We are one of only a few Physiotherapists in the world who can determine the correct diet, training and rehabilitation treatment program according to your unique genetic make-up.
DNA are the building blocks that make up every cell in your body and determine who you are.
Through our partnership with a world leading laboratory in genetics and DNA research, we are able to conduct advanced DNA testing, eliminate the guess work and assist you to achieve your maximum genetic potential.
Your individual DNAFit PLUS report dives into the following key areas:
- Power and Endurance Response
- Post-Exercise Recovery Profile
- Injury Risk Profile
- Aerobic Trainability (VO2 Max)
- Recovery Nutrition Needs
- Ideal Diet Guide and Education
- Carbohydrate and Saturated Fat Response
- Lactose Intolerance & Coeliac Risk
- Genes associated with Detoxification Ability
- Genes associated with Antioxidant Needs
- Genes associated with Vitamin & Micronutrient Need
- Salt, Caffeine & Alcohol Sensitivity
Collecting the DNA sample:
Collecting the DNA sample will be taken as a scraping from the inside of your cheek onto a sterile swab.
The sample will then be sent to our laboratories in London for analysis.
The test results will be available in 2-3 weeks.
The cost of the test is £249.
The Science explained
We are all different and this is mainly due to our genes. There are the differences that we all see like eyes and hair colour, but then there are the differences inside – how we metabolise nutrients for example, the way we deal with toxins – we all interact with the environment in our own unique way.
Genetically we are almost identical, but in each gene there are points of variation, the most common type being a single base change at a particular position – this variation is called a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism, or SNP (pronounced SNIP). It is the collection of these small differences that affect who we are and define our individuality – but genes are not all, they don’t work alone and they don’t determine everything about us. Genes interact with our environment – and modifying the environment modifies our “phenotype” – the way we are (e.g. a fair skinned person will only suffer from sunburn if she/he stays in the sun too long). Because we have some control over our environment we can have some control on our destiny, we are not slaves to our genes, and the biggest “environment” is our diet and our lifestyle.
A healthy diet contributes to a long and healthy life, but exactly what is a healthy diet? Is it the same for everyone? No. One size does not fit all and one diet, or one “Recommended Daily Dose” does not suit all. Nutrigenetics involves the study of how individual genetic variation affects interaction with components of the diets, including micro & macronutrients and toxins. Genetic variation has been demonstrated to affect uptake, transport, metabolism and elimination of food components and also affects individual daily requirements for some essential nutrients. Indeed there has been good evidence available for at least 10 years that:
With the identification of polymorphisms, or common mutations, in vitamin metabolism, large percentages of the population may have higher requirements for specific vitamins.Prof. Rima Rozen, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 76(2), 301–2 (2002). Healthy eating is not as straightforward! Nutrigenetic studies assess how genes & diet (and sometimes lifestyle) interact, where the effect of one component is dependent on the status of the other. A classic example is the Lactase (LCT) gene and lactose intolerance.
The other version of the gene leads to lactose intolerance – infants can digest lactose but as they get older, usually between 5-8 years old, the gene that produces lactase slows down, much less enzyme is produced and lactase is not digested properly.It is utilised by bacteria in the intestines, creating a type of fermentation process and gas production which causes mild to severe gastric symptoms in the affected person. The important point about lactose intolerance is that it is only a problem when lactose containing products are consumed – as long as no, or only small amounts, of lactose are consumed then the individual can lead a perfectly normal life, in fact lactose intolerance is the normal state – the vast majority of the world’s population can only tolerate lactose during the early years of infancy, while feeding on the mother’s milk.
Many, many studies have shown that people with the T variant, especially if they are homozygous 677TT (i.e. they received the same T version from both mother and father) require higher levels of folic acid in order to keep homocysteine levels within the normal range (homocysteine is a biomarker that is assessed as a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases). Other genes analysed in the nutrigenetic test are involved in various metabolic systems including lipid metabolism (saturated fats, MUFA, PUFA, cholesterol), removal of oxidative stress products, removal of toxins (e.g. from airborne pollution, cigarette smoke, grilled meat, etc), glucose and insulin control, inflammatory processes, utilization of vitamin D and calcium.
