My Evidence for Personalized Nutrition:
Despite working in the field of human genetics, I am always amazed when I see the connection between an individual’s DNA and their day-to-day life. As a scientist, I have long been aware of the textbook function of DNA - but I was lacking the human element... A clear-cut example of this involves my wife and her sensitivity to coffee. Drinking more than one or two cups of coffee will cause her to get an upset stomach and often develop mild tremors. For the longest time we tried to explain this as “not having a substantial meal” prior to drinking caffeine.
It turns out that my wife has a genetic polymorphism (i.e. mutation) in her CYP1A2 gene that causes her to metabolize caffeine differently than most people. Simply put, because 1 of the 3,000,000,000 letters that comprise her DNA sequence is different, she will always react differently to caffeine. This may sound trivial at first, but I believe it is important to have an explanation as to why your body behaves the way that it does. For my wife, it was a relief to know that there would never be a perfect meal to have prior to coffee and that she should explore other natural means of getting an energy boost in the morning (we have two young children, so extra energy is always welcome). She now takes a ginseng supplement along with her half cup of coffee and has a jitter-free morning.
This is one of many positive experiences that I have had with the field of Personalized Medicine. This emerging field of genetics embraces the fact that no two people have the same genetic makeup. At Dynamic DNA, advancing this field and making useful genetic information easily available is one of our main goals. One of my favorite products that we offer is a panel that investigates markers involved with diet and exercise. I think it is my favorite because it breaks the all-to-common association between genetic testing and a negative health outcome. This panel only promotes wellness. It provides people (couch potatoes and marathon runners included!) with genetic information that that no single diet, food, or exercise program will work for everyone.
If you are interested in finding out more about the 32 traits covered by the aptly named “Dynamic Fitness Panel”, or have questions about a personalized approach to genetics, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Put us to the Test!