Nutrigenetics - MEDIJEUNESSE

Nutrigenetics

The concept of “personalized” medicine is extended to the area of nutrition.

Nutrigenetics studies how each of us reacts to molecules in foods.

There are more than 30,000 genes in our DNA, and they are like “instructions for use” for our organism. For each of us, these instructions are unique and unrepeatable, the genetic profile being exclusive and characteristic of each one (there are no two identical DNA profiles in the world, except for monozygotic twins).

Nutrigenetics is based on the idea that individual genetic diversity can affect nutrient absorption, metabolization, and utilization. For example, some genetic variants can make people more susceptible to certain diseases such as obesity or type 2 diabetes if they do not follow an adequate diet. Another example may be a fair-skinned person (genetic factor) who will only get sunburned (environment) if he or she exposes himself or herself without the necessary caution.

Nutrigenetics seeks to use this information to develop personalized feeds based on individual genetic characteristics to prevent disease and improve health. In fact, the aspect of the environment that influences us the most and over which we can exercise the most control is what we introduce into our bodies through food.

Each individual’s DNA conditions the body’s response to various foods and thus the effect on health. In the presence of a genetic defect, foods and nutrients introduced through the daily diet may not be assimilated properly.

Nutrigenetics, then, is a state-of-the-art science that focuses its gaze on the individual and his or her genetic characteristics by relating them to his or her nutrition, metabolism, predispositions, and environment.

Specifically, it is concerned with detecting those small genetic variations that may result in “incorrect” responses of the body following the introduction of certain foods or substances.

What is the purpose of nutrigenetics?

The purpose of testing in nutrigenetics is not to cure but to prevent.

In fact, receiving information about the body’s susceptibility to multiple disease conditions does not indicate if and when the disease will occur, but will allow preventive action to be taken.

Only by studying our genetic constitution can we fully understand which foods best suit our bodies and improve our health.

In fact, the surrounding environment, abstention or intake of certain substances introduced daily in the diet (such as nutrients, food supplements, drugs, ect.) can intervene on the predisposition to certain diseases, preventing their occurrence, curing them, or simply keeping us healthy.

Thus, the ultimate goal of nutrigenetics is to create a targeted dietary intervention for each individual that can restore health or prevent disease onset from the individual genotype.

By gaining a better understanding of the effect that nutrients have on our particular genetic constitution, we can in fact exert effective control over the quality and expectation of our lives.

Why take a nutrigenetics test?

With nutrigenetic testing:

  • it is possible to prevent the onset of cardiovascular disease, restore health and fitness, and detect metabolic conditions;
  • it is possible to identify the causes of adverse reactions of the body (such as allergies, intolerances and sensitivities) following the introduction of certain foods or substances;
  • it is possible to maximize the training of sportsmen and women, both competitive and amateur, because they allow them to increase the level of performance and reduce injuries.

To whom is nutrigenetics testing recommended?

  • To those with symptoms typical of major food sensitivities, intolerances and allergies.
  • To patients with symptoms not otherwise explained but attributable to intolerances or sensitivities.
  • To those who want to know the predisposition to cardiovascular risk.
  • To those who want to learn about its antioxidant and detoxifying potential to counteract, for example, premature aging.
  • To those who want to know their predisposition to develop frequent inflammation.
  • To those who play sports at both competitive and amateur levels to improve performance and prevent injury.
  • To those who wish to lose weight or keep fit.

Nutrigenetics and personalized nutrition

The results that can be obtained from nutrigenetics testing allow the referring specialist to create personalized diets and suggest appropriate lifestyles to prevent the development of various diseases, food intolerances, and susceptibility to injuries that may be detected by the test.

Nutrigenetics, in fact, is one more tool to improve the quality of life and correct all aspects related to nutrition.

Are nutrigenetic tests invasive?

From a technical point of view, nutrigenetics tests are noninvasive tests.

Their execution is completely safe and painless as it requires the collection of a saliva sample from the buccal mucosa using a special swab.

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