Is Genomics testing right for you?
You may or may not be familiar with the term genomics. It is a fairly newly discovered science that exploded after the Human Genome sequencing was completed in 2003.
Genomics is the science that studies the structure and function of all genes and of our genome and their interaction with the environment.
This Genome project allowed us to confirm that we have as many genes as a very simple worm and they also found a lot of “extra DNA” which they called “junk DNA”, and they didn’t understand that very well.
These unexpected results were an invitation to go deeper in the matter, and research was continued. In 2015 the 1000 Genomes Project Consortium contributed to understand that our genes are not our destiny, they can be turned on and off according to multiple environmental factors, a new science came to light: epigenetics.
According to conventional wisdom, when it comes to the wellness of people, it is on the pessimistic side. When someone has poor health, the medical opinion is that there is nothing to do about it, you have poor genes.
This new science allows us to understand the similarities and differences in their body functions and also the risk of a person contracting chronic diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, autism, asthma, autoimmune diseases, etc.
I understand these concepts are somewhat complex and abstract. You may be wondering how a gene can be turned-on and the example below aims to help you integrate these concepts better.
Right now we are in the fall season, days are shorter, you have less sunlight exposure and it is also the beginning of the “flu season”. That means that you may experience a decrease in immune function, we feel more tired, we are often sad and down, we feel stressed-out, etc. Curiously, not all of us are equally vulnerable to all these “seasonal disorders”.
In any case, imagine you have the chance to book a flight and go to Mexico. You go to the beach for a week, to a resort, with tons of sunlight, within 1-2 days, you feel a lot better, you get a skin tan, your mood is better, your energy is better, it really helps your overall health. So, from a genomics stand point the gene that is relevant to sunlight is the VDR or Vitamin D receptor gene.
This is a very obvious example that the VDR gene inactivates with reduced light exposure and that causes the list of problems we were mentioning earlier. All the quick health benefits we experience are due to activation of this gene. This gene is one of the most important genes to regulate expression of several genes in our bodies.
Vitamin D is also involved in liver function for detoxifying your blood, in making neurotransmitters to allow your brain to focus and; and have a happy and healthy mood and sleep. This gene is one of the most important for your immune system, that is why we have a “flu season” that is actually due to vitamin D deficiency season.
Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most prominent nutritional deficiencies involved in the development of autoimmune diseases. In my genomics profile, my VDR works at about 40-50%, it is for that reason that I developed Psoriasis when I was a teenager. Autoimmune diseases have their root cause in the gut, that is where 70% of the immune system is. Vitamin D is very important in maintaining the gut integrity. With nutrition, lifestyle, Vitamin D supplementation and light therapy, I could reverse my chronic skin rashes and turn off chronic inflammation in my body.
If you are affected by mood disorders, dermatological conditions, chronic pain, recurrent infections, sleep disorders, we invite you to consider all your options. You would benefit from getting tested and make the appropriate lifestyle changes to turn on your healthy genes and restore your vitality.
If you found this information useful, please share it with your family and friends. You can also keep in touch by following us on Social Media or book your free discovery call and; maybe we could work together on a journey aiming to the ownership of your biology.
Nutrigenomics and precision lifestyle
coaching, making sense of SNPs
Are you confused about what to eat? gluten-free? vegetarian, vegan, paleo, Keto? I know it can be very overwhelming and most people give-up for that reason. Is it really possible to adjust your diet according to your genetic make-up? How can this happen at the SosaLifecoach community?
In the era of mega data health information, we are benefiting from discoveries made in the early 2000s, as we have conclusive research to help us make sense of SNPs(pronounced snips)
SNPs are an abstract genetic concept I would like to help you understand with this article. As you may know from your biology class, all our cells have DNA in the nucleus. DNA is what gives instructions to other organelles in the cell, to make proteins that perform a function.
When talking about food, the relevant proteins are enzymes. They are in charge of bio transforming nutrients, so that they can be used in the cell to produce energy.
We often hear conventional wisdom labeling food items like coffee as good or bad, only focusing on the food. In 2006, researchers made a fascinating discovery: After dozens of studies found that drinking coffee increases heart-attack risk, this new inquiry revealed that while coffee did up the hazard significantly for some, the exact opposite was true for others. For those individuals, consumption of one to three cups daily actually lowered the danger of a heart attack.
Whether you are a coffee lover, or you are indifferent to its flavor and aroma, your ability to enjoy and benefit from this great compound is related to your personal biochemistry. Researchers found that the difference was due to variations of a gene, CYP1A2, which controls the enzyme that breaks down caffeine in the liver; some people have a slow version, while others have a fast one.
