigenetics.
What roles does methylation play in epigenetics?
DNA methylation involves adding or subtracting a methyl group (3 hydrogen atoms bonded to 1 carbon atom) to/from certain regions along the genome. These changes regulate how the genes are expressed. Typically, addition of a methyl group silences the gene. Environmental influences like diet strongly affect this process.
How can we influence our methylation processes and levels?
With the study of epigenetics, we understand that the changes made to our genome throughout our lives can be passed down to our offspring. Nutrition and diet can heavily influence our methylation patterns! For example, eating a diet rich in folate and other B vitamins can impact such processes.
Why should we care about knowing our methylation patterns?
Based on our diets and genetics (or nutrigenomics), some people will very strongly benefit from a diet robust with methyl groups. This knowledge helps direct your meal plan and could impact your risk of developing heart disease, mood disorder, and possibly even cancer.
What can we do to determine our methylation status?
Thanks to modern technology, we are now able to test for current methylation patterns, the ones ideal for our individual genomes, and how personalizing our diets can affect those patterns. We currently use Nutrition Genome testing to help our patients better target their metabolic pathways with more accuracy.
How can we use the results of the Nutrition Genome report?
After interpreting the reports, we work with patients to personalize a health plan to support the biological processes in need of more attention. This plan involves the five pillars of our practice: Movement, Mindset, Meal Plan, Supplements, and Services.
Interested in learning more about nutrigenomics?
Our team of integrative practitioners is happy to help you identify the underlying causes of health imbalances using nutrigenomics tests, and to develop a plan that includes the best foods and supplements to rebalance your system. Call our office to find out more: 212-989-9828.