DNA Health (DNA Life)
DNA health is a DNA test from the genetics experts DNA Life. DNA Health covers 9 main areas of our overall health which are important to our well-being. The results show the individual genetic variations for each client. The results are extremely comprehensive and provide clear health and lifestyle advice for each gene. Although we cannot change our genes, we can make certain dietary and lifestyle changes to protect our health.
DNA Health tests 34 genes that are associated with overall health and well-being. The areas looked at are:
1. Cardiovascular Health
These genes look at the genes that affect both good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol as well as triglycerides (blood fats), and show how the body uses and stores fats in the body. Cholesterol and triglycerides are seen as risk factors in cardiovascular disease. By understanding exactly how the body uses stored fats, it may possible to alter blood fat levels by making specific changes to the diet.
2. B-Vitamin Metabolism (Methylation)
Methylation is one of the body’s most important chemical processes. The B-vitamins provide an integral part of the methylation process, which is responsible for building new cells, tissue repair, production of energy, DNA protection, production of neurotransmitters and can also protect the body from the damaging effects of homocysteine, which is believed to play and important role in heart disease.
Those who are weak methylators, are at increased risk of many common diseases, including heart disease and depression. Methylation reactions can usually be improved when sufficient B-vitamins are made available to the body through supplementation at the right level and in the correct formulation.
This area looks at genes that determine the quality of our two main liver detoxification pathways that are responsible for eliminating waste products and toxins from our system.
Inflammation is part of the normal immune response and is an essential part of tissue healing. If inflammation is allowed to build-up in the body it can increase the risk of common disorders such as: obesity, heart disease, joint pain, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and the slow healing of sports injuries.
5. Oxidative Stress
Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that are by-products of many chemical reactions in the body. Free radicals increase at times of stress or during sport. We also come into contact with additional free-radicals from the environment. If left unrestrained, free radicals can damage our body cells and the delicate DNA. Antioxidants work against free-radicals by neutralising them and rendering them harmless. Our genes can affect how many antioxidants we can produce in our cells. Low production of antioxidants alongside high levels of oxidative stress can been linked to premature aging, heart disease, inflammation, burn-out and even an increase in certain cancers. Luckily there are many foods that we can eat which also work as powerful antioxidants in the body.
6. Insulin Sensitivity
Insulin is a hormone that is necessary for the uptake of glucose from the bloodstream into our cells. Our genes can affect the body’s overall sensitivity to insulin. Diet and lifestyle play a very important role in the activity of these genes. If our nutrition and lifestyle are sub-standard this can result in unbalanced blood sugar levels and an increased risk of developing Type-2 diabetes.
7. Bone Health
Osteoporosis is characterised by a decrease in bone tissue and mass alongside an increased risk of fracture. 60-70% of the differences in bone mass can be attributed to genetics and variation in diet. The genes looked at here are involved in calcium balance, cartilage matrix metabolism and vitamin D metabolism.
8. Food Responsiveness
This section looks at the likelihood of having lactose intolerance in adulthood and your omega 3 and 6 fat requirements. It also looks to see how sensitive you are to the effects of caffeine and how salt affects your blood pressure.
9. Iron Overload
This indicates the risk to the individual of excess storage of iron in the body. This may only affect women after the menopause, but can affect men at any stage of life. Normally we absorb around 10% of the iron in our diet, some individuals are capable of absorbing much more, leading to an iron overload. Haemochromotosis is a genetic condition affecting around 1 in 400 people.