You will gain the benefits if you can eliminate caffeine quickly and you can unleash coffee’s beneficial effects for your gut bacteria, the healthy polyphenols and antioxidants.
Genes affect our body internal chemical reactions, how food is absorbed, how it travels through your body and how you eliminate the waste by-products of digestion. Genes can determine our likes and dislikes of various foods, our olfactory smell sensors, and our taste receptors. Genes also influence our appetite and satiety, and body weight management.”
And the reverse is also true: our nutritional choices and factors outside our bodies affect our genes. They can get turned on or off according to those environmental factors, this field of study is known as epigenetics.
Through Functional Medicine, we address your biochemical individuality, which means that maybe your sibling doesn’t have the same ability to process certain foods. Both of you may be born from the same parents but, one sibling has a tendency to gain weight easily, while the other is lean, while eating the same diet, and sometimes more.
Most current dietary recommendations are one-size-fits-all, so it’s not surprising that the ketogenic diet, that helped your family member lose weight, didn’t work for you, or the caffeine shots others take for boosting sports performance leave you feeling sluggish. What is good for one person might actually be harmful for somebody else.
At the SosaLifeCoach Community, the genomics test will give a precise sense of what a person might be doing to improve their health. It could be for instance, identify whether someone might have an issue with diets high in saturated fat, need more B vitamins, or have a tendency to be deficient in certain minerals, like Zinc (therefore we focus on sourcing from Zinc-rich whole foods and, as well as intermittent intake of supplements).
If you are interested in knowing how your body works, what foods are good for you and which one to avoid because your body is not well equipped to process them, then Nutrigenomics testing is right for you.
You may share this information with your family and friends if you found it helpful. You can follow us on Facebook or Instagram, or you can book a discovery call and you can get a precise lifestyle plan, with definite answers to bring your health to the next level.
Genomics Applications Your Mental Health
What can you learn about your mental health from your genomics profile?
Do you have a family history of depression or suicide? Are you carrying a stigmatizing and demoralizing mental health disease? Are you struggling to fall or stay asleep? Do you have anxiety? Have tried psychotropic medications that work for a while or sometimes not at all?
If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, you should continue reading and benefit from great information that can really transform your health.
It is easy to accept that our genes play a role in our brain function; but they are just one part of the equation. At the SosaLifeCoach community, our first message to you is that you can be empowered by your genomics cognitive profile, as opposed to what many people think, which is they are doomed with low quality genes they can do nothing about.
Our second major point is that your genes can be turned on or off according to your environment. We will help you understand that concept, further below.
Did you know that your job and your relationships are part of your environment?
In Functional Medicine, as we elicit your whole life story and we have your DNA information with your saliva test, we can understand what is going on in detail and; provide precise support for you to support and restore your brain function.
Introducing our fictional client: she is Mrs Perez, 38 y-o and she suffers from anxiety, for which she takes a medication that she is unsure is helping her. She is always feeling on the edge. She does not sleep well and she has gained some weight, she is struggling to lose. She has a boyfriend and her relationship is not going very well.
They argue frequently and she has difficulty moving-on, from one incident to the next one, their sex life is non-existent since a few weeks.
We want to give you a good idea about how we can get to understand our client’s mental health, using her Genomics report and her lifestyle assessments.
When Perez wakes up in the morning, she needs Serotonin to be nice to her boyfriend and co-workers. We all need Serotonin for a happy healthy mood and optimal sleep, memory consolidation and sexual function.
Mrs Perez also needs some Dopamine for optimal brain function, in the morning. Dopamine is needed at appropriate levels for brain focus, being on time, respecting your schedule, being organized and motivated to overcome challenges. Dopamine is also involved in execution of fine movements, like writing. This neurotransmitter is also involved in our pleasure experiences.
You may or may not be familiar with this type of information and you could be asking yourself what is a neurotransmitter, and how do neurotransmitters work?
Neurotransmitters are messengers between neurons, they are produced in your brain, your gut and all your nerves from specific nutrients. They need to bind a receptor to perform an action for a period of time, and then they are eliminated and recycled.
Neurotransmitters travel in the bloodstream attached to proteins, they carry them all the way to the receptors, for binding and action.
How my client breaks-down stress neurotransmitters influences how her brain works. If she would break them down too quickly, that can cause deficiencies that manifest as inability to focus, sadness, inability to sleep, for example.
