Nutrigenetics Part II: How Testing Genetics Can Improve Health
In Part II of our nutrigenetics series we continue to look at the specific minerals and nutrients we we test to provide personalized nutrition recommendations that align with your body’s specific needs.
Magnesium is a mineral that plays a vital role in many bodily functions, from nerve function to regulating blood pressure and blood sugar levels. It works with calcium and potassium to support strong bones, muscle contractions, and healthy nerve function. Nearly 70% of the US population have low levels of magnesium, which can contribute to chronic diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes.
Research has shown that some people are more prone to low magnesium levels due to a gene called TRPM6. While genetics alone don't determine a deficiency, our nutrigenetics test kit analyzes this specific gene to help you understand if you may be at an increased risk. Common symptoms of magnesium deficiency include fatigue, trouble sleeping, difficulty managing stress, and constipation. Aim to consume two to three magnesium-rich foods daily, especially if your test results indicate an elevated risk of deficiency. Top magnesium-rich foods include pumpkin seeds, spinach, chia seeds, black beans, cashews, and brown rice.
Did you know that chronic inflammation has been identified as the leading cause of death, with over 50% of all deaths attributed to diseases associated with inflammation? Our nutrigenetics test can help you understand your risk for elevated inflammation by analyzing a gene called IL6. This gene plays a key role in controlling your body's inflammatory response. Research shows that certain variations in the IL6 gene can lead to 60% higher levels of interleukin 6, a protein that can cause inflammation in response to injury or infection. The good news is that there are things you can do to keep your inflammation levels in check. Start by eating plenty of colorful foods rich in polyphenols including berries, leafy greens, citrus, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and brussel sprouts, herbs and spices green tea, red wine, dark chocolate and omega three rich foods including fatty fish. It’s also important to limit ultra-processed foods, especially processed red meat, and foods with excess added sugars and artificial colors, sweeteners, and preservatives.
SATURATED FAT AND BMI (body mass index)
Saturated fat from foods like fatty cuts of meats, butter, cheese, cream and baked goods can increase your risk of health problems like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. By understanding your genetic makeup, we can determine how your body responds to saturated fat and if you're at a higher risk of obesity when consuming excess saturated fat by analyzing a gene called APOA2. Studies show that people who consume more than 22 grams of saturated fat daily have twice the risk of becoming obese. To maintain a healthy weight, Ahara recommends limiting saturated fat to 7% of your daily calories, which is about 14 grams if you eat 2000 calories per day. Keep in mind that very low-carb diets like Keto are often high in saturated fat, so they may not be the best choice for those at risk of obesity.
By analyzing a gene called TCF7L2, we can identify if you may be at an increased risk of having high blood sugar. An elevated risk of high blood sugar suggests it may be beneficial to increase whole grains in your diet. While genetics do play a role in elevated blood sugar, lifestyle choices like diet and exercise have a significantly greater impact on blood sugar management. High-fiber foods like brown rice, beans, broccoli, quinoa, and oats can help support healthy blood sugar levels and lower bad cholesterol.
How to Test
The Nutrigenetics Panel is an at-home mouth swab test. After becoming an Advanced or Premium Plan user, you will be mailed a kit that contains:
- Sterile swabs
- Laboratory test tube
- Return shipping envelope
Read the instructions carefully. Then, use the sterile swab to collect a saliva sample from the inside of one of your cheeks or from underneath your tongue. Place your sample into the laboratory test tube, close the test tube lid, and put your sample into the return shipping envelope.
You will be notified by email when your test results are available in your Ahara My Data dashboard.
Ready to explore your nutrigenetics? Grab our Nutrition Test Bundle for just $495 (a $200 discount!) Expires: 12/24/23 at 11:59pm PST