Before we discuss the individual tests, let’s make a quick review of Genetics 101. As you no doubt know, your physical characteristics, and even many of your psychological traits, are determined by your DNA, which you inherited from your parents via your chromosomes. Every cell in the body has a copy of these chromosomes which contain somewhere between 30-40,000 genes . Each gene is composed of strands of DNA, which is made up of arrangements of four specific chemicals. These chemicals are called nucleotides and are the basic building blocks of genes. On each DNA strand, four nucleotides: adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine, arrange to form a pattern. The arrangements of the nucleotides along your DNA compose your individual genetic blueprint. This blueprint includes everything from hair color to height to a tendency to gain weight easily. It also determines your tendency to contract certain diseases or health conditions, and your ability to metabolize and detoxify certain substances.



More than 99% of your genetic material is exactly like that of every other human being. There are certain points along the human genome, however, where individual differences commonly occur. Genovations™ profiles target specific sections of these points to get a readout of your blueprint.



These sections of DNA are called Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms, or SNPs (pronounced “snips”). Your SNPs are slight variations from the genetic norm that could make you susceptible to certain diseases, toxic reactions, and other physiological conditions and responses. Everyone has SNPs, some quite common, others quite rare. While some SNPS have no apparent bearing on health, others have been identified as relating to certain health risks.



For example, it has long puzzled scientists why some people who smoke never develop lung cancer or emphysema, while others do so after relatively short time. The answer to this riddle lies in the individuals’ SNPs, which predispose some to develop disease in response to a cigarette habit and others to be resistant to the toxins in cigarette smoke. Similarly, some women have SNPs that make them vulnerable to breast cancer, while others have a natural resistance to that particular health risk. It’s invaluable to consider this fact when weighing options such as HRT, diet, and other factors known to affect breast cancer risk.



Genova Diagnostics® is at the forefront of this revolution in healthcare. Their Genovations™ line of tests evaluate a carefully selected group of genetic variants in your DNA, providing a previously impossible glimpse into your potential health future. These tests actually reveal your susceptibility to specific diseases, enabling an unprecedented approach to disease prevention. They can also identify why previous therapies may not have worked for you, and which therapies would be effective for your body chemistry. They can even determine your sensitivity to various anesthetics and over-the-counter drugs, safeguarding you from overdose or adverse drug reactions.



These groundbreaking tests could be enormously helpful if you:



1) Want proactive risk assessment, so that you can take steps to avoid potential health problems (such as high cholesterol or arthritis) before they arrive. Prevention is generally easier and more cost-effective than cure!



2) Have a family history of chronic disease. Genovations™ can help us design a health plan to diminish your odds of inheriting the “family disease.” Furthermore, if one family member has a condition, the other members can be tested, with an eye to prevention.



3) Suffer from a condition that hasn’t responded to treatment. Every body is different, and Genovations™ can provide insight into whether our body will respond favorably or poorly to particular drugs, supplements, and nutrients.



Once upon a time, back at the turn of the millennium, Randy Jirtle and Robert Waterland of Duke University designed an experiment that involved some mice. These were specially bred laboratory mice called Agouti mice. These mice have very special characteristics: they are always obese, yellow, live short lives and die of either cancer or diabetes. Jirtle and Waterland’s experiment was to see what would happen if these mice were exposed to a dramatically different lifestyle and diet, what would happen? They took two groups of pregnant female Agouti mice and fed one a group a basic normal diet of mouse chow, and the second group got a nutrient rich diet of foods containing B12 and Folic Acid. When the mice gave birth, the normal diet group gave birth to identical looking babies. They were all typical Agouti mice with their fat yellow bodies and the same medical inheritances. The healthy diet group, however, had babies that were dark furred, skinny, lived twice as long, and never developed either cancer or diabetes. Even more surprising was the fat that the baby mice in both groups were genetically identical despite their appearances.



Pessimists would say that the conclusion of the above experiment, in terms of humans, is that if our mothers didn’t eat properly we must be doomed from the beginning. I see something much more wonderful. I see that we are not the slaves of our genes and that genes really aren’t the ones causing the problems. What this experiment tells us is that if we know what elements of our lives and diet affect the genes we have, we can know exactly what to do to give our bodies the most strength and avoid what will weaken us.



The experiment also showed that genes do not cause disease, but rather our lifestyle, diet and environment are the greater factors, i.e. if I do not have the proper gene to detoxify cigarette smoke and I smoke, bad things will happen. As they say, it takes two to tango. The bottom line is that in order to know what parts of your lifestyle are harming you, both in the short term and in the long run, you have to know yourself and know your SNPs.



In almost all cases, a gene’s ability to promote disease depends heavily on its being influenced by factors in your environment such as:



Cigarette smoke

 

Air pollution

 

Excessive alcohol

 

Poor diet

 

Chronic nutrient deficiencies

 

Hormone imbalances

 

Lifestyle habits

 

Sun exposure

 

Bacterial infection

 

Toxic exposure



Genova Diagnostics has dictated that all Genovations™ tests identify SNPs whose association with a condition is modifiable through nutrition and lifestyle. The impact of these interventions must be measurable with further testing. In other words, there will be no “bad news” that you can’t do anything about. What you will receive is more of a road map to your potential health future, with clear exit signs and alternate routes around potential problems.



Genovations™ tests currently identify genetic risks for the following:



CardioGenomic™ Profile for risk of cholesterol imbalance, hypertension, blood clotting problems, inflammation, stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. This panel focuses on uncovering powerful relationships between diet, nutrition, and cardiovascular risk unique to your body.



OsteoGenoic™ Profile for risk of rapid bone loss, chronic inflammation, arthritis, age-related bone fractures, early menopause, and hormone dysfunction. This information can help determine whether therapy is needed to prevent “brittle bone” disease as you age.



ImmunoGenomic™ Profile for risk of asthma, defects in immune response, auto-immune diease (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma), inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis), recurrent viral infections, cancer, eczema, stomach ulcers, osteoporosis, and allergies. This test provides insight into chronic disorders characterized by inflammation and/or on over-reactive immune response.



DetoxiGenomic™ Profile for risk of chemical sensitivities, oxidative stress, abnormal drug or toxin metabolism. Adverse drug reactions consistently rank in the top five leading causes of death each year in the United States. This test can reveal the cause of adverse drug reactions and identify whether your body is by nature more chemically sensitive or prone to the damaging effects of carcinogens and free radicals. 



EstroGenomic™ Profile: This test evaluates genes that modulate estrogen metabolism, coagulation, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis.



The confidentiality of all patient information is safeguarded by Genova Diagnostics. Your test results are protected by a security code that is disclosed only to the healthcare provider ordering the test. This means that no one else, including employers, insurance companies, or the government, has access to the security code, or to any information about your tests. A Genovations™ test informs you and your health practitioner of your specific SNPs, so that you can design a health plan to circumvent health problems that could surface in the future without preventive care. Your Genovations™ lab test results come with both a list of modifiable factors specific to your health risks, and a specific test, or tests, to monitor how well your healthcare strategy is working to reduce your risk. These tests, called “functional assessments,” give your physician a concrete way to evaluate how your body is responding to treatment.



The procedure is simple:



1) Order the genomic profiles relevant to those conditions that concern you.

 

2) From those test results, identify your genetic risks.

 

3) Get a baseline assessment of your current health status through specific laboratory tests.

 

4) Design a treatment plan involving nutritional, environmental, and lifestyle modifications.

 

5) Monitor your progress with periodic lab tests to see how tings differ from the baseline.



All of these tests and services can be provided to you at our center located at the address below.



If you have any questions or concern about any of these tests, we will be happy to answer them.