Nutrigenomics - What?

We can now find out, through DNA testing, how the body responds to certain foods and nutrients. 

Nutrigenomics is the study of the relationship between nutrition and gene expression. When we are conceived, we are given a special and unique blueprint that is called our genotype. As we age and develop, our expression of this blueprint is called our phenotype and it can be altered either positively or negatively by many influences, including environment, toxins, diet, lifestyle, stress and many other factors.

This change in our phenotype or gene expression is called epigenetics and is now bursting into the forefront of functional medicine. It’s an exciting field of study for us because it will further solidify the practice of nutrition and functional medicine in reaching the root causes of many diseases. We will also be able to use DNA testing to fine tune the specific nutrients that make people healthy, based on their specific chromosomal makeup. 

In the practice of functional medicine, we look for the cause of illness and what factors contribute to this “switching” of genes. Autoimmune disease is a large grouping of diseases in which the body attacks itself. This is obviously serious but can be tended to through changes in nutrition and lifestyle habits, along with education and understanding of the mechanism that brought on the disease. 

We are all predisposed to some extent toward disease and malfunction through our phenotype. The basis of epigenetics is the understanding that too much stress, injury, poor habits and poor nutrition can “switch” a gene into a disease state. This means, according to leading edge research, that these genes also have the potential to be switched back in the other direction. This takes work, guidance and patience through clean habits, gentle exercise, plenty of sleep and a load of nutrients every day! This is exciting and promising all at once.

Let’s get ahead of the curve and work toward prevention instead of just cures. They can both be beneficial but it’s best to work toward fixing the problems that have become the cause of these
miserable diseases.