Everyone is looking for the path to health, wellness, and longevity that is tailored for them: What should I eat, what exercises should I do, and what lifestyle choices should I make that are right for me? Too often, though, the healthcare uses a one-size-fits-all approach that doesn’t take into account a person’s unique makeup.
However, understanding a person’s genes and uncovering how genes uniquely impact a person’s systems can provide that tailored healthcare approach — which is what we do here at Dr. Gala Health Coaching. How tailored? A genetic test can reveal insights into cellular and systems function, cardiovascular health, nutrient absorption and processing, and energy and activity levels. But these aren’t just “fun to have” facts about a person’s body; they’re insights on which you can take action.
Here are some personalized recommendations that could result from a genetic test, based on some sample clients.
Based on Client A’s history, lifestyle, and genetic test, we might recommend the following:
- We found that their genes impact detoxification, so we could recommend foods like raw broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage to help with detoxification.
- If we know that Client A works in a workplace where they’re exposed to toxins, we can recommend lifestyle changes that will help ease their toxic burden, knowing that their body already has a hard time with detoxification.
- We could also recommend supplements like sulforaphane that can help with detoxification and anti-oxidation.
- To continue to reduce oxidative stress, we will also recommend foods like onion, garlic, green tea, and grapefruit.
- If their genes impact methylation, or the ability of their cells to repair themselves, then we could recommend foods high in B vitamins, like leafy greens, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
- Recommending a supplement like a B-complex vitamin and magnesium threonate can also help improve methylation as well.
- If their genes have trouble processing choline, we could recommend quality protein that provides choline, like wild-caught fish, free-range poultry and eggs, and grass-fed meats.
- If we find that their genes impact inflammation, we can recommend foods like chili peppers, berries, olives, dark chocolate, brazil nuts, red cabbage, turmeric, rosemary, and holy basil that can reduce inflammation.
- Another way to decrease inflammation is to increase exercise, and the genetic test tells us that exercises like swimming and cycling will be perfect for this client.
- We can also prescribe Omega 3 and DHA supplements to help reduce inflammation as well.
For Client B, their lifestyle, history, and genetic test are different, so here’s what we would recommend:
- We found this client’s gene variants impact oxidative stress so we would recommend foods that provide mineral co-factors, like zinc, copper, selenium, and manganese, to upregulate important anti-oxidant enzymes produced inside the cells and foods that provide natural anti-oxidant effects like chili peppers, olives, beetroot, pomegranate, and berries.
- We are also aware that oxidative stress impacts inflammation and detoxification functions in the cells, therefore recommended a good quality omega 3 fish oil supplement as the client also reported not eating fish regularly. We also noted a high impact in her fatty acid nutrient pathway that confirmed the importance of this recommendation.
- We found that our client’s genes impact hormone metabolism and recommend a diet that supports hormone metabolisms such as the intake of food rich in B-vitamins, magnesium, and fiber, – so leafy greens, legumes, pistachios, sesame, and pumpkin seeds.
- We also recommended the client avoid exposure to endocrine disruptors such as BPA, phthalates, and parabens in plastic containers and certain personal care products.
- We recommend Calcium-D glucarate which prevents the reabsorption of potentially toxic metabolites from the gut.
- We noticed that poor sleep was reported by our client and gave guidelines to support better circadian rhythm to prevent further oxidative stress damage from lack of sleep and to help regulate hormones such as cortisol that impact the hormone pathway.
- Our patient’s report revealed high impact in genes that impact recovery from exercise. We, therefore, recommend gentle exercises, massage and stretching, to help support recovery while still ensuring enough activity to boost dopamine levels and help modulate inflammation.
- Additionally, we could recommend zinc, vitamin A, vitamin C, and hydrolyzed collagen to help with joint health as well.
