Have you ever tried a new diet that your friend or family member did very well on, only to find it had no impact on you? While some diets or medications and therapies will work well for somebody, it can have no result or even adverse reactions in someone else. This is because everyone’s body is wired a little differently and responds uniquely to different treatments. Unfortunately, for many diets and treatments, you must undergo a series of trial-and-error, to see if you will achieve successful outcomes. Wouldn’t it be great to know how your body will respond to something before you test it out?
With advancements in science and technology, this is slowly becoming a reality. Enara providers already use your blood work, past medical history, weight history, and eating persona to help personalize nutrition and medication recommendations. We will now be adding genetic testing as an additional data point. By taking a DNA sample and running genetic analyses, we are now able to see how your personal and specific genetic makeup predisposes your response to certain diets, treatment, as well as predict your risk of regaining weight.
How does it work?
The genes in your DNA provide the instructions for your body’s appearance – characteristic traits like freckles or hair color. However, your genes can also dictate your body’s functions such as your ability to lose weight, nutrient/vitamin utilization, response to exercise, or response to medications. Your DNA sample, a mouth swab for your saliva which contains your DNA, is sent in and analyzed for the specific genes that control each of those functions (weight loss ability, nutrient utilization, etc). Everyone has a different combination of genes, or “genetic makeup,” which gets mapped out from the sample they send in. From this information, it can be determined how likely your body will respond to certain medications, diets, exercise routines, and specific foods and nutrients.
How can this information help you?
For starters, the results of your genetic test let you know what your body may not be compatible with. It gives you starting point, letting you know what to try first. You may be able to avoid the trouble of testing out a new diet for several weeks only to discover it does not work. With medications, you will not have to endure unpleasant side effects only to be met with disappointing results. Instead, you can work with your Enara team to tailor a diet and exercise plan personalized for your unique genetic makeup! Different body types require different solutions; your results provide special insight into what diets, workouts, and medications will best suit you.
To be clear, genetic tests only offer you a starting point but are not yet 100% prescriptive. So if genetic tests suggests you would not respond well to low carb diet, it does not mean you should not try a low carb diet but rather that perhaps you should start somewhere else first. Your Enara providers will guide you in this process but it is important not to give up on something simply because genetics suggest so.
These results can also be an encouraging reminder when the scale won’t budge. You might be tempted to compare yourself to your peers who are losing weight faster than you. Maybe you’re discouraged and wonder what’s the point in skipping fries for a salad when you’re not even losing weight? Your DNA analysis results will provide an explanation for what you’re seeing on the scale and in the mirror to keep you motivated even when your progress feels slow.
For example, before Enara, Dr. Bailony lost weight 3-4 times only to regain and always found that his weight loss efforts responded poorly to cardio. His PrecisionW test results (below) explain these insights. He has 6 genetic markers that have been found to be associated with being overweight and weight regain. Yikes! He also found his body responded better to complex carbs than low carb diet which matches his IRS1 gene.
For people with a below average weight loss ability based on their genetic profile, this shouldn’t discourage you. Knowing that you will not lose weight as easily as others can be a gentle reminder that it’s not your fault. The stagnant scale is NOT because you snuck in a cookie on your diet. It’s NOT because you skipped one workout this week. The biological and genetic odds are simply stacked, which is why Enara is here to provide you the extra support and encouragement for the long-haul. Use the information from your results to determine what works better for your body and cut out the routines that won’t work.
If you’re interested in doing a genetic test, speak with your Enara provider. We currently offer two types of genetic testing:
- PrecisionW (diet/nutrient/exercise testing) at $250 for Enara members and $300 for non-members
- The Enara Health PrecisionW test looks at key genetic markers that may provide diet and exercise strategies that are tailored to your specific genotype. You will receive a report (like the results for Dr. Bailony shown above). Your test comes with a personalized report that you can discuss with your dietitian and medical provider. If you have done a 23andMe test before, your results may be available without an additional test.
- Pharmacogenetic test (medication testing) at $350 for Enara members and $400 for non-members.
- This test is for individuals who are on blood pressure, heart, depression, anxiety, and cholesterol medications. Enara has partnered with DNAfeed to provide a medication response test that analyzes your DNA to predict which medications and dosages may work best for you. This will help Enara’s team personalize your medication plan and improve outcomes. Your test comes with a personalized report as well as a consultation with a DNAFeed pharmacist to explain your results and a meeting with Dr. Bailony at Enara to optimize your treatment plan.
You do not need to purchase both, they are available independently. If you have further questions, feel free to ask your Enara provider or the Front Desk staff at your next visit!
Sources: https://oneome.com/ https://www.rd.com/funny-stuff/clever-jokes/https://boundless.utoronto.ca/impact/should-your-dna-determine-whats-for-dinner-nutrigenomics-el-sohemy/https://geneticdirection.com/how-it-works/