In the past few years we have learned an amazing amount about the human genome. Back in the 90s, when I took high school biology, we believed the gene to be a blueprint for our body. We did not believe the genome could be altered, and we would have scoffed at the idea of these alterations being passed on to our children.
We were so wrong.
It turns out that the genome is more like a series of switches that can be turned on and off, if you have the right key. While some people may have strong genomics, meaning that switch is stuck in the “on” or “off” position, a large fraction of the population will be able to modify their genes, thereby modifying their outcomes.
An example would be lung cancer. We all know someone who chain smoked 3 packs per day for seventy years without developing lung cancer. That person has that cancer gene stuck in the “off” position. Likewise, we have all probably at least heard of someone who never smoke a single cigarette who gets lung cancer. That lung cancer gene is stuck in the “on” position. Then there are those that have that same gene in the off position, but it isn’t stuck. That person is at risk of causing cancer with cigarettes. If that person new they were that person, they might have had the motivation to make a better choice. The final type is the gene that is in the on position, but not stuck. If this is known, that person may be able to take additional steps to flip that switch off.
This is obviously an oversimplification of a very complex process. There is no single gene involved. There may be dozens, even hundreds involved in a particular process. And very tiny changes can cause profound changes. It only takes a single base pair substitution, aka 1/3 of a gene, to change eyes from blue to brown!
Many people ask who could be helped by this. The answer is everyone! The study of genomics leads to something called personalized medicine. This means that instead of looking at the guidelines and initiating what is effective on large trials of the average person, you could be started on an intervention that is known to be effective. It means you will know if a diet or nutrition strategy will be affected before you go on that diet.
Who might benefit?
- Those with difficult to diagnose, vague symptoms. Often patients report feeling “just unwell” or “not right”
- Those with known genetic disease in the family that would like an opportunity to protect themselves from those genes.
- Those with difficult to treat diseases, like fibromyalgia and migraines.
- Those with diseases refractory to treatment in need of treatment options. For example ongoing hypertension on 3 different prescriptions, or getting blood clots even though they are on blood thinners.
- Those with dementia or neurocognitive decline who would like to stop or even reverse that process.
- Those striving for elite gains (i.e. pro athletes, nobel laureates)
- Anyone who wants the complete instruction manual to their body.
Meeting Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/5908530243?pwd=N1lkY1Q2Y1dCSzEzUFJoazFxUUo5Zz09
Meeting ID: 590 853 0243
Date: May 21
Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm