Nutrigenomics is a rapidly growing area of research that holds great promise for advancing our knowledge about optimizing well-being and preventing illness.  Remember that old saying, “you are what you eat?” There is some important truth to it. How our bodies interact with food plays a significant role in how well our cells function.

Nutrigenomics is the branch of science that studies how nutrition and genetics interact to influence our health and well-being. It examines how the nutrients in the foods we eat can affect gene function. But that’s just one side of the story. The relationship also goes in the opposite direction: our genetic makeup can affect our body’s response to different diets and nutrients.

This field of research brings together the disciplines of nutrition, genetics, and molecular biology to understand how thoughtful nutrition and supplementation can help prevent and manage health concerns.

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This non-invasive test evaluates over 100 genetic markers in 10 key wellness areas, providing a clearer understanding of your unique needs. Say goodbye to generic health advice and hello to customized, actionable recommendations tailored specifically to you. Empower yourself to reach your full wellness potential with the Nutrigenomics Genetic Test from NBX Wellness.

The Power to Revolutionize Wellness

Nutrigenomics research is bringing exciting discoveries and developments to light. Currently, researchers are identifying specific genetic variations that influence nutrient metabolism – how our bodies process and put nutrients to use. This research can impact how we approach obesity, diabetes, and other health and wellness concerns.

Researchers are also investigating the role of nutrition in epigenetics – how experiences in our lives can impact how our DNA functions. Epigenetics is the process by which external factors, such as stress and lifestyle, influence gene expression. Nutrigenomics is the study of how nutrients affect genetic expression, while nutrigenetics is the study of how genetic variations impact nutritional response (Franzago et al., 2019). However, it is common to use nutrigenomics to cover both concepts.

Nutrigenomics is vital to the wellness sector because it has the potential to revolutionize the way we approach well-being and nutrition. By understanding the genetic variations that influence nutrient metabolism and health and wellness concerns, a personalized nutrition plan can be developed and built around an individual’s unique genetic makeup. This knowledge can lead to more effective prevention and management of a host of wellness concerns, such as obesity and inflammation.

For example, nutrigenomics research has identified genetic variations that influence an individual’s response to certain fats and carbohydrates, which can help inform personalized nutrition plans for weight management and diabetes prevention.

Another example focuses on sports performance, where nutrigenomics can help identify genetic variations that affect an individual’s response to specific types of training and recovery, which can help optimize performance and prevent injury.

Genetic Expression

Genetic expression is how information stored in our genes is used to make the various proteins that perform many functions in our cells. Essentially, it’s like turning the ‘recipes’ written in the ‘cookbook of our genetic code into a meal. The final product of our gene ‘recipe’ is usually a protein. Recall from our previous lesson that the 10,000 proteins in our body are essential for almost every cellular task. However, just like we don’t make every recipe from a cookbook simultaneously, our bodies don’t always make every protein possible. Gene expression is how our bodies decide which gene’recipe’ to make, where to make it, and how often.

Gene expression refers to the process of making a protein from the gene’s instructions. Gene expression can vary widely for a variety of reasons. For example, some genes may be expressed only in specific tissues, while others may be turned on or off in response to environmental signals.

Understanding the Relationship Between Nutrigenomics and Epigenetics

We are uncovering more and more data about how our experiences can impact our genetic function. Epigenetics is the study of how external factors, such as stress, behavior, and environment, can influence the expression of our genes. The prefix “epi” means over or upon. So, epi-genetics identifies another layer of influence over our genetic information. If our genes are like the hardware we use to direct our bodies, epigenetic tags are like the software.

These tags, called epigenetic markers, alter our gene function in ways that do not modify the underlying DNA sequence. Just like downloading software doesn’t change the hardware you are working with, epigenetic markers don’t change our DNA.  However, they can alter how our DNA (hardware) performs.

