The infinite game of health optimisation

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The infinite game of health optimisation

Have you ever seen the preparation of a Formula 1 car before a race?

How many adjustments are being made? How many trials?

 

To be honest, I don't know much about cars.

I may have changed a tire once or twice or made sure the oil levels never ran out but otherwise left the rest to the experts.

But if you want a car to perform optimally, I know it requires a lot of fine tuning and engineering.

Just like most of us treat our car, this is how we treat our bodies, we only going for a tuneup when things break down.

If you would need to go for a long trip, which would you choose?

Would you go for a 40 years old non-serviced car or would you prefer to go with the constantly updated and fine tuned car?

Your body has its own warning signals just like your car. Those signals which we call symptoms are not to be ignored but unfortunately we tend to switch off those signals and get on with our busy lives.

But would you ignore the red light of your car indicating low oil or water, switch it off and get on with your road trip? If you did, no doubt you are heading into a costly breakdown. There is no difference when it comes to your body.

Did you ever slow down and realise how you feel before getting sick?

Our bodies send signals when there's an issue but if we don't understand the warning signs or how to fix them you may run towards the breakdown

 

Here are few signs from your body that you should take as a warning light and what the appropriate preventive actions are that you should take.

1.Running out of fuel?

Each body will metabolise and transports certain vitamins and minerals in its unique way.

Some people might be good at transporting and absorbing key nutrients, while others may struggle.

If you're experiencing low energy, you may want to check your levels.

You may simply be a poor metaboliser of vitamin B12. In that case, you may need to increase supplementation or eat more B12-rich foods like mackerel or dark greens when it comes to your nutrition.

Lifestyle recommendation such as hiking and exploration can be amazing mood booster too, triggering neurotransmitters like dopamine, endorphins and noradrenaline

How to fine tune before even the symptom shows up?

Certain warnings can be pre-written in your genetic make up. Certain genes like the MTHFR & COMT gene will have an impact on how your Vitamin B12 is being absorbed. People with a homozygous variant of the gene, should levels up their folate intake the diet and make sure to adjust their lifestyle accordingly with outdoors activities and any other mood boosting tricks.

2.Too many scratches on the bumper?

Fine tune your exhaustion system for optimal functionality and performance.

Your exhaustion system is a two-way process that we like to call detoxification. The first phase involves enzymes know as activators; they activate the substance that needs to be removed, allowing the next phase to proceed. The enzymes that take over from phase 1 are called excretors because they catalyse reactions leading to the excretion of toxins from the body.

Just like the exhaustion system of a car, your detoxification pathway are crucial for you to work optimally

If you feel you often have skin reactions or get rash of nowhere? Or maybe that you sometimes experience headaches for no apparent reasons? Does it take you a full day or two to recover from an evening drinking with your friends? These are signs that your detox system is overwhelmed and needs a little boost.

One important gene is GTSM1: in the absence of this enzyme, your body's ability to detox is undermined. Therefore, there is a higher risk of certain types of cancer, cardiovascular diseases or even lung deficiency (especially in smokers).

It can also lead to greater levels of free radicals, increased fatigue and slower recovery from exercise.

To optimise your exhaust system, consuming copious amounts of cruciferous vegetables such as: broccoli, cauliflower, other members of the cabbage family, as well as allium vegetables (garlic, red onions etc.)  Bioavailable DIM as a supplement can be added to improve this crucial bodily process and switch it back on to work optimally.

3.On the verge of burning out?

Do you feel you are too stressed out or your body is too often inflamed?

Oxidative stress is caused by a stressful lifestyle and results in more free radicals in your body - which are a normal by-product of the body's energy generating biochemical processes. Think of it like a car; when fuel (petrol) is burned to create energy, the by-product is the CO2 released by the exhaust is the same process. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules and can damage DNA, proteins and cellular membranes as much as the CO2 is damaging our atmosphere's membrane.

Anti-oxidants are free radical scavengers that interact with free radicals to ensure it's no longer a reactive molecule.  Anti-oxidants are found naturally in the body in the form of enzymes but can also be consumed in a wide variety of foods, especially fruit and vegetables as well as green tea and red wine.

The SOD2 enzyme destroys the radicals produced within cells. There is evidence that people without the variant (and with a lower consumption of fruit and vegetables) have an increased risk of developing diseases including the risk of developing certain types of cancer.

Food rich in antioxidants help in supporting the eradication of excess free radicals in the body.  Food rich in antioxidants include: all purple, red and yellows, grapes, blueberries, aubergines etc. Fresh beetroot juice in particular can have a dramatic effect on nitric oxide production. This should help to preserve vascular health and you should find considerable exercise benefits go hand in hand with a cup of fresh beetroot juice pre-workout. Adding antioxidant supplementation (due to the depletion of our food as a result of mass production and other environmental factors) is such that food alone is usually not enough to meet our nutritional requirements.

4.Prevent the mechanical breakage. Are you prone to too many injuries?

Your bone and tendons health depends on many factors that you can control. Our bones are not a fixed structure. Our cells work continuously to dissolve old bone and create new bone tissue. After the age of 30, both men and women start losing bone mass; the loss is particularly marked in women after menopause. According to latest research, both nutrition and genetic factors play an important role in determining bone health.

To prevent the breakdown, a high calcium and magnesium diet is your best bet. Regularly lifting weight will also help in preventing bone mass loss.

It is time to really put the seat belt on.

There was a time where we did not have the option of a seatbelt. Many lives that had been lost could have been prevented.

When it comes to disease prevention, we have access to so much more knowledge than we have ever had.

Not using this information is like driving without a seatbelt just because that's how people used to do it. It doesn't make sense to ignore all this new information and technology that are available to us now which can help optimise your health and wellness. We now have the ability to create a personalised relationship with our own physiology. It is time to tune in and be part of this preventative revolution that is happening now. It makes no sense nowadays to drive the old car without a cleared MOT, when you can drive the latest, fully serviced and upgraded version personalised to your needs.

Don't think of food as a simple source of energy, a simple fuel. Think of it as a complex variety of functional "tools" to repair, build, support and enhance your key biological processes. It is important to understand that the food you eat today, will have an impact on your future. Nutrition is your fuel and tool for tomorrow. The growing and fascinating world of Nutrigenomics is constantly proving how important your food choices are in determining your health, by sending the right message to your genes.

Learn further on how to Crack your health code here

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9 reasons to rethink your health reality

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9 reasons to rethink your health reality

In my book, “Cracking Your Health Code”, I explain, in the first part of the book,  how we are on the brink of a new health order. The book speaks about how our current model is failing, causing 9 out of 10 of us to die mostly of preventable diseases, despite the advancement in research and technology and the growing access to information at our fingertips.

Just like our school system tests our memory more than intelligence, our health system is waiting for us to be sick to then try to cure us with chemicals.

However, times have changed and the choice is yours to change with it.

What If you could choose any health model you want, would you not choose one that works for you? One that deliver results and makes you happy? One that removes the guesswork and offers the support you need to reach your goal, one that educates you instead of leaving you in the dark?

On the one hand, there is the standard societal procedure, a system that is locked up and governed by powerful institutions. On the other hand, a more flexible and adaptive approach evaluating with its time founded by real science. There is another perspective that has been proven to work better in addressing the disease of our civilisation, offering hope in solving our health problems.

1.From infectious disease to chronic illness

We are reaching our limits, we are played by diseases we have to battle constantly. Our modern medicine is failing to address that issue, despite the growing financial and social burden that it is estimated to reach £40 billion within a decade, enough to put any country to its knees.

We are facing an all new problem; chronic illness. Our current strategy and system to treat chronic illnesses is not adapted to tackle this dilemma. Our understanding of chronic illnesses, of it’s origins and causes, are not investigated in our current health system.

The global health system is in no way ready to tackle this epidemic. We instead have a sophisticated medical infrastructure to address infectious diseases and acute care: sharpened like a weapon. If you get injured or have an infection, you go to the hospital or to see you doctor, you get cured or fixed and leave the establishment with prescription in hand. From the training of the doctors to the insurance institutions, everything is geared up to treat accidents and infectious illnesses. Unfortunately, this pill for an ill system is no way suited to address the pandemic of chronic illnesses that is now the first cause of death in this world.

 2. From status quo to the awakening movement.

The growing concern of chronic illness comes from the realisation that the health system in place is not solving the issue. We are conscious that the risk is grand. More and more we try to take care of ourselves and so a health movement is born. We are also becoming more and more aware of powerful institutions that are contributing to making us ill. We were so disconnected with our healththat companies started to practically poison our food, our environment with products we use daily with chemical directly linked with the development of cancers or other nasty physiological imbalances.

Slowly though, some people began waking up, strengthening healthy and organic eating and denouncing the practice of the food industry. This is only going to get stronger as public opinion is now too big too ignore, slowly progressing in implementing laws that protect our health.

3. From standardised and reactive sick care to a more personalised and preventative approach.

The rise of functional medicine that treats key physiological processes as a whole is on the rise. These medicines focus on the source of imbalance instead of treating a symptom. Many doctors, for some put away from the current system they work in have moved to a more functional approach, Applying a more personalised approach and nutritional concepts.

4.From no health data to the quantify self movement.

Thanks to the acceleration of technologies and the growing access to information at our fingertips, we can now track a lot more than steps. We now have the ability to gear ourselves up with all sorts of devises to measure all sorts of biological processes and biomarkers from heart rate to blood pressure - even glucose level. Home kits for blood checks are now becoming available and soon to become the new norm. Lots of people now go to their GP with data from third parties. We are now entering an era of democratised medicine, where we have immediate access to our own data and can generate much of it allowing us to be in the driving seat of our own health.

5.From physiology only to physiology and emotional connection.

The current ‘modern’ system is in no way implementing lifestyle medicine. In fact, in the U.S., a doctor giving nutrition or lifestyle recommendations without giving any prescription can lose his licence. This is despite one of the most common issues around, high blood pressure, which can be completely eradicated within weeks by a simple change in diet and lifestyle.

Today, private practitioners and functional medicine practitioners are reestablishing the connection between the mental-emotional self and the physical self

How many friends do you have who practice yoga? What about meditation? Now think back, 10 years ago. How many people did you know by then who practiced these activities?

Spirituality and the emotional world were for too long for the mystic people that were not complying for the current system. Nowadays I talk to busy CEO that would not miss their meditation session in the fear of burning out again and lose control over their physiology.  Now companies are providing meditation to their employees. Even schools are teaching the young how to meditate.

Numerous studies have shown that the daily practice of gratitude affect the following areas:

Better sleep, less depression, a reduction in anxiety and lower blood pressure, higher energy and greater meaning to life.

 6. From doomed to the quest of health system optimisation

For too long we have heard the story that "if we get sick it is bad luck". As long that it is wired in our brains it will influence our behaviour to be passive towards our health.

We now understand that a disease isn’t genetic and that your genes are not your fate!

It isn’t because you have certain predisposition to a disease that you will necessarily develop it. The results of the development of degenerative diseases is the miscommunication between our genes and our lifestyle, diet and environment. Knowing what your genes are will help you to adjust and reestablish that communication. You can then learn on how to make the changes that counts and optimise your health accordingly.

