GeneSNP: A Personal Health Map – Part 1

Once you get past the basics of taking care of your health; healthy eating, regular exercise and a positive mental attitude, things get a bit murky. Optimum health also seems to be different for each person. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have a personalized map to optimum health? It turns out you can, it’s called GeneSNP.

I’m always a bit of skeptic. Yet, when I heard about GeneSNP, I thought “sure, let’s give it a try”. Basically, it is a health screening using a genetic test to see what types of exercise, dietary changes and lifestyle changes are important for you specifically. Our genetic make-up has a direct affect on how we interact with our environment and it can be very different for different people. Take smoking, for example, there are people like George Burns, who smoked most of his long and talented life, with little ill effects. Then there’s my family. My grandfather and one uncle smoked heavily. My grandfather had a stroke in his early 50’s and never made it to 60. My uncle, had two heart attacks in his late 30’s and quit smoking. We have all observed these ironies of life. What is fine for one person, is poison for another.

In Asian Medicine this is an accepted rule, everyone has their “family inheritance” and it can determine your health strengths and weaknesses throughout your life. It is difficult to determine what this inheritance is without observing generations of the same family, but modern science has sped up this process. We can now look at specific genes that improve or hinder your health in a variety of ways and create a “health map” to guide your health decisions.

To start this journey all I had to do was answer a health survey, describing my current level of exercise, diet, vitamin and mineral supplements and important lifestyle data. This information is to get a baseline of where your are. Once the genetic tests are run, you are given a report showing how your current lifestyle interacts with your particular genetics.  I then swabbed some cells off the inside of my cheek and sent it off to the lab.  Join me next time to see the results.

Please check out the other posts in this series for more examples or click on the “Learn About” button to go to our info page.

DNA image by dullhunk

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