Have you noticed all the buzz around genetic testing these days?
People hungry to know what their ancestry is and also people wanting to identify genetic markers that may make them more susceptible to certain health conditions have found satisfaction in the offerings of the DIY DNA testing kits now widely available.
There is a lot of controversy surrounding this topic as the kits, ranging from $100 to $400, can’t really give you the whole picture. A test that would look at your entire genome would run into the thousands and unless you have a specific condition, wouldn’t really be worth doing.
Our DNA is pretty much the same as the person’s standing next to you: 99.9% the same! The .1% variation can represent issues such as whether or not you are lactose intolerant or may have a difficult time losing fat, but most geneticists agree that we are a long way from identifying specific genes that can predict most health outcomes AND environment and lifestyle factors have a much bigger impact on outcomes than does our DNA. This is known as epigenetics.
“The days when a person’s DNA was their destiny is over. Increasing study into the area of epigenetics is revealing the overwhelming influence of environmental factors in the proliferation of disease. Toxic exposure and toxic lifestyle choices, including stress, may account for as much as 95 percent of the factors associated with disease of all kinds.” Says cancer expert, Dr. Veronique Desaulniers.
The cool thing about our bodies is that they are really like very sophisticated bio-computers. They are constantly adjusting for conditions…ever think about how amazing it is that our internal temperature remains relatively the same whether we are outside in the cold or inside where it’s warm? Our insulin works to keep our blood sugar levels stable, our hearts pump more blood when we need to exert ourselves…our bodies are amazing!
The other cool thing our body does is use the nutrients in the foods we eat: have a genetic marker for cancer? Blueberries can help turn off that switch. Predisposed to macular degeneration? Eat more kale, spinach, broccoli, squash and whole grains. These babies are FULL of vitamins, minerals and phyto-chemicals and our body is infinitely able to extract everything we need from them.
Taking isolated supplements has proven to be folly with study after study showing they don’t do what it was hoped for and can, in some cases, do more harm than good.
If you have been to your doctor, had your blood tested and know that you are deficient in something like Vitamin D (which is not a Vitamin but a hormone) or B12 because of your diet or inability to absorb, you may need to find a high quality single nutrient supplement. Most people, however just need to seriously increase the amounts of fruits and vegies in their diet and get rid of the over processed, nutrient deficient food they’re consuming.
Jake and I have been using and recommending concentrated plant powders since 1994 because we know even with our best intentions and practices, we still need more plant nutrition in our bodies.
If you have done all this and are still having health issues, it may be time to see your doctor…start with a blood test and if s/he determines there may be something genetic going on, they can order a test specific to their concern. Be wary of anyone offering DNA testing and then offering you a “unique supplementation program” just for you…sheer marketing. We have a unique supplementation program…it’s called more fruits and vegies, please.