I get asked the questions why go for DNA testing, what can you gain from this?
Well, my answer is simple- I want to live the rest of my life with great health, vitality and energy. I want strong bones as I get older and I want to continue to travel and exercise with my partner and have fun with family and friends to a ripe old age.
Every person is unique and the current ‘one-size-fits-all’ diets do not work for everyone. It is important to get the right treatment for your individual needs. That is what I am here for!
The purpose at CTG is to understand how your genes may impact the way you respond to the world around you. They do this by translating your genetic results into a personalised and actionable diet and lifestyle and medical recommendations. DNA testing at the CTG Centre.
During my initial consultation, Annelie from CTG suggested that we do 2 test panels called DNA Health and DNA Diet screens. These would give me insight into genetic variations that may contribute to some of the symptoms and goals that we discussed.
So here is the BIG question, what does my report and feedback say after my Cheek Swab to Improve Health and Weight Loss? These are the results from the 2 tests that I had done;
► DNA HEALTH SCREEN– includes 45 gene variations and gives information about different cellular functions.
The DNA test is divided into different panels that represent metabolic pathways for cellular health.
The first one is called methylation. Methylation sometimes called carbon metabolism is an important pathway that has to do with DNA health.
My results revealed a few variations. This meant that I have to increase the intake of food that contains ingredients that ensures the activation of the enzymes in this pathway. These include food rich in B-vitamins and Methionine and Choline from food such as poultry, eggs and green leafy vegetables
» Methylation Metabolism– moderately affected. Methylation is the process where DNA is activated, repaired and genes are activated and de-activated. This is a very important part of metabolism to be optimal to prevent chronic illness.
Increase co-factors Vitamin B12, B2, B6, and folate rich foods as well as methyl donors: methionine and choline from poultry and eggs.
» Detoxification Pathway– a few significant variations detected. This requires attention as it affects the removal of both exogenous (from outside the body) and endogenous (from inside the body) detoxification.
Detoxification is very important as well as stress management, increased intake of the brassica and allium family vegetables and avoiding toxins.
» Oxidative Stress– The anti-oxidant enzymes MnSOD. This risk is moderate but measures should be taken to decrease risk.
Eating a diet high in plant food and ensuring adequate omega 3 intake and physical activity improves the levels of these enzymes.
» Inflammation– IL-6, IL1-A and IL1 B variants are all moderately affected.
Decreasing inflammation is a long-term lifestyle and diet priority for me. A plant based diet focusing on foods with anti-inflammatory properties as well as limiting animal fats.
» Lifestyle intervention to prevent Oestrogen toxicity
Avoid environmental toxins, moderate exercise, weight management.
Avoid sugar and eat more good quality carbohydrates from high fibre grain sources and plant foods and add Omega 3.
Increase intake of plant proteins like legumes and nuts and seeds (Phyto-oestrogen).
Increase intake of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, radish, brussel sprouts and kale (cooked).
► DNA DIET (weight management) SCREEN- There were some variations in my DNA diet screen that explained my difficulty in losing weight.
One of the factors that will contribute to weight gain for me is a high intake of animal fats.
I had some variants that could affect my behaviour around food. I have a lower amount of dopamine receptors which could sometimes lead to an urge to eat nutrients that increase dopamine. This includes the intake of sugary rich food. Some people experience this a s a type of sugar addiction and it may even lead to binge eating. One of my genes affects my perception of the amount of “sweetness” in food. This means that I may overeat on sweet foods as they do not taste that sweet to me.
» Energy regulation
I have 2 gene variants that may affect my ability to regulate energy, both from how I experience hunger and how my body responds to energy intake. I have less receptors which tells me that I have eaten enough when I eat and I may be wanting to snack more often to increase my level of fullness. This can be addressed with the correct diet plan.
⇨ Interventions (this is what I need to hear!!)
● Follow a low carbohydrate plant based diet, high in good quality plant oils and low in saturated fats
● Methylation- avoid toxins, manage stress, get adequate rest, intermittent fasting may be implemented
● Detoxification- avoid environmental toxins and stimulate detoxification enzyme pathways
● Oxidative stress- follow a diet high in plant foods that has anti-oxidant properties
● “Intermittent fasting” (8-10 hours overnight 3-5 times a week) is beneficial to decrease inflammation.
● Glucose control helps to reduce inflammation levels
● Exercise- 20 MET hours is required for weight loss (see MET explanation on DNA diet report)
● Multivitamin with “active” B-complex (methylated), – this contains all the co-factors and B-vitamin
● Omega 3 supplements 1000mg per day
● Cal /Mag D – improves COMT function, sleep, detoxification and sleep
⇨ Next Steps
● Blood tests to be done to check Vitamin D3 and Magnesium levels
● Nutrition program and recommendations on a detoxification program