YES, there is. You probably have wondered whether there is a connection between your genes and diet. The way your metabolism works and how your body responds to a particular diet is different than others based on your genetics. Nutrients in the food uniquely alter the structure of your genes or their expression according to your genetic makeup. We now have the ability to comprehensively analyze the relationship between your genome, your diet and how both can affect your health.
Genomic Analysis and Interpretation
Thanks to the Human Genome Project we can now map all of your genes from a simple saliva test. This raw data can be used by KlothoGenics to understand how your body ingests, absorbs, digests and metabolizes particular foods and nutrients. Research has established that certain foods and supplements, environmental factors and toxins act on our genes turning their expression on or off. Whether these genes are expressed or not will directly or indirectly influence your health. Conditions like obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. require us to customize our diet in order to avoid ill-effects on our health.
Genomic profiling can tell us a lot about our body’s needs for certain nutrients and its susceptibility to diseases. It can illustrate how our bodies react to specific drugs and other organic chemicals ingested through foods and drinks. Your body will respond uniquely to different foods. For example, how your body metabolizes fats is regulated by your genes and this is important if you are predisposed to heart disease. Salt intake is related to hypertension and cardiovascular disease yet a low salt diet may not be beneficial to everyone because, in some cases, it may raise blood pressure. Several gene variants have been associated with hypertension and salt sensitivity. Hypertension is responsible for 50% of the deaths from stroke or coronary heart disease (1). Further, research has now shown that cancer is a disease caused by genetic mutations and changes in gene expression caused by certain foods, environmental factors and toxins acting on our genes turning their expression on or off.
The Genomic-based Diet
The “best” and most recommended dietary plans by the experts may not work for you control glucose, cholesterol, high pressure or other health conditions based on your unique genomics. These diets may in fact, adversely affect your health. How you synthesize cholesterol, metabolize sugar, salt and caffeine will influence the proper dietary plan for you. Genomic profiling is used to figure out which diet and additional supplements will best work for you.
Vitamin D deficiency: Deficiency of Vitamin D can lead to bad musculoskeletal health, cognitive impairment, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease. The VDR gene provides instructions for making a protein called vitamin D receptor, which allows the body to respond appropriately to vitamin D.
Zinc deficiency: Zinc is an essential nutrient required for DNA repair, enzyme activity, immune response and is required by hundreds of molecules for proper function. Zinc is not easily absorbed by our system for many reasons leading to zinc deficiency. The ZIP4 gene is an important zinc transporter and its expression is a key indicator of zinc bioavailability (2).
Vitamin K deficiency: Vitamin K plays a huge role in blood clotting. In addition, vitamin K is also absolutely essential to building strong bones, preventing heart disease, and many other function in the body. Vitamin K is sometimes referred to as “the forgotten vitamin” because its major benefits are often overlooked. Deficiency of Vitamin K can lead to bleeding disorders, cardiovascular disease, dementia and certain cancers. The VKORC1 gene provides instructions for making a vitamin K epoxide reductase enzyme which determines vitamin K bioavailability.
Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient needed for energy metabolism, vital physiological processes such as brain function, nervous system health, red blood cell production and bone marrow health. The FUT2 gene is strongly associated with b12 absorption and blood levels (4).
Genomic profiling is a revolutionary development of the current era that gives you the luxury of being proactive with your health by taking all the necessary measures needed to ensure a healthy life. It gives you a significant amount of power over your well-being by customizing your diet and taking supplements tailored according to your specific genetic makeup.
- Felder, Robin A. et al. “Diagnostic Tools for Hypertension and Salt Sensitivity Testing.” Current opinion in nephrology and hypertension 22.1 (2013): 65–76.PMC 3724405.
- Cousins, Robert J. “Gastrointestinal Factors Influencing Zinc Absorption and Homeostasis.” International journal for vitamin and nutrition research. 80.0 (2010): 243–248. PMC3777256.
- Marinova M., et al. “VKORC1-dependent pharmacokinetics of intravenous and oral phylloquinone (vitamin K1) mixed micelles formulation”. 69 (3):467-75. PMC22864379.
- Hazra, Aditi et al. “Common Variants of FUT2 Are Associated with Plasma Vitamin B12 Levels.” Nature genetics 40.10 (2008): 1160–1162. PMC2673801.