Nutrigenomics: Tailor Nutrition To Your Genetics
Have you ever tried out the same diet as your friend or family member, only to find out disappointingly that it doesn’t work for you – no matter how successful it was for them?
As you very well know, this is not a new story. For years, it’s been a very common and frustrating occurrence for many who desire to keep fit, lose weight, or stay healthy in general.
Through the past couple decades, however, research into genetics has begun to uncover the reasons why this happens – and this has brought some good (and fascinating) news for many.
The human race is colorful, diverse, and filled with a startling array of completely unique individuals. As such, it would only make sense that the same diet wouldn’t work for everyone else, even if it worked so well for one person (or a few people)!
HEALTH IS NOT ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL
As science and medical health knowledge progress, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that a “one size fits all” attitude towards health just doesn’t make sense.
What DOES make more sense: exploring and getting to know your own genetic background, and finding out exactly what foods, nutrients, and precise dietary guidelines work for YOU and you alone – and not just for some people.
The truth is: human beings are all remarkably and astoundingly genetically similar, underneath it all. Still, about 10% of our entire genome is completely different than anyone else’s – a genetic fingerprint, if you will. This determines traits like hair color, eye color, skin color, and so much more.
SMALL DIFFERENCES MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
Within this small difference, however, a number of other things can happen. Certain genetic sequences, polymorphisms, and mutations may occur, which in turn hold sway over what illnesses, diseases, and even nutritional deficiencies you’re more likely to get (or that you are more “programmed” to develop).
These various sequences are found off and on again throughout the human population. Further, they account for all the different dysfunctions we run into in the health world: from something as basic as folate deficiency, all the way up to an increased chance of Alzheimer’s (or even cancer)!
The rainbow of diversity among human beings, our genetics, and our health makes it so that not one of us experiences health problems – or needs certain health therapies – in the exact same way.
In essence, what works for one part of the population genetically will not work for another. But how can we use this to our health advantage?
NUTRIGENOMICS: SIMPLIFYING HEALTH, ONE GENE AT A TIME
Genetics may sound like just another confusing way to look at one’s path to better wellness. In reality, however, it can achieve just the opposite!
There are two very hopeful aspects of personalized nutrition and genetics (called “nutrigenomics”): firstly, knowing your genetic types and sequences can help narrow down what type of health problems you may develop, and what diet you should pursue.
Secondly: you can have control over your genetics, how they function, and how they ultimately impact wellness by shutting certain genes on and off.
That’s right: genes can be altered when there is a need. This is seen in nature among many animals, such as bees.
Not many may know, but it can also be triggered in humans. But how?
The key: diet and environment!
NUTRITION AND DIET UNDERLIES SUCCESSFUL GENETIC FUNCTION
The connection between digestive health and genes is a hot topic of discussion in the health world right now.
Tons of research is underway that already supports – and continues to explore – how diet has the power to “turn off” hazardous genetic functions for health while encouraging genes and DNA to express themselves in the healthiest (and most natural) way possible.
For each person, the path to achieving this is different. In fact, certain constitutions or “types” are found among the population for specific nutrient deficiencies and diseases – and people can fall into one, or more, of them.
To put it simply: certain gene sequences are triggered by increases in certain nutrients. That or certain unique genes in some people represent common nutritional deficiencies.
All of these can be tested for and determined through your genetics!
A DIET TAILORED TO ULTIMATE UNIQUENESS: YOUR DNA
Depending on the person, each individual needs different foods, nutrition, and health regimens to be healthy. The map for what each person needs is hidden in your DNA and genetic code.
For example: someone with one genetic type, or “polymorphism,” may need more vitamin D than other nutritional supplements. Another person, on the other hand, may not have any issues with vitamin D at all.
Instead, they should make sure that they get an adequate uptake of vitamin B9 (folate) to be healthy or to even curb the chance of developing certain hereditary illnesses (such as autoimmunity, heart disease, and more).
Memory & Cognitive Support – No Matter How You Mix It!
WHICH TYPE ARE YOU?
What works best for which person all falls down to certain genetic sequences: namely, genetic types that have been narrowed down and studied for what they do, and what they need nutritionally.
With the help of some testing options out there, you can find out what sequences are found in your DNA, such as the ones below. Even better, you can determine how you can improve your health according to your type.
MTHFR is an enzymatic mutation that increases the levels of homocysteine in the blood. This, in turn, can lead to an increased risk of psoriasis, hypertension, infertility, and even more major diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer.
The genetic sequence MTHFR requires more nutrient supply of vitamin B9 and B12 to improve cellular function and health. It is one of the more commonly found sequences among the population and may be helped with an increase of foods rich in these nutrients, or supplement sources.
This type also similarly affects vitamin B synthesis and absorption – but in this case, vitamin B6 more so than others. Scientific studies also show that it plays an important role in protein synthesis: that is, creating the actual tissues in the body.
As with MTHFR, upping foods high in B6 or supplementing may help these particular types.
A recent study revealed that FUT2 genetic types are more susceptible to noroviruses of the digestive system, and thus have a greater chance of contracting digestive illnesses, stomach flu, and gastroenteritis.
Further, people with this genetic type may struggle with converting vitamin B12 into bioavailable nutrition in the intestines and require a B12 supplement. The addition of probiotics to the diet can be helpful with this sequence too.
DCML types have a certain inability to process vitamin A properly for good absorption into the body. These people may benefit from increasing the amount of meat they eat in their diet or may take a vitamin A supplement for help.
The FADS2 type, according to recent research, has a strong hand in the way fatty acids are transferred and converted around the body. Too many of these enzymatic activities have an impact on the way illnesses like atopic eczema and seasonal allergies function.
This sequence is found in a certain percentage of the population, and can also make it difficult for the body to convert plant-sourced Omega-3 fatty acids into forms readily available to the body. For those with an FADS2 genetic sequence, omega 3 supplementing may be recommended.
Recent research on this genetic sequence shows that it has a marked impact on vitamin D, as well as liver functions. Illnesses like alcoholism and hepatitis can further worsen this condition in people with this type.
With this sequence, people have been seen to have lower amounts of vitamin D circulating in the body. Plus, the body – due to its misfiring genetic signaling – shows less enzymatic activity in trying to convert vitamin D into forms the body can use. Supplementation, increased consumption of seafood and meat products, and more exposure to sunlight is helpful to these types.
This sequence governs the conversion of a dietary element, choline, for use in the body. In one particular study, it was seen that dysfunction of this sequence could lead to non-fatty liver diseases.
A prevalent type among women mostly, it reduces signaling of enzymes that help process choline and can be influenced by estrogen particularly. Choline supplementation, or even an increase in egg (with yolks) consumption, can help with the problems associated with it.
In addition to these above studied genetic types, there are thousands more being studied everyday: both to understand how they exactly affect or unlock certain functions in the body, as well as how they can be remedied with diet and nutrition.
Are you ready to get to know your own genetic type, and create the perfect diet to boost your unique genetic makeup?
Explore nutrigenomics and you’ll no longer waste time on fad diets that, in the long run, won’t work for you. Instead, delve into your genetics and find out what REALLY works.
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