Genetic testing is becoming a vital part of medical science. For medicine, it takes much of the guesswork out of medical care. Specific genetic combinations stored in your DNA cause you to react somewhat differently to the environment around you than any other person on the planet.
Don’t Play B-17!
If you are old enough to remember the jukebox, you remember a great illustration of how genetics work in the cell. The jukebox contained a number of single song records, and you would punch in a letter/number combination to start it playing — that combination caused a specific record to be pulled from the collection of records and place it on the turntable to play. When done, you could punch in a different combination, and a different song would be played. But the jukebox could only hold a limited number of records, and sometimes you would want to play a song not in the collection — you would be unable to play that song because it wasn’t available. But a different juke box might have that one available, even though most of the machines carried a similar collection of popular songs.
Genetic testing tells you the collection, or library, of genes that you have. We each differ in the specific collection of our genes, making us unique, even though we have many genes in common. This testing does not tell you exactly how your body is responding right now to its environment, but rather how it is likely to respond due to its genetic library. This is good news, because we can steer medical treatments to change the probability of your body responding to those treatments favorably.
What style do you prefer?
Just as there are various types of music, there are also different types or styles of medicine. Some are more invasive, some rely heavily on drugs, and some are designed to steer your body naturally. Since genetics is all about what makes your body “tick”, all forms of healthcare can profit from genetic testing. One major style is pharmacologic, and the Pharma industry is very excited about “pharmacogenetics” testing. In a study published in Translational Psychiatry(1), researchers ran a double-blind study of patients with treatment-resistant depression, where the usual one-size-fits-all approach to antidepressant medication was not working very well. After getting the patients’ genetic blueprint, they were able to achieve an improvement in remission rates of 89%, which was nearly a doubling of the success rate. What they were able to determine was how patients were likely to respond to particular drugs, and the dosages of those drugs. Some patients would only respond to higher dosages, while others required different drugs to succeed.
That is great for those who are going the drug route, to know their chances of improvement would be aided by genetic testing. But is that your preferred style? Drugs are still unnatural interventions in your metabolism, and still have some negative effects. Plus they don’t usually cure anything, they just reduce symptoms.
All forms of medicine can profit from genetic testing — it is a broad tool with broad applications. As the saying goes, “To a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Various disciplines see the value of genetic testing differently. Natural medicine can use it even more effectively than other disciplines, with long lasting results.
Who is the expert?
DNA testing has come a long way — so far that you can order your own genetic tests. If you were to order a raw genetic test, with no expert interpretation, you would have no lens through which to understand the data. To learn that you had gene transcript PPP2R5D would do you little good unless you were a genetic scientist. So all genetic tests must pass through a lens from some expert before it is of use to you. That is why they are tools needing a skilled craftsman to wield. As good as it is, a genetic test is still just another laboratory test that needs proper interpretation, with many variables affecting the genetic outcome.
The most important part of genetic testing is the interpretation. Is the test being interpreted by an expert looking at your body holistically? In the previous study the genetic data was of no value until it was interpreted by experts in the field of pharmacology and genetics with a foundational background in biochemistry. Only this interpretation would’ve resulted in such an improvement. So the expert who interprets the genetic data is the game changer.
Nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics
There are two scientific disciplines that comprise nutritional genetic testing. Nutrigenetics looks at how your genetic profile causes you to absorb and process various dietary nutrients, and is useful in optimizing your vitamin, mineral, and nutrient intake levels. If your body is processing a nutrient less efficiently, you may need more of that nutrient to stay as healthy as your neighbor, who processes that nutrient well. Nutrigenomics looks at the impact your nutrition is having on your epigenetic responses — since gene expression is steered by environment, nutrigenomics considers impact of your nutrition, or lack thereof, on gene transcription and translation, which is the epigenetic response. Since some epigenetic changes are inheritable, this can affect multiple generations. Poor nutrition can stress cells, pushing them to devise an epigenetic solution to the stress, which can lead to various diseases, including cancer. Nutritional genetic testing presents data useful for optimizing your nutrition and epigenetic responses.
As an example, caffeine affects some people differently than others. For some, caffeine intake increases their risk of myocardial infarction (MI). How do we know who is at risk? Published in JAMA(2), researchers at the Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada studied the genetic impact of “rapid” caffeine metabolizing patients carrying the CYP1A2*1A gene variant compared with “slow” caffeine metabolizers with the variant CYP1A2*1F. They found a clear correlation between slow caffeine metabolism and increased MI risk. Genetic testing that shows someone is a slow caffeine metabolizer gives that person good reason to cut caffeine consumption!
In an article published in Acta Biomedica(3), researchers explain the multiple ways that genetic testing is improving the quality of life “by interventions complementing, silencing, or enhancing the expression of our genes.” They explain that nutrition is highly complex, and that personalized nutrition advice can greatly impact health and reduce, or give a path to avoid, various diseases.
