In a few years from now we will all own the word ‘genotype’ and throw around terms like “SNP” (pronounced “snips”) while using them in factual statements as well as excuses for why we gained weight, are depressed, can’t digest peppers…”I have the CYP2 snip, so I have to take extra vitamin D or I get depressed.”
The genomic revolution has arrived, Functional Genomics seeks to understand the individual’s personal genetic make-up and its impact on the determinants of health. Many people are aware of the MTHFR gene defect; if you have MTHFR you can take specially formulated (aka methylated) nutraceuticals to correct the enzyme imbalance that is the hallmark of this gene defect.
Also, common knowledge for anyone concerned with breast cancer are the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes; many people are conversant on how these genes impact your cancer risk and high risk individuals can create custom lifestyle plans with their naturopathic doctor to reduce their likelihood of getting cancer.
This year, expect more men to get involved in looking into hereditary prostate cancer risks. There is a VERY STRONG correlation between prostrate cancer death and genomics. Men with KlK6 gene variants are at a very high risk to die early from prostate cancer; a genomic test is way better than current PSA antigen testing which can only tell you when you have cancer. Remember, men, you heard KLK6 here first, you now have your own gene sequence to discuss with family!
Genomic advancements in oncology treatment brings much hope for a more targeted oncological therapy compared to the hatchet approach of current radiologic based cancer therapies. Custom biological medications based on the patients own DNA as well as the expression of the tumorous cells allows scientists to build targeted oncological interventions that are accepted and better tolerated by the body than radiation.
The practical applications to genomics will allow each of us to accurately predict our risk for inherited cancers, obesity and other disorders, correct deficiencies in enzymatic pathways such as MTHFR, repair mitochondrial disorders, and to treat cancer with targeted immune-therapies that are well tolerated by the patient.
This year I participated in a UBIOME launch to help scientists create a library of the unique organisms that comprise the microbiome and every day new research reveals how the microbiome influences out ability to gain and lose weight, digest our food and may even impact our mood and demeanor.
Acceptance of the microbiome as another major organ system and application of rapid DNA scanning technology will allow scientific research to make rapid advancement in human health, not just for physical diseases but especially Mental Health; this science is in its infancy but expect rapid advancement in 2018.
Functional Genomic tests are available today; if you are interested to gain a better understanding of your hereditary cancer risk, want insight into proper nutrition and diet to help maintain proper body weight, or are wondering if a current health condition could be genetic in origin, give me a call and we can get you set up with the proper test.
If you have already done 23ANDME and want to get an advanced reading of your results, contact me to find out how we can do a functional genomic review of your results via 3rd party reading and create custom treatment plans that honors your unique genomic make up.
Dr. Coleen Murphy ND, LAc.