How Can Correct Nutrition Prevent Genetic Predisposition to Ailments
Nutrition is the pillar of human life which helps in growth and development through the entire lifespan. It is a discipline which promotes overall wellbeing. However, correct nutrition means identification and analysis of the interaction between the nutrients and food with respect to the genetic makeup of an individual. Since each of them is different, the predisposition factors of ailments are also different among them. It is important to discover their capacity and work on securing one from future ailments.
What does genetic predisposition mean?
Genetic predisposition in simple terms means an individual possessing a genetic characteristic which is likely to express itself as an ailment due to an environment trigger. This means even though a human being is NOT born with a disorder, he/she has high chances of acquiring it in future. As per the best nutritionist in Mumbai this is also termed as genetic susceptibility. It is majorly categorized as a ‘Non-Communicable Disease’ by the World Health Organization.
Identifying the triggers for genetic predisposition
Understanding genetic predisposition is directly linked with informed choices as well as individual lifestyle. Nutritional status forms the maximum of it. Here is a list of ailments which are more likely to occur due to the genetic makeup of an individual:
- Type 2 Diabetes – A common term used for an abnormal rise in the glucose level, it results in symptoms of thirst, fatigue, poor wound healing and blurry vision. There are 164 gene markers in a human body which triggers diabetes like LIMK2, RHOU, LAMA1 and DQ1. Weight gain, lack of physical activity, smoking and high sugar consumption is one of the major reasons to trigger insulin sensitivity, if these genes are dominant in an individual.
- Heart Disease – A condition which results in high blood pressure, stroke, inflammation and death is also triggered by 80 gene markers. This includes GATA6, CUX2, JAG1 and SMG6. The major environmental triggers for these genes are obesity, consumption of high fats, smoking and depression. Every 2 in 10 individuals carry the predisposition factor with respect to heart diseases.
- Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease –It is characterized by deposition of fat in the liver resulting in an unexplained weight loss. There are 23 gene markers identified as risk markers, few of them being COL13A1, FARP1 and DCLK1. Poor antioxidant intake and high fatty food consumption often are the triggers to it.
- Hypothyroidism – An endocrine disorder, which affects 46% of the population is triggered by high stress levels, poor iodine uptake, lack of micronutrients, high inflammation and smoking. There are 49 gene markers which can express themselves when exposed to such factors. It includes THSB, VAV3 and IYD.
- Chronic Kidney Disease –Involving a total of 18 gene markers, CKD is triggered by the exposure to nephrotoxins, uncontrolled diabetes, obesity and external injury.
Role and Outcomes of Correct Nutrition
Nutrigenomics or understanding nutrient and gene at a molecular level is the scope to identify and prevent the genetic predisposition to ailments. This can happen only with personalized nutrition care, because each individual reacts differently to different diets. The first step to this is to be aware of the genetic predisposition which one carries. However, USDA has identified few nutrients for physiological benefit of the population. This is as follows:
- Vitamin C – An important antioxidant, which inhibits the oxidative damage and long-term consequences of diabetes. This vitamin has extreme potential to fight against the genetically predisposed chronic ailments. It is important to meet up with the daily RDA of Vitamin C.
- Choline – It is responsible for biochemical reactions and neurotransmission. Its deficiency increases the risk of liver gene mutations and reproductive disorders. Therefore, it is important to consume nuts, fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.
- Folate – Folate is responsible for DNA repair and its deficiency can result in neural defects. Meeting the RDA for this nutrient is extremely important starting from early childhood to old age.
- Vitamin E – A leading antioxidant which is responsible for anti-inflammation and protecting the cell from damage. A diet rich in Vitamin E will boost endo-antioxidants like glutathione which fights against disorders like psoriasis, heart disease and CKD.
Most of the disorders are triggered by obesity, lifestyle habits and routine. Even though there is no specific diet which can suit everyone, inclusion of heart healthy meals, cutting off poor nutritional habits, healthy weight maintenance, adequate fluid intake and inclusion of physical activity can help one prevent the trigger of gene markers. According to the best nutritionist in Delhi, each of us possess one of the markers, very few of us can control them from getting triggered!! Correct nutrition is the answer to it!