Health DNA Test – Interpretation Guide

Health DNA Test – Interpretation Guide

HEALTH DNA TEST 

To make a holistic assessment of health risks, environmental factors (diet and lifestyle) need to be considered in conjunction with the accompanying genetic profile. This report provides explanations of the contribution that your genetic profile provides by influencing your health in the following important areas:

  • Bone Health
  • Liver Health
  • Food Responsiveness
  • Inflammation Health
  • Insulin Sensitivity
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Methylation
  • Oxidative Stress Health

BONE HEALTH

This report will provide your genetic risk for osteoporosis and reduced bone mineral density. Depending on your genetic results, recommendations may include specific dietary changes and increased intake of important supplements that support and maintain bone health, such as the two most abundant minerals found in your bones (Calcium and Magnesium), along with Vitamins C and D3, and Boron.

LIVER HEALTH

(Phase I and II Detoxification)

Toxin neutralization takes place in the liver, which is an essential organ that breaks down or metabolizes, potentially mutagenic and carcinogenic compounds, such as those derived from tobacco smoke, diet and estrogen metabolism. These toxins are metabolized into byproducts in the liver, making them more water-soluble and more easily excreted from the body through sweat and urine. The liver is the major detoxifying organ in the body, and certain foods and nutrients are known to protect liver tissues from damage. Your individualized report will discuss ways in which you can help your body to increase this efficiency through dietary supplementation and lifestyle modifications. For example, cruciferous and allium vegetables help increase the activity of your detoxification system, which aids the removal of harmful substances from your body. Your report will also discuss diet and environmental exposure recommendations as well as beneficial supplements, such as antioxidants and vitamin E.

FOOD RESPONSIVENESS

Particular nutrients and certain food components in different foodstuffs can affect individuals in different ways. With new research coming to light in this area, specific genes can be tested to give more insight into how an individual might respond to a particular food component. The areas of food responsiveness covered in this panel include:

  • Lactose Intolerance
  • Polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) metabolism
  • Caffeine sensitivity
  • Salt sensitivity
  • Iron overload

Lactose Intolerance (Lactase Deficiency or Persistence)

A specific DAN sequence in the Lactose Intolerance portion of the Health Test helps control the activity of an enzyme called lactase. This enzyme helps to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. Your individualized report will discuss your ability to digest lactose-containing dairy products and symptoms you may have experienced from lactose deficiency, such as abdominal cramps, bloating, distension, flatulence, and diarrhea, with recommendations for dietary and supplement modifications.

Iron Overload

Hereditary hemochromatosis is a genetic disorder in which there is excessive accumulation of iron in the body, leading to iron overload. For individuals with this disorder, the daily absorption of iron from the intestines is greater than the amount needed to replace losses. Since the normal body cannot increase iron excretion, the absorbed iron accumulates in the body. Individuals who carry the genes for hereditary hemochromatosis may have no symptoms or signs and the disease is treatable if detected early. Severe symptoms and signs of iron overload include sexual dysfunction, heart failure, joint pains, liver cirrhosis, diabetes mellitus, fatigue, and hyperpigmentation, which is the darkening of an area of skin or nails caused by increased melanin. Your individualized Health Report will provide your iron excretion ability, with recommendations for dietary, environmental and lifestyle supplementation or modification.

Caffeine Sensitivity

Coffee is a major source of caffeine, which is metabolized by the cytochrome P450 1A2 enzyme (CYP1A2). People who have unusual caffeine sensitivity may experience significant symptoms such as anxiety tremors, headache, palpitations, and insomnia after ingesting even small amounts of caffeine-containing foods. People with caffeine sensitivity should generally try to avoid caffeine altogether. The Caffeine Sensitivity portion of the Health Test will explain if you are a fast or slow metabolizer of caffeine and if you would benefit from limiting your daily caffeine intake into recommended amounts.

Salt Sensitivity

Studies show that patients with a particular genetic profile have significantly higher blood pressure or hypertension, which increases with high salt intake. However, the incidence of hypertension was found to be significantly lower among these individuals who reduced sodium intake. The results of your Health Test will provide your salt sensitivity and recommendations for appropriate salt intake.

Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Metabolism

Polyunsaturated fat is a type of dietary fat. It is one of the healthy fats, along with monounsaturated fat. Polyunsaturated fat is found in plant and animal foods, such as salmon, vegetable oils, and some nuts and seeds. Certain genetic profiles are associated with blood concentrations of PUFAs as well as with cholesterol concentrations. Based on the genetic variation provided in your Health Report, recommendations may include consuming different amounts of dietary or supplemental PUFAs to optimize your individual health.

