While your epigenetics are influenced by diet, toxins and heredity, your DNA does not change. Nutrigenomic SNP testing is something you will run only once in your lifetime. Unlike DNA based SNP testing, follow up biochemical testing is something you can run routinely to check that the supplementation you are using is actually making a difference.
I view biochemical tests like signs along a highway that let you know where you are located in your journey and how much further you need to go to reach your destination. I often have individuals who have run a nutrigenomic test to see where the imbalances are in their Methylation Cycle. They then add what appears to be appropriate supplementation based on those nutrigenomic results to support the short cut and the long route around the cycle. I will get a question on the discussion group about what they should add next. My question back to them is always what are your biochemical tests looking like? Asking what to do next without running biochemical tests is like calling on your way from your hometown to my rural town in Maine. How can you ask which route to take, if you cannot answer where you are located? How can you ask how much longer the trip will take, if you don’t know where you are on the Roadmap?
This program can help you to plot your Roadmap to health, but you need to have a sense of where you are on the road in order to know the next step to take.
Starting with nutrigenomic testing is a wonderful place to begin as it is possible to look at specific supplementation to bypass mutations that are identified by SNP testing. But the next critical piece is to be sure you are running biochemical tests to be sure the support you are adding is sufficient and having the impact you desire. Biochemical tests are like signposts along the highway on your Roadmap to Health. While you can get started on your journey without nutrigenomic testing, it is virtually impossible to know where you are on the path to health without running biochemical tests.
The tests I work from are noninvasive in nature that can be run from the privacy of your own home. I find that there is much better compliance when you have control over when and where you take a test. You can also run additional blood tests with your own doctor to supplement the results from urine, hair and fecal testing.
Urine amino amino tests give you information about the building blocks for proteins in your system. UAA testing can help you to see if you are making progress with some of the compounds in the Methylation Cycle as well as a sense of overall nutrient absorption. UAA tests measure homocysteine which is a compound associated with a range of health imbalances, as well as methionine,taurine and phospholipids which are all indicators of Methylation Cycle support.
Urine essential and toxic elements tests (UTM/UEE) give you a picture of the toxins being excreted from your system as well as the level of critical minerals in your body. Toxic metal excretion data is useful as the environmental toxic load can impair methylation and also is one of the risk factors in multifactorial conditions. Cobalt levels on an essential mineral test can give indicators about Methylation Cycle support as cobalt is a measure of B12 levels. Where lithium is reported to impact B12 transport having data on lithium levels in urine as well as hair can be a help in supporting the Methylation Cycle.
Hair metal tests give additional information about toxic and essential mineral levels. HMT are particularly useful with respect to lithium levels. Research suggests that hair tests are an excellent measure of lithium levels. Blood lithium testing can also be run. When adding Vitamin B12 to support the Methylation Cycle I feel it is critical to closely follow lithium levels (as well as potassium).
Metabolic Analysis testing helps to give information about intermediates in the Methylation Cycle, about breakdown products of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine and also gives data concerning critical energy intermediates in the body. More and more adults and children are recognizing mitochondrial issues as a factor in their declining health. MAP testing is useful in assessing the level of mitochondrial energy intermediates.
Another key factor in multifactorial conditions is the infectious disease burden. In addition to blood testing for antibody titers for a range of bacterial and viral conditions, there are stool tests that can be utilized. Comprehensive stool analysis tests and DNA probe tests can give an indication of the bacterial and yeast load in the intestinal tract. I like to run both tests simultaneously as they give related but nonidentical information. The comprehensive stool analysis does not limit the organisms it allows to grow but will indicate any organisms that are present that grow in a given amount of time. This is a wonderful tool to see the range of nonideal organisms in the gut. But a comprehensive stool analysis may not pick up very slow growing or oxygen sensitive organisms. Tests that use a DNA based probe often detect very small numbers of slow growing organisms. This is excellent for determining if slow growing organisms are an issue even if they did not grow on the comprehensive stool analysis. However, DNA probe tests only look for a limited number of organisms so it can only identify those for which the DNA probe is included in the test. For this reason the combination of a comprehensive stool analysis along with DNA probe based tests for microorganisms yield more comprehensive data in my opinion.
Again, the purpose of biochemical tests is to follow up on the supplementation you are using based on nutrigenomic testing. If you have not run a nutrigenomic test you can still get a sense of where you are on your Roadmap to health by running biochemical tests. The nutrigenomic SNP testing gives you an idea about underlying genetic weaknesses. The biochemical tests give you feedback on how well your current support regime is working so you can determine where you are located on your personal Roadmap to health and wellness.