7. From quick fixes to sustainability.

The one-size-fits-all system brought the culture of the ‘hit' and ‘quick-fix’ that creates trends. In this context, there is a new miracle product, diet every week to feed our appetite. However, many health experts are now turning back to the basics of health and wellness by adding a layer of personalisation to offer a long lasting plan that works over the long term. This new methodology is inn contrast by thequick fix that offers quick results from restriction that cannot be maintained or can even be dangerous in the long term. Most people now recognise this though as we have naturally become reluctant to buy when it involves a fitness model and a product attached to a price tag.

8.Back to real food

Organic food is a basic of health optimisation. However, it isn’t mainstream. Food production is one of the basic fundamentals of our society. If we change our mindset, our eating habit and our way of consuming, corporations will have to respond and adapt to a new market.

We can already see the small farmer getting back to being relevant to the whole chain of production. Many options of growing your own plants and seeds inside your home are becoming available.

9. From isolated movement to the power of the community.

The arrogance of the old system has for too long made us believe that health should only be within the hand of the white coats backed up with the powerful institution behind them.  -when doctors are are exceptional to save our life from accident and infectious diseases.-

Succumbing to chronic illnesses is something which we can all easily avoid. It all starts by being educated in self-health and having access to all the technology that still need to be made available mainstream.

One thing that we know and can learn from the history of our civilisation; nothing is as quick to make the change than the change in the public opinion.

There is a new health order fuelled by a growing awakening that being healthy is our right and our responsibility. Who created this health model? Why are we not taught to take control of our health at school? isn’t it an essential area of our life?

it is time to accelerate that process by embracing the new health order. It all start with you by making the right changes and being proactive towards your health. we now have the tools and access to all information to do so.

Being healthy do not require the complexity, as it is for sure complex to treat or cure a disease, and for most of the time it fails… , however being healthy is easy… and should be our natural way.

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How can you protect your body from cell damage?

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How can you protect your body from cell damage?

Your body is a fine tuned machine that is constantly repairing the damages caused by the environment in which it lives. Your cells turn your experience into biology.

One of the key processes of your body is inflammation. This process has become one of the most vilified biological processes and its reputation is not entirely misguided.

Inflammation is part of the natural, biological healing process. Exercising is in itself actually very destructive at first in the process; breaking down muscle to then get rebuilt bigger or stronger. You may know the feeling or soreness a few days after a workout that makes you proud and reassures you of a good workout. This soreness is in fact inflammation that helps repair the muscle fibres caused by exercising.

This is good news because if you don’t generate some form of inflammatory response during exercise, you probably haven’t gone hard enough. This is the good kind of inflammation that only sticks around until its job is done and the tissue is healed. Still, the inflammation from working out also produces free radicals—the same kind you hear about entering your body from environmental pollutants, cigarette smoke, and even medications.

Exercise: The good and the bad kind of inflammation.

Despite the fact that hitting the gym hard can initiate inflammation in order to heal your damaged muscle fibres, exercise actually activates anti-inflammatory molecules as well, so staying healthy is one of the best ways to reduce it overall.

A large amount of this responsibility falls on ‘cytokines’ — substances secreted by your immune cells that directly affect other cells.

Meet IL6 gene :

In particular, one cytokine called interleukin 6 (IL-6) plays a big role. We are all different when it comes to how IL6 gene expresses within somebody where some of us would be more prone to chronic inflammation than others.

The people with a high impact of this gene must include anti-inflammatory foods in their diet when training hard.

The bad type of inflammation.

When the inflammation does not turn off, it is called chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been linked to all sort of long term disease development.

Chronic inflammation is the result of excess free radicals in your body which can cause oxidative damage to your cell membranes and DNA.

Most of the time you don’t have to worry about this because a healthy body has several ways to protect itself from this harm.

However if your diet isn’t the healthy type, you may add even more stress on your body amplifying the inflammation response.

What not to eat :

Added sugars and refined flour will initiate inflammation in pretty much everyone. Any process food have been associated to create an inflammation response.

Furthermore food intolerances, the most common being, lactose, sodium and PUFA metabolism (polyunsaturated fatty acid) also linked to ignite chronic inflammation.

Genes such as MCM6 for lactose intolerance, ACE, AGT gene for sodium intolerance and FADS1 for Puffa metabolism will indicate following their variation, whether or not you are intolerant. Many people take their bloating and slump during the day for granted, when it maybe the symptom of a food sensitivity. In the UK, there is an estimated 70% lactose intolerance. However, less than half of these people know about it and carry on with their daily morning latte. Even switching to a simple alternative like almond milk could make their day much more enjoyable.

What to eat to control your inflammation?

There are certain foods that tamp down inflammation by interrupting it at the cellular level.

For instance, eating whole grains every day, inclusion of fruits, roots like ginger, vegetables, spices like turmeric as well as lean proteins low in saturated fat is recommended to help your body cope and prevent from chronic inflammation.

Omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in fish and seafood, also lower inflammatory markers.

In general, a more plant-based plate helps to lower inflammation since more meat has been linked to increased inflammation.

Go pineapple.

With more than 1,600+ articles evaluating the medicinal benefits of bromelain found in pineapples, it deserves a shot! Bromelain is literally true medicine! It is thought to have many health benefits including aiding digestion, treating dermatological disorders, and being anti-carcinogenic but also one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory agents.

If you are training hard, bromelain can also help soothe and relaxes tense, inflammed muscles and connective tissue. The healing power of this enzyme is truly remarkable. You can juice it up with pineapple post training, it will help for your recovery!

Increasing your antioxidant intake will provide added protection for the body against damage.

While we can't stop free radical production, antioxidant vitamins such as vitamins C, D and E work to protect membranes and can hedge against them.

Artichokes have a really high antioxidant content. Cinnamon contains large amounts of highly potent antioxidants such as polyphenols. Pomegranate contain punicalagins that are extremely powerful antioxidants

Reduce inflammation the holistic way

In the traditional Hindu system of medicine Ayuveridc, which is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and uses diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing. One recipes is particularly efficient.  Golden milk has been proven to lower the inflammation and prevent from chronic inflammation, here is the recipes for you.

Is your recovery strategy taking inflammation and oxidative stress into account?

Be in touch if you want to find out more

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The Genetic of Sleep

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The Genetic of Sleep

The Big Picture of Sleep.

We all know how important sleep is for optimum functionality throughout the day. However, to make the most of what ,historically, was called the little death, is becoming more and more of an issue in our demanding lifestyle.  

Not getting enough sleep will, overtime, affect all areas of your life. We now hear a lot about it and are promised that all the fixes are coming: we now have new gadgets can tell us what we are doing incorrectly. Sleep isn't just what we do when we are not doing anything: It is a market. A massive and trendy economy that is selling something we cannot live without.

Before buying the latest devices that promise you a good night sleep, let's take a look at the basics.

How lack of sleep will make you run on autopilot which may lead to making poor choices.

When sleep deprived, we are losing glucose in our brain, which is the fuel of the brain. In other words, we are running low on brain power or becoming less intelligent. This is why we tend not to eat well when we are tired (sugary things). We have this innate mechanism to get glucose back into the system.

In primitive times, being low in brain power meant you were not quick enough to make decision that could save your life from a predator or have enough energy to hunt and gather the food you need for survival.

Although today's life is very different but a simple trip to the refrigerator is all you need for a quick fix.

So if you're tired, you will no longer be in charge. Your brain's survival instinct will kick in and it will remember that ice cream hidden in your freezer and make you do it! The next thing you know, you've finished the entire pot of Ben & Jerry's cookie dough wondering what just happened. You are left with that feeling of guilt, all the while without realising you were set up for relapse in the first place.

But it is time to sleep smarter and better.

Sleep is the secrets sauce. The exponential multiplier that puts together all the things you do during the day.

Sleep depravation is directly related to not losing weight and in the long term may contribute greatly to the development of degenerative diseases

One night of sleep depravation is enough to make you insulin resistant just like someone who has Type 2 diabetes. Sleep deprivation increases risk of cancer to Alzheimer's and even heart disease.

A study conducted by the World Health Organisation conducted throughout a 14 year period on 657 men, found that the men with poor sleep quality were twice as likely to have a heart attack and up to 4 times more likely to have a stroke during the time of the study period.

Heart disease is one of biggest causes of death today, despite being totally preventable.

You are not alone. In the U.K., up to 60% of the population report having trouble sleeping every night or every other night. Studies has also shown that we sleep an average of 1.5 to 2 hours less than our ancestors great-grandparents did a century ago.

How did we get here and how can you improve your sleep?

First, we need to understand that sleep is the only way for the brain to fully regenerate: to unload the toxins caused by the trillions of biomechanical reactions it undertakes during the course of the day. Making sure you get your 7-8 hours of sleep is essential in order to maintain optimum health.

Remove the stress, reduce the cortisol.

Your circadian rhythm is influenced by your a hormone called cortisol. In a healthy human, cortisol should be high in the morning with the sunrise (helping you jump of the bed) and low in the evening to let melatonin kick in to induce you into a sound sleep. However for a lot of us, it does not happen that way.

Poor sleep and stress often come hand in hand. If your stress level are high all day because of work or any other trigger in your life, chances are your cortisol will stay high and a good night sleep may not be on schedule.

Meet the GR gene.

People with a high variant of this gene are more likely to suffer from chronic stress.

If this is you, make sure to implement a stress reduction strategy during the day. Simple breathing techniques or meditation has been proven to be really efficient in reducing cortisol levels.

Make it personal!

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Do you do your best work in the morning, winding down in the evening towards a relatively early bedtime? Or are you a night owl, tending to wake later and perhaps gaining in energy and focus as the day progresses, preferring to work and play in the evening hours?

PER1 gene is part of a group of genes that affects circadian rhythms.

These genes are strongly linked to circadian timing and to the tendency towards living as an owl or a lark.

We can all do ourselves a favour by paying attention to our natural tendencies for sleeping and waking, using this information to make our daily schedules work for both our sleep and our health.

Don't underestimate the blue light.

There is a small but growing body of literature suggesting that variations in the gene for melanopsin underlie how sensitive we are to blue light and how likely we are to go to bed late at night.

The primary function of melanopsin that we are concerned with is the response to blue light (and to a lesser degree to green light) by generating a signal that will let the brain know that it is daytime: time to shut down melatonin and increases cortisol levels. Or in other words, to turn on the physiological response associated with being awake and alert.

Knowing which gene variant you have could help you adapt accordingly. In any case, not using any electronic devices at least 2 hours prior to bed time and having some downtime or ritual prior to hitting the pillow is what I recommend.

Put that phone away, grab a good book, reconnect with your love ones and have a conversation. See the difference.

Research conducted in neurology shows that sleep plays a huge function of our DNA & RNA. The study reports that these epigenetic mechanisms are clearly regulated by the circadian clock.

The sleep will determine the quality of the copies that your DNA will print out of your body. Printing cells of a sexy beast or of a the cells of a wilder beast.

Which one do you want to be ?

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Your winning weight loss plan isn’t the latest secret. It’s personalised science.

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Your winning weight loss plan isn’t the latest secret. It’s personalised science.

You may have noticed earlier this year with all the New Year resolution trends, came the hundreds of quick fix and latest miracle diets and products on offer when it comes to weight loss.

The hit culture of the Top 5 or Top 10, once reserved to the music industry, is now well engrained in the health industry.

In one of the most popular TV reality shows, The Biggest Loser, it has been debugged that many of the contestants gained back some, if not all, of the weight lost during the program. To me, those results aren't surprising when you have studied what happens to the body and the brain after substantial weight loss on a short period of time.

