Personalized Nutrition and Epigenetics
Hello from Dr. Stone!
I am passionate about personalized and customized medicine and am so grateful for all the functional tests we have available to us that help us find underlying causes of disorder and protect against any predispositions that an individual might have. Whenever possible and relevant, I like to run a genetic test on my patients to help determine not only their predispositions, but how to optimize their genetic expression to help with overall health.
HOW DO YOU CONDUCT YOUR PATIENT VISITS?
I like to start every patient’s visit by listening to his or her concerns and mentally outlining their strengths and vulnerabilities. We will generally discuss some preliminary recommendations, and then I determine what specific functional lab testing will best serve us as we develop a comprehensive approach to any complaints or goals that we will work on together. Personalized nutrition is one of my specialties, as I develop customized plans for my patients that are comprised of diet recommendations, supplementation, and IV nutrient therapies to bring a patient to their optimal nutrient levels. Two of the tests that I use most frequently are a micronutrient test that shows blatantly which nutrients are deficient or at suboptimal levels, and a genetic or epigenetic test. While the micronutrient test is pretty straight forward in showing what nutrients we need to replete, it is also important for us to keep investigating why these nutrients are deficient, and what type of nutrient your body might absorb the best.
WHAT’S THE VALUE OF GENETIC TESTING?
Genetic testing is invaluable for many reasons, but one of those is how it informs any nutrient supplementation and/or IV therapy. For example, an individual may be low in B12, and could even be supplementing with it by taking capsules or liquid of B12 orally. However, how that individual processes B-vitamins is impacted by their unique genetic variants. Some individuals have issues with methylation (e.g., those with MTHFR mutations), and require methylated B-vitamins and co-factors to process them efficiently, while others can easily become over-stimulated by methylated B-vitamins (e.g., those with COMT mutations), and require either unmethylated B-vitamins or a lower dose over time. When I am formulating customized IV’s for people, I assure that their genetics are taken into consideration so that they get what their individual physiology needs.
WHICH GENETIC LAB COMPANY DO YOU PREFER?
The test that I use most often for this is EpigeneticsRx. This test shows your genetic status of 56 different genes that show vulnerabilities that we can address through supplementing the proper cofactors, which are often different types of vitamins and nutrients. It also helps us to support your detox pathways and even informs predispositions to mental health that we can manage through nutrients and lifestyle changes. You can get this test drawn right at Nourish, and it takes about 6 weeks to come back. Because there’s so much information in the test, we can take a full visit to discuss just this test in detail, or we can talk about it in the context of all of your other testing and where you are on your health journey. I find that those who complete this testing have a greater understanding of the “why” of many of their experiences and we can optimize all future treatments based on our understanding of your unique genetic predispositions.