NutriGenomics is the interaction between nutrients, diet, and the way our genes work. Each of us has a unique body chemistry determined by our genes. Genes can determine how our body responds to food, physical activity, and other lifestyle choices. Dietary components can also alter the way genes behave (gene expression). This external influence on a gene’s function is called epigenetics. NutriGenomic testing can help determine each patient’s unique, genetic, metabolic needs. A DNA sample is analyzed for small mutations (SNPs) that can affect cell function and metabolism.
What are SNPs?
SNP stands for single nucleotide polymorphism. SNPs are the most common type of genetic variation. SNPs occur normally about once in every 1000 nucleotides, which means there are roughly 4 to 5 million SNPs in each person’s genome. Many SNPs do not carry a significant clinical effect, however when SNPs occur within a gene or in a regulatory region near a gene, they may play a more direct role in disease by affecting the gene’s function. Because DNA is consistent across all of an individual’s cells, SNPs can affect many different organ systems.
How is NutriGenomic testing performed?
A swab is used to obtain a small sample of saliva and epithelial tissue from the inside of your cheek. The sample is then sent off to a genetics lab for DNA sequencing and analysis. Collection of the sample is painless and does not require a blood draw.
What types of patients should consider NutriGenomic testing?
There are many different NutriGenomic panels available, including panels specific for Men and Women’s health, Neurological problems, Inflammation, and Chronic Pain. A comprehensive panel is also available for patients who do not have specific concerns, but want an overall view of their health and wellness.