There are many different ways to evaluate health and wellness, and no single way is the best. Often, what appears to be one thing on the surface is often something different underneath. The human body is no exception. Our health and wellness is a balance that has many different variables and factors influencing our overall state. Two very important factors that can affect our overall wellness are environmental factors from the outside and genetic factors from the inside - very much like the old saying "nature versus nurture".
At EverlyWell, we have decided to give our customers the opportunity to explore both the environmental and genetic factors that may be affecting their wellness and health--starting with our Food Sensitivity, Metabolism, and Breast Milk DHA products. Here is an example of each kit along with a thorough explanation of why our test, paired with Helix’s DNA kit, will help our customers gain even more insight into their general well-being.
The way our bodies react to certain foods can be mediated by many different factors. How we digest certain proteins, such as lactose in milk, may be have a genetic component. Individuals who have a specific change in their DNA may have lost the ability to actually break down lactose in milk, and therefore, they can become symptomatic while ingesting any dairy products that contain lactose. This is very different from individuals who have an immune mediated sensitivity to milk. At EverlyWell, we offer food sensitivity testing that looks at your IgG response to proteins in 96 different foods. For milk, we measure the IgG reaction to caesin. When customers order our Food Sensitivity+ test, they can determine if they are symptomatic to milk potentially as a result of a genetic change that predisposes them to lactose intolerance, or an IgG mediated immune reaction to the caesin in the milk, or potentially both.
People are constantly trying to find balance between nature versus nurture in our bodies, and nowhere is this more obvious than with America's battle of the bulge. Often, issues with weight and BMI are not as simple as "you are what you eat." While diet does play a significant role in body habits, genetics and hormones are also key factors in maintaining a healthy weight. When customers use our Metabolism+ panels, they can learn if they are potentially experiencing weight gain due to their hormones; while we can't change our DNA, knowing if one is genetically predisposed to increased BMI can allow that individual to control other risk factors for weight gain, such as dietary choices and exercise levels. Additionally, knowing if hormones are playing a role in making it difficult to lose weight will give individuals a chance to discuss hormonal balance with their medical providers. EverlyWell's Metabolism+ product provides health and genetic information to our customers that will allow them to individually find balance within their bodies, and make the struggle with weight a little less confusing.
DHA is extremely important for all individuals to maintain good heart and neurologic health, but it is even more important for the youngest individuals - developing babies and infants. DHA is vital to the optimal development of their neurologic system, including vision, and overall organ development. Up to 75% of Americans are in need of more DHA because of our industrialized diet that is lacking mainly in fresh fish - this is the "environmental factor" that is influencing DHA balance in our bodies. However, some individuals may be at risk for having lower DHA levels because of slight variations in their DNA impact DHA metabolism- this would be the "genetic factor" that is influencing DHA balance in our bodies. Currently we can offer breastfeeding mothers the ability to check their personal DHA levels using breast milk (breast milk DHA levels are an indication of maternal DHA levels) AND to see if they may have lower than expected DHA levels because of genetic changes in a gene called FADS1. Knowing what their DHA level currently is and knowing their intrinsic ability to properly metabolize and store DHA will give breastfeeding mothers insight into what their bodies are able to produce in their breast milk for their infants.
Learn more about biomarkers, genomics, and our partnership with Helix here!