Genetic Nutrition is a growing area of nutritional medicine that offers personalized diet plans based on nutrigenomics — to help people make more informed decisions about their lifestyle habits and health. It can reveal risk of potential nutritional deficiencies, insights into the root causes of health issues or chronic health conditions and ultimately helps to create individualized nutrition, targeted at a persons specific genetics.

“The ultimate goal of nutrigenomic testing is to identify sub-groups of populations who may respond to diets differently or show distinct intolerances to foods or susceptibility to diseases…Such a goal is promising and increasingly supported by scientific evidence, including those from our studies.”

Dr. Lu Qi, adjunct professor of nutrition in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health – Nutrition Department

The Science behind Personalized Testing

Multiple studies have shown that genetics come into play with our eating habits. Research also suggests that knowledge of our genetics can influence how well we comply with dietary prescriptions. For example, a 2014 randomized controlled trial showed that participants who possessed the risk variant of the ACE gene (a gene that directs the body on blood pressure levels) were able to significantly reduce their sodium intake compared to the control group; they also maintained their lower sodium intake one year later. This points to there being a psychological element towards adopting healthy habits; knowing genetic susceptibility (via a methylation panel) seems to help people stick with their diet plans.

Example 2

Another study published last month in the British Medical Journal demonstrated that individuals given nutrigenomics-guided dietary advice for total fat and saturated fat intake significantly reduced their long-term intake compared to gold-standard population-based interventions.

The Potential Benefits of a DNA-based diet

The ability to customize diet and exercise plans based on an individual’s genetics may be the next frontier in nutrition counseling. A personalized dietary plan may help increase compliance (sticking to healthy habits), as well as help you target dietary and physical activity goals that are more in line with what works for your body and unique biology.

“While food and nutrition guidelines set by government agencies are important to follow, evidence has demonstrated that those one-size-fits-all nutrition recommendations can be inefficient and often ineffective,”

Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy, Professor and Canada research chair in nutrigenomics at the University of Toronto. Founder and chief science officer of Nutrigenomix, Inc.

Methylation

Methylation is a biochemical process where a methyl group (a small molecular structure) is added to other molecules in our body. It’s essential for many bodily functions like DNA repair (epigenetics), brain health, and immune system function. As a nutrition expert, it provides insights into foods you may want to avoid and the best form of nutrients for your body.

Methylation & Nutrition

When it comes to nutrition, certain nutrients can influence methylation. For example, B vitamins like folate, B6, and B12 play a critical role in this process. Eating foods rich in these vitamins can help support healthy methylation. But in reverse, certain mutations in genes can impact methylation pathways, affecting nutrient absorption and potentially contributing to deficiencies and a range of health issues.

Example MTHFR & Folate

A perfect example is a gene mutation in the MTHFR gene, which can affect how well your body processes folate, an essential nutrient for methylation. People with this mutation have a reduced ability to convert folic acid (the synthetic form of folate found in supplements and fortified foods) into its active form, L-methylfolate. This can hinder the methylation process, which is vital for DNA repair, detoxification, and other body functions.

As a result of this, individuals with an MTHFR mutation often need to take L-methylfolate supplements (a bioactive form of folate) instead of regular folic acid. Likewise they may also want to avoid foods fortified with folic acid, like certain cereals and bread because their body might not process it efficiently. Otherwise it could lead to an accumulation of unmetabolized folic acid, which may interfere with the body’s natural detoxification processes and potentially cause health issues.

In terms of diet, it’s usually advised for these individuals to focus on natural food sources of folate, such as leafy greens, legumes, and citrus fruits, which provide the nutrient in a form more usable by their bodies. This approach helps support healthy methylation and overall well-being, especially in those with an MTHFR mutation.

