Understanding how our genes are influenced by diet and lifestyle is the key to health

Holistic health is based on the principle of treating the whole person, not the isolated parts and viewing the patient as an individual and not by their disease. The evolving understanding of how genetic influences, diet and lifestyle factors combine to influence our health is confirming the holistic perspective has been correct all along.

Definitions:

DNA testing of our response to foods is known as nutrigenomics

genomics is an interdisciplinary field of biology focusing on the structure, function, evolution, mapping, and editing of genomes. A genome is an organism's complete set of DNA, including all of its genes.

nutrigenomics is the study of how food affects a person's genes and how a person's genes affect the way the body responds to food. Nutrigenomics is used to learn more about how genes and diet together may affect a person's health and risk of developing disease.

epigenetics is the term used to describe inheritance by mechanisms other than through the DNA sequence of genes. It works through chemical tags added to chromosomes that in effect switch genes on or off.

Genetic studies is revealing we can take positive steps to extend our lifespans and prevent many debilitating conditions for which modern medicine currently has few treatment options. While we are each born with genetic predispositions in our DNA, our genetic fate is not sealed at birth. There's an epigentic layer above our DNA sequence which is ultimately responsible for which genes get expressed and which ones stay dormant. The relationship between our DNA and epigenetic on/off switches, diet, stress and lifestyle represents our individual health journey.

Inflammation is present in all chronic disease

Chronic inflammation influences DNA and gene expression - Nutrigenomics MalaysiaThe common factor in all chronic diseases is inflammation that influences gene expression and may affect any one of our organs or bodily systems. Initial symptoms and early warning signs of pain, discomfort, digestive issues etc are normally overlooked or suppressed by pharmaceutical medication. The end result is that we keep eating the same diet, following the same stressful or sedentary lifestyle and believing we are now fine when our minor health issues go away with some suppressive medication.

Most chronic diseases are preceded over many years by a chronic low level of inflammation and multiple warning signs but still it always comes as a shock when our doctor informs us one day that we now have a clinical disease and we ask ourselves how and why did this occur? This is not a judgement call but is simply a part of our human experience and it requires us to rethink out approach to personal health throughout our lives. Health is a journey that requires the utmost flexibility and willingness to change at every stage, especially as our scientific understanding is constantly evolving. If something is not working we need to be honest enough to change and invest into a new perspective in personalized health.

Can you change your DNA with food?

Nutrigenomics provides a personalized understanding of diet and nutrition based on DNA markersNutrigenomics is the understanding of how diet and specific lifestyle factors affects our health by altering the expression of our genes. Mapping the human genome has revealed the genetic variants between humans and how there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to diet and nutrition. Understanding how these genetic variants influence health and predisposition to inflammatory chronic conditions is perhaps the most important information we can give ourselves and our loved ones.

Nutrigenomic testing analyzes those genes that control inflammation, cell defence and detoxification, vitamin D metabolism, methylation and homocysteine metabolism, cardiovascular health, fat metabolism, cholesterol regulation and carbohydrate metabolism. This information provides practical personalized recommendations to assist with the following;

  • Dietary and nutritional recommendations to overcome the genetic weaknesses identified in your DNA
  • How you as an individual react to different carbohydrates and saturated fat sources and what macronutrient ratio is best suited for you
  • Why some people struggle to lose weight, have sleep issues, frequent digestive problems and so on
  • Individual genetic issues in nutrient absorption, metabolism, utilization and excretion
  • Guidance on a suitable lifestyle and exercise requirements to maintain health as well as enhancing sports performance for athletes
  • While also pointing us in the right direction for further diagnostic tests based on your DNA analysis

As our nutrigenomic resource database grows every year, the better we can interpret an individual’s genetic information and nutritional recommendations. Today the process of taking a DNA sample is completely non invasive as it involving only a simple mucus swab from the mouth. For more info on getting your own personalized Nutrigenomics analysis then kindly EMAIL US HERE and provide your name and contact number and we will reply you with the schedules of our next workshops.

Stress, the great game changer for gene expression

Stress influences epigenetic changes to gene expressionAnother pillar of holistic healing philosophy is that "the body and the mind are one". You cannot separate the mind and body as our nervous and hormonal systems communicate with our entire body and mental/emotional stress is immediately felt as tightening and distress in the body and researchers found that stressed individuals have higher numbers of cytokines, which trigger inflammation and disease if prolonged. It has been shown that excess amount of the stress hormone, cortisol, impacts epigenetic processes by adjusting chemical tags on our DNA making us more susceptible to physical, mental and emotional illness that may persist throughout the course of our lives and even be passed on to our children.

Managing mental and emotional stress via relaxation techniques along with personalized improvements in our diet are steps we can do for ourselves today. Taking a psychotropic medication from your Doctor seems like a far easier way but this will never resolve the underlying emotional issues that need to be acknowledged and released for real healing to occur. This does not mean to go off your prescribed medications but only to ensure that the process of letting go of emotional triggers, negative beliefs and insecurities is also part of your healing process. The real benefit with stress release and emotional healing comes when we do a little bit every single day by finding time for yourself that everyone in your family gives you space. First thing in the morning is an excellent time to practice reflection and mindfulness and set you up for a day where you become more cognizant of the role of stress and relaxation in your life.

Anti-inflammatory phytonutrients from plants that pack a punch

Curcumin for Turmeric provides potent anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer compoundsMedicinal plants and functional foods provide unique phytochemical properties far beyond just their vitamin and mineral content. These antioxidant plant constituents are readily bioavailable, reduce inflammation in target areas and support methylation, protecting our cells from the harmful effects of diet, stress, lifestyle and our polluted environment.

  • Curcumin from Turmeric
  • Sulfuraphane from Broccoli and Cauliflower
  • Resveratrol from Grapes
  • Thymoquinone from Black Seed Oil (Nigella sativa or Habbatus Sauda)
  • Delphinidum from Blueberry
  • Andrographolide from Hempedu Bumi (Andrographis paniculata)
  • Annocatacin / Annomuricin from Annona muricata (Graviola or Soursop leaf)

Whatever stage of health or illness we find ourselves in right now we can make immediate steps to reverse inflammation that our diets, stress and lifestyle may be causing. If you want to go that extra mile then taking a nutrigenomics DNA test can provide the much needed knowledge base to inspire you to a healthier lifestyle by making specific modifications to counter the effect of genetic predispositions. As this epigenetic science is revealing, these changes you make today can even positively affect you and your next generation and beyond.

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