When a client comes to us with a health challenge, we gather information to help us find appropriate solutions by asking about signs and symptoms, diagnoses, medical and family history and other factors. Our questionnaire pack and New Client Consultation are designed to do just that. For minor or short term problems this information may be all we need to let us guide you to better health. However, many of the health challenges we encounter require more advanced solutions. In these cases, we need to measure gene variations and biochemical disruptions to understand how best to promote individual wellbeing. Our expertise in this complex area enables us to choose the most appropriate options from an extensive range of molecular genetic, biochemical and microbiome tests to build up a bio-genomic profile of each individual. With this information we can be significantly more precise in developing health plans designed to mitigate gene problems.
All tests used at Nutrigenomic Medicine are developed by licensed and accredited laboratories in the UK, USA or Europe, and various options are available for your samples to be taken. It typically takes between two and eight weeks for results to be returned.
Genetic tests can be used to identify abnormalities or differences in DNA sequences, protein functions or chromosome structure. At Nutrigenomic Medicine we use of range of Genetic tests, including single variant assays, inexpensive direct to consumer tests such as 23andme, and whole exome sequencing.
Gene tests reveal the DNA sequences that were passed on from parents at conception – they give us a 'snapshot' of genetic inheritance. Our gene sequences remain largely unchanged over a lifetime and play a central role in our health across the lifespan. There are literally millions of possible gene variations, and the combinations and permutations are unique for each individual. Research indicates a foundational link between genes and health outcomes. Individuals with certain gene variants are more likely to have impaired health, to have differing nutrient requirements, or to respond differently to environmental toxins.
Gene sequences, however, are only part of the story. While gene sequences remain fixed, our biochemistry changes over time. Epigenetic processes modulate gene expression influence their activity levels in response to diet, lifestyle, and environmental exposures. A simplified explanation would be that epigenetic processes 'switch' genes ‘on’ or ‘off’. We use biochemical tests to help understand these epigenetic influences. By measuring levels of key proteins, metabolites, minerals and compounds we have an indirect way to help assess gene expression at a given point in time.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to the biochemical tests we use – our choices depend on the health challenges faced by the particular individual. As a guide, between one and three biochemical test panels may be recommended.
At Nutrigenomic Medicine we also make use of microbiological tests to assess individual microbiome diversity and balance and to detect organisms that contribute to impaired health and wellbeing. Microbiome Health is a fascinating and rapidly developing area of health science, and we often find that microbial imbalances are contributing to the physical and mental health impairments our clients encounter.
The fact that gut bacteria influence digestive health is well known. But overall function of the human body is also heavily influenced by the genes of the trillions of microorganisms in an on our bodies. These organisms live in constant flux as interdependent and competing communities and play a role in immune, metabolic and neurological conditions.