It is a common pitfall. Most weight loss programs, including The Biggest Loser, focus on short-term, dramatic results and end up ignoring the incredibly complex biology of weight loss. Arrogantly thinking we can somehow outsmart our own brain with the restriction of a simple calorie equation; a brain that took millions of years to evolve with the goal of survival.

Your brain is smarter than this and it isn't about trying to find the quick fix but to calibrate it over time with science and hard work on yourself. There is no quick fix to sustainable weight loss.

The truth is that whether you like it or not, weight loss isn't a quick fix but a long-term, difficult process. The reality is most of the short term body transformation are doomed to fail in the long term.

When you lose a lot of weight quickly through restriction, your body starts working against your progress in ways that can be very difficult to overcome without the right support.

However, weight loss isn't impossible. Not only is weight loss one of the top three reasons people joined the GenSmart program, it is also often the most important thing they have done to optimise their wellness. Being overweight is an unhealthy state for the body which can further lead to the development of degenerative diseases.

So how do we approach things differently?

With a tailored program without a deadline but personalised milestones and rewards.

This is why the GenSmart methodology has its own scoring and tracking system as a base to personalised and sustainable weight loss.

GenSmart, the new weight-loss program launching in March, takes all the components of our wellness program and combines it with clinically-based, lifestyle altering strategies and behavioural changes around sustainable weight loss.

Our coaching methodology remains the same but is more geared towards weight loss.

It will be an intense experience and is only recommended for those who are ready to make a significant commitment to making the behavioural changes required for both losing weight, and then maintaining it over time.

So why the GenSmart program is different from other weight loss programs out there?

In the simplest terms possible, GenSmart focuses on the long-term rather than the short-term.

If you are looking to lose 10 pounds before a big event, this is not for you. GenSmart is ideal for those looking to make significant lifestyle changes to improve their weight and wellness in a sustainable manner.

The GenSmart program will combine 4 key measurements:

1. Genetics

2. Lifestyle

3. Blood sample

4. Gut health & microbiome.

GenSmart also sets itself apart by taking into account what is happening in your brain and physiology during a weight loss journey at a personalised level. We believe in bio-individuality and that your journey to health is not the same as someone's elses.

An intense training program and non-restrictive nutrition plan tailored to your need will be designed and reviewed overtime.

Diet changes are a huge component of weight loss. However, once the weight is lost, maintaining it becomes a whole other battle. This is where our behavioural, science-based program will be key to long-term success.

We will be anticipating the biological and mental hurdles to weight loss maintenance during the program and our GenSmart support team will be ready with clinically-based strategies to help participants overcome these obstacles.

GenSmart also takes into account your unique genetic makeup, using more than 50 genes to understand your potential risk for obesity while consuming certain diets - as well as your potential genetic propensity for craving sweets, for high Body Mass Index (BMI) or training responsiveness.

The wellness program based on genetics & training-only has already offered long lasting results for hundreds of our clients. Have a look at some of the testimonial here.

This new GenSmart Weight Loss program is set for success! 

Your odds of losing and maintaining weight are much better with science and behavioural support. While many weight loss programs offer group support, GenSmart offers a completely personal, one-on-one coaching solution.

Throughout the course of the year, each participant will work with a dedicated GenSmart Coach all of whom are Registered Nutritionists, dieticians, Sport Scientist and Psychologist.

Do you want to know more about this upcoming and revolutionising program?

Be in touch here and get a 30 min complementary consultation to hear more about the program details and introductory pricing.

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IS THE FUTURE OF YOUR HEALTH WRITTEN IN YOUR GENES?

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IS THE FUTURE OF YOUR HEALTH WRITTEN IN YOUR GENES?

People do genetic testing with all sorts of questions on their minds, but one of the most complicated is: what does tomorrowhold?

What we know now?

Our DNA plays a significant role in determining who we are, including how our bodies work. To some extent, we’re all at higher risk for some health conditions than others depending on the genes we have.

How your genes affect your health?

The most straightforward way people’s DNA can affect their health is through genetic conditions or rare disease like anemia or any other rare diseases, which are for the most discovered at a young age.

Whether or not someone has these conditions, itis purely determined by whether or not they inherit a defective copy of a specific gene. However those rare mutation that represent the very end of the tail.

When it comes to the deceases that represent the first cause of death they are mostly preventable.

How can we prevent common health conditions like heart disease and cancer?

One of the fundamental rule to know is thatyour genes are not your fate, when you can have gene variation that put you at higher risk to develop certain diseases.  It does not doom you in developing it!.

The development of these conditions has to do with a number of environmental factors.

For example, we know that high-cholesterol diets increase people’s risks for heart disease.

What's your risks?

However this is more of a true statement for people who have certain gene variation that makes High Cholesterol diet even more of a danger.

Here the High cholesterol diet can be thought of an environmental factor for heart disease.

These are people with more genetic risk factors associated with certain condition, please refer to the 7 keys of wellness here to find out more about what genes interact with what key are of your health.

Certain gene variants makes it more likely to develop a disease if there is a mismatch between the diet, environmental factor and lifestyle.

The key is to this is why it is important to fine tune our diet, lifestyle and environment to our genotype to re balance the dialogue between our environment and the expression of our genes.

The domino effect

As discussed earlier, someone’s genetic predisposition to a given disease involves many different genes working together. Each gene has a relatively small effect because so many other genes are also in play, but in combination all these genes increase or decrease risk for a certain disease.

In some cases, a single genetic change can significantly change how likely someone is to end up with a given health condition. Some examples are:

The APOE gene. People with two copies of a certain variant are 15 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

Some of the recommendation to readjust the dialogue this gene would be :

  • Strictly limit saturated fat to less than 7% of total calories
  • Increase antioxidant rich food


The MTHFR gene, where mutations can dramatically alter one’s odds of developing certain type of cancer

 Some of the recommendation to readjust the dialogue this gene would be :

  • Increase rich folic acid food ( leafy greens ) Intake
  • Have an active outdoor lifestyle to promote Vit D intake

The FTO gene, which has a large effect on Bodyfat and obesity

Some of the recommendation to readjust the dialogue this gene would be :

  • Strictly reduce high glycemic food intake
  • Practice mindful eating
  • High intensity Exercise at least 4-5 times a week.


Preventive action for sustainable results

Although these are the largest known genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s, some cancerand obesity respectively, there are many other genetic risk factors involved in these diseases and other conditions.

When some of those recommendations seems obvious they all have been proven to optimise the expression of those genes reducing the risk to develop the disease associated with it considerably.

Most genetic risk factors don’t have such dramatic consequences by themselves and instead contribute only slight increases or decreases in total risk.

To know is to influence you making the right choices.

Once again It’s worth keeping in mind that when we talk about genetic risk factors, we’re talking about probability, so nothing is a given.

You can be genetically predisposed to a certain health condition but never actually develop the condition, just like you can be genetically protected from a condition but develop it anyway...

That said, DNA tests can give you an idea of your overall risk for a given disease, which can help with planning ahead or making lifestyle changes to readjust the communication between the expression of your genes and your environwment.

 – Your future health may be written in your genes, but scientists are still making progress on how to actually read that information and interpret it. Meanwhile most of it has been uncovered and it is to you to start being proactive or not, to be part of this revolution or not.

When most of the DNAkit available on the market may not be looking at relevant genes, most do not offer any way to interpret those genes.  It is possible to learn  more about what your future health might hold than ever before.

The question is are you ready to make that step and be proactive towards your health?

Let's get started here

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The Genomic quantify self revolution has begun

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The Genomic quantify self revolution has begun

We've entered a new phase in the history of self-quantifying.

You may have noticed those recent years, there is a multitude of devices available on the market to track your health. 

Literally turning us into a cascade of data, from app to wristbands and other devices. All offering us an insight into our daily routine and their impact on our health. 

Gathering all sort of information from the number of Steps you will make in a day to the number of calories you will burn and how well you have recovered during your sleep.

The era of quantifying self-has truly become available to anyone. 

However is it effective for everyone?
How can you make the most sense of all those data to truly make the changes that count for you? 

From patterns to a more personalised and proactive approach

We now have the ability to measure everything and to feed that information back into the system. We have created a Data-rich, always on, a stream of information that is instantly tracking our biological functioning, how we are operating on daily bases.

The dilemma here is most people do track, without knowing why... and what to do with it.

It is crucial to know what is there to track and how to do it.

Ideally, the aim of tracking is to pull all those data to find patterns and giving a chance to look at how we can optimise the way of those data are managed. We are now feeding that information back into ourselves and learning how we can learn to run into our optimum capacity.

So how those insights into yourself can transform the possibilities, how we can sort of adjust and play around with our biochemical matrix?

We are leaving at a truly exciting time, the beginning of  Health 2.0 where we can regain control of our health and be self-efficient in achieving optimum health. Those technologies make it possible however we still have some work to do ourself to make the most of it.

How can Engineer our own optimal health? 

In a world where we keep track of every step, we take seamlessly by carrying our phone and unlocking the secret of your DNA is as easy as spitting into a tube; there is a real shift that is waiting to happen. All those technologies are growing at an exponential rate, and DNA testing is now widely becoming accessible to everyone.  

How to get started and how to make the most of it?

The DNA test is pretty straight forward, a simple mouth swab and within a week or two we have unlocked the hidden secret of your genes. ( the Data ) 

Now, this is where the real work starts! If you really want to clear the path to your optimum health and performance this is the step to follow:

1.Getting to know you.

Prior to start with your personalised recommendations and goal settings, it is important to understand where you are now. Usually, a lifestyle questionnaire in addition to the test result will help in organising and prioritising your Goals and task in the most accurate way possible.

The first step is to priorities and identifies the most important dietary and lifestyle goals for you to work towards. Having unlocking your gene's secret we can now organise by order of priority what is to tackle first based on the goal you have set for yourself. 

2.You & your personalised goals

You will learn what are your specific goals based on your health or fitness priorities.

Based on those goals, you can know branch out specific tasks associated with it.

This Methodology will help you to break down and tackle down tasks one at a time over time.

Ie: If your goal is to improve your heart health because of certain gene variation 

3. Implementing the changes that count

Imagine you have gathered all information necessary to optimise your fitness and nutrition.  You have set goals, milestones and rewards along your health optimisation journey (or weight loss goal).  These goals are specific to you, for better results.

You have organised and prioritises what needs to be done, one task at a time over time you will appreciate the progress because it is. Personalised to you!.

4. Tracking your own progress

This is where now all those devices should be used ... Thanks to technology, you are then able to feed that data back into your device(s) so you can now track and monitor what is specific to you, and you can check if you are in your ‘zone’.

From tailoring your training, your calorie intake for the day, and the type of nutrients you need to optimise your performance.  In addition, you are able to receive alerts during training or through the day to keep you on track.

This is, in fact, the very imminent future of health and fitness monitoring.

From your own goals to your own health optimisation 

It all start by being able to prioritise and organise the tasks and mini habits that you need to implement to make the changes that count... One after the over, you will see and feel the results. 

Get started, Make it personal

The key to your success is to make it personal.

If It is personalised to you.  It will certainly help to improve your daily life by flagging and focusing on the area(s) that need attention.

It is time for you to embrace the personalised quantify self-movement.

Optimum health is only achieved with consistency, quick fix options will never help you in maintaining your health to its utmost, Adhering to new technology,  will really help you to keep track and monitor your progress, as well as keeping you engaged in your health and fitness journey.

You need to have the right tools; however, the poison is in the dosage…. manage the technology, do not let it manage you and turn your tracking into an unhealthy obsession.