Nutrigenetics can be used to modify existing standard guidelines and provide an element of personalisation to the otherwise “one size fits all” advice. It can be beneficial when it is added to other information such as gender, height, weight, age, state of health etc., it is not used in isolation nor does it override other parameters. Nutrigenetics is part of everyday nutrition – it is not specifically therapeutic and does not depend on the use of nutraceuticals or supplements. In general use it is not intended for specific disease prevention but as an aid in optimising diet and lifestyle for promoting long term health based on the best evidence that is available. Nutrigenetic, and indeed nutritional advice in general, is useful for maintaining health and its primary purpose is not for treating disease.
Health professionals routinely evaluate a range of biological data (biomarkers, height, weight, gender, ethnicity, health issues, etc.) when formulating personalised diets and it is entirely logical that genotype should also be included where the evidence is sufficient. This is the case for the genes GSTT1 and GSTM1, subjects of well studied gene–diet interaction with cruciferous vegetables, which were shown to be associated with reduced lung cancer in GSTT1- and GSTM1-null individuals, but not in individuals who had working copies of both genes (Brennan et al.2005).
Other authors have demonstrated gene–diet-dependent effects on reduced DNA damage (Palli et al.2004), reduced prostate cancer risk (Steinbrecher et al.2010), and increased levels of GST alpha (Lampe et al. 2000). These interactions among genotype, cruciferous vegetables, and lung cancer risk have also been confirmed in a systematic analysis (Lam et al. 2009).
When it comes to DNA, understanding our genes is indeed an extremely important step, but in itself it is no more so than our environment – how we live, eat and exercise for example: A champion athlete arrives at the gold medal through not just natural talent, but in most cases also a lifetime of sacrifice, hard training, mental strength, appropriate nutrition and ultimately, a little bit of luck too! This being said, even with all the elements in the right place, someone like Usain Bolt would never have become a champion long distance runner like Haile Gebreselassie, or indeed vice versa. It is within the auspicious crossover area where environment and genetics overlap that our goals are reached, and this is an oft-overlooked aspect in the new era of personal genetics. The majority of our phenotypes are not determined by solely genes or environment, but by both.
Genetic knowledge that we do have, that which has been accumulated over many years of research, can now be applied, bringing benefits to everyone from elite athletes to occasional exercisers alike – provided of course that it is used correctly, not in isolation but together with other biological and physiological information.
Taking the sum of the data regarding physical performance genetics it is possible to assess where this information could be useful and where the evidence suggests that a training regime, for example, could be modified in a personalized way – genetic results can be interpreted to give an idea of what is more likely to be the most effective strategy. Currently a personal trainer will consider various parameters when assessing a client, including height, weight, sex, age, fitness level, strength, body composition, etc., before advising on a suitable exercise routine, which will also be influenced by the desired goals. All of these contribute probabilistic data to help establish what is most likely, as far as we know, to be the optimal routine for an individual.
Now, we have reached a point where personal genetics can be added to this mix. It is not claimed to be any more or indeed any less useful than the already commonly used parameters, but it becomes an important part of the picture with the obvious intended outcome that including genetics increases the chance of finding the optimal training routine quicker, with less trial and error. Both trainer and individual will monitor progress and modify training routines according to the results – this iterative process is no different when genetics is added. In fact this is one of the advantages of sports genetics over other types of personal genetics (such as disease risk prediction,) the results can be seen and acted upon immediately.
Many studies have assessed the effects of individual and groups of genes on power vs. endurance performance. They have most often looked at the frequency of particular genetic variations in elite power and endurance athletes reporting on associations found, of which a few have been confirmed and attempts have been made to use genetics to predict performance in power or endurance sports, with some success.
From the data so far we can conclude that genes do influence physiological (and probably mental) processes that contribute to power vs. endurance potential, but that in themselves their predictive power is not sufficient to determine what sport a particular individual may excel in. As such the science is certainly not at a stage where personal genetics should be advocated as a method of talent selection, or indeed as a means to choose a goal. Rather, it should be used to appropriately individualise training and nutrition strategies to better reach a desired goal, whatever that goal may be.
This genetic information can be useful to inform and guide training – by scoring the genes for which repeated evidence is available it is possible to estimate whether an individual may be biased towards endurance or power. The same sort of process can be applied to other areas of sports performance such as VO2max capability, resting heart rate, maximal heart rate, recovery times and fatigue.