How can diet change your DNA? Nutrigenomics- The new insight into preventive health

Nutritionists have long known that ‘You are what you eat’, is not just an expression. Nutrition + Genomics need to be studied together. The study of nutrigenomics can be used as a preventive health measure to fight various diseases which might impact an individual’s life and create certain health hazards.

Food affects gene expression

You are what you eat

Gene expression refers to the process where information from a gene’s DNA sequence is translated into a substance like protein, that is used in a cell’s structure or function.

A developing field called Nutrigenomics studies the connection between diet and chemicals that can be attached to or removed from our DNA. It does not mean modifying the sequence of DNA, but rather altering the functions of a gene which in turn will modify its ability to produce proteins. Proteins are involved in regulating digestion. Food does not only influence the genes involved in digestion and absorption of nutrients but also inflammation, cell growth and so on.. Food supplements may be able to adjust the expression of our genes, thereby influencing our health, for better or worse. The right diet acts as a catalyst for preventive health in context to any lifestyle disease.

Our clinic studies the metabolism of foods components of a diet which are generally categorized as:

  • Carbohydrate metabolism
  • Lipid / fat metabolism
  • Protein metabolism
  • Vitamins & Minerals

When we eat, tiny molecules that are broken down from food including carbohydrates, protein fats and vitamins are transported throughout the body to be used as energy or building blocks. Numerous foods and supplements used in many studies support the notion that epigenetics is highly involved in adjusting epigenetic tags, affecting our health and susceptibility to diseases.

For example:

  • Polyphenols is an enzyme found in food such as fruits,vegetables, olives and chocolates. It is effective in promoting resilience against stress and reducing depression. 
  • Glycogen storage disease (GSD) is a genetic condition where the body has an enzyme problem and is unable to store or break down the complex sugar glycogen properly.  GSD affects the liver, muscles and other areas of the body if a special diet plan is not given to keep the muscles healthy.
  • Lactose is a sugar found in milk. Lactose intolerance makes one intolerant to fresh dairy products and if consumed may result in bloating, indigestion, intestinal irritability, bowel disturbances and extreme respiratory and skin allergies in a few cases. A simple change in the diet plan with respect to what one eats, not only eases the condition but can prevent the disease from cropping up or aggravating. 

K&H personalized preventive medicine clinic, acquires epigenetic information that’s unique to the individual and we can begin to unravel the mysteries of what may be contributing to our ailments. Preventive health services help improve our health with a much more comprehensive understanding. Nutrigenomics can guide one with proper and accurate health regimens through a customized diet plan based on one’s genomic profile. Thereby, keeping the predisposed diseases or health conditions at bay and having a healthy life. Having a detailed assessment of an individual’s numerous facets of life including diet, lifestyle and their epigenetic profile will help drive successful health choices and can inform one of the necessary lifestyle adjustments.

Author

A bespoke conceptual clinic, which is first of its kind in our country. We combine genomic medicine with the latest advances in the field of modern medicine to develop a personalized plan for each of our patients. Treat yourself with a world class experience in a relaxed setting.

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