Genetics are cool. You know your ability to play the piano like a wizard? That might be from your grandmother. Or consider that maybe you love the unique color of your eyes, or the color of your hair – again, it was likely passed down from someone in your genetic history, perhaps your parents. But, unfortunately, as much as we might celebrate genetics for our looks and abilities, there could be some not-so-great medical traits that were also handed down. There’s good news though; through a process called nutrigenomics, you can find out more about what medical conditions you may be susceptible to and adjust your diet to help.
What is Nutrigenomics?
Nutrigenomics describes a specific type of genetic research that focuses on how specific foods affect how we feel, our weight, metabolism, and overall health. Researchers of nutrigenomics believe our reaction to food is written in our DNA. Some may have an intolerance, such as gluten or dairy, while other may be predisposed to food allergies, obesity, or have a greater risk for developing certain diseases and health challenges.
What Do Genetics Say About Diet?
When you consider that some people just naturally seem to be thin, despite eating whatever they want, or others tend towards obesity despite watching their calories, it’s easy to see that genetics is definitely at play here. What researchers have discovered is that certain diets are best for those with certain DNA markers.
Some of the foods you could be told to change the intake of, based on your genetic profile, may include:
- Increase protein (lower carbohydrates)
- Increase carbs (lower protein)
- Avoid sugar
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol
- Balance carbs and proteins
Nutrients and Genetics
Nutrigenomics also identifies certain nutrients and vitamins that some people need more of than others. Upon learning more about your genetic makeup, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the vitamins you need, in the amount you need them. That’s where supplements can help. There are actually supplement brands, such as Metagenics and Enzyme Science, that are specifically created to help address your specific health needs, based on your unique genetics.
Some of the specific vitamins and vitamin blends that may help address health challenges and needs at the genetic level include:
- Phytomulti – A multivitamin made with all plant based nutrients.
- Omegagenics EPA – DHA – An omega-3 fish oil supplement that provides high levels of EPA and DHA.
- UltraFlora Balance – A blended supplement that supports immunity and optimal gut health, by providing a healthy balance of intestinal flora.
- Intolerance Complex – A digestive enzyme formula that addresses several types of food intolerances, including gluten, dairy, casein, and phenol. This formula may help support against common discomforts associated with these intolerances.
Altering your diet to fit your unique nutritional needs is based on genetics. It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it’s really happening! Would you try it? Have you already? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!