- We recommended relaxation techniques to support our patient’s ability to manage stressful situations at work. The patient’s mood and behavior pathway revealed a higher sensitivity to stress. We added a supplement like L-theanine (naturally found in tea and mushrooms) to help increase levels of GABA, serotonin, and dopamine to help balance neuro-chemicals.
- After doing some further testing we find that our patient has low levels of plasma Vitamin D and decided to add a supplement as the genetic results indicate genetic impact in vitamin D metabolism.
Helen is one of our real clients, named Helen to protect her identity. She is a middle-aged woman who presented to our service with a history of moderate perimenopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, hair loss, skin dryness, weight gain, often experiencing sadness and mood swings. She works in the legal industry and is constantly exposed to a fast-moving work environment, which produces some level of stress on her. The symptoms have intensified recently and has not been sleeping well, which is leaving her without the energy she needs to achieve the high-performance her team expects from her. She is desperately looking to improve her health.
After her first consultation, she enrolled in our ©WoMen (Fabulous women in menopause) program. She agreed to go through genetic testing right away. Because the genetic test takes between 4 and 6 weeks, we began by walking her through the 10-day Menopause relief self-care program, followed by mild 21-day detoxification combined with meditation and motivational interviewing to prepare her body and mind for amazing transformations. She was feeling much better by the second week. Here are the recommendations we made for her after we received her genetic test results, which identified the top 3 most potentially significant pathways where Helen will likely see the biggest impact on her health, based on her unique genetic profile.
1. Methylation is highly impacted by Helen’s genes: Methylation is not just responsible for how we repair genetic material, but also how we make energy, respond to stress, handle inflammation, how well our cells detoxify, and how our brain chemistry works.
2. Blood Pressure is highly impacted by Helen’s genes: Blood pressure indicates how hard the heart is working in order to pump blood around the circulatory system, and is used as a measure for confirming good health. High blood pressure can cause damage to blood vessels, delicate tissues in organs, and systems in the body. Genetic variance impacts the ability to contract and relax blood vessels and balance fluid volume within them.
3. Mood and behavior are highly impacted by Helen’s genes: Genetics affects her ability to manufacture and balance chemicals in the brain that are necessary to manage mood, anxiety, depression, addiction, and related behaviors. In addition, diet and lifestyle choices impact brain chemicals and may require adjustment.
We recommended the following:
1. We helped her create a diet including foods high in B-complex vitamins and magnesium e.g. leafy and cruciferous vegetables (raw), avocados, citrus fruits, legumes, poultry, eggs, nuts, and seeds.
2. Eat quality proteins with essential building blocks for methylation like wild-caught fish, organic poultry, grass-fed meats or
wild game, garbanzo beans and edamame.
3. Support toxin breakdown by including cruciferous vegetables, adequate fiber, green and black teas.
1. Use relaxation techniques to reduce exposure to stress hormones that may burden the methylation cycle e.g. meditation, yoga, Qi Gong, and massages.
2. Consciously limit exposure to substances that overload the methylation cycle including medication, alcohol, and endocrine
3. Avoid external toxins like pesticides, plastic packaging, Teflon cooking utensils, cleaning products, cosmetics, and synthetic clothing. Also eliminate toxins that cause DNA damage e.g. heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium, lead, pesticides, and contaminated drinking water.
1. B vitamins include 5-MTHF (200-400mcg), Methyl-B12 (100mcg), vitamin B2, B3, and B6 (P5P).
2. Zinc (10-30mg) and Magnesium (250-500mg).
3. Sulforaphane from whole broccoli sprout powder yielding 20mg (or as recommended by a healthcare practitioner) and choline.
Personalized Care and Action
As you can see, making recommendations based on genetic testing is a lot more specific and personal, and at a much deeper level than simply treating surface-level symptoms. Because a genetic test can reveal how your genes actually impact your body — from how your joints work, to how well your cells are at detoxification, to what kind of exercise is right for your body — we’re able to make much better recommendations for you, and you’ll see much more success with them.
Ready to start your personalized health journey?