People respond differently to components in their diet. Some individuals are sensitive to certain foods, or components in these foods, and have learned through experience to avoid these. There are, however, many dietary components that may cause health problems for some individuals. Scientific and medical research has demonstrated that some individuals increase their risk for future health problems by consuming certain dietary components, or increased amounts of these components. Since completion of the human genome project, specific genetic variations that increase an individual's future health risks in response to dietary copmponents have been identified.
Genomic Express offers tests for genetic variants that have been well characterized and studied with regard to the effect the variant has on the individual's response to these dietary components. Listed below are the validated genetic tests we currently offer.
Do you drink coffee, tea, sodas or eat sweets such as chocolate? Do you consume "energy" drinks? These drinks and candies contain caffeine. While there may be some benefits associated with moderate caffeine consumption, research has documented that individuals with certain genetic variants are at increased risk of health problems when they consume caffeine. Specifically, people with a particular variant in a cytochrome P450 gene (CYP1A2) may have an increased risk developing hypertension, suffering al myocardial infarction (MI; heart attack) or recurrent pregnancy loss, depending on levels of caffeine consumption. By testing for this variant of the CYP1A2 gene, you will learn whether you are a fast or slow metabolizer of caffeine. Slow metabolizers of caffeine may be able to reduce their risk of future health problems by modifying their intake of caffeine.
Your CYP1A2 genotype (heterozygous, homozygous, or non-carrier of the variant) has implications for your health with respect to your level of caffeine consumption. A an association between CYP1A2 genotype, caffeine consumption and non-fatal myocardial infarction (MI; heart attack). Individuals who are slow metabolizers of caffeine may increase their risk of MI when they consume caffeine. There is also evidence that pregnant women who are homozygous for this CYP1A2 variant are at increased risk of misscarriage due to increased consumption of caffeine. A recent study indicated that slow metabolizers are at also increased risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure) if they consume caffeine.
Salt (sodium chloride; NaCl) is an essential biological molecule, and is present in most foods. The amounts of salt vary, however, between various food sources, prepared foods and processed foods. Intake of dietary salt in the latter two can readily be controlled.
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a common affliction that can lead to strokes, heart attacks and kidney disease. A variety of medications are prescribed by physicians to reduce blood pressure, in attempts to decrease the patient's likelihood of having future health problems.
Essential hypertension (also called primary or idiopathic hypertension) is the most common type of high blood pessure (approximately 95% of affected individuals). Dietary salt can contribute to increased blood pressure, and healtcare providers frequently recommend reducing salt intake. A number of scientific studies have identified specific genetic variants that cause an individual to be more sensitive to developing hypertension in response to dietary salt. Knowledge of one's own genetic variants can allow the individual to be proactive in adjusting their dietary salt intake for improved health.
The ACE gene encodes angiotensin converting enzyme, which is involved in vasoconstriction and vasodilation of blood vessels. There are two forms of this gene. One includes a 287 base pair insertion (I form of the gene) that is not present in the D form of the ACE gene. Individuals with one or two copies of the ACE I gene (approximately half the population) are salt sensitive. This means that excess dietary salt inreases blood pressure in these individuals.
By taking this genetic test, you will learn your ACE genotype (D/D, I/D or I/I). Individuals with the I/D or I/I genotypes are salt sensitive, and should limit their dietary salt consumption. Your comprehensive test result report will include recommended daily salt allowances bassed on your ACE genotype.