Do you want to get started with the first step of truly knowing yourself and see where you are now and what you can do?

Be in touch here

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Could your cognitive performance be predisposed by your genes?

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Could your cognitive performance be predisposed by your genes?

Have you ever experienced that feeling of frustration when you cannot find your words but somehow you know it is there; however, it does not seem to be available for you at this very moment?

It is a current thing for our mind to go blank and we all pretty much get affected at some point in our life by temporary memory loss.

When your instant memory loss can be related to many things, from lack of sleep, stress or even overload of heavy metal toxicity in your blood...

For some of us, those occurrence seems to be more frequent and growing old tends to take a greater toll to become an issue.

Can we be predisposed to temporary and instant memory loss? And what can you do about it and how can you prevent it.

Meet AKAP6 & MIR2113 genes.

Following the recent study, we found that AKAP6 is associated with performance across multiple cognitive domains at baseline but not with cognitive decline, while MIR2113 primarily affects the rate at which memory declines over time.

A Certain variant of this genes will tell us whether to not improving your cognitive abilities should be a priority for you to avoid its decline over time.

It is important to remember that one of The GenSmart key belief is Your Genes are not your fate!

There are many things you can do to learn new information and retain it.  The same practices that contribute to healthy aging and physical vitality also contribute to healthy memory.

So here are few tips on how to maintain a vivid memory:

  • Exercise Regularly. Regular exercise boosts brain growth factors and encourages the development of new brain cells. Exercise also reduces the risk for disorders that lead to memory loss, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Exercise also makes a huge difference in managing stress and alleviating anxiety and depression—all of which leads to a healthier brain function.

  • Stay Social. People who don’t have social contact with family and friends are at higher risk for memory problems than people who have strong social ties. Social interaction helps brain function in several ways: it often involves activities that challenge the mind, and it helps ward off stress and depression. So join a book club, reconnect with old friends, or visit the local senior center. Being with other people will help keep you sharp!

  • Eat Plenty of Fruits, Vegetables, and Omega-3 Fats. Antioxidants, found in abundance in fresh produce, literally keep your brain cells from “rusting.” And foods rich in omega-3 fats (such as salmon, tuna, trout, walnuts, and flaxseed) are particularly good for your brain and memory. Also avoid saturated and trans fats, which helps cholesterol levels and reduces your risk of stroke.

  • Manage Stress. Cortisol, the stress hormone, damages the brain over time and can lead to memory problems. But even before that happens, stress causes memory difficulties at the moment. When you’re stressed out, you’re more likely to suffer memory lapses and have trouble learning and concentrating.

  • Get Plenty of Sleep. Sleep is necessary for memory consolidation, the process of forming and storing new memories so you can retrieve them later. Sleep deprivation also reduces the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus and causes problems with memory, concentration, and decision-making. It can even lead to depression—another memory killer.

  • Don’t Smoke. Smoking heightens the risk of vascular disorders that can cause stroke and constrict arteries that deliver oxygen to the brain.

We all would reap the benefit of a healthy and optimised brain, which would help us to reach top performance in our daily life.

When most of the above sound obvious, if memory loss is one of your concern, make sure to implement all the above as habits in your lifestyle. Once again outdoors activities and socialising with your friends has been proven to be way more efficient than any medicine available to activate brain activities and performance. So ditch the pill and do the real thing!

What if you could have everything you read, heard or saw instantly organise and available to you?. Sounds like fiction?

Check out my blog here on how to hack your brain for optimum performance.

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Can you prevent Mental illness through your diet?

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Can you prevent Mental illness through your diet?

Can you prevent Mental illness through your diet?

In our days and age, where media are constantly reminding us of the importance of our look and physical appearance. We often tend to undermine the importance of our mental health.

However, in our exponentially demanding society,  mental health is in decline, which results in the rise of all sort of mental degenerative diseases.

This month is the World Alzheimer's month. 

Alzheimer is the most common form of dementia in the world, it is the sixth-leading cause of death in the UK, it takes an enormous toll on families and caregivers. 

There is currently no cure for it, however, studies show really encouraging results when it comes to prevention.

Prevention is key to Alzheimer

One of the GenSmart key belief is: the absence of illness does not necessarily equate to the presence of wellness.

Degenerative diseases take many years to develop before showing apparent symptoms and being diagnosed.

This is why maintaining a healthy lifestyle with optimal nutrition and a well-balanced exercise program is key to optimal health and will prevent you from developing most preventable degenerative diseases. But how targeted your plan can be when it comes to mental health and more specifically Alzheimer.   

The Genetic of Alzheimer. 

First, it is important to know what are your predisposition, and also remind you another key belief of the GenSmart Method. Your Genes are not your Fate!

Genetics plays a major role in the likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s. Those with the E4 version of the APOE gene have a higher risk while those with the E2 version have a lower risk. Importantly, though, studies comparing people living in Africa (where 30-40% have at least one version of E4) and those in the US with the same APOE genetics show that people of Africa have lower rates of AD. These and studies like it highlight the importance of proper diet and other lifestyle factors (such as exercise) in altering genetic risk.

So what can you do to prevent degenerative mental health and ultimately Alzheimer?

Nutrition :

Research are showing a strong link between diet and the development of the disease in the later stage ofLife. Here are the findings:

* People who eat a diet low in saturated fat with a low glycemic index

* Eating a Mediterranean diet can lower rates of cognitive decline.

* Being overweight or obese in midlife doubles the risk of developing Alzheimer.

* Too much iron in the diet can promote damage to the brain tissue.

* Getting enough vitamin E can minimize reactive oxygen molecules in the brain, preventing damage.  

Download here the APOE diet for more details

Lifestyle ;

If your variant isn't optimal, you would be strongly advised to stimulate dopamine, adrenaline, and norepinephrine levels via exercise, outdoor activities, meditation, nd social interactions are as important as nutrition to optimise rain health. 

Dare the new and socialise with real people, not through a device!

If you want to know more about how to optimise your brain click here

You don't know what is your Gene variant and would like to know?

Be in touch today to book your complimentary consultation at hello@thomasolivier.co.uk

I believe that if people embrace the health awakening that is happening now, through the Genomic revolution, and tune in to a more personalised and proactive approach to their health and wellness by adopting the GenSmart principles , we can cure the disease are of our current society.

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Could there be a vegetarian gene?

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Could there be a vegetarian gene?

 

Cornell researchers describe a genetic variation that has evolved in populations that have historically favored vegetarian diets, such as in India, Africa and parts of East Asia.

The vegetarian allele evolved in populations that have eaten a plant-based diet over hundreds of generations. The adaptation allows these people to efficiently process omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and convert them into compounds essential for early brain development and controlling inflammation. In populations that live on plant-based diets, this genetic variation provided an advantage and was positively selected in those groups.

Meet FADS1 & FADS2 gene

FADS1 and FADS2 are enzymes that are essential for converting omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids into downstream products needed for brain development and controlling inflammation. Meat and seafood eaters have less need for increased FADS1 and FADS2 enzymes to get proper nutrition because their omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid conversion process is simpler and requires fewer steps. 

Scientist discovered that some individual lashes have a mutation in the FADS2 gene, which makes them a lot more efficient in the conversion of those fatty acids. 

Disparity of the Vermeer Arina gene around the world.

Studies found that the vegetarian gene mutation existed in 68% of Indians, but only in 18% of Americans, European would be 17% and African 53%. So those with primarily vegetarian ancestors are more likely to have the mutation and are better able to obtain optimal nutrition from plant foods. 

This also mean late that for those with these gene variant, drifting away from a vegetarian diet ( by eating a lot of red meat ) could have a negative impact on their health and make them more susceptible to systemic inflammation. 

To conclude it is important for you to know what is your gene variant whether you are planing to become vegetarian or not. Once again your personalised journey to health optimisation is not someone else's pathway. 

 

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Five Easy Steps to Better Health

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Five Easy Steps to Better Health

The Health Dilemma

More people die each year because of their lifestyle choices rather than infectious pathogens and diseases. Consumers spend trillions of pounds on food that makes them sick, and then spend another trillion to treat the illnesses caused by their diets. Lifestyle choices, such as our diet, are the cause of most heart attacks, cancers, and diabetes. 

Most consumers today don't know how unhealthy their diet and exercise choices is making them.

Personalised nutrition and lifestyle guidance have been proven to aid in this growing problem. However, in today's institutionalised health system, this approach to medicine has not yet become widely accepted. The reason for this is that neither the food nor health care industries can benefit from preventing or curing diseases. Therefore, very little corporate-sponsored research is conducted about lifestyle and nutrition interventions. Furthermore, government research is slow and understaffed. 

This health revolution has its hurdles and limits.

Another side of the problem is that personalised medicine is too complicated to implement within the existing medical system since it requires additional research, trials, and changes in infrastructure. 

Every person's genetic makeup and metabolism interact differently with his or her diet, environment, and lifestyle. This results in many unexpected responses such as disease, fatigue, or other illnesses. 

The Tilting Point

Despite these hurdles in personalised medicine, an increased interest is occurring among private practitioners and consumers. This is resulting in a growing trend towards "democratised" medicine, and it is now easier than ever for people to take control of your health as opposed to relying on the current system.

Many sick individuals are already attempting different alternatives. This is evident by the growing popularity of the supplements industry, also known as nutraceuticals. This market has grown to $100B+ worldwide at over 8% CAGR. Although this is a good start, a more proactive approach is needed. 

People around the world are desperately seeking better ways to get healthy, but most of them lack the knowledge to be effective. 

The growing access to information makes this even more of a reality, as it allows consumers to learn and educate themselves about their health options including personalised medicine. 

The question is, what can you do now to make a difference in your health?

Here are five easy steps that you can take today toward better health. 

1. Educate Yourself

It all starts with you as an educated individual. Optimising your health is a lot easier when you adopt a personalised approach based on your bio- individuality. This is because what works best for someone, might not function as well for you. So, unless your choices are influenced by your uniqueness, the changes you adopt might not necessarily be beneficial to you. Whether you are looking to lose weight, get more energy, or prevent disease, a personalised approach can help you make the right choices to attain your goal. DNA testing and Nutrigenomic are crucial steps to cracking your health code.

2.  Learn Your Weaknesses 

We all have our strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to your physiological processes, it is important for you to learn about where you might need support. Learn to optimise your body by using the right tools, and understand just how far you can push yourself. By exploring your genetic makeup, you will know what needs improvement and how to improve it. 

3. Genes Do Not Equal Fate

When it comes to your health, nothing is set in stone. Because you have a gene variant that is associated with a disease, it does not mean you are predestined to develop said disease. Other factors such as diet, lifestyle, and environment must also line up with your gene variant for it to express itself. With that being said, this is only a worst-case scenario. This why you must first learn about your health priorities and the habits need to be implemented to optimise your health. 

 

4. The Power of Tracking

For most of us, improving our health involves going to the gym and adopting proper nutrition. However, life often gets in the way and puts an end to those good intentions. For some, this happens within weeks. For others who are more self-disciplined, they stick to the plan until they reach a plateau and then repeat the same cycle without getting the results they want.

Tracking is the best way to avoid these cycle. Keeping a record of your diet and exercise routine can make a difference and keep you on the right path. This is not only true for your health, but also with any other goal you might have in life. 

