Are you drinking too much coffee? Is a gluten-free diet right for you? What about a high-protein diet for weight loss? The answer may be in your genes.
In 480 B.C., Hippocrates noted that “positive health requires knowledge of man’s primary constitution.” We now know that specific variations in our genes can explain how we will respond to the foods, beverages, and supplements we consume.
For over a decade, at Balance Equals Health, Michelle Klein, DC, CNS, and Denise Forster, LAc, CNS, CDN, have been working with patients in an integrative system of health care. Our paradigm has been based on acupuncture (restoring internal homeostasis by inserting a very thin needles into specific acupuncture points), chiropractic (by locating and reducing subluxation or interference to the nervous system, allowing for optimal function of the neuro-musculo-skeletal system, contributing to optimal health and quality of life), clinical nutrition (recovering which nutrients are necessary for your body to optimally function and how what you eat affects your health), and lifestyle modification (providing advice for changes to your diet and lifestyle that may be necessary for your body to optimally function and help prevent disease).
Every year Michelle Klein and Denise Forster attend the American College of Nutrition Conference, where we receive information on the most current clinical nutritional research. One of the many speakers we met with was Dr. El-Sohemy. He shared with us how he suspected that the relationship between coffee and heart disease might also vary from one individual to the next. He zeroed in on one gene in particular, CYP1A2, which controls an enzyme that determines how quickly our bodies break down caffeine.
On that one piece of information alone, it was decided that we ourselves had to determine if our own genetic makeup meant giving up our favorite cup of joe or would it actually be beneficial. Our results showed that we both possess the variant of the CYP1A2 gene that shows we have no increased risk of hypertension or heart attack.
We have now included a genetic test based on the most robust scientific evidence, consisting of 45 genetic markers that has been developed by world-renowned researchers. DNA is analyzed using a simple saliva sample. This one-time test allows us to acquire a deeper level of understanding to develop individualized and personalized nutrition recommendations based on your unique genetic profile.