I’m not an athlete, but I think of myself as athletic. Although a doctor and an admitted foodie, I make a conscious decision to eat healthily. So when I recently took a test focused on fitness and nutrition genes, I was surprised by the insights it provided. The results have changed the way I look at my exercise and diet.
In almost every cell in our bodies, we have 46 chromosomes which contain 3 billion base pairs of DNA and approximately 25,000 genes which code for all living processes. All of us have small differences in the information that our DNA contains, and it is these differences that make each of us unique. How much of the script that is written for our bodies by genetics can we change?
The fitness and nutrition genetic testing does not tell us if we are going to have a particular diagnosis but instead how we can make personal decisions that are uniquely best for our health or avoid injury. In my medical practice, I test for a selection of key genes associated with fitness, nutrition, and health.
My genetic testing told me that my body responds much better to endurance training, which is just as well, as I never did jump high or sprint very fast. It was also encouraging to know that my potential for reaching a high level of energy use efficiency (VO2) is attainable with the proper training. This doesn’t mean I could never be a powerhouse weightlifter, but that my approach to building muscle should be different from someone else who has different genes.
At WellcomeMD we help patients find a path to better lifelong health. Our advanced training in genetic medicine can lead to better health for life, not just treat the symptoms of the day. With today’s new precision medicine and our training, we can prevent and often reverse chronic disease. Genetic profiling is just one more way that I can help my patients live a better, more active, and vital life.
Regarding nutrition, I was tested for specific genetic markers related to carbohydrate and fat sensitivity, detoxification ability, anti-oxidant/omega-3/vitamin B/vitamin D requirements, salt/alcohol/caffeine sensitivity, and genes associated with lactose intolerance and predisposition to celiac disease. With this information we can make the correct individual nutrition and diet choices.
I have modified my diet based on my genetics, labs, and my waistline. My optimal diet is the Lactose-Free Mediterranean Plan (unlike others who would benefit more from a lower carbohydrate or lower saturated fat plan). I need to increase cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, kale, broccoli, etc.) and decrease salt and grilled meats. Surprisingly it turns out that I am lactose intolerant and that I am at increased risk of having celiac disease even though I have very few symptoms that would suggest this. I don’t necessarily have to drop the wheat and dairy from my diet but it is useful information for the future should I develop symptoms.
We have a program where for a minimal fee you can access the same information I did. If you’d like to learn more about your genetics, we’d be happy to arrange a personal tour and discussion. Email info@wellcomeMD.com or call 888.531.3844.