We learned with her reports that Mr Perez has decreased function of her COMT enzyme. This one is in charge of breaking down stress neurotransmitters and related by-products. Because she breaks them down slowly, then the stress neurotransmitters accumulate and reach too high levels in her system.
This accumulation of stress hormones in your system is the root cause of anxiety, sleep disorders and other types of brain dysfunction. Because everything is connected, this can also cause you to have high blood pressure and increased cardiovascular risk.
So, when you work on your health with a Functional and integrative approach, you address multiple imbalances at the same time and your body slowly re-balances itself, because it is intelligent.
After agreeing on what the next steps are, in your case, we support your brain function with a precise program, because we understand the interrelated factors that are at play.
Perez got off grains and all refined sugar, she started Magnesium supplements to help her relax and support her sleep. We also gave her appropriate B vitamins, including B6. She started Yoga, which she considers her meditation. She was feeling a lot better within a few weeks, her relationship improved and things slowly went back into place.
We consider the interconnectedness of the brain neurotransmitters networks, and if we support one of them, the rest can also be affected. It is crucial to understand that more is not better, and your environmental factors are also very important determinants of your mental health outcome. The relevant factors are: your nutrition, sleep, how much you move, how you perceive stress and the state of your relationships.
You may need higher doses of certain supplements that can be toxic for someone without that genomic special need.
If you found this information interesting, please share it with your family and friends. You can also follow us on social media or book your free discovery call and maybe; we can work together on some new perspectives to bring your brain health to the next level.
Folate vs Folic acid, Shining light on biochemestry
Find the Folate That's Right for You
Finding the Folate that is right for your functional requirements, can be challenging, confusing and even dangerous.
If you clicked on this article it is because you want to know about your folate requirements. You may be wondering how you can get enough folate from the food you eat. We have a list for you, at the end of this short article, but we want to share some useful information before you get there.
Some people may need more folate than others due to genetic variants, environmental factors, and stress. In such cases, the right supplements can make a big difference in an individual’s health outcome.
In our Sosalifecoach Community, we are advocates of nutritional supplements for the right person and at the right time. We start low, go slow and keep in mind that we don’t have biochemical pathways. Our bodies operate on networks and when we consume one supplement, we also activate consumption of other vitamins and minerals. So, if you are having trouble figuring it out, it’s understandable. Ideally, these complex factors are put together, in consultation with a Functionally trained coach.
Getting natural folate from food is always the first recommendation, but some individuals may need higher dosage for proper functioning, which is achieved with supplementation.
We would like to emphasize that folate deficiency can be as detrimental as folate excess or toxicity. When you have an MTHFR enzyme that has decreased activity, you become as sensitive to deficiencies, as you are to excess.
Personalizing folate requirements is important because people who are sensitive to higher doses of folate can develop uncomfortable and sometimes serious side effects called “methyl-trapping”. This uncomfortable state can be characterized by anxiety, insomnia, mood swings, hyperactivity, increased sweating, and even seizures.
It is my pleasure to share with you what I learned through my genomics report. I carry the MTHFR SNP C667T, which is one of the most frequent. It is not a really bad one and I only have a moderate decrease in the activity of my folate synthesis. This SNP puts me at risk of acquiring autoimmune, cardiovascular disease and brain disorders. It is worth noting that when I implemented a functional approach, everything came into balance and my chronic imbalances reversed to normal.
Children with autism are more likely to have cerebral folate deficiency, in which the brain is deprived of vitamins and other nutrients. For these children, getting enough folate from whole foods alone can be almost impossible. Supplementing with active forms of folate and other nutrients can sometimes dramatically improve their health.
If you are advised or decide to augment your natural folate intake, we recommend supplements containing folinic acid or 5-MTHF (also known as L-methylfolate), which are metabolically active forms of folate that your body can best use.
We suggest you work with a health professional to ensure you have the right ratio of nutrients when supplementing. Not all supplements are created equal, and individual needs vary greatly. You should also make sure to use a high-quality supplement that does third-party testing.
You can’t overdose on naturally occurring folate, but it is possible to get too much folic acid, which can cause stomach problems, sleep disturbances, skin reactions, and even seizures. If you eat a lot of fortified foods, you can quickly reach 400 micrograms, the recommended daily allowance.
Regarding dietary folate daily for adults, as we have the genomic info and we understand the physiology, we don’t use a recommended allowance dose. We adjust dosage as needed because we understand this process as dynamic and changes according to your environment and life circumstances.
See below a list of food and their folate content.
If you found this information useful, please share it with your friends and family. You can also click below and follow us on Social media, so that we can stay connected through our pro-consciousness Social LifeStyle Community.
