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The Importance of Understanding Your DNA

The Importance of Understanding Your DNA
0 13 November 2017

We’ve been warned that aging will impact our ability to see, hear, remember and move. However, many of us have genetic risks that can add specific hazards to the aging process. Testing your genes early gives you the chance to build a program to make it easier to push back against the pressures of time and genetics.

Genetic Predispositions

Genetic makeup has a strong impact on many of the physical traits of a person. Your height, eye color and skin color are up to your genes. But these appearances aren’t the only way they can affect a person – your actual health can be a direct result of your genetic composition. Luckily, there are genetic predispositions we can do something about once we’re aware of them. 

For example, do you have a family risk of osteoporosis or joints that are at risk for damage? Consider developing a workout focused on free weights and resistance training to protect your joints and reduce bone density loss.

How is your body programmed to use fats and carbohydrates?  What is the best balance of macronutrients for your genetic makeup?  How does your liver process certain chemicals?  Does caffeine increase or decrease your risk of heart disease?  That also depends on your genetics!  Learning exactly how you are programmed can allow you to make lifestyle changes that can keep bad genes from expressing themselves down the road.

Telomeres Tell All

Each of your chromosomes has caps at the end of the genetic material called a telomere. As the genes split, the telomere is what protects the material from fraying and dividing inaccurately. This little cap has been found to be a good indicator of your remaining years; the longer the telomere, the more life you have to look forward to. Shorter telomeres indicate there are factors that may be taking years off your life.

You can lengthen your telomeres by getting a handle on stressors, both physical and mental, that can damage your DNA. In addition, a diet filled with foods rich in antioxidants, as well as a good quality multivitamin can lengthen your telomeres. 

Finally, moving your body through space, building muscle and dropping fat will increase your telomere length. Avoid yo-yo dieting and strive to get to and maintain a healthy weight.

Building Genetic Awareness

If your family history is loaded with diabetes or heart disease, you have your work cut out for you. However, a predisposition is a warning, not a sentence. Get your DNA tested and use your results with your Cenegenics physician and fitness coach so that they can help you make the best plans based on your genetic risks. Have them build an eating plan, a workout, and a plan of corrective hormones and supplements that will help you reach and maintain optimum health.

Final Thoughts

As you age, it’s important to focus on staying healthy and looking forward to many more years of health and wellness. To get a handle on your genetic risks and what you can do to counter them, consider getting your DNA tested so you know what you’re facing and how to fight it.

Posted in Dr. McCallen's Blog by Cenegenics Denver