DNA TESTING: Direct to consumer testing versus the hand in hand Practitioner approach

THIS IS NOT MAGIC, JUST SCIENCE

There is, as yet, no miraculous cure, magic wand or perfect set of answers to fix our obsession with weight loss and the quest for ‘perfect’ health.

Introducing something ‘new’ in the diet market brings with it speculation, misinformation and journalistic hype along with blinkered ‘believers’

As with any discussion there are sound reasons both for, and against DNA lifestyle tests

Modern Western humans have been trying to implement the ‘perfect diet’ and simultaneously discovering new ways to starve or detoxify themselves as well as eliminating entire food groups by declaring them enemies.

This has resulted in general confusion, ongoing obesity and health issues and many malnourished ‘health addicts’.

DNA testing is now widely available to the general population. A new era of genomic medicine is upon us and the field of genomics is constantly evolving.

Most importantly, the results of the tests require interpretation and counseling. Dietary recommendations and interventions require trained professionals to fit the biological puzzle together. Nutrigenetics is part of the information that contributes to personalized nutrition as a whole. Detailed familial, personal medical and lifestyle history are all essential information for the practitioner.

Direct-to-consumer DNA testing has been subject to skepticism due to exaggerated health claims, mistaken interpretations by the consumer and a of lack biological detail surrounding the varied risk factors. The results can be misconstrued and sometimes alarming for the consumer. Nutrigenomics is part of the information that contributes to personalized nutrition as a whole.

Personalized nutrition and training programs are certainly the way forward, but the testing should not be diagnostic, nor can it predict an outcome. Nutrigenomics is a systems-based science with the focus being on core upstream biological processes.

The new frontiers of science are demonstrating greater significance for personalized nutrition, exercise, medication and nutraceutical requirements.

The future looks brighter and healthier.

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