If you are curious about your folate requirements, along with the precise vitamins and minerals to preserve your health, you can book your discovery call and we can see if we are a good fit to work together on a positive journey towards the ownership of your biology.
Suggested as a general guideline, see below the measured amount of folate in these 9 Whole-Food Sources. Remember that in addition to the presence of folate in the food, you need a healthy gut to absorb it properly and can be used by the cells of your body.
Do You Believe Your Genes Are Your Destiny?
Sudden death, cardiovascular disease and cancer keep just rising these days. If you have a family history of these disorders, you may be a bit nervous about your future health. Do you believe your genes are your destiny? Well, according to conventional wisdom, we either have a good or bad set of genes and there is not much you can do to change that. This science trend is called genetic determinism.
Since the Human Genome was completed in 2003, there has been an explosion of knowledge and research and we have learned many new concepts that override the old determinism paradigm.
It is important to make the distinction between Genetics and Genomics, for you to properly understand this information. Genetic is the science that links in-born genetic defects with diseases.
Genomics Medicine is the science of interpretation of all your genes, and their relationship to environmental factors. The reality is your genes can be turned on and off according to your nutrition, lifestyle, and your environment.
When you provide your DNA sample for testing, at the SosalifeCoach community, we can learn about physiological variations in specific functions, that put us at increased risk for certain disorders like Diabetes, Depression, Osteoporosis, hormonal imbalances, gastrointestinal conditions, etc.
Due to the prevalent concept of determinism, you may be scared to know your genetic information, and then how to take action afterwards. Well, we can reassure you that this does not mean you will inevitably develop that disorder, but there are certain triggers and life circumstances that can make you susceptible to develop specific dysfunction or disorder.
On the other hand, can this information be used to make informed lifestyle choices based on your genetic information? What are your genetic advantages?
Because I practice what I preach, I did my test and I will share with you what I learned about my mood on my personal Genomic assessment.
Serotonin is responsible for balancing our mood, sleep, cognition, and pleasure. The proper functioning of the genes TPH1 and TPH2 determines how much we make of this happy neurotransmitter. If our levels of Serotonin are low, then we feel sad, we can’t sleep well, and we may have some trouble retaining new information, in learning situations.
I learned that my TPH2 works at about 40% and THP1, that accomplishes a similar function, works at over 90%. So, my deficiency is mild, and I have never been clinically depressed.
Since I know this information now, I support my brain with 5HTP supplementation, which is what my deficient TPH2 uses to make Serotonin. I have sustained brain energy in the afternoon, my mood is better than it was, my sleep quality has increased, so knowing this information has increased my quality of life.
With my genomics test, I also inquired about my skin health. Beforehand, I must share some background information. I have had a chronic autoimmune skin condition since I was a teenager. One of the most important genes in autoimmunity is the VDR or vitamin D receptor gene. This one regulates the expression of many other genes, when it does not work well, we have increased risk of autoimmune disease and allergies, like I did. Vitamin D is also involved in liver detoxification function, bone health.
Vitamin D stimulates the production of Serotonin, and also Dopamine, which can be deficient or dysfunctional in the presence of ADHD.
My vitamin D receptors work at about 50%, which explains why I developed Psoriasis at an early age. After moving from Cuba to Canada, I lost 2 full seasons of sun exposure, which was a trigger for worsening autoimmunity.
Another gene that is influenced by VDR, is the main methylation gene, MTHFR. This gene oversees making your folate and regulates other genes like liver detoxification, neurotransmitters synthesis, etc.
On top of the isolated gene function analysis, we have predictive algorithms that consider groups of genes, in a functional fashion, which helps predict specific health risks.
If you act on your genomics report, you will be able to make informed nutritional and lifestyle changes that can help you avoid getting to that “chronic disease destination”.
If you are consistent with those changes, and if the disease is not too advanced, you may experience reversal of autoimmunity, metabolic and brain imbalances, as you raise your overall vibration, gain confidence in your health, and feel empowered about the future.
Many people fear aging, but they don’t know there are many things they can do to support healthy aging. Your genetic report will help us make an informed decision.
If you found this information useful, please share it with your family and friends. We invite you to Join us on Social Media or book your discovery call and; maybe we can work together on your health goals and take definite control of your biology and genetic destiny, once and for all.
Take The First Step On Your
Perhaps you have questions you’d like to ask before you make a decision to become a patient. Our patient coordinator is standing by, happy to answer any questions you have to determine if SosaLifeCoach Community is right for you.