Are You Reaching Your Genetic Potential?
“Anti-aging” was once a label reserved for face creams, but has managed over the past couple of decades to creep into the Zeitgeist as the consummate buzzword for cosmetic products on the market. Everyone is chasing the elusive youthful glow, youthful energy, and of course, the youthful body. But as the culture emphasis on health and wellness grows, we’re slowly realizing that it’s not the prevention of aging, but the enhancement of genetic possibilities that matters. It’s not anti-aging, but healthy aging that matters.
THE SCIENCE OF DNA
Every cell in the human body contains DNA. The DNA chain is comprised of 23 little bundles called chromosomes, which make our genome. Our genes determine our physical characteristics and traits. With developments in DNA testing, our specific genetic tendencies—the tendency towards a disease or disorder, our weight and fat storage tendencies, etc.—can be forecasted with a high level of certainty.
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT HOW I AGE?
A significant player in the retardation of aging is a focus on telomeres, tiny segments of DNA on the end of our chromosomes. Telomeres are frequently compared to the plastic caps on the end of shoelaces, protecting the lace—or in this instance, the chromosome, from fraying. When fraying does occur, genetic information is affected via cells. This cellular malfunction can augment the risk of disease and/or shorten our lives.
As we age chronologically, telomeres shorten naturally—until there’s no more telomere at all. Once cells are without telomeres, the body begins to breakdown in various respects. Therefore, the length of our telomeres is vastly important.
CAN WE LENGTHEN TELOMERES?
All hope isn’t lost if telomeres are shortening at a rapid pace. Some are hopeful about the identification of Telomerase, an enzyme that lengthens telomeres and protects them from premature damage. The replacement of this enzyme, which does in fact lengthen telomeres, is also hotly debated since side effects include the growth of existing tumors.
Fortunately, other things can be done to lengthen telomeres, however, and they include less invasive things like enjoying a diet high in antioxidant foods, controlling stress levels, and exercising.
One particularly effective combatant to the negative affects of aging is GxReneW, described as "an innovative...program that utilizes your genetic profile to provide nutrient, food, activity and lifestyle recommendations to keep you looking and feeling young longer".
GxRenew and programs like it place emphasis where Brentwood Center for Wellness would have it: on natural solutions to health challenges, including optimal aging. In a culture that has grown to rely on replacement of what the body misses (collagen, cartilage, telomeres), BCFW believes in the revitalization and optimization of what we naturally possess. In the long run, "juicing up" what’s already inside goes farther than anything added unnaturally.
THE BOTTOM LINE
DNA is a probability game and genes and genetic possibilities vary from person to person. Because we’re all different genetically, blanket rules don’t apply: What a product or procedure does for one person might be vastly different for another. The beauty of DNA testing’s glorious evolution is that it’s now possible to collect enough data to truly understand an individual’s fundamental DNA, and this transcends purely cosmetic considerations.
Functional medicine professionals can now understand and communicate genetic makeup regarding health, allowing them to address problems before they arise. They can also understand, utilizing the genetic profile procured from Metabolic DNA Testing, how patients can employ nutrition, activity, and lifestyle recommendations to age gracefully and live longer. By gaining a true comprehension of an individual’s genetic code and its strengths and fallibilities, respective genetic potential can be maximized via DNA-based lifestyle recommendations.