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INNOVATIVE PRINCIPLES

EVIDENCE-BASED PRECISION NUTRITION

Deeply rooted in genomic research and technologies

PERSONALIZED NUTRITION

You are born with a unique set of DNA. While this genetic code is fixed, the DNA expression can be modulated in response to extrinsic and intrinsic factors (e.g. chemical exposure, diet, emotions, exercise, stress). Consequently, environmental and lifestyle triggers, through an up-regulation or down-regulation of gene expression and protein function, can be utilized to change your genetic destiny. 

 

This powerful tool, called epigenetics, empowers you to take control of your DNA, potentially mitigating genomic 'weaknesses' and ultimately building health resiliency in a toxin filled environment.

By unraveling your DNA and identifying clinically-relevant genomic weaknesses called single-nucleotide  polymorphisms (SNPs, pronounced 'snips), a personalized intervention plan can be created. Beyond allowing the most optimized plan to be developed and priorities established, it reduces the potential risks and frustrations of 'one-size fits all' interventions.

SYSTEMS BIOLOGY APPROACH

Genomic SNPs do not function in isolation. Rather they interact within the body to create a highly dynamic system, continually adapting to changes in the environment. This demands a 'systems biology' approach, integrating data from multiple biological pathways. The information must then be interpreted within the context of you, as a whole person, considering family history, environmental, emotional, spiritual and microbiota factors. By utilizing genomics in this functional and holistic model, greater perspective can be gained regarding disease risk and optimization of health outcomes.

From a systems perspective, we analyze over one hundred SNPs within multiple systems, including cardiovascular, cognitive, detoxification, diabetes, immune health, micronutrients, oxidation-reduction and weight management. As not all SNPs are created equally or act the same in each system, we then stratify the impact of each SNP within that specific system and give you detailed action plans to help create a healthier you.

THE WHOLE IS GREATER THAN THE SUM OF ALL PARTS

Many direct-to-consumer genomic companies fail to deliver a comprehensive, polygenic report. 'Treating' SNPs in isolation, e.g. MTHFR, based on these reports may lead to downstream imbalances and a lack of understanding of the individual as a whole.

PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS - NOURISHING YOUR GENES

Knowing your genomic weaknesses, without knowing how to work with them, can be futile and overwhelming. It is not enough to simply know you have weaknesses in your genome predisposing you to disease. You need to know what you can do about them!

From a nutritional perspective, bioactives in the food you consume can 'talk to your genes'. The ability of these bioactives to modulate the genome (nutrigenomics) means the food you eat may change your disease susceptibility and may be leveraged for its medicinal properties. Specific whole foods, and professional grade supplements if deemed necessary as a secondary intervention strategy, can also be used to meet individual micronutrient gaps due to SNPs on vitamin receptors that impact absorption, digestion and utilization. We provide detailed 'farm to genome' prescriptions and recipes to help restore epigenetic balance, specifically within inflammation, mitochondrial and redox pathways.

Many other environmental and lifestyle factors profoundly impact our cellular biology and gene expression (e.g. chemicals, sleep, stress). We provide holistic prescriptions for each of these triggers, if needed, to give you a comprehensive healthcare plan targeted at the root cause of your health concerns.

COST-EFFECTIVE PREVENTION AT YOUR FINGERTIPS

Given the current climate of skyrocketing insurance deductibles and healthcare costs, epigenetics and nutrigenomics are essential tools to empower you to take control of your health in a preventative manner. While our genomic variant reports are very different from genetic mutation reports, in that they do not quantify specific disease risk, they can highlight potential problem areas for proactive intervention. This means that genomics is an investment in your future health, allowing you to possibly act at the preventative level before a costly medical diagnosis is made. 

COMPETITIVE EDGE IN STRESSFUL ENVIRONMENTS

Emotional and physical stressors, like military combat, extreme sports and even childhood abuse and bullying can trigger immediate, but possibly long-lasting, DNA changes that alter gene expression and disease risk. 

These changes occur within the DNA to help the body survive during these periods of stress. While the DNA sequence itself does not change, subtle changes occur (e.g. by adding methyl groups onto the DNA sequence or changing the histone tails that package the DNA in the cell) that alter the function of certain proteins. While these acute changes may be advantageous in the short term, to aid in survival, they can have far reaching long term implications for chronic disease risk. What is even more concerning is that these DNA changes can be passed on to the next generation.

However, epigenomics and nutrigenomics offers us an opportunity to mitigate the impact of these traumas on long term health. Using dietary bioactive compounds such as resveratol, curcumcin and polyphenols, at critical points in a persons life we can potentially reduce inflammation and oxidation and modulate DNA methylation and altered gene expression. This will help maintain a competitive edge long term for improved longevity and quality of life.

Fiona McKiernan, MS, RDN, IFMNT

Genomic Medicine Clinician

Fiona McKiernan, Dietitian Nutritionist Genomic Medicine Clinician