Nutrigenomics Testing For Personal Health Knowledge
Knowing your genotype can be incredibly valuable in helping you make informed, healthy decisions about your lifestyle. If you have read my blogs, you understand that you have profound control over your health by providing a nutrient-dense, natural food diet to your genes that will help ‘turn on’ health-promoting genes plus ‘turn off’ disease-promoting genes.
Nutrigenomics testing can help you to understand your body’s particular needs and challenges. Several companies in the US sell gene testing kits directly to consumers, including 23andme, FamilyTreeDNA, and others.
In the US, health reports based on your genetic analysis are not generally available to consumers because the FDA believes this information should be conveyed to you by your physician or licensed healthcare professional. Most companies, therefore, provide ancestral information and may also provide comprehensive results as raw data.
The Decision to Begin Genetics Testing
Deciding to have your genetics analyzed can be a big decision.
Consulting with a nutrigenetics counselor or your physician, if they are trained to provide genetic counseling, may be beneficial prior to having your genetic analysis done. They can provide information about testing options as well as discuss what is best for you and your family.
After receiving your results, a genetic counselor can help explain any health implications of your specific genotype and guide you on any lifestyle changes you may want, or need, to take. From losing weight to preventing diabetes, nutrigenomics testing can empower people with the information they need to make the right choices in their diet.
Genes in Life is another organization with a lot of information on their website to help you understand a bit more about genetics and how knowing your family history can help guide your lifestyle choices.
Is Your Genetic Information Safe?
GINA, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, is a federal law that prevents health insurers or employers from discriminating against you based on your genetic information.
However, it does not apply to coverage for life, long-term care, or disability insurance.
This document from the GINA website provides answers to common questions about the law.
Personalized Diet Apps
Plenty of services and mobile apps are popping up that offer personalized nutrition, natural food diet and lifestyle plans based on your specific genes.
Nutrigenomics is a new and evolving science; one which I think will be interesting and exciting to watch.
News of an IBM and Pathway Genomics app, Pathway Panorama, was announced in November of 2014 that would allow users to get personalized gene-specific answers to natural language health questions.
Having lived in San Diego, the upstart nutrigenomics company GB Healthwatch, caught my eye. It has some interesting medical research data being pulled together by geneticists, biochemists and nutritionists regarding the interaction of food and certain genotypes. They have built a mobile app and has a few other tools, such as the “diet evaluator” but probably more interesting is the ability to automatically import your raw genetic data from 23andme.
This page is intended to offer a few resources I have found useful and/or interesting, it is not intended to be comprehensive. I will update it periodically as I find something valuable. Please feel free to contact me if you find something you think would be useful to add.