How analysing your genetic makeup can aid in the detection of personal disease risks, while providing insight into what may be your ideal diet, exercise and skin care routine. By Michelle Webster-Pauli…
“It’s all in the genes,” is one of those statements you frequently hear, either in the news, on social media or between friends. This is in reference to an individual’s inherent traits and attributes that define their direct lineage by physical aesthetics (such as facial or bodily features), or by their behavior. We often stare at family portraits, where we identify these attributes in our direct members, such as having Uncle Joe’s eyes and strong jawline, to Aunty Angie’s tallness and fairer hair. We also compare how we, our children (and even cousins) have adopted the same interests – such as Lucy inheriting grandma’s love of running and athletics, for instance.
Now, extensive scientific research has provided us with a closer insight into modern genetic testing, revealing a much deeper story than just inherited physical and mental attributes – thereby allowing us for a more comprehensive understanding of what makes us tick.
This type of research is distinctly defined as the involvement of finding unknown genes and learning how they work – and then based on these findings – developing tests for future clinical trials. However, results for these research studies are not available to patients or healthcare providers.
Clinical genetic testing on the other hand, involves screening your genes to find out about an inherited disorder. Results are used to make decisions about medical care or reproductive issues.
Most recently, genetic companies have been broadening their scope of testing to offer individuals personalised gene screenings, which gain a greater understanding of what patients need for optimal health and nutrition.
GENEWAY™ is one such company – they provide individuals with critical information about their unique genetic makeup, and how to utilise this information to positively adapt to their lifestyles, diet and environment in order to live more fulfilled lives.
How it works
Thanks to advances in technology, the unique story within your intricate strings of DNA locked within your genetic code can now be accessible. And based on the information provided, you can make slight adjustments to your lifestyle choices, influence your diet, medications and more, thereby giving your body exactly what it needs to thrive.
The first step involves obtaining a DNA kit from an accredited GENEWAY™ practitioner, or alternatively, contact them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Taking a DNA sample is quick and painless, involving a simple swab from the inside of your cheek. Detailed instructions are also included in the pack – or you can watch an online video. Once the DNA sample has been submitted to your practitioner and analysed, the results of the testing will be interpreted and discussed with you.
My gene-screen experience
I became interested in my genetics for various reasons. For instance, I wondered if there was such a thing as an ideal diet and weight-loss treatment for my specific makeup. And was it possible to determine what ailments I may or may not have inherited from my parents. In a nutshell, I felt there had to be a more detailed story about myself.
So, it was with this in mind that I consulted GENEWAY™ for gene screening, as they offer an extensive range of specific genetic tests, namely, GENEWELL™, GENEDIET™, GENERENEW™, GENESPORT™, GENECOMBO™, and GENECORE™ (more information on these tests can be found on their website at www.geneway.co.za).
Consulting GENEWAY™ revealed intriguing facts about my genetic heritage, with a detailed report outlining everything from my family/medical history, diet, physical activity and lifestyle – to pharmaceutical, overall risk summary and pharmacogenetics profile. The information I took personal note of alluded to my skin, diet and physical activity – which allowed me to tweak my lifestyle in order to achieve optimum results for my specific genetic type.
Skin is always an important factor in aesthetics due to a person’s agenormally being outwardly judged by their facial and physical appearance, which is generally affected by both internal and external factors – such as smoking, diet and exposure to the sun (all of which cause premature ageing). With this type of genetics test, an individual’s susceptibility to these factors are outlined, with preventative measures being taken to keep the physical skin appearance looking, and feeling, rejuvenated and healthy.
My overall aesthetic genetic profile based on the GENEWAY™ analysis and interpretation has been associated with an increased susceptibility to premature ageing, which is due to my skin’s collagen synthesis being genetically reduced. To combat this, it was recommended that I take a Type1 Hydrolyzed Collagen powder (a scoop mixed in a glass of water every day), which has the same collagen found in human bones and skin. It also contains 18 amino acids, while the glycine and proline concentration is 10-20 times higher than in other proteins.
It was additionally detected that I have a high risk of inflammation, so it was suggested that I use skincare products that contain no parabens or oxybenzone and indulge in a diet that is high in Omega 3.
After a month of taking the collagen powder and switching my skin care to a range that is 100% vegan, natural, paraben and oxybenzone free, I noticed a huge difference in my overall texture, complexion and skin hydration.
This test outlines specific types of genes associated with an individual’s weight, dietary makeup and health issues directly associated with these attributes. What the test offers people is the insight into being able to target these “problem” areas in order to affect the desired physical goal they have in mind.
In my test results, a gene known as the ‘thrifty’ gene was detected. This denotes a high risk of becoming overweight. The result also indicates exercise resistance in terms of weight loss, so I should pay extra special attention to my diet. It furthermore indicates a slower metabolism, as well as a possible sensitivity to carbohydrates (all in all, not great news).
It was therefore advised that I follow a low-calorie diet, where I place a greater emphasis on what I eat, rather than hitting the gym. However, this doesn’t mean exercise won’t assist in my weight-loss at all – it just means that I need to indulge in some seriously intensive, sweat dripping work-outs if I want to see any positive changes on the scale.
I’m pleased to report that after paying special attention to my diet (where I previously focused more on my exercising), I lost 4kg’s in a month and a half. And, while this may seem like a go-slow for some, it’s actually a huge difference for me, as it’s very hard for me to lose weight (and when I do, it takes time, thus leaving me unmotivated). As for my eating habits, I switched over to a low carb, low fat diet, eating smaller portions and more often, which has ultimately assisted in my weight loss.
This focuses on benefiting people (whether recreational or professional athletes), in optimising their training, outlining their genetic potential, the preferred energy and fuel source intake during their exercise routines, as well as their response to caffeine, risk for inflammation, injury and recovery time.
It turns out that I have a genotype that is associated with a natural increased endurance potential (which makes absolute sense, as I’ve been an avid long-distance runner for years). It also indicated that I’m likely to recover from hard exercise on an average rate, so I’m able to handle a moderate training load.
Yet, while I require less time for recovery, it’s still important to incorporate some recovery strategies into my exercise program. As such, it was recommended that I have 3-4 intensive training or exercise sessions per week and incorporate recovery and conditioning sessions around these intensive sessions.
I previously pushed myself to train every-day (even if it was only for 30 minutes), but found that I was so completely sapped of energy, I couldn’t perform at my peak. I subsequently changed my routine to 3-4 times a week instead and have since felt a noticeable difference in my energy levels. I also don’t suffer from leg cramps as I used to.
Genetic testing is an incredible means of demystifying those inherent traits within us that affect our lifestyles (either physically or mentally) – and I do feel they play and immensely important and useful role.
That said however, it must be noted that a genetic test isn’t the final verdict, as there are other factors at play too. In addition, one must be ready and willing to make the small lifestyle changes if their test results necessitate it.
If you would like additional information on what GENEWAY™ have to offer, see their contact details below:
Head Office Tel: 012 346 2469
A2 Disclaimer: This review was published for information and experience-sharing purposes only, and should therefore not be regarded as a replacement for sound medical advice.
This review was written by Michelle Pauli and edited by the A2 team EXCLUSIVELY for the A2 Aesthetic & Anti-Ageing Magazine Spring / September 2018 Edition (Issue 27).
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