By Scott Sedlacek, OD
Science is evolving rapidly and proving that proper nutrition does in fact lead to overall health and wellness. With advanced science we now know what “proper” is, and that “proper” is different for each individual. We are now able to manipulate the expression of our genes with the principles of Epigenetics, which involves food choice, targeted nutraceuticals, hormones, and lifestyle. It is becoming clear that DNA testing, Nutrigenomics, and Epigenetics represent the future of true health care.
Both doctors and patients crave this approach because it is precise and empowering. DNA testing gives one information about how their cells are affected by food (Nutrigenomics) and what the cells in their body are missing. With this precise information a personalized epigenetic care plan can be used to change the expression of genes. We can truly prevent eye disease by telling our patients what to eat, and more importantly what not to eat, along with which targeted nutraceuticals are required to optimize their cellular physiology.
The Human Genome Project began in 2003 and was an amazing feat of exploration. Researchers set out to sequence all the genes that make up a human being and completed it in only 10 years. Why should Optometrists be interested in this? Because that project has opened our eyes to a better understanding of what it takes to prevent and better treat specific diseases, including eye diseases. As it turns out, we have a significant amount of control over our health once we map out our genes.
A Single Nucleotide Polymorphism, or SNP (pronounced snip) is a common genetic variation that acts as a marker associated with a certain metabolic problem or disease. In the past we relied upon population studies to guide our recommendations to patients to treat only their symptoms. Today, science is better than that. We are able to guide our patient’s health by getting to the root cause of their disease with a DNA test that consists of a simple cheek swab and takes less than a minute.
How DNA tests may guide our treatment and benefit our patients:
- Age more slowly
- Experience a higher quality of life through preventive strategies
- Know EXACTLY which foods and nutrients are needed to support our cells
- Reduce Inflammation
- Support our detoxification pathways
- Understand our hormones and if they are metabolizing properly
- Effectively manage mental and emotional stress
Epigenetics is the science of factors that influence our genes. Those factors include food, targeted nutraceuticals, hormones, and lifestyle. Nutrigenomics is the science of how food can alter our genetic expression and prevent chronic disease including cancer. Food is medicine and can be viewed as a “FARMmacy” of chemical compounds that interact with our DNA in a positive or negative way. Many landmark studies exist that demonstrate how food alters our genes. Prevention begins by gathering genetic knowledge. To attain overall health and wellness, DNA testing, Nutrigenomics, and Epigenetics are emerging as the best strategy.
To learn more register at www.xrmd.com/od
Photo: Copyright: eteimaging / 123RF Stock Photo
Dr. Scott Sedlacek is a forward-thinking optometrist who began practicing in 1998. He owns The Eye Place, a private practice in Olmsted Falls, Ohio. In 2012 he became the Director of Optometry for xR, an innovative telehealth company that deploys personalized medicine into doctor’s offices. Dr. Sedlacek was the first Optometrist to fully embrace and implement a personalized approach to treat and prevent ocular and non-ocular illness with genetic testing and precise epigenetic care plans. He believes this valuable approach to overall wellness may allow Optometry to thrive in emerging models of health care. Contact: SLSedlacek@yahoo.com More information: www.xrmd.com/od