For example, if your goal is to lose weight in time for the holiday season, you can track your body-fat percentage. You could also track a few other body measurements like waist, upper thigh, hips and chest. Visual progress is also helpful, so take before and after pictures regularly. It does not have to go on Facebook, though! 

You might want to look at the nutrition side of things and make sure you are getting your macronutrients ratio right (protein, carbohydrates, and fats). This requires a bit of organisation and knowing what is enough so that you can avoid cumbersome processes like weighing your food.

It is also important to learn what markers are important to you. If insulin sensitivity is not a problem for you, then there’s no need to track it on a regular basis. On the other hand, if chronic inflammation is a potential issue, then that should be your priority. 

So, track it or lose it! 

5. Change Your Mind-Set and Play the Infinite Game  

Many people will take their health for granted and think the health care system will take care of it. In reality, this mindset will lead you to a path of dependence and disease. 

Your health is your responsibility, so step outside of the status quo and regain control of it. It is in your best interest to start small by understanding what your priorities are, then start adopting the changes that count. Adopt a mindset of constant growth, and allow trial and error to occur. Health optimisation is a journey. A sort of infinite game that improves itself over time as you learn about your body and genetics.

 

So, get started today and book your complimentary call!

 


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Five Common Food Intolerances You Should Know About

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Five Common Food Intolerances You Should Know About

If you have been reading my blog for a while now, you understand the notion of how we are all the same but different. In light of this, we can assume that certain foods affect each person differently. 

Nutrigenomics is a branch of nutritional genomics. It is the study of the effect that food has in our genes. Nutrigenomics attempts to identify and understand the intermolecular reactions that occur between nutrients, food's bioactive elements, and the genome. 

Thanks to nutrigenomics, we have begun to optimise individual's health by implementing a tailor-made dietary plan based on their genotype. What this attempts to achieve is a correction in their physiological imbalances.

One useful finding that Nutrigenomics and DNA testing has made is the cause of chronic inflammation: food intolerance. This side effect of food intolerance can, over time, promote disease in patients. 

Food intolerance is more common than food allergies. The onset of symptoms is usually slower and may be delayed for hours after ingesting the offending food., but they can last for several hours and even into the next day.  Symptoms of food intolerance includes abdominal cramps, bloating, tiredness, and migraines.

Here are the five most common intolerances that often lead to chronic inflammation and other inflammatory disorders.

Lactose Intolerance

There are many debates around the consumption of milk and whether or not it is something we should do. The numbers are quite shocking. An estimated 70% of the UK population is lactose intolerant. 

All new-born mammals are born with the ability to digest lactose, a sugar abundant in milk. However, lactose itself cannot be absorbed by the intestine and must be broken down into absorbable sugars (glucose and galactose) by lactase, an enzyme present on the small intestine's epithelial cells.

What genes are involved in lactose intolerance?

Lactase (also called lactase-phlorizin hydrolase (LPH) in humans) is encoded by the lactase gene (LCT). Regulation of the lactase gene and the ability to digest lactose is found in a gene called MCM6.

The reading of this gene will tell you with certainty if the consumption of dairy products could be the cause of unwanted symptoms. 

These genetic changes emerged in the last 10,000 years within some populations. This coincides with the transition from nomadic to agricultural lifestyles in the time when cattle domestication and dairy foods became common. 

In evolutionary terms, this is called convergent evolution or convergent adaptation. Non-pastoral regions where milk products were not as popular included China (~1%) and West Africa (5%-20%). These populations developed other genetic changes that offered survival advantages based on their diet. 

Salt sensitivity

Salt sensitivity is a measure of how your blood pressure responds to salt intake. People are either salt-sensitive or salt-resistant. Those who are salt sensitive are more likely to have high blood pressure than those who are salt resistant.

What genes are involved in salt sensitivity?

Genetic variations in the ACE gene determine your responsiveness to sodium. About 38% of the general population carries an ACE gene variant. This variant causes increased blood pressure in response to higher sodium in the blood. Carriers of this variant are, therefore, salt-sensitive. 

Two other genes associated with salt sensitivity are NOS3 (related to cardiovascular disease) and AGT (related to Hypertension.)

Salt-sensitive individuals should pay more attention to dietary sodium to reduce their risk for high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. They should monitor their sodium intake, limit high-sodium foods, and increase high-potassium foods in their diet.

Learn more about salt sensitivity here. 

PUFA metabolism

PUFA, also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids or saturated fat, comprises the majority of animal fat. However, the highest levels of saturated fat are from two plant sources: palm kernel oil and coconut oil.

What genes are involved in PUFA metabolism?

The Gene responsible for metabolizing PUFA fat is FADS1. Certain variations in this gene have been associated with blood cholesterol concentration. Individuals that carry the intolerant variation of this gene may require different amounts of dietary PUFAs.

People with this variation should increase their MUFA, or monounsaturated fat, intake and decrease other fats. PUFAs can cause inflammatory responses and lead to inflammatory disorders in the long term. In the worst case scenario, if coupled with your lipid metabolism gene variation and insulin response, the inflammation could trigger cardiovascular diseases.

 Coffee Intolerance

Coffee is among the most consumed, and most controversial, beverages in the world. If you love your coffee but are worried about its effects on your brain, I have good and bad news. The bad news is that coffee tolerance depends on your genetic predisposition to metabolise it. 

What genes are involved in coffee sensitivity?

The Gene responsible for metabolizing caffeine is CYP1A2.

There is good news for those lucky few who have a high metabolism. Fast metabolizers don't have a negative association between coffee and disease. On the contrary, if you’re a fast metabolizer, coffee could even improve your health.

Researchers have identified a gene called GRIN2A that appears to protect coffee drinkers from developing Parkinson’s disease.

However, only around 25% of the population has the gene variant of GRIN2A that can boost the protective effects of coffee.

Individual with a reduced ability to metabolise caffeine should reduce their intake. 

The intolerance may lead to increased risk of heart diseases if consumed in the long run. It is highly recommended that those individuals opt for decaffeinated options.

Nevertheless, the poison is in the dosage. A good quality cup of coffee now and then will never harm you. 

 Iron overload

What genes are involved in iron overload?

The Gene responsible for metabolizing iron is HFE.

The daily absorption of iron from the intestine is greater than the amount needed to replace losses in individuals with this variation. 

Since the body cannot increase iron excretion, the absorbed iron accumulates in the body. People who carry the genes for hereditary hemochromatosis could have no symptoms or signs, but it is treatable if detected early. 

Symptoms of iron overload include sexual dysfunction, heart failure, joint pains, liver cirrhosis, diabetes mellitus, chronic fatigue, and hypermelanotic pigmentation. 

Even though food intolerances are less severe than food allergies, they can still cause long-term damages. This is particularly the case if imbalances are present, adding more inflammation to our bodies.

Food intolerances are easily preventable. It starts by educating yourself about the foods you should avoid and how to optimise your health in the long term.
Many people ignore their symptoms and silence them with quick fixes, without resolving the source and the caused damages. A simple DNA test could highlight what you should avoid and what key physiological factors could be improved.

Let me help you educate yourself! Click here to get started and take control of your health today! Clain your complementary consultation.

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Does Knowing Your Genes Makes a Difference in Reducing Risk of Diseases?

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Does Knowing Your Genes Makes a Difference in Reducing Risk of Diseases?

DNA testing is a fast growing industry and breakthroughs in genetics occur on a daily basis. Even though carrying a “risk” gene does not necessarily mean that you will develop the disease associated with it, getting a DNA test can still be scary for many people.

Knowing the risks could help you prevent those diseases by allowing you to make the changes necessary to counter and eradicate those risks.

To know or not to know?

Many diseases are multifactorial, meaning that several factors influence the outcome. That is, in order for the disease to develop, you may need to have both environmental and genetic factors.

By environmental, I don’t mean your natural surroundings (although these are also part of your environment).

Instead, environmental factors include the products that you use in your daily life. Namely your toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, shower gel, cleaning products, hand creams, makeup, nail polish, etc. Another environmental factor is whether you heat up your frozen dinner in a BPA plastic container, or cook it from scratch with fresh ingredients from your local farmer’s market.

As you might expect, a non-toxic environment is the best way to prevent diseases. This can be difficult in a city such as London since even your commute in the Tube exposes you to a year’s worth of toxins. Nowadays, however, it is very difficult to avoid toxins in a highly polluted world.

Nevertheless, you can be proactive and adopt non-toxic products for your home. Using organic cleaning products and eating organic food are some of the things you can do to detoxify your surroundings. Integrate this, as well as a regular exercise into your life for better results.

What Will a DNA Test Tell You?

Currently, many DNA tests will be able to tell you your disease predisposition and how you might respond to medicines, exercise, and food.

However, can these DNA results actually make a difference for people?

Knowing Your Risk Of Disease – Does It Make a Difference?

The Human Genome Project was able to complete the sequencing of the human genome. This was a remarkable accomplishment and a cause for celebration for many. Several companies including 23andMe, Navigenics, and deCODE have capitalised on that scientific achievement by offering genomic testing directly to the public.  Today, this breakthrough has made bimolecular technology more accessible to consumers.

The only issue with this breakthrough was the lack of methodology, education, and follow-up associated with these tests. This has left many consumers in doubt and/or fear of their results, especially for those who have found they are at risk of developing certain diseases.

Can DNA Testing Help You Take the Necessary Step to Avoid Diseases?

One of the benefits of genomic testing is that, if people knew they were at risk of a disease, they can take preventive measures to reduce their risk. That seems plausible; However, in a recent study, a systematic review in the BMJ (formerly known as the British Medical Journal) found that relying on a DNA-based risk of disease estimates did not increase risk-reducing health behaviors.

The main reason for this was the lack of clarity regarding what needs to be done, as well as overwhelming amounts of information.

The Way Forward: Clearing the path to optimum health

Genomic testing is now giving us the ability to predict what foods are best for us, prescribe individualised exercise routines, and recommend a personalised list of supplements and prescription drugs that can maximize our health and avoid disease.

Are We There Yet?

DNA testing is a tool that experts should use to educate their patients on the steps that should be taken to optimise their health and avoid the expression of their "risk" genes.

Preventative education plays a large role in DNA testing, and this can empower people into adopting personalised solutions.

The constant development of technology and the increasing access to information makes this an even bigger reality.

A shift is currently happening towards something called citizen medicine.

With our smartphones in our hands, access to information is only a few clicks away. We are no longer hostages to a paternalistic system in which "doctors knows best”. Medicine has been revolutionized and digitized. Now, medicine’s one-size-fits-all model, which has constantly failed and cost billions to governments, is being transformed.

There is no doubt that there is still a lot to do; however, progress is ongoing. Although the medical establishment is resisting these changes, DNA testing, and personalised preventative actions are much more efficient in addressing diseases than the current model is in curing them. This is especially exciting since degenerative diseases, despite being preventable, amount to more than 90% of deaths in the world!

I certainly hope the medical system will shift before the first human lands on Mars. As history has shown, human priorities are not always in the right order. In other words, colonising new planets while we are still dying of preventable diseases isn’t progress.

The time is now to make the shift and you have a chance to be part of it!

If you would like to be part in this exciting movement and take the first steps towards more proactive and personalized health solutions, click here to book your complimentary consultation

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Voodoo Genetics

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Voodoo Genetics

I’ve always been interested in what makes people different from each other. This is what initially led me to treat each and every one of my clients as unique individuals by cracking their health code using DNA testing. This testing allows me to use their uniqueness to improve their health, lifestyle and daily life.

