A Better Nutrition Guide to Genetic Testing

Your health, it’s personal.

Who you are, and as a result, what will help you and keep you from being healthy is all about you. And that is what your genes reveal. A blueprint. A way of seeing you from the inside out. A way of understanding what will nourish and support you. A way to identify what creates and exacerbates your health challenges.

What if… there was a nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle plan that was built for you. One that considered you from the inside out? Built from your unique blueprint. One that is uniquely you, because it features your genes?

What if… you could write down all the questions you have about your health, including the past, present, and maybe the future, and get detailed answers and a clear path forward.

What if… you knew how every bite you take, move you make, and every supplement you are prescribed actually works in your body.

This is the power of the genomic revolution. It’s built ON YOU, and FOR YOU.

And that is why practitioners today use genomic testing to help them personalize a roadmap for you.

With genomic testing and advanced training, practitioners remove the guesswork out of “what’s wrong” or “what about me” and replace it with a detailed plan that is curated uniquely for you and YOUR DNA.

Think of it this way. Would you build a house without a blueprint? Would you fix a punctured tire with a band aid? Would you show up for an international flight without a reservation?

A little risky, right?

Unfortunately, even with the most skilled clinicians and advanced testing and equipment, this is what’s happening in medicine, healthcare, and nutrition. Tons of tests — many of them expensive. Lots of drugs, supplements and “let’s try this” experimentation. And what about those courses where you don’t ever even meet the practitioner live? Or the retreats that are guaranteed to turn your life around – because all your health problems can be solved in one retreat?!

Come on now. How can one size (anything) possibly heal everyone when every single one of us has a different gene blueprint?

If this sounds like a recipe for failure, it is. You may have experienced this yourself. And rest assured, it is frustrating for you, and for your healthcare team too.

Finally, 21st Century Medicine has delivered a better, more successful, and most importantly, a personalized way.

It is not a supplement protocol. Nope, it’s not a list of eat this, not that. Nor is it a 10 week course or a one week “Learn everything you could possibly need” course.

It’s a qualified (trained) practitioner using a clinicallyrelevant genomic test to identify and decipher your body’s unique DNA patterns. Then using that information to prioritize and personalize total nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle recommendations.

You see your DNA takes the guesswork out of what’s best for you. Because it IS you.

If you are reading this, you are curious about better; feeling better, your body running better, better nutrition (which better be deliciously doable for you), a better partnership in your healthcare, and a better investment in yourself.

Let’s take a look at some common questions about genetics and genetic testing and give you a better picture of how your genetic information is the best director of your health. They should be. They are uniquely YOU.

Q: What are the benefits of a genetic test?

Genetic testing reflects your unique blueprint. It’s the plan of how YOU are built! Your blueprint provides the best insights into YOU, and removes the guesswork out of “What’s wrong with me.” Genetic testing provides answers to questions you may have about your health. Additionally, detailed explanations and insights into health trends in your family and whether they apply to you. Imagine knowing ahead of time that you share the same potential for hypertension, but you are in a position to “head if off at the pass!” That is a powerful position to be in.

The bottom line: a genetic test gives you deep insights into who you are. It answers questions about potential predispositions, and more importantly, puts you in the powerful position to take intelligent and informed action for your health.

Q: Does the type of genetic testing you are offering tell me if I am going to get a devastating disease and die early?

The type of testing your practitioner offers is called genomic testing. This form of testing looks at gene variants called SNPs or “Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms” that respond to diet, lifestyle or exercise modifications. Think of this as the form of genetic testing that provides clues to suggest where a clinician can look for efficiencies or inefficiencies in your biochemistry (operating system) that can be improved upon for better health.

Genomic testing is a very powerful source of information that allows your genetic practitioner to prioritize what needs to be investigated to help you get to your best health. Alternatively, genetic testing provides strategic insight into where to focus your efforts to get to optimal wellness.

This is very different from genetic testing that looks for mutations which can be life-threatening and/or need medical management. Your practitioner does not offer this form of testing.

Q: How can knowing my genetic blueprint help my nutrition…and health?

Your genes are signposts that provide insights into possible nutrition weaknesses that can impact your health. Getting to know your genes is the best way to know which areas you can improve on your nutrition, and importantly, how. Think of a genomic test as helping you bypass hours and hours of guesswork, countless tests and money spent on different supplements and diets that, a lot of times, just don’t work because they are neither pinpointing, nor addressing the root cause of the issue.