Many environmental factors can affect epigenetics, including:

  • Diet and nutrition
  • Exposure to toxins and pollutants
  • Stress
  • Physical activity
  • Exposure to certain medications
  • Exposure to certain chemicals

Recent research suggests these markers can be passed down through generations and affect how our cells develop, function, and respond to stimuli. The good news is that epigenetic changes are not set in stone.

Just like we can update our software system, we can change our environment through nutrition, sleep, and exercise to enhance the function of our genes.

Epigenetics plays a critical role in the complexity of diseases and our response to environmental factors such as nutrition, toxins, stress, and physical activity. For example, epigenetic changes can affect the development of heart disease, obesity, and other chronic diseases. On the other hand, epigenetic changes can also be beneficial, such as the positive effects of exercise on health.

One way epigenetic markers impact how genes work without altering the genetic code is through genetic expression. Types of epigenetic regulation are methylation, histone modification, and noncoding RNA function. The most well-known of these modifications is DNA methylation, a process that adds a methyl (CH3) group to the DNA molecule. Certain nutrients such as folate (Vitamin B9), cobalamin (Vitamin B12), and choline play essential roles in DNA methylation. The methylation process is an epigenetic mechanism that can silence or activate genes.

Another method of epigenetic change is through nutrition. For example, certain foods and nutrients may have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce the negative effect of chronic stress on gene expression. Chronic inflammation can lead to epigenetic markers that hinder good health. Reducing chronic inflammation can reverse the effect of epigenetic markers and reduce the risk of diseases linked with chronic inflammation. Healthy genetic expression – turning genes on or off appropriately – is integral to our well-being.

Nutrition can also affect the epigenetics of future generations. Epigenetic changes in response to environmental factors, including nutrition, can be passed on from parent to child. Our parents’ and grandparents’ diet, lifestyle, and stress can influence our health through epigenetics. However, we can support our body’s ability to engage in appropriate gene expression by setting and achieving meaningful wellness goals.

Nutrition is interrelated with epigenetics in several ways. Nutrients can affect epigenetic processes, and in turn, epigenetic processes can affect nutrient metabolism. A diet deficient in specific nutrients can lead to epigenetic changes that increase the risk of chronic health and wellness concerns. Certain nutrients can act as epigenetic modifiers, meaning they can change how genes are expressed without changing the underlying DNA sequence.

Nutrigenomic testing allows wellness professionals to work with their client’s individual needs based on each person’s unique genetic code. For example, the NBX Wellness nutrigenomic test determines the presence of genetic mutations (SNPs). These genes are not changing over time but can help identify the mutations and assistance the body needs to function at its best. For some genetic mutations, supplemental nutrition may be needed over the course of a person’s life.However, mutations can also impact the body’s ability to engage in genetic expression. While the genes don’t change, genetic expression can. Because epigenetic influences can change depending on our environment or lifestyle, supplemental nutrition in these cases may only be needed for a brief amount of time, or at different times throughout our life. Understanding our unique mutations allows wellness professionals to make targeted nutritional and lifestyle recommendations to support appropriate long- and short-term genetic needs to promote positive wellness outcomes.

By understanding how different nutritional and environmental factors can influence gene expression, we can create personalized nutrition and wellness plans tailored to each individual’s specific needs, thus optimizing the efficiency and benefits of wellness plans.

Additional Assessment Resources

Nutrigenomic Genetic Testi Kit

Nutrigenomic Genetic Consultation | Initial

  • In-Person, Virtual or By phone.

  • Consultation reviewing 100 genetic markers in 10 key wellness areas.
  • Initial Nutrigenomic Consultation session 60 minutes

  • $225

Nutrigenomic Genetic Consultation | Follow Up

  • In-Person, Virtual, By Phone.

  • Follow up on genetic markers in 10 key wellness areas.

  • Follow Nutrigenomic Consultation session 45 minutes

  • $175

Nutrigenomic Genetic Consultation | Mini

  • In-Person, Virtual, By Phone.

  • Follow up on genetic markers in 10 key wellness areas.

  • Mini-Consult 30 minutes.
  • $100