We are all the same but, in a way, we are all different from each other. From our physicality to our physiological traits, to our personality, and how we behave.

What produces those variations? 

Are we randomly pre-written beings? Do our genes dictate our fate? Or are we designed by our environment? 

This is what epigenetic is trying to answer. Indeed, epigenetic put an end to the old debate “Nature vs. Nurture." 

So what is Epigenetic?

Epigenetics is the study of changes in organisms caused by modifications in gene expressions rather than alteration of the genetic code itself. In other words, it is the study of how an organism grows and develops. Chemical reactions activate and deactivate parts of the organism’s genome at strategic times and in specific locations. It is fine-tuned mechanism that is the result of evolution. 

We understand that our DNA code is fixed for life, but epigenetics are flexible. “Epi" literally means “around." So, epigenetic can be translated to “around the genes."

Epigenetics demonstrates that our biology reacts to the outside world. There is a constant dialogue between out bodies and our lifestyle, diet, and environment. In essence, epigenetics is revolutionizing biology. 

When a change in the environment causes biological alterations that last long after the event itself has ended, we see an epigenetic effect in action.

Initially, these epigenetic changes were believed to occur only during fetal development. However, pioneering studies are showing that molecular bric-a-brac could be added to DNA in adulthood, setting off a cascade of cellular changes. For example, overexposure to certain chemicals could result in cancer. 

On the other hand, epigenetic changes with targeted lifestyle or diet recommendations could be used to prevent, and even eradicate, certain types of cancers and other degenerative diseases. 

This branch of science explains how different cells, all sharing the same DNA, can perform very different tasks and maintain them for as long as we live. 

Furthermore, the link between our genetic profile and those of our ancestors is one of the most surprising aspects of epigenetics. 

The latest studies have further shown how the organisms environment can have an effect on their genetic expression as well as their offspring’s genetic expression.

Even the way we think can alter the expression of our genes. Meaning that, not only does your nutrition and lifestyle has an impact on the expression of your genes, but also the mood you are in and the people you socialize with.

Psychology has shown that the power of the mind is a potent tool that can shape us. It doesn’t just affect the genetic expression at one point in your life, but also throughout your life. 

You are always changing your biology. We are not human beings but instead human becomings. 

I always like to emphasize that your health is your responsibility. It is up to you to build the life you want, using your mindset, lifestyle, and diet. 

There are many examples out there that justify this. For example, people that refuse to grow old and can complete the 25 iron man at the age of 85. Also, individuals who self-cure after being diagnosed with terminal diseases. 

One of the latest discovery about epigenetics is the changes that could be passed down from parent to child and across generations.

A study from Randy Jirtle of Duke University showed that when female mice are fed a diet rich in methyl groups, the fur pigment of subsequent offspring is permanently altered. Without any change to DNA at all, methyl groups could be added or subtracted, and the changes were inherited much like mutations in a gene.

So we understand now that the experiences of your parents and grandparents have left marks on your genes, just like your experiences will do to your offspring.

So If diet and chemicals can cause epigenetic changes, could individual life experiences such as feelings of happiness and severe stresses also set off epigenetic variations in the DNA?

Welcome to the world of behavioral epigenetics.

The latest discoveries are so profound that it has spawned dozens of studies.

According to the new insights of behavioral epigenetic, traumatic experiences in our past, or in our recent ancestors’ past, leave molecular scars adhering to our DNA.

Those who have grandparents or great grandparents that lived through hard times, young immigrants from Africa whose parents survived massacres, adults of every ethnicity who grew up with alcoholic or abusive parents, all carry with them more than just scared memories. 

It seems that nature has the "duty of memory" well establish as a finely tuned mechanism within our biology. 

Behavioural epigenetic suggest that when our  DNA remains the same, our psychological and behavioural tendencies are inherited. You might not just have inherited your grandfather's height and strong hands, but also his predisposition toward anxiety or insomnia caused by the suffering he went through during war time. 

Or maybe, if your grandmother was lucky and had nurturing parents in a comfortable environment, you might be enjoying the boost she received thanks to their love and support. The mechanisms of behavioural epigenetic underlie not only deficits and weaknesses but strengths and resiliencies, too. 

Having learned all this, it is important to understand that all is subject to possible change. 

It is your responsibility to alter the expression of your genes by recreating new experiences. You are the designer. It is your choice if you want just to live with something or make the adjustments that could change you.  

So, what will you do today to add positive memory to your epigenetic bank?

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A DNA & Plant Love Story

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A DNA & Plant Love Story

As a child, I was always fascinated by the Native American culture and its values. This amazing community has been living in total harmony with their environment for centuries. One of their core beliefs is the idea that we are all part of a vast ecosystem too complicated for us to understand. The Shamans knew that the biological world is a veritable photochemical pharmacy and that, for every imbalance or disease, there is a plant to cure it.

In the U.S., inspired by the Shamans, herbalist began curing all sorts of infections, and even treating cancer, with the use of plants. Another example of the successful use of plants is Chinese medicine, which dates back to over 8,000 years. However, despite great success, modern medicine has tagged herbalist as “Kwaks." There is a common misconception that plants and herbs do not efficiently work and that they are used by scammers to take your money.

In the early 1900’s, laws were passed that forced herbalists to close down their practice, only allowing the usage of patented medicine. Consequently, the Pharma industry was born.

Nowadays, thanks to the advancements in science, particularly in Nutrigenomics, another shift is happening in medicine. This change is steering us back to those earlier values of food being an effective form of medicine. 

Today, Herbalists and Naturopaths are back in business, thanks to a growing demand for alternative medicine in opposition of current treatments. This increasing demand is due to the increased understanding that the chemicals present in pharmacology are damaging to our DNA. The chemicals add extra oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, which contribute to a faster-aging process and the development of diseases.

So, why is modern medicine may be bad for you? 

To understand this, we must first learn about what oxidative stress means and what it does to your body.

Oxidative stress comes from free radicals, which are a normal by-product of the body’s energy-generating biochemical processes. As your body breaks down food and converts it into fuel, it produces oxidative stress. This is highly reactive with other molecules and, if not regulated by antioxidants, it can damage DNA, proteins, and cellular membranes. 

Chemicals and pesticides found in modern medicine and food can create extra oxidative stress that causes inflammation and premature ageing. 

Oxidative stress is normal and is typically regulated by the body’s antioxidants, re-establishing the balance. 

These anti-oxidants interact with the free radicals in your system to ensure they are no longer a reacting with molecules. Antioxidants are found naturally in the body in the form of enzymes, but can also be consumed through foods especially vegetables, fruits, green tea, and even red wine.

Certain gene variants, such as Enos & SOD2, will tell you if your body is better able to deal with oxidative stress. For those with the "weak" gene variant, it is important to increase anti-oxidant intake to control the oxidative stress process and protect the cells from premature erosion. Moreover, these individuals should also avoid products that could increase the oxidative stress level and add inflammation.

Why is plant-based medicine better for you?

Plant are masters of the chemical world. They do not have as many defence mechanisms as other organisms to protect themselves from their environment. This has allowed them to evolve over millions of years with the ability to protect themselves while constantly adapting to their environment. For this reasons, plants have become extremely chemically smart. 

Plants, such as fruits, vegetables, and spices, all contain phytonutrients that, when consumed, can benefit our body from a variety of chemical cocktails. 

Wild plants that grown in fertile soil, such as forests, are even more powerful for our genes. They are much richer in phytonutrient content because they have been cultivated in the same soil for thousands of years.

Nowadays, it is harder to collect plants from the forest because of lack of knowledge, and for obvious logistic reasons. Nevertheless, wild botanical plants can still be found in certain health shops. 

The Pesticide Phytonutrient Problem

Most of the plants found in supermarkets have been sprayed with pesticides to protect them from bugs and pests. The problem with this process is that the chemicals eventually make their way into the plants, and then into our bodies. Plants are not able to develop resistance to these chemicals, compromising their effectiveness. As a result, the plants will have poor phytonutrients that will not be as beneficial for our body.

Bitterness in vegetables is a sign of strong phytonutrient content. As some of you may realise, most vegetables fund in supermarkets are not at all bitter. For example, most broccoli found today is actually sweet. 

To live longer and healthier, you need to provide your body with the necessary tools to protect itself from the environment. It is crucial to assist the linkage between photochemical nutrients found in plants and your epigenome (genes). Hence, consider introducing wild plant food with higher phytochemical content such as dandelions, nettle, and mustard into your diet.

Science is always proving how nature is best suited against potential aggressors. New developments continue to find evidence that tropical and mountainous plants can help prevent, and even cure, most common diseases. So grab that dandelion and supercharge your body!

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Happy Vs Sad - Is It In Your Genes?

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Happy Vs Sad - Is It In Your Genes?

Happy Versus Sad - Is It In Your Genes?

We live in an overwhelming and increasingly demanding society. Our minds are constantly burdened with responsibilities. We continue to fill our schedules and take on as many tasks as humanly possible. For many of us, it can be difficult to balance every aspect of our life. As a result, anxiety can easily settle in. For 1 in 10 people, this anxiety can lead to depression.

Mental health is a growing concern and one that should not be taken lightly. In 2013, there were 8.2 million reported cases of anxiety in the UK. If not treated on time, anxiety can turn into chronic depression. 

Depression is common among people who are going through a tough time in life. It can be seen as a normal mechanism that the mind goes through after suffering a loss or traumatic event. However, chronic depression is increasing at an alarming rate. 

We now understand that the disease is a result of an imbalance in out brain chemistry. Studies continue to demonstrate that lifestyle, diet, and environmental factors can be very powerful at treating depression. In the long term, these factors are more efficient than medication.

Can Depression Be Genetic? 

Quite a bit of research has been done on the comparison of genes and mental health. These studies have been done to determine if certain genes can make people more susceptible to mental illnesses.

If you’ve read my blog or my book “Cracking Your Health Code”, you know that our genes do not necessarily determine our fate. Moreover, the expression of our genes can actually be altered by the environment around us.

There is no such thing as a mental illness gene. However, it is true that some genes can make people more sensitive to the effects of their environment – for better or for worse.

Genes such as 5-HTTLPR and COMT inhibit hormonal levels that can influence neurotransmitters and result in depression.

It goes without saying that happiness is not just dependent on these genes, but it is also reliant on multiple external factors. Therefore, it is possible to influence your genes to produce more positive emotions like optimism.

For example, the active form of folate (L-methyl-folate) is important for producing neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.  

If you have a variant of this gene, it could lead to a lack of these chemicals and result in feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and even anxiety.

If this is your case, what can you do to bulletproof yourself of these unwanted feelings?

How It Works

If you have certain genes and also live in a negative environment, you are likely to develop negative cognitive biases that lead to mental disorders. On the other hand, if you have the same genes but live in a positive environment, you are likely to develop positive cognitive biases that increase your mental resilience.

Here are the four main pillars for increasing mental resiliency and boosting your levels of happiness. 

1) Nutritional Intervention

Nutrition and botanical interventions can neutralize the symptoms associated with depression, protect you against hormone-related diseases, and balance your brain chemistry. 

The active form of folate (L-methyl-folate) is vital for producing neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. A lack of these chemicals in our brains can lead to feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and anxiety. 

  • Eat your greens! In many cases, a negative mood can be counterbalanced with the consumption of vegetables rich in folate.

