CAN YOUR GENETIC RESULTS EXPLAIN YOUR SYMPTOMS?
In April 2003, the Human Genome project was completed with the first full sequencing of human DNA. Started in 1990 and costing over $3 billion dollars to complete, it was thought that this project would spell the end of human illness . . .
Yes, think about it. Researchers thought that they would have the “blueprint” of human physiology and once they could read it, boom! Bye bye, disease!
Obviously, that’s not how things played out. There may have been one or two faulty assumptions and misunderstandings of how complex living systems actually behave.
However, the cost of genetic testing has come down considerably since that time and with it, there’s an explosion of interest in testing genetics in order to reveal vulnerabilities and leverage points.
My perspective is that outside of the case of truly genetic disease, the healthcare industry, including functional and integrative folk, over-estimate the relationship between a particular variation of a gene, known as a SNP (pronounced like “snip”), and how you feel, look and behave.
That said, if we’re pragmatic and keep the big picture in mind, we can use this information strategically and at times it can be very helpful.
In this Note, we speak specifically about genetics relating to something called methylation. Because we use methylation to regulate and perform so many biological processes, genetic weaknesses in this area can translate to symptoms and illness and there’s probably more research and clinical interest in this area of epigenetics, or how we convert our environment and experience into physiology, than most.