Personalized Precision Medicine with advanced Nutrigenomics featuring Gx Sciences
Through our work in treating chronic disease over the past 5 years, we have learned that genetics play a major role in how both foods, medications and supplements are metabolized and used by the body and accordingly a person’s genetics may cause a therapy that is the right therapy for many but it may be the wrong therapy for you.
Why is it important to understand our genetics?
Here are some facts that led us to proceed aggressively to begin using nutrigenomic testing and personalized interventions to help our patients, and why you should consider Proactive Wellness your partner in understanding how your genetics are keeping you from being your best or even worse, contributing to your present illness.
- Genetic variants are more common than we have thought
- Specifically, more than 75% of all patients have significant genetic weaknesses (SNPs) in the most important nutritional metabolism pathways.
- With genetic variants in key metabolism pathways, food, supplements and medications are not metabolized in the expected way, leading to imbalances that potentially have an adverse impact on health.
Examples of genetic weaknesses
For example, if a patient has genetic weaknesses in the immune system “off switches” like SNP CTLA4, they will not be able to effectively turn off inflammatory cytokines, leading to run away inflammation. With a weakness in CTLA4, a patient that experiences an inflammation triggering event (stress, vaccines, infections, environmental toxins, etc.) may experience a dramatic increase in inflammatory cytokines, but with the weakness in CTLA4, they cannot effectively modulate or “turn off” the inflammation. Another example is the dreaded C677T, a variant in the Methylation process (MTHFR) whereby a person’s methylation capability is degraded by 40%/70% (hetero/homo). The methylation process produces methylfolate, which is central to generating energy and ATP and is used to make three key neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin and GABA. With degraded capability to make methylfolate, patients typically suffer low energy, fatigue and numerous other symptoms due to the reduced production of dopamine, serotonin and GABA, three very key neurotransmitters. This is why the MTHFR mutation is one of the most studied and reported on variants as it alone has a very strong impact on quality of life. At Proactive Wellness, we know the ins and outs of treating patients with the MTHFR variants and helping them to optimize their health while concurrently dealing with other health issues.
What is nutrigenomics?
The scientific study of individualized genetics and nutrition is known as nutritional genomics or “nutrigenomics”. Nutrigenomic testing accurately identifies each patients’ genetic protein variations to identify sites of metabolic weakness. These key proteins are involved in enzyme conversion, nutritional delivery and signaling pathways in the cell. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) can affect a patient’s ability to regain and maintain their metabolic functionality. Abnormalities in specific SNPs can negatively affect many physiological and metabolic processes. Overcoming these metabolic weaknesses with the right supplement allows each patient to overcome their genetic weaknesses (SNPs) and maintain optimal health.
Keep in mind that just because a patient has a genetic variant (weakness), it does not mean they have or will have a disease. It just means they have a predisposition for a condition due to degraded capability, if exposed to the right environment, the defective gene may be responsible for the patient becoming ill. A Genomic SNP is like a crack in the foundation of a bridge. With nutrigenomic testing, we are able to identify the cracks in the foundation before they present as disease. Then with personalized, precision medicine, we can help patients avoid disease.
We have partnered with GX Sciences as our nutrigenomics provider because GX is backed by far by the most science and their approach allows us to more specifically target the SNPs that are having the most impact on the health of the patient. Importantly, the Chief Medical Science Officer for GX is the world renowned Kendal Stewart, MD. He is a board-certified Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery specialist, Neurotologist and Neuro-immune specialist. He has done pioneering research in the field of nutrigenomics and has led Gx to a leadership position in the space. Specifically, GX helps us to:
- Determine each patient’s unique genetic-based metabolic weaknesses
- Determine which of the SNPs are material and therefore need to be supported
- Provide a science-based algorithm that guides the practitioner to the targeted interventions and supplements and the proper timing of delivery
Further, Gx is using the latest research. Consider that the research supporting the role of CTLA4 as a braking mechanism on other T- Cells just won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2018. Here is a link to the article: https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/2018/press-release/
Clearly, GxSciences is on the leading-edge of medicine and we are pleased to partner with them.
What is Personalized Precision Medicine?
Personalized, Precision Medicine is treatment that we deliver by providing the right medication, targeted nutraceuticals and dietary guidance at the right time, in the right amounts based on your genetic profile, laboratory results and symptomatic expression. Consider that if a patient has a methylation deficiency and significant inflammation, adding methylfolate (which is the right ingredient) without first addressing inflammation (wrong time) will almost always make them sicker. It is like baking a cake that has a specific order of ingredients and all you know is the ingredients without the order. Without the proper order, you don’t the intended result.
Personalized Precision Medicine doesn’t stop with understanding genetic weaknesses/SNPs and treating patients to help them avoid disease or recover from disease, but we can also use your genetics to help you get the optimal benefit from needed medications and avoid many adverse impacts. The field of science that studies drug to human interactions based on the human genome is called Pharmaco Genomic testing, otherwise known as PGx. This refers to a type of genetic test to predict a patient’s likelihood to experience an adverse event or not respond to a given drug. Genetic variation in metabolism may result in high concentrations of drugs and an increased risk of adverse effects in slow metabolizers, which is important when using, for example, antidepressants or pain medication. Just as there are known drug-drug interactions, there are also known drug-gene interactions. Pharmacogenomics is the study of how a person’s genes affect their response to specific medications.
With our partner GxSciences, we can provide you with a PGx report that we will certainly use if we find it necessary to recommend any medications but you can also share this with you PCP and other providers to help them make the best decisions for your health as well. It will help not only with determine the right medication, but also with dosing since if by genetics you are a fast metabolizer or a slow metabolizer, this has significant impact on dosing.
How do I get started with Personalized Precision Medicine with Proactive Wellness Centers?
There are several starting points to working with PWC in get your own clinical plan that is driven by our our Personalized Precision Medicine approach, depending on whether you are presenting with disease already or presenting as a well patient trying to avoid disease. Read on below to understand some of our starting points.
Comprehensive Initial Assessment with Foundation Genetics $900 (includes the genetic test)
This is our Comprehensive Initial Assessment (CIA) with foundation genetics. For the CIA, patients register inclusive of filling detailed health information, then we follow that with a lab order for standard and advanced disease markers and we will send you the genetic kit for you to swab and submit directly to the lab. Foundation genetics is for our well patients seeking to optimize, and it includes 22 SNPs that cover methylation (MTHFR and related variants), vitamin d transport, detoxification weakness, mitochondrial weakness and some immune SNPs. When the results are back, you will meet with the our Medical Director for 2 hours to review your lab and genetic results, discuss your diagnosis and treatment plan.
Note that that pricing for this option assumes that you have insurance to cover the standard blood labs.
Foundation Genetics Only $425 with 30-minute visit to review genetic report only
This option is for patients that just want the nutrigenomics report only along with a 30-minute visit to review the result. This option includes genetic recommendations but will not include a detailed treatment plan discussion since we will not have labs to provide the necessary context.
Pharmacogenomic Testing Only $450 with 30-minute visit to review report only
This option is for patients that want the pharmacogenetics report only along with a 30-miute visit to review the results. This option does not include a detailed treatment plan discussion.