 

  • Increase your intake of leafy greens such as spinach, kelp,Swiss chard. Other folate-rich foods include pumpkin seeds and steamed broccoli

 

  • Watercress is also great hormone regulator. If your hormones are out of whack, I recommend that you incorporate watercress into your daily diet. Also, opt for bitter watercress as it will have higher amounts of Phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are cancer-fighting nutrients that help prevent diseases and keep your body working properly.

 

  • Another nutritional tip is to increase insoluble fiber in your diet, which will keep your gut bacteria happy. Many studies have shown that a happy gut can result in a happy brain. 

 

  • Supplementation can also help balance your brain chemistry. Vitamins such as B12, B6, B2, B3, choline, serine, and magnesium can offer great improvements.

 

  • Ditch the bad fat and load up on the good ones. Our brains are fueled by fat, but only the good kind. Incorporate olive oil in your diet and increase the consumption of cold water fish. Fish such as salmon, mackerel, and trout contain Omega3s and many good fats that can help your brain.

 

  • Replace coffee with teas such as green tea and Matcha. Caffeine can stimulate and magnify the symptoms of anxiety, whereas teas rich in antioxidants can help drive motivation and performance. 

 

  • Matcha, in particular, is delicious and very rich in antioxidants. It also contains EGCg, vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc, and magnesium which can boost your metabolism. It is rich in fiber and chlorophyll which enhances your mood and aid in concentration. Moreover, it can help detoxify your body effectively and naturally. 

2) Lifestyle

Any type of physical or mental exercise can be a powerful tool for fighting the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Hiking, biking, swimming, drawing, painting, and even walking are amongst the many options to choose from. These activities can trigger the release of dopamine and regulate hormones.

It is human nature to explore. A good walk in the woods can do wonders for your health and leave you with a smile. 

Challenge yourself and try something new. Take up that pottery class that you’ve always wanted to try, or join a cycling group. 

Interestingly, cold water swimming (or outdoor swimming) has been proven to be more efficient than most anti- depressants for treating depression. Currently, further studies are ongoing and NHS is actually considering including it within official recommendations to manage and treat depression. 

Essentially, the shock of cold water stimulates the brain to produce a chemical cocktail of neurotransmitters that leads to euphoria. This helps us cope with the sudden shock of cold water and makes us more resilient to the negative effects of depression over time.

3) Exercise

Resistance weight training can also help regulate brain chemistry. A regular exercise routine is already part of the NHS recommendation to combat depression.

Another great tool to improve stress tolerance is meditation. There are many great tools online to practice meditation. Guided meditation tutorials are recommended for beginners.

4) Environment

When your mood is low enough that it prevents you from making a change, support is the best solution. Friends, family, or a support group can give you the kick start you need. 

Finding out about your genes will give you an extra advantage for tackling any mental health related problem. 

Understanding the relationship between your genetic makeup and your mental health can give you the motivation you need to take the first steps. Moreover, applying a personalised approach to your health can be much more effective in helping you overcome these issues. 

Over time, you will be able to surpass the negative feelings of depression and replacement with positive ones. 

Using your genes to optimise your health can bring your life to a new level. Incorporate these changes into your life, make them into a habit, and watch your health quickly improve!

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Could Your Prescription Be Killing You?

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Could Your Prescription Be Killing You?

Times Magazine published an article about death statistics in 2009. The article showed that more people have been killed by drugs than motor vehicle accidents. Between 2000 and 2008, drug fatalities more than doubled among teens and young adults. The same numbers triple among people between the ages of 50 and 69. Believe it or not, these death statistics pertain to legal prescription drugs, and most of these were prescribed by a licensed physician. 

An estimated 450,000 preventable drug-related incidents occur every year. 

Taking those numbers into consideration, it is important to ask ourselves: 

Is our over-the-counter medication, pain killer, or antibiotic killing me?

With the summer days coming to an end, the weather will soon begin to change. Rainy days, chilly nights and winds from the north will start to make their way south. Moreover, with the seasons coming up, we will have less and less time available in our schedules as we start getting things ready for Christmas.

Winter tends to bring our energy levels down which, in turn, affects our immune system. For few of us, this will translate into a seasonal cold, flu, or some form of sinus infection.

As soon as the symptoms start to arise, should we run to the doctor and get a prescription for antibiotics? Most of us seem to think so. There’s nothing worse than fighting through a cold or flu, especially when you have the option to stop it at its tracks.

Before we reach for a prescription, there're a few things to keep in mind. 

Is it Viral or a Bacterial Infection?

Antibiotics only work on bacterial infection. A lot of the time, antibiotics are given wrongly to patients suffering from a viral infection. Viral infections cannot be treated with antibiotics and usually clear themselves after a few days with the help of rest and good nutrition.

However, it is rooted in our culture that when we go to the doctor, we expect to receive antibiotic medications. Furthermore, 99% of the time, the physician will grant it without testing for a bacterial infection. 

What Are the Risks? 

Adverse drug reactions kill more people than motor vehicle accidents and even terrorist attacks. The difference is that it doesn't make the daily news.

Where Do Drug Reactions Come from?

Each individual reacts differently to drugs. Detoxification systems vary considerably from person to person. 

It all depends on the gene variation you have to detoxify certain substances. Not one drug fits all people.

Adverse drug reactions are caused by substances that cannot be detoxed properly, causing an overload in the system. This is a pretty scary healthcare occurrence. Frightening enough to cause an astonishing 8% of hospital admission.

All of this caused by over the counter medicine or anti-inflammatory products that are easily accessible without the consultation of a physician. 

The unique genetic makeup of a person is a powerful tool in shaping his or her detoxification system. Without understanding this, it is hard to know what a simple over the counter drug is doing to you. 

Yet death by drug reaction it is still considered as rare cases despite the numbers. 

So what if you do not have any adverse reaction? Does it mean that your health has not been negatively affected?

Even if it does not kill you or make you sicker, an antibiotic could still damage the gut health. Ironically, half of your defense system is located in your gut. The consumption of antibiotics could lead to all sorts of unwanted digestive issues, hormone imbalances, or even neurotransmitter imbalances. This can result in mood swings and even depression while making you prone to other infections.

That’s not all...

Apart from making you prone to infection, antibiotics come with a long list of side effects including skin problems, leaky guts, and, of course, possible fatal adverse reactions.

Moreover, because of our continued use of antibiotics, bacterial infections have evolved, causing antibiotic resistance. In other words, we have used antibiotics so much that bacteria is now able to resist the medication.

Let me put this bluntly: If we were to run out of efficient antibiotics, this does not mean that we can any longer treat an infected wound. Rather, it means that, eventually, we will no longer be able to treat propagation of diseases, run a hospital, or even save lives.

Drug-resistant infections are already common in hospitals and are a rising concern among the medical establishment.

It is estimated that, unless we cut antibiotic use, these new superbugs could kill 10 million people a year by 2050. This is almost 10 times more than Malaria! 

So, What Can You Do About It?

Having your all genome sequenced, and having access to pharmaceutical genomic is one possible solution. However, this is not yet accessible to everyone.

The best option, for now, is to remain proactive and give your body all the tools it needs to boost its well-established defense system.

A simple way to boost your immune system and keep the pain away is to adopt healthy-living strategies. Your first line of defense is choosing a healthy lifestyle. Here are the basics: 

• Don't smoke.

• Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low in saturated fat.

• Exercise regularly.

• Maintain a healthy weight.

• Control your blood pressure.

• Drink only in moderation.

• Get adequate sleep.

• Take steps to avoid infection such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.

In addition to eating seasonal well-balanced diet, here is a list of foods that can support your immune system.

It is clear medication is not always the solution. Moreover, the misuse of medication and adverse reactions are real problems affecting individuals today. Preventing the cold and flu is not our only problem today. It is time for us to be more proactive in preventing drug resistance and the spread of superbugs. 

So think twice before getting that antibiotic prescription... It is likely only benefiting the Pharma industry. 

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Salt or no salt?

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Salt or no salt?

Most of us have heard at some point that, to improve our heart health, we must reduce our salt intake. This may be hard to believe now that the latest research shows that a low-salt diet does not reduce high blood pressure. So is salt really that bad for you? Or is it all about the type of salt you consume? Could your genes reveal your ideal salt intake?

Since the beginning of time, humans of every culture have used salt in one form or another. However, they did not use the refined table salt that we now find in abundance. Instead, they used salt from the sea.

We now know that the type of salt you consume does make a world of difference to your health. Moreover, salt can provide a range of different health benefits. 

Refined Table Salt vs. Sea Salt - The Good and The Bad

What is Refined Salt?

Refined salt is produced from sea salt. It starts as a ‘real food’ and becomes processed into‘fake food’. Unfortunately, through this refining process, manufacturers strip salt of all its minerals.

The Refining Process of Table Salt:

Manufacturers use a number of additives (including aluminium) to dry the raw sea salt and heat it to temperatures of about 1,200 degrees. This process alters the salt's chemical structure. The stripped iodine is then replaced with potassium iodide in potentially toxic amounts. The salt is then stabilised with dextrose, which turns it purple. Finally, it is bleached to make it into the white substance that we know. Remember this next time someone passes you the table salt!

Sun-dried sea salt, on the other hand, is laced with marine life, organic forms of iodine, and many essential minerals. This type of salt stays in the body and continues providing nutrients for several weeks.

What Sea Salt Provides:

Aside from seasoning our food, sea salt provides sodium, chloride, iodine, and a variety of other essential minerals to our body.

Sodium

Every bodily fluid contains sodium. It is needed for many biochemical processes including adrenal gland function, cell wall stability, muscle contractions, nerve stimulation, pH balance, and water regulation.

Chloride

Chloride works in concert with sodium and potassium to regulate pH in the blood. It aids in the passage of fluids across cell membranes. Chloride is the basis of hydrochloric acid, which is needed to digest protein. Chloride also activates enzymes that digest carbohydrates and is necessary for the proper growth and function of the brain.

Trace amounts of chloride can also be found in celery and coconut.

Iodine

Iodine is needed for many biochemical processes including fat metabolism, mental development, muscle function, the production of sex hormones, and thyroid function.

Iodine is found in most foods from the sea including fish broths, kelp, and seaweed. It is also found in butter, asparagus, artichokes, dark green vegetables, and pineapple.

The Hidden Salt Problem

The problem with salt is similar to the problem with sugar. Refined salt is cheap and provides benefits only to the food industry.

Most of the salt that people consume is not voluntarily added to their food in the form of table salt. It is actually already present in the processed foods that we eat, and a lot of the time in foods that you would not expect. This is why it is always important to read the labels and do your due-diligence before consuming any product.

You would be surprised on how quickly you could reach your daily sodium requirements by consuming processed foods. In addition, it would not be the good type of sodium.

This is critical when you realise that we spend over 80% of our grocery funds on processed foods in the UK.

The food industry uses salt to prevent spoilage and kill bacteria in processed foods. It also adds flavour and disguises unwanted tastes. In the long term, it makes consumers addicted to the sodium, and they end up consuming even more of it. A vicious cycle that benefits processed food manufacturers and the food industry. 

When Does Salt Becomes Dangerous for Your Health?

Being Salt Sensitive:

Salt sensitivity is a measure of how your blood pressure responds to salt intake. People are either salt-sensitive or salt-resistant. Those who are sensitive to salt are more likely to have high blood pressure than those who are resistant to salt. 

Why Does Salt Sensitivity Matter? 

Salt-sensitive individuals are at higher risk for high blood pressure and

cardiovascular disease. They have a lower survival rate if they live an unhealthy lifestyle or have a high-sodium diet.