Your genes chart your body’s course to some extent, and epigenetics to a great extent. Epigenetics is steered by the body’s internal environment, which is something we all can influence. But how? We can take steps that we know are universally helpful, and before genetic testing became mainstream, that was all we could do. But now we can fine tune our health steps individually with nutritional genetic testing. Combined with expert guidance and interpretation of the results, this tool is a major game changer.
It’s also an equalizer. Have you felt that some people are just plain lucky, that their bodies seem to handle to handle abuse and poor nutrition much better than yours? Genetics is the key, and if you are dealt some “slow” metabolizing genes, you can compensate once you discover them.
Dr. Nemec’s Review
Our genes are the base blueprints that our cells work from. Epigenetic influence on the genes are the result of diet, lifestyle, exercise, sleep, hydration and oxygen levels. These are part of our foundation of teaching the seven basic steps to total health that we’ve been teaching for almost 40 years. But there is another influence that supersedes genes and epigenetic influences — that is the mind.
You must realize to see the big picture, the whole picture, you must address the mind — both conscious and subconscious — and emotions before you focus only on the physical. When we do nutritional genetic testing on our patients we are reading it through the lens of 3-D brain imaging, brain mapping, quantum analysis, laboratory testing, blood and urine testing, inflammation scanning and detailed history.
So when we make a nutritional genetic recommendation it is taking all of these into account to add to the genetic and epigenetic influences. Then we’re filtering that through 40 years of experience working with thousands of patients with most all conditions. Most importantly is our experience working with patients in our inpatient facility over the years, which is has been our best laboratory. We have learned through our patients that have stayed in our inpatient facility, because we controlled all the factors and because they were not going back into the world to epigenetically negatively affect genetic and cellular outcome.
But most importantly is, after scanning and mapping the brain we were able to determine the biggest influence affecting them above and beyond their genes and epigenetic environment. The mind rules the body, it controls everything, and if there are stored subconscious and conscious stress programs it will set off signaling cascades in the cells that will supersede genetic and epigenetic influences. This understanding came about in a 40 year journey seeking the highest level of health possible.
If one does not address the stress programs stored on the hard drive of the brain, then genetic testing and even epigenetic diet and lifestyle changes will have minimal long lasting effects on the health and wholeness of the person.
Let us take an example a person who is extremely healthy, exercises daily, is the perfect body weight, takes supplementation, has a good genetic blueprint and is doing much to influence the blueprint positively with diet, supplementation and lifestyle modifications. You take that person and in a matter of a day you can completely reverse that physiology and open the door for a disease like cancer that will manifest within months of that day.
We have seen this time and time again. We have had patients come that were doing everything right, they felt great, they looked great, laboratories test look good, genetic testing was in the top 10 percentile, all inflammation scans were within normal range. You would’ve said this was the picture of health, and they were until the day that this person’s spouse came home and told them that they didn’t love them anymore and they were getting a divorce after 35 years of what appeared to be a wonderful marriage. These patients came to us with various types of cancers and autoimmune diseases that simply came from the conscious and subconscious stress programs that were written on their brain which signaled the cells to go into a stress response. Remember, a stress response is meant to be for less than an hour, not 24x7x365. It is this type of stress that will cause immune suppression and open the door to disease.
So nutritional genetic testing which we do on every patient is valuable — that’s why we use it as one of our foundational tests — but without our 3-D brain imaging and brain mapping and experience over all these years at looking at the mind-brain-body connection, it would help this patient very little if any. You ask how many people have these subconscious and conscious stress programs? The answer: we have never seen anyone that did not have them that had any disease process in their body. So what’s the take-home message? Everything comes from the mind, and if you do not address the mind and the brain at the highest level, all the rest are just manifestations in the body — mere details — just the effects, not the cause.
Here are the ways we can help you in your health journey:
- Outpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-has the most benefit of teaching, treatment, live classes and personalized coaching. This program has the most contact with Dr. Nemec with 3- 6 month programs that can be turned into a regular checking and support program for life. This is our core program that has helped so many restore their health and maintain that restoration for years.
- Inpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-is our four-week intensive inpatient program for those that are not in driving distance, usually over 4 hour drive. This is the program that is an intensive jumpstart with treatment, teaching, live classes and coaching designed for all our international patients along with those in the US that do not live in Illinois. This program is very effective especially when combined with our new membership program support.
- Stay at Home Program-is offered to continental US patients who cannot come to Total Health Institute but still want a more personal, customized plan to restore their health. This program also includes our Learn Membership Program.
- Membership Program is our newest program offered for those that want to work on their health at a high level and want access to the teaching at Total Health Institute along with the Forums: both Dr. Nemec’s posts and other members posting. And also, to have the chance to get personalized questions answered on the conference calls which are all archived in case you miss the call. The Membership Program has 3 levels to choose from: Learn, Overcome and Master. The difference is at the Overcome and Master levels you received one on one calls with Dr. Nemec personalizing your program for your areas of focus.