LAST UPDATED: December 13, 2021
Genetic testing, once reserved for identifying illness and disease, has now become the next frontier for health and wellness. Nutritional deficiencies and health conditions can be identified with your unique genetic code. This type of nutritional testing exists in an area known as nutritional genomics or nutrigenomics.
While nutrigenomics may be a big fancy word, it is a growing concept in the field of nutritional health and wellness.
Curious about nutrigenomics?
Well, you’re in the right place.
We did a little Q&A with a member of our scientific advisory board member, Dr. Phil Carson, so you can get the low down on this exciting new area of science.
What is Nutrigenomics?
Nutrigenomics is the application of genomic technologies (technically, high throughput functional genomic technologies) in nutrition research.
“Nutrigenomics is the scientific study of the interaction of nutrition and genes, especially in regard to the prevention and treatment of disease,” says Dr. Carson.
If you’ve ever thought about how your body might be reacting to a particular food, and if you’ve ever not felt right about how your body is handling certain foods, then nutrigenomics may be a helpful solution for you!
Why Would You Use Something Like Nutrigenomics?
Dr. Carson, and many others in this field, believe that nutrigenomics is the future of healthcare. The usefulness of nutrigenomics can help inform what we should eat and our lifestyle choices.
Nutrigenomics is used by companies like Autumn DNA as a way of testing one’s genetics to look at the person’s overall nutritional health. With nutritional testing through Autumn DNA and their lifestyle assessment, you could have truly personalized nutrition and remove the second-guessing and self-prescribing.
You can take a DNA test to learn about your genetic composition, how your body is handling certain vitamins and minerals, or interactions between diseases and nutritional health.
With this information, you can walk away with optimized health, nutrition, and the right supplements to get you on the right track!
How Does a Nutritional Genetic Test Work?
Your DNA opens doors you never knew existed…
With a company like Autumn DNA, clients send over their saliva, take a lifestyle test and then receive their nutritional results back. The report will talk about the relationship between your unique DNA and nutrition.
Who’s Right for a Nutritional Genetic Test?
Nutritional testing is right for anyone.
Because nutrigenomics is informed based on our DNA, it’s not one-size-fits-all. It is actually a custom look at your genetic makeup.
If you care about your health and want to live a healthy lifestyle, then nutrigenomics is for you. Not only will nutrigenomics be able to improve our health, but it may be the only line of defense against some of the diseases that we will see in the future.
According to Dr. Carson, nutrigenomics has been and will continue to be a huge benefit for our society. This is because science can actually recommend lifestyle changes that are personalized. Your unique body makeup may not agree with population-based advice.
Nutrigenomics will get us away from that guesswork model and help us to determine lifestyle and nutritional factors that are optimal for health.
Can I Use Nutrigenomics for Preventative Health?
Now nutrigenomics is not like going to your regular doctor check-up. In fact, you may get a genetic nutritional test to prevent diseases as well as treat them.
In some cases, clients are able to get tested and make changes to their lifestyle as a result of the recommendations outlined in the Autumn report.
Each person will not always have a health condition or negative polymorphism.
In one instance, a client had low energy. After her Autumn report came back, the report suggested that the client had a high risk of B12 deficiency, and her intake was inadequate based on her FUT2 gene.
In a way, the Autumn report made it far easier to find out that a gene was causing her vitamin B12 deficiency and, in this case, her low energy levels!
Is Genetic Testing Safe?
While there are many unknowns about genetic testing, testing with a specialized company like Autumn ensures the security of your genetic sample.
Because Autumn only tests certain parts of the DNA (your SNPs!), and they store the DNA samples in accordance with the strictest security standards in the United States.
Autumn ensures the anonymity of all samples and abides by the strictest standards for secure data transfer, privacy and security. Samples are only sent directly to our world-class lab and are stored in a premium, controlled facility, each labeled with unique identifying info that only applies to you.
“I believe that nutrigenomics is going to be the future of healthcare,” says Dr. Carson. And because of this, we know that we need to be careful when handling our customer’s DNA!
At Autumn, we do not test for genetic markers that aren’t related to wellness or nutrition. For example, tests that diagnose disease, identify relatives, paternity or identify individuals (for forensic use) are not relevant to our DNA analysis.
So you know that your DNA won’t be manipulated or used in other ways!
Will Autumn Use My Genetic Code for Other Reasons?
Don’t worry, we get this question a lot!
Autumn keeps their hands off the unnecessary genes in your DNA sample. The genes analyzed in Autumn’s test are chosen through a process of reviewing and researching which markers provide the most robust scientific evidence, equating to about 500 SNPs.
At Autumn, all our research is backed and verified by science. We also have an expert-filled Scientific Advisory Board behind all of our initiatives.
We don’t collect or analyze excessive amounts of DNA markers, called SNPs. Instead, we only analyze the SNPs that are backed by research to be the ones optimal for assessing individual nutritional health. It may sound like scientific jargon but we assure you, that’s the level of thought we put into it.
Why Should I Bother? Isn’t What I’m Eating Good Enough?
One of the biggest questions that we get here at Autumn is really about whether DNA testing is worth it or not. After all, we’re told to eat a well-balanced diet. Isn’t that good enough? This is especially the case if you have no known health conditions or limitations to your body’s health.
However, there are some hidden, unknown factors that could affect your health—now or in the future. You would be unaware of them without genetic testing to give you a peek beneath the surface of your health.
“The study of nutrigenomics is going to be of tremendous benefit for us and help us to know what we can do when it comes to lifestyle changes,” says Dr. Carson. Nutrigenomics will eventually be used to “help prevent those diseases, and maybe even with the treatment of them as well.”
While food and nutrition guidelines set by government agencies are important to follow, evidence has demonstrated that those one-size-fits-all nutrition recommendations can be inefficient, and often ineffective.
That’s right, not everyone would react the same to a well-balanced diet and not everyone needs the same vitamins. There are certain genetic variations that might mean that what you consume affects you differently than it affects your siblings, friends and neighbors.
What Insights Can Autumn’s Test Provide?
DNA testing with Autumn can provide insights into our unique genetic makeup and its relationship with vitamins and supplements.
Not only that, but genetic testing can help us improve our lifestyle in ways that matter!
“If you want to live a healthier, more vibrant life, I believe that knowing more about your genes and what you could do to affect them with nutrition is going to be vital for that healthy lifestyle,” says Dr. Carson.
Even if you don’t have any known medical conditions, nutrigenomics can inform you about your lifestyle and nutrition in very specific ways. Autumn’s tests can explain why some individuals respond differently from others to the same vitamins, minerals, and supplements consumed.
Scientists and practitioners like Dr. Carson want to make sure that you are not over- or under-consuming based on your genetic model.
Once I Get My Results, Where Do I Go From There?
In our lives, we are told to take care of ourselves, but often these technologies have been out of reach for the average person. At-home genetic testing is here to take the stigma out of this essential practice.
Targeted genetic testing with Autumn will quickly be able to determine the nutrition-related genes that may be affecting your health, even if you aren’t aware of it.
Your Autumn DNA test results will identify your bio-individual needs and what areas you’re excelling in and others that need attention.
Getting your Autumn Test!
The Autumn DNA at-home DNA test provides helpful insights into your genetics, which may be affecting your body in ways that you could never have known about without doing the test!
With this information, you and your doctor can make better and truly informed decisions surrounding your health!
See what our Autumn test kit and supplement subscription is all about today!