With new research coming to light in this area, specific genes can be tested to give more insight into how an individual might respond to a particular food component.

INFLAMMATION HEALTH

Inflammation is a normal immune response and an essential step in tissue healing. The release of inflammatory substances is controlled by genes that govern inflammation. However, when these genes are not switched off, the inflammatory response continues. An increasing number of common disorders, such as obesity, heart disease, arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease have been associated with chronic low-grade inflammation. The results of the inflammation portion of your Health Report will discuss the role your genes play in inflammation and the potential regulation of chronic inflammation. Recommendations will include preferred dietary choices and, when dietary intake is inadequate, ideal high-quality supplements tailored to benefit your metabolic profile to lower the risk of obesity, decrease visceral fat deposition and insulin resistance, and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

INSULIN SENSITIVITY

Insulin is a hormone that stimulates the uptake of glucose from the diet into the blood. Individuals with lower sensitivity to insulin have a limited ability to respond to the hormone’s action. The scientific literature suggests that insulin insensitivity or resistance may play an important role in some of the most common disorders, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and disrupted fat metabolism. Your individualized Health Report will discuss energy expenditure, energy intake, and reasons for diminished satiety. This report will also discuss the ability of your genes to regulate glucose and if your genetic profile is associated with lower BMI and fasting insulin, improved insulin sensitivity or increased risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

LIPID METABOLISM

Heart health depends on a complex balance of environmental, dietary and genetic factors. Certain genes influence LDL and HDL cholesterol levels; higher levels of LDL, or ‘bad’ cholesterol, and lower levels of HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol, are associated with a higher risk of heart disease. Your Health Report will discuss how genetic variations are associated with lipid metabolism and cholesterol metabolism. Certain genetic profiles will respond less to dietary intervention and are more responsive to statin therapy. Other genetic profiles are responsive to dietary intervention, such as decreased saturated fat and modified carbohydrates intake. Your Health Report will also provide results that are strong indicators of body fat, fat distribution, plasma lipids, and insulin concentrations.

METHYLATION

B vitamins provide building blocks for growing cells, which are constantly being renewed, and play an important role in many physiological processes. B vitamins are also necessary for protecting our genes so that our DNA doesn’t accumulate damage from the wear and tear in the daily lives of our cells. These vitamins – including folate, vitamins B6 and B12 – help make new DNA for cells that are constantly growing and renewing themselves. Folate is also involved in turning many genes on and off, and also helps repair DNA. The process of DNA repair is called methylation. Although B vitamins are only required in small amounts, they are crucial for methylation and in producing new DNA. Results of your Health Report will indicate if folate requirements are increased and, in addition to folate-rich foods, if supplementation of folate, B2, B6, and B12 is recommended.

Certain genetic profiles are associated with a reduction in methylation activity and increased risk for breast cancer. Key interventions are increasing insoluble fiber, managing the quality of dietary fat intake, losing weight, and increasing exercise. In addition, your Health Report may recommend sufficient antioxidant and magnesium intake. Recommended dietary components may include quercetin and tea catechins.

OXIDATIVE STRESS HEALTH

Free radicals are a normal by-product of the body’s energy-generating biochemical processes. They are highly reactive with other molecules and can damage DNA, proteins and cellular membranes. The balance between oxidation and antioxidation is believed to be critical in maintaining healthy biological systems. Dietary antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids and polyphenols are free radical scavengers that interact with the free radical to ensure it is no longer a reactive molecule and play an essential role in many antioxidant mechanisms in living organisms. However, the major role in antioxidant defense is fulfilled by the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.

Individuals with particular genetic profiles and with lower consumption of fruits and vegetables may have an increased risk of experiencing the damaging effects of oxidative stress resulting from free radicals. These effects are also enhanced by the presence of additional risk factors such as smoking. Therefore, your Health Report will discuss adequate fruit and vegetable intake. Supplementation with antioxidant nutrients may also be recommended.


DNA Basics

DNA

 Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is our hereditary template. Most DNA is located in the cell nucleus within chromosome s, but a small amount is found in the mitochondria (mtDNA).

Bases

The information in DNA is stored as a code made up of four chemical bases:

  • Adenine (A)
  • Guanine (G)
  • Cytosine (C)
  • Thymine (T)

Base pairs

Two DNA base pairs join to make a unit:

  • Adenine (A) pairs with thymine (T)
  • Cytosine (C) pairs with guanine (G)

Nucleotide

One base + one sugar + phosphate = nucleotide

Nucleotides join together and are arranged in two long strands that form a spiral called a double helix.

Replication

Replication takes place when cells divide. It is the process by which DNA copies itself so that the new cell contains the same DNA as the old cell.

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