For example, if there’s a history of cardiovascular disease in your family, your genomic blueprint can help identify and explain where some genetics link to some of the health trends in your family, and whether those same gene patterns may pertain to you as well. Most importantly, your practitioner can put a plan in place for you right away to offset any risks or simply keep you on the right track because there are no gene-associated risks. How’s that for peace of mind?

Q: Do genetic reports tell me what supplements I should take?

Genetic reports do not directly tell us “you have this gene, therefore you need to do that.” And this is why working with a genetic expert comes into play. Clinically relevant reports (AKA those that don’t get sold via the Internet or at the local store) are not designed to be turnkey solutions. These types of reports often look at one gene at a time and suggest a supplement based on a gene result. We call this line-item genetics!

Your genes work in pathways and systems and multiple genes are involved to produce health outcomes. Clinically relevant reports require assessment by a trained practitioner to identify potential inefficiencies. From there, your practitioner will likely request additional laboratory testing to validate any inefficiencies. In some cases, and depending on the individual, your practitioner may directly recommend a supplement, but 90% of the time, your practitioner will recommend whole food to restore those inefficiencies. The human body functions on food. Supplements bring the body to efficiency. Food drives day to day efficiency!

Q: Tell me more about the difference between tests I can buy at the store or order via the internet versus one that my practitioner would use?

At-Home tests can fall into two categories: The ones you buy directly, or the ones a practitioner would use. The direct-to-consumer tests are ones you order and decipher yourself. You could consider them like ready-to-go toolboxes that will essentially tell you, “These are your genes, now go and do this.” These over-the-counter interpretations will most often produce results that tell you what diet is suitable for you, or which supplement is recommended for you. However, these tests don’t truly open up your genetics, or really detail the full wiring diagram of who you are.

The other version of at-home tests is the kind your practitioner recommends and you purchase with their recommendation or from them directly (we call these practitioner tests). These are far more detailed and require interpretation with a licensed and trained clinician.

This in-depth test allows practitioners to evaluate the different biochemical pathways and the deepest parts of how you operate as an individual. And because clinicians understand how you’re wired, they are able to take the results of this genetic test and essentially peek under the hood in ways that no direct-to-consumer test can.

Q: Why might a practitioner recommend a genetic test?

A practitioner may recommend a genetic test in order to understand where the efficiencies in your biochemistry or “operating system” lie. These inefficiencies can lead to “dis-ease.” Using genetics, a practitioner can uncover imbalances and root causes where conventional medicine often misses. This saves time and often a lot of money for you.

Q: What are some examples of how my genetic test and my practitioner can help me more effectively reach my health goals?

Let’s consider a very prevalent problem right now: bone disease, often identified as osteopenia or osteoporosis. The lifestyle treatment for bone disease (such as osteopenia or osteoporosis) often includes supplementing with Vitamins (D, D3, K2, and A) as well as minerals calcium and magnesium, incorporating exercise, and potentially being treated with medications by an endocrinologist.

In this scenario, genetics can often help a practitioner uncover disruption in your biochemistry that may lead to oxidative stress, inflammation or nutrient deficiencies that extend far beyond Vitamin D and calcium. In other words, we often find solutions in places we would have never thought to look.

As you are learning, your genes don’t hide any facts! They tell the story of who you are. Your practitioner simply unpacks your unique gene story and finds the missing links that help to restore your health.

Q: How many times do I have to get a test?

Usually you will only need to have one genetic test in your lifetime. We like to think that your genes are stable and don’t change much over your lifetime. We do know however that traumatic events, debilitating environmental exposures, and periods of rapid growth can influence gene expression or behavior. Though traumatic events, stress, and environmental exposures often cause epigenetic changes that change how your genes behave, these changes do not happen day after day. For most individuals, one genetic test is good for a lifetime.

For more information on genetic testing, follow me on social media (IG, FB, P and GETTR) @themommymaker.

All content here was created for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on these pages. Reliance on any information provided by The Better Nutrition Program, companies, or professionals contributing content as part of these publications is solely at your own risk. All materials developed and reviewed by Ashley Koff RD at times in conjunction with other leading healthcare practitioners.
©2021 The Better Nutrition Program LLC


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