Food allergy? It might be in your DNA
Learn how your body handles food
More people today are complaining of some kind of food allergy or intolerance. You hear of people cutting out bread, dairy, carbs or inflammatory foods from their diets in the gut-busting battle.
But did you ever think food-related issues could be down to your DNA?
Dr Nasim Ashraf, the clinical director at the DNA Centre for Integrative Medicine and Wellness in Dubai, believes so. “Food is truly medicine,” says Dr Ashraf. “You are what you eat.”
SO WHY DO WE HAVE SENSITIVITIES?
Dr Ashraf explains that food intolerances - sensitivities - are symptomatic of the world we live in. We know the numbers are increasing, but is it just more detection? He says it’s all to do with our diet. He adds: “Yes, intolerances have increased - beyond any previous imagination. And it is because in the past 50 years we are eating an increasing amount of genetically modified [foods]. All the wheat we are eating is genetically modified. All the foods we are eating are full of antibiotics and hormones - that’s why food intolerances and allergies have increased exponentially. “It is all due to the contaminated food we are eating, and the environment we are living in - the pesticides and insecticides that are being used to produce the food.”
A DNA TEST FOR FOOD INTOLERANCES?
People who suspect they have a food intolerance can get themselves checked out. Not just for comfort and weight issues, but also because having an inflamed system can lead to myriad diseases.
DNA Centre offers a special test, that not only tests your standard 150 food intolerances, it also tests for proneness to diseases - to help prevent the onset of chronic illnesses including diabetes, digestive disorders and arthritis.
HOW IS THE TEST DONE?
The test simply takes a small amount of blood and saliva which is sent away for analysis. Dr Ashraf says: “DNA testing will tell us about the person - and the panels we test - the 150 of them, have been specially created and designed for people to see for example how they handle and how their body processes fat.
“It shows how people’s bodies can see the issue of weight metabolism - whether they’re prone to burning fat, or accumulating fat.
“But more than that, we can also see people’s proneness to some cancers, to osteoarthritis, for diabetes, digestive diseases, Alzheimer’s - we can gauge people’s genetic risks to these diseases.”
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN A CURE
To Dr Ashraf and many in modern medicine, prevention is much better than a cure. The experts can help us to work out a lifestyle that will reduce risk factors for individuals.
“Though, in saying this, genetics are not everything,” he warns. “This is susceptibility - so you can do something about it. Then action it, do something about it - this branch of medicine is called epigenetics.
“We can evaluate how the genes express themselves, and then there are things we can do so the gene doesn’t reveal itself with the disease.”
TEST YOUR DNA: Allergies or intolerances should be checked out