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February 9, 2023
Can A Simple Test Help You Personalize Your Nutrition? It Sure Can!
Have you ever dedicated yourself to a trendy diet that all your friends were loving, only to find yourself no closer to your weight loss goals?
Or maybe you feel hopelessly exhausted day after day, no matter how much energizing, protein-rich foods you eat?
There’s a reason for that: bio-individuality. It’s the view that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for nutrition or health. Each body is unique, with its own history, needs, health risks, and DNA. It’s one of the reasons why one woman may lose weight on her first try, while the other plateaus on the same diet plan that worked wonders for her friend.
To help you understand your body’s own unique roadmap, NativePath is now offering genetic nutrition tests to create your own personalized nutrition plan! Cutting-edge technology now makes it easier than ever to study the health of your genes and create your own one-of-a-kind solution for feeling and looking better.
Read on to learn what genetic nutrition testing is, and what your test will reveal about you and your bio-individuality…
What Is Genetic Nutrition Testing?
Genetic nutrition testing isn’t the type of genetic test that identifies your ancestry or family history. Instead, it determines which foods and supplements you should consider for optimal health.
The test, called the MethylDetox Profile, shows how your parents impact your genetic expression. It does this by looking at five genes—each of which is involved in a process called methylation.
Methylation is a biochemical process that takes place in every human cell. Think of it as a remote control for your cells. It signals the cells, telling them what to do and how to behave. By sending these signals, DNA methylation can control how they grow, develop, and function. Too much methylation turns your genes “off". Too little methylation turns your genes “on". The goal is balanced methylation that hits a sweet spot.
The status of whether a particular gene is “on” or “off” is called gene expression. Imbalanced methylation is linked to a wide range of health issues, including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, ADHD, diabetes, fertility issues, a weak immune system, digestive problems, irritable bowel disease, substance use disorder, food sensitivity, allergies, hormone balance, processing of toxins, hypothyroidism, cancer, and more.
Which leads us to our next point…
What Is Epigenetics, & How Is It Related to Gene Expression?
Epigenetics is the study of changes in the body caused by gene expression. Or, put simply, it’s the study of how environmental and external factors can change your genes' activity throughout your life—even before you are born.
There are two things to know about gene expression…
- Gene expression is central to finding out which of your cells (if any!) have a methylation imbalance—and in turn, finding out exactly which supplements your body needs.
- Gene expression can be influenced by your environment and your habits, and it’s a huge indicator of your cellular health (1). It can affect the immune system, risk of disease, and even factors like how likely a baby is to grow up to be well nourished (2, 3, 4, 5).
The good news is that once the MethylDetox Profile determines your genetic makeup and potential for imbalances in methylation, you can often change it through healthy habits and through the nutrients you eat (6). Gene expression changes throughout a person’s life (7).
With this in mind, many people want to take the test to learn how they can use nutrition to target a specific health issue. Using the test this way is especially helpful for issues like heart disease risk, mental health, detoxification from heavy metals, hormone imbalances, and estrogen clearance.
Definitions to Know When Reading Your Genetic Nutrition Test
Reading your genetic nutrition test can feel like reading another language. To make it easy, we’ve compiled a list of the most important words to know…
- The MethylDetox Profile: The name of the genetic nutrition test
- DNA Methylation: The remote control that turns your cells “on” or “off”
- Gene Expression: Whether a gene is “on” or “off”
- Homozygous Negative: A gene that has no variants
- Heterozygous: A gene with a variant inherited from one parent
- Homozygous Positive: A gene with variants inherited from both parents
- Homocysteine: An amino acid that can damage the artery walls if you have too much of it in your blood. An imbalance can also lead to dementia, poor concentration, and lowered mood. Homocysteine is sometimes used as a biomarker to check methylation status.
What Will My Genetic Nutrition Test Show Me?
Your test will show you exactly which supplements and foods you need—no more guesswork! It’s like having personal x-ray vision into your own DNA.
The test will check what versions of the following five genes you inherited from your parents…
- COMT: affects the neurotransmitters
- AHCY: affects amino acids in the blood (impacts homocysteine levels)
- MTRR: affects amino acid processing (homocysteine and methionine)
- MTR: affects methionine production
- MTHFR: affects folate processing
Your test results will tell you whether each gene has any variants, whether your methylation is at risk for being imbalanced, and which nutrients are needed to support the function of those genes.
But here’s the thing: everyone is individualized. Even if you and your best friend took the same test and got the same result, your personal nutrition needs could be different. Not everyone has the same type or amount of variants in their genes, nor does everyone have the same reason behind one of their genes having imbalanced methylation. You may need to eat more of a specific healthy veggie or cut back on a certain supplement to find balance, while your best friend may need to get her gut health checked or quit smoking. This is why it’s so important to go over your results with a professional—and when you take the test through NativePath, you’ll get a group call with an expert twice per week to help you through it!
Here’s an example of the type of nutrient each of the five genes may need—but remember, it’s not one-size-fits-all!
- COMT (affects the neurotransmitters): methionine, magnesium, B vitamins
- AHCY (affects amino acids in the blood): niacin
- MTRR (affects amino acid processing): vitamin B12
- MTR (affects amino acid processing): vitamin B12, zinc
- MTHFR (affects folate processing): methyl folate, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, zinc
What the Colors In Your Results Mean
Your test results will color-code each of the five genes. Here’s what each color means:
- Green: Homozygous Negative. You have no variants in this gene.
- Yellow: Heterozygous. You inherited a variant from one parent in this gene.
- Red: Homozygous Positive. You inherited a variant from both parents in this gene.
From the image below, we know that this person has one gene with NO variants, two genes with a variant that was inherited from ONE parent, and then two genes with a variant inherited from BOTH parents.
An Example of How You Can Use Your Test Results
Sound confusing so far? It doesn’t have to be! Let’s go through an example of exactly how you can use your test results to change your gene expression and your health…
Imagine that your test results show that your COMT gene has one variant.
The COMT gene plays a role in breaking down your neurotransmitters and is important to your prefrontal cortex—the part of the brain that makes decisions. COMT variants can be associated with anxiety, depression, panic, trouble sleeping, and other issues, so the health of this gene is important.
For a COMT gene to work well, it needs to get enough methionine, magnesium, and B vitamins. This is exactly what your MethylDetox Profile will tell you—along with the best foods to eat to keep your COMT gene in balance and reduce your risk of mental health issues associated with COMT-related problems.
Important Note: Having a variant in a gene does not mean that your gene is automatically unhealthy or working incorrectly. Most people have variants in some of their genes. Sometimes a variant simply means that you’re at a higher risk than others for issues related to that gene. On the other hand, people without any variants sometimes develop gene issues due to unhealthy eating or lifestyle choices.
The Bottom Line
Your genes do not define you, but knowing your genetic makeup is the first step to making sure you are supporting how your genes work. With the MethylDetox Profile, you’ll know which supplements to take (and not take), along with which foods to emphasize in your diet. These nutrition and lifestyle recommendations make caring for yourself easy and free of guesswork.
Want a 30-day diet and exercise plan to complement your genetic nutrition plan? Try the NativeBody Reset. This doctor-designed plan will help boost your energy, metabolism, and overall health for more vibrant, healthy living—and genes.
As a writer, editor, and wellness seeker, Claire has written for Self, Health, Prevention, CNN, Mic, Livestrong, and Greatist, just to name a few. When she's not writing, she specializes in traveling, getting lost in health-related research rabbit holes, and finding new ways to spoil her cat.
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Chad Walding nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.