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  • Dr. Carla Kozak

The wonderful world of genetics

Have you ever wondered how your genetic blueprint is affecting your health?

Every time I do a nutrigenomic analysis, I feel like I do a deep dive into this fascinating world of genetics. Think of you genetics like a blueprint of a house. It will show how big the rooms should be, where the windows will be, if there are 2 stories or three. The contractor for the house is what happens after the DNA has been set. The contractor can make the house with precise measurements, high quality materials, and improvements on the original design. Same too with our genetics. We can maintain a healthy lifestyle, with high nutrient diet, eliminating chemical exposures, healthy exercise, low stress levels, healthy sleep patterns. Or we can smoke, eat a horrible diet full of sugar and fast food, drink too much alcohol, have toxic chemical exposures, and have a high stress lifestyle.

These unhealthy factors will turn on or off certain genetic variations (also known as a SNP). And here we enter the world of epigenetics. We have these potentially negative genetic variations. Now what can we do about it? How can we make sure we are optimizing our health potential? This is where Opus 23 nutrigenomic analysis is truly special. We get to see areas of potential health concerns, and at the same time have concrete, scientifically studied options for how to prevent it.

Did you know that there are many genes that affect your vitamin D receptor? You can have healthy levels of vitamin D circulating in the blood, but if your vitamin D receptor that the vitamin D is supposed to bind to isn’t working properly, then your body will have some of the negative effects of vitamin D deficiency.

Did you know that there is a gene that affects how you convert pyridoxine to pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P5P). P5P is the form of B6 that is the most active and utilized in the body. It is essential for hundreds of biochemical actions in your body including estrogen clearance and neurotransmitter (brain chemical) balance. This is where taking the right form of a vitamin can vastly improve the benefits in your health.

Did you know that if you have a homozygous variant form of a gene called MTHFR, you are at a an increased risk for a wide variety of healthy concerns relating to psychiatric disorders, cardiovascular disease, neurological disorder, gastrointestinal disorders, immune system disorder, hormone imbalances, and various cancers? Supporting this enzyme (and thus reducing your risk of the above health issues) can be as simple as a good quality, bio-active B-complex with a healthy dose of methylfolate. Or adding extra beet powder to that morning smoothie.

Now sometimes is isn’t that simple. Our biochemistry is like a network of streams, interconnecting with each other. If we widen one area of a stream, it can increased the flow of water downstream. If there is congestion downstream, we may have flooding. Our biochemistry is like this. If we jump into supporting the MTHFR gene, we can have side effects downstream if there are genetic variants we didn’t account for. That is why it is so essential to look at the whole picture of your genetic blueprint. Opus 23 helps us do this.

Often, I have worked with a patient for a few years before we do a nutrigenomic analysis. When I am going through the patient’s genetic blueprint of their biochemical network, there is always this ‘ah ha moment’, where the pieces fit together. I get to see why this patient is always struggling with estrogen clearance, or depressive tendencies, or why this or that herbal formula works so well for them. I also get to see future areas we should look at, such as, increased screening for colon cancer, or preventing cholesterol imbalance with more fish and fiber in their diet. Or what kind of exercise will be ideal for them.

The Opus 23 nutrigenomic analysis is truly an amazing tool we have for optimizing your health potential. And the wonderful thing about it, is that your genetics don’t change. You take this information with you for the rest of your life. If a new condition pops up in 10 years, then we have the information on where things might have gone wrong biochemically and how we can support that. Your genes don't change, it's what we do with those genes that matter. Contact us if you would like to learn more about our Opus 23 nutrigenomic analysis.

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