What is nutrigenomics?
We all want to live more and better. Nutrigenomics can help us achieve this goal. This discipline is quite new, since it was born at the beginning of the 2000’s as a consequence of the discovery of the sequence of the human genome. A human being is constituted by more or less 23,000 genes that interact with the environment. The nutritional genomics consists in studying how the genome modulates the diet; and it is composed by two complementary subcategories: the nutrigenetics and the nutrigenomics.
Differences between nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics
Nutrigenetics studies the variations’ effects of the genes on the interaction between diet and disease: the genetic predisposition towards some diseases, which depending on the diet, can be modulated, activating or inhibiting the probabilities of developing them.
On the other hand, nutrigenomics focuses on the effects that nutrients have on genes, proteins and also metabolites: The effect that our daily diet has on the DNA.
The genes related to metabolism of sugars and fats are very important in the studied genes panels. The question would be like: Can I eat this kind of sugar or fats every day? Are my genes prepared to receive this amount of foods, which require a complex metabolism? Another frequent question would be: Which foods is my body prepared for? Which foods are factors that will help cellular longevity for me? Which foods will help me live more and better? Which foods are more harmful to me than to other people?
Many foods have nutrients that are not really necessary or are even prejudicial to the organism.
Concretely, some of our genes show a predisposition for some diseases, as obesity, cholesterol, heart diseases, thrombosis, diabetes mellitus, etc. Thanks to nutrigenomics, these genes are studied, analyzed and identified in order to be able to act on them.
At SHA we make diet and supplements recommendations that in the long term will help reduce the risk to suffer those chronic diseases that are very common nowadays.
Because, although you have `obesity genes´, there are several probabilities that you will not be obese. You may have a predisposition to suffer this disease but perhaps it will not develop itself if we act over certain important points related to habits and lifestyle. This implies that the diet (quantity and quality of food), the amount of exercise made, sleeping hours, contamination levels in your area and toxic habits are the regulators of our genetic expression.
A lot of influence can be exerted to reduce the likelihood of developing certain genetic predisposition.
The medicine of the future
That’s the reason why Nutrigenomics is considered the medicine of the future. With new technologies we could know with certainty which of our genes indicates an inclination for one or another disease. Once the diagnostic is established, we could decide how to work on our lifestyle, regulating habits and increasing the consumption of beneficial foods for our genes, avoiding the illness as a consequence. The medicine of the future will be a very high personalized one: each person could get a specific diet according to the characteristics of the genome and this, since the beginning of life or even before birth, through the mother’s diet.
To bet on prevention
With nutrigenomics, our health information increases but it is important to notice that the key is still prevention. We need to raise awareness to the individuals since their childhood and explain to them the importance of having a healthy lifestyle: enough sleep, avoid stress and maintain a healthy diet that allow us to modulate our genes in order not to develop obesity, cholesterol and others diseases.
At SHA we have a wide range of genetic tests to detect a possible genetic predisposition, know which foods you should avoid and which to include to achieve a personalized diet for your genes.