There has been a lot of talk recently in prominent circles about the various genetic reports and their deficiencies/benefits. I’d like to add my thoughts on this subject as well, and before I go further, my statement is not meant to dispute with anyone, insult anyone or anything disparaging. It is simply my opinion from years of doing this type of work.
The first thing that anybody who obtains a genetic report needs to do is to ask themselves, “what do I expect from this report?”. If you are expecting a direct line from the polymorphisms to treatment protocols or any permutation thereof, this is simply not what is available. And anyone who tells you differently is most likely trying to sell you products or a protocol around your genetic report.
As the science of genetics and nature genomics has progressed over the years, it became obvious that there was not a direct line to supplementation with reference to the polymorphisms involved. Therefore, if you have an MTHFR C677T polymorphism, it does not tell you which product you need. The genetic polymorphisms give you an indicator of how that gene/enzyme will act under an oxidative stress load. Place that information within a pathway and you may have indicator of how the pathway may act under an acute or chronic oxidative stress load.
Hence, it became more efficacious over the past few years to look at things globally rather than specifically because there was a realization that you cannot change the polymorphisms but you can affect, directly or indirectly, the expression of the genetic polymorphisms (sometimes called genetic predisposition). This is based on numerous factors and not just on the SNPs.
I think that the confusion out there is because the expectation is that obtaining a list of the polymorphisms will answer those deep dark questions of why you may still be ill. This is a good set of data, to be sure, but it will not the answer to the entire question. You still have to find the cause of what triggered those polymorphisms to be expressed in the first place.
I believe that the doctor who posted these reports by name took a brave step forward because many computer applications out there at the present time will happily tell you what products to take based on your polymorphisms. And believe me, there are plenty of them out there. If you understand what I wrote above, then it becomes clear why those other products are leading you down the garden path.
What is required to understand any genetic report, is a combination of understanding the polymorphisms and how they may affect various pathways under varying conditions, and adequate diagnostic ability (that is to say, adequate education to look at a condition holistically), adequate experience in order to have the ability to put the puzzle pieces together.
There are numerous healthcare providers in various levels of training and who have various levels of ability. To my knowledge, a database of practitioners with the appropriate information has not been created as of yet.
Lastly, you’ll need to realize that if you look in the history of Dr. Ben’s work, my own work, Dr. Armine’s, Shawn Bean’s or any of the fine healthcare providers that contribute to this field regularly; you will notice that our practices and concentrations have changed over time. It’s because we continue to study, continue to either do or read the research and because we continue to change our practices to the best interests of our patients.
Hence, why I don’t use protocols and why caring for each of my clients is time consuming, because they all get a unique perspective and treatment that supports their own genetic make-up, their expression of those genes as mirrored by their symptoms, and addresses how they got there in the first place.
So in summary, am I saying that genetic reports are useless? No. I’m simply saying:
- The reports being used need to be validated in terms of the rs ID’s they use and the research backing them up as many reports use SNPs to generate ‘treatment plans’ that has no clinical relevance whatsoever.
- Genetic reports should never be used as a stand alone to create a treatment plan for anyone.
- Validated genetic reports should be considered along with other tests, but most importantly with symptoms and health history.
- And finally, finding a quick answer by posting your genetic data on forums for people to add their two cents is unlikely to give you the results you are looking for.
It takes a lot of experience and many years of doing this kind of work to be able to make connections between data and symptoms. And this kind of information you will never see on any gene report. Because it doesn’t exist.
Because it will be different for each person.
Thank you for listening.