The Biological Importance of Folate

In order to paint a picture of just how far reaching an impact gene mutations can have on your health…let’s take a look at the MTHFR mutation which can affect folate processing in the body and how important folate is to your health. Folate is important for:

  • DNA Synthesis and Repair: Essential for the creation and repair of DNA, helping to maintain genetic stability.
  • Fetal Development: Vital for the proper development of the brain and spinal cord in fetuses, reducing the risk of birth defects like spina bifida.
  • Cell Division and Growth: Supports rapid cell division and growth, especially in infancy and pregnancy.
  • Red Blood Cell Formation: Aids in the formation of red blood cells, preventing anemia.
  • Brain Function: Contributes to optimal brain function and mental clarity.
  • Mental and Emotional Health: Plays a role in maintaining mental and emotional health, and is linked to a reduced risk of mood disorders.
  • Amino Acid Regulation: Involved in the regulation of homocysteine, an amino acid linked to heart disease if levels are too high.
  • Supports Immune Function: Necessary for the proper functioning of the immune system.
  • Protein Metabolism: Helps in the metabolism of certain proteins in the body.
  • Detoxification: Assists in the detoxification processes, promoting overall health and wellness.
  • Antioxidant Properties: Acts as an antioxidant, helping to fight against harmful free radicals in the body.

I think you get the idea…folate is vital for optimal health and a methylation panel could show a mutation and provide insights into a wide range of health issues you may be experiencing.

Methylation Panel – Genetic Nutrition Testing


A methylation panel provides insight into how well the body’s methylation process is working. It checks levels of substances related to methylation, like certain B vitamins and amino acids; especially useful for people with health issues linked to methylation, like certain genetic conditions, or those who want to optimize their health. By analyzing these levels, doctors can recommend specific lifestyle changes or supplements to improve your body’s methylation, which can lead to better overall health.

Why Should I Get a Methylation Panel?

Anyone with the following health issues could gain deep insights into root causes underlying their health issues (including but not limited to):

  • Autism
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Anxiety and Mood Disorders
  • Depression
  • Low Mood
  • Inflammatory Conditions
  • Osteoporosis,
  • Diabetes
  • Fatigue
  • Poor Memory
  • Poor Balance
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Miscarriage
  • Infertility
  • Blood Clotting
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Immune Function
  • Dementia
  • Migraines
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Irregular Menstrual Cycles
  • Low Libido
  • Weight Issues/ Obesity
  • Brain Fog
  • Adrenal Fatigue
  • Digestive issues
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Methylation (MTHFR)
  • Brain Fog

My Preferred Lab Methylation Panel

As a Holistic Nutritionist (in B.C.), Nutritional counsellor & Certified Health Coach, I personally use the MaxGen Labs test with my clients. It’s an easy at-home cheek swab test, that checks around 90 different genes. They are very strict about privacy and destroying your genetic information once you are sent your results, and best of all they send you a 15+ page report written by their team of genetic & nutrition experts, that explains everything in simple easy to understand language around what supplements to take, foods to take or avoid, and more. That way you don’t have to book an expensive genetic expert (upwards of $800+), that may take months to get an appointment.

Get Help

If you want additional help after ordering the test, to customize your diet and supplement plan, and choosing the best products, you can book an online video call appointment (from anywhere in the world) as my patient. All you need is a smartphone or a computer with a webcam and mic, or I can do appointments over phone call. If you have any questions you can also use the Contact page.

“There are many factors that affect individual responses to diet, including diet-gene interactions, that need to be taken into account when developing comprehensive and dynamic nutritional recommendations relevant to both individual and population health,”

Dr. Christopher Lynch, director of the Office of Nutrition Research at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

23&Me or Ancestry DNA Results

Allot of people wonder, if I have A DNA test from a company like 23&Me or Ancestry, can I get my methylation panel results from that? The answer is yes! If you have raw results from something like 23&Me, you can plug them into Genetic Genie (free) and it will provide your raw methylation panel results.

Conclusion

Genetic Nutrition, is at the cutting edge of precision nutrition. Methylation is part of the machine of our body and is involved in a wide range of bodily processes and mutations in genes can affect how we process certain nutrients and foods. A methylation panel can provide deep insights into a range of health issues and possible symptoms; great for mental or chronic health conditions or even just to optimize your nutrition plan. Studies show people who get their genetic tests, have more success adopting positive habits around dietary and lifestyle changes. So what are you waiting for? Get a Methylation Lab Test now, and unlock the key to better health!

Disclaimer

I do not have formal education in genomics, and do not interpret raw genetic results for you. I can however look at your results to create an optimized nutrition plan. That is why I work with the MaxGen Labs Genetic Methylation Test – they have genetic doctors and counsellors who write a report out for you.