How genetic testing can benefit you
As South Africa is deep in the third wave of the Covid-19 virus, with new strains appearing frequently, and the cold weather lingering, now is a good time to understand your body better and coat yourself with an extra layer of protection by giving your immune system exactly what it needs. The operative word here is “exactly.” With precision medicine, you can now move from reacting to conditions to preventing them.
This is why you need to understand your own DNA. The answers are there, waiting to help you live your healthiest life. Just like everything else in the body, the DNA controls the immune system. Some genes detect a virus, some switch the immune system on, some switch it off and then inform the body to go clean-up and repair the damaged tissues. Knowing which of your immunity genes are working or not working, will remove the guesswork out of how you can optimize your immune system to protect yourself against viruses and bacteria.
The Gene-Immune DNA test tests for 30 genes that affect different parts of your immune system. Your results will be presented to you by a Geneway accredited healthcare practitioner. Thereafter, you will receive a laboratory generated report based on your genetic results, detailing how to overcome these genetic deficiencies such as which nutrients you may need more, or less of, to minimize your risk for and optimise your recovery, should you get a viral infection.
How is the immune system activated?
The immune system can be activated by many different actions that the body doesn’t recognize as its own. These are called antigens. Examples of antigens include the proteins on the surfaces of bacteria, fungi and viruses. When these antigens attach to special receptors on the immune cells (immune system cells), a series of processes is triggered in the body. Once the body has come into contact with a disease-causing germ for the first time, it usually stores information about the germ and how to fight it. Then, if it encounters the germ again, it recognizes the germ straight away and can start fighting it faster.
The body’s own cells have proteins on their surface, too. But those proteins don’t usually trigger the immune system to fight the cells. Sometimes the immune system mistakenly thinks that the body’s own cells are foreign cells. It then attacks healthy, harmless cells in the body. This is known as an autoimmune response.
The innate and adaptive immune system
There are two subsystems within the immune system, known as the innate (non-specific) immune system and the adaptive (specific) immune system. Both of these subsystems are closely linked and work together whenever a harmful substance triggers an immune response.
The innate immune system provides a general defense against harmful pathogens, so it’s also called the non-specific immune system. It mostly fights using immune cells such as natural killer cells and phagocytes (“eating cells”). The main job of the innate immune system is to fight harmful substances and germs that enter the body, for instance through the skin or digestive system.
The adaptive (specific) immune system makes antibodies and uses them to specifically fight certain germs that the body has previously come into contact with. This is also known as an “acquired” (learned) or specific immune response. Because the adaptive immune system is constantly learning and adapting, the body can also fight bacteria or viruses that change over time.
Here are a few examples of what to expect in your report when you do the Gene-Immune DNA test
The immune system is always scanning the body for foreign particles, such as viruses. The report addresses aspects of your body pertaining to ineffective detection of foreign objects that can surpass your natural surveillance system and therefore, increase your likelihood of contracting an illness.
In responding