How Does Salt Sensitivity Work? 

Sodium homeostasis in the human body is regulated largely by the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. This system operates mainly in the kidney and in vascular smooth muscle cells. Variations in this system due to genetic background, age, race, gender, and medical history cause the kidneys of salt-sensitive individuals to handle excess sodium less efficiently.

Why Is a Low Salt Diet More Important for People Carrying Certain Gene Variants? 

People with certain genetic variants are more sensitive to sodium intake. One variant of the ACE gene makes carriers more likely to develop hypertension when they follow a high sodium diet. This variant is found in over 50% of Africans and Caucasians, and in about 40% of Asians. Three variants of the NOS3gene found in 20-50% of different ethnic populations, make carriers more sensitive to sodium. Dietary sodium restriction has been proven to reduce hypertension in these populations.

5 Things You Should Do If You Are Salt-Sensitive:

People who are salt-sensitive should pay more attention to dietary sodium in order to reduce their risk for high blood pressure and related cardiovascular diseases. 

They should monitor their sodium intake and completely remove table salt. They should also limit high-sodium foods and increase high-potassium foods in their diet. 

Salt-sensitive individuals should follow these five simple practices:

1.Eat more vegetables and fruit. 

They are generally low in sodium and high in potassium.

2.Eat more fresh foods and fewer processed foods. 

Fresh foods contain less added sodium than processed foods that are intended for longer shelf life. 

3. Avoid eating large portions of baked goods.

Many people underestimate the amount of sodium contained in baking soda or baking powder. When shopping, read the nutrition facts label and choose foods that are low in sodium. Most processed foods today have low-sodium versions available. 

4. When eating out, ask that no salt be added to your food and order lower sodium options when available

5. Do not add salt to prepared food, and try to avoid it as much as possible ultimately

Is salt dangerous for you?

You can find out if salt is dangerous for you by analysing individual aspects of your health here. 

 

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DNA Testing, Quick fix or valuable tool?

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DNA Testing, Quick fix or valuable tool?

Obtaining your genetic data is now as easy as paying a fee and getting a mouth swab. Today, it is becoming increasingly accessible to everyone. But what exactly can you get from exploring your own code of life? Here we will uncover the traps to avoid, and unveil how you can make the most out of this exciting genomic revolution.

There is no doubt that the way we live can be revolutionised with a better understanding of human genetics.  

As DNA data is increasingly accessible, and research continues to discover how to translate this information, this revolution becomes more and more of a reality.

But what is there for you to learn from your DNA?

Personal DNA testing and the growing science of genomics can reveal a person's unique fitness potential, nutritional needs, risk factors, and other genetic traits and inherited conditions.

How does it work?

To understand how it works we must first look at your SNP'S.

What's your SNP's?

To make new cells, an existing cell divides in two. But first, it copies its DNA so the new cells will  have a complete set of genetic instructions (a follow-up to biomolecular letter ACGT). Cells sometimes make mistakes during the copying process - kind of like typos. These typos lead to variations in the DNA sequence in particular locations which are called single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs (pronounced "snips").

What are the Consequences of SNPs?

SNPs can generate biological variation by causing differences in the recipes for proteins. Those differences can influence a variety of traits such as appearance, disease susceptibility, or even your individual response to drugs. While some SNPs lead to differences in health or physical appearance, most SNPs seem to lead to no observable differences between people at all.  For example insulin sensitivity, detoxification pathways, etc.

This is all great, but what can you do with it?

Over-the-counter genetic testing is very likely for the near future, and could be as easy to obtain as a pregnancy test.

While SNP's give you a snapshot of your risk factors, it's not accurate enough to predict if you will develop the disease associated with it. In fact, it is important to understand that your "risk" factor does not mean you are doomed!

It is important to understand that DNA testing is a tool. This tool can be used to gain knowledge about yourself, and turn that knowledge into sustainable habits and lifestyle changes.

Avoid the DNA test trap.

Many of my clients turn to me after having done a DNA test. For them, the test itself did not make a difference in their lifestyle. More importantly, they could barely make sense of the information they got out of it. Therefore, they did not get the results they were hoping for and were left disappointed by the process.

Why? Becuase the information itself is worthless unless an implementation plan is made using the results. The value in DNA testing comes from the implementation.

Because DNA testing is an ongoing trend, many companies will promise a test result, and then give you with a lengthy report that provides little to no value to you. These companies will rarely supply clients with qualified consulting related to the test results. This post-test support is necessary in order to implement sustainable changes.

 
 The information trap illustration (  Cracking your health code p 199  )

The information trap illustration ( Cracking your health code p 199 )

Marketers know that we, as human beings, will continuously spend our money on better health and a better physique. For this reason, they will often charge a fee in exchange for information but provide little to no support after the information is provided.

Unfortunately, this has led a lot of people into thinking that DNA testing is another "get rich quick scheme". In reality, DNA testing is a wonderful tool that can help you start an exciting journey towards personalised health mastery.

A DNA test is key to cracking your health code.

DNA testing allows you to step out of a one size fits all model, so you are able to adopt a more personalised health approach. It also helps avoid the guesswork associated with health and fitness and allow you to focus on your own personalised priorities. This will help you make the changes that count.

The GenSmart Methodology that I described in my book Cracking your Health code, explains the importance of pairing your personalised genomics with a supportive and practical goal-setting approach.

This vision has already helped hundreds of people to optimise their health and lifestyle potential, empowering them to make the best changes and build better habits.

Imagine how powerful it could be to remove all of the overwhelming health and wellness information currently available, and to make it personalised to you. To have the blueprint, expertise, and support necessary to achieve your personalised health mastery, and to remove the noise from other health approaches that would likely not work for you.

Even though DNA testing is still in its early age, it has already become a key player in the health and wellness industry and in the evolution of medicine. Numerous researchers are currently using DNA data to fight both common and rare diseases with amazing results.

Commercialising DNA testing for public use is surely disruptive. However, it has already ignited a new trend of personalised health and lifestyle programs. Also, DNA testing is based on long-term implementation rather that a quick fix model which further shows how revolutionary it can be.

Avoiding the DNA testing trap and using the data as a tool to derive a personalised program is what will deliver the best results.

The question is, are you ready to take on this transformational journey towards health mastery?

If you are and want to know more about the process, contact me to book your complimentary call. Real life changes start there.

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Ditch The Calorie- Counting And Put The Fat Back On Your Plate!

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Ditch The Calorie- Counting And Put The Fat Back On Your Plate!

Throughout my career,most of the people I have come across who are struggling with weight management, are also counting calories.

They are also restricting the amount of fat they consume, thinking it is the devil itself!

But calorie- counting is a fallacy because nutrition is far more complex than just counting calories, and most of the time, this simple way of thinking leads to dieting disaster.

The same goes with our relationship with fat.

We have had it drummed into us that too much fat will lead to high Cholesterol levels and cardiovascular diseases.

But are all fats equal?

Can a high- fat diet actually be crucial to optimal health, as well as being necessary to lose weight?

Could it also be the secret weapon needed to gain a shocking amount of power and energy through the day?

First - let's debug the myths!

Despite the big disconnect between the healthcare we have and the healthcare we need, finally, new research and big institutes are shedding light on this issue with the right studies.

Indeed, newly published scientific evidence supports the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines by affirming that the type of fat we eat is important to our overall health.

Let's push further here and be bold :

1. Fat is good for you!

Our cells, organs, and brains are all made of fat and need high-quality fat to function optimally.

Good Fat makes you think faster :

Fat- known as MYELIN- also forms the basis of the lining of your nerves, and allows electricity to flow efficiently. So the more Myelin you have, the faster you will think. 

Healthy fat is down to its transport, so let's talk Cholesterol.

2.Cholesterol isn't the problem.

Although we still speak of good and bad Cholesterol, this is inaccurate,as the answer is all in the transport experience.

Cholesterol is essential - from the build- up of the lining of your cells to your Vitamin D absorption.

It also- when available in the right form and place- prevents the build-up of bile acids that aid in food digestion and help to balance your hormones.

If Cholesterol is NOT present, it can lead to poor immunity and reduced tolerance to stress. 

However, just like most of our body functions, balance is everything.

A balance between LDL & HDL levels is crucial to optimal health.

Both transporters are needed but in the correct proportional relationship.

Too low a level of LDL is not healthy for the brain, with studies even showing a correlation between low LDL and depression.

It also leads to a deficiency of vitamins like D, E & K.

Stress is another major factor of Cholesterol imbalance.

It has been shown that athletes experience high levels of LDL due to stress, prior to a competition. 

So how to optimise the transport of your fats?

REGULAR EXERCISE

Science is clear: regular aerobic activity causes a change in the transport of fat in the blood.

Specifically, it increases the level of HDL and decreases the level of LDL. It also reduces stress.

A body at rest isn't functioning, which is why sitting for long periods of time has been tagged as problematic, as it increases your risk of degenerative diseases.

It is time we understood that we are not just engines that burn fuel ( calorie in/out) but complex physiological beings who regulate energy flow through motion ( balance ).

Now let's see how much-and which- fats you should consume to improve your health?

Meet the GOOD, the BAD and the UGLY!

Here’s the bottom line: “the good” are polyunsaturated fats (and to a lesser extent, monounsaturated fats); “the bad” are saturated fats; and “the ugly” are trans fats.

A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine (Wang et al. 2016)*, showed that people who replaced carbs with foods higher in poly and mono unsaturated fats, instead of foods higher in saturated and trans fats were likely to have a reduced risk of mortality.

Association of Fat Type with All-Cause Mortality:

  • Trans fat: 20% higher risk
  • Saturated fat: 8% higher risk
  • Monounsaturated fat: 13% lower risk
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 27% lower risk

BUT forget the statistics! Which fats should you eat?

Eat more of the “Good” & ditch the Ugly :

Eat plenty of fish and seafood- such as salmon, sablefish, herring, and oysters.

Include vegetable oils, like canola and olive, and eat across a range of nuts and seeds – for example- walnuts and flaxseeds

You must avoid food containing trans fats- such as cookies, pies, cakes, microwave popcorn, coffee creamers, margarine, refrigerated dough products (such as biscuits and cinnamon rolls) and ready-to-use frostings that contain fully or partially hydrogenated oils.

Those fats will create an inflammation response in the body, damaging your cells.

These are the oxidised fats, which when produced in your cells’ membranes, create ‘Free Radicals’ placing a huge burden on physiological functioning.

Fat consumption should be tailored to your genes

Whilst we have seen that GOOD FATS are essential to optimum health, approximately one-third of the general population possess a genetic variant in their FADS1 gene that slows their ability to convert plant-based long-chain fats.

However, the proportion of people that possess this variant differs, particularly in regard to geographic (genetic) background.

For example, more than 50% of people from certain regions of East Asia carry this variant and more than 90% of Native Americans.

People with this variant, have a higher risk of metabolic complications, and will benefit from consuming foods that contain very-long-chain polyunsaturated fats such as seafood and eggs.

Learning more about the FADS1 gene and how genetic variations affect your health and dietary requirements for different types of fats, is crucial for getting your fat requirements right.

Other genes- like APOE genes- are also key to the transportation of your fat. For those with the High Impact Variation, it is very important to consume the” Good” fats, as the bad and the ugly will be much more likely to cause collateral damage.

 

Any questions? Feel free to contact me

 

 

Copywriting by Amanda Hills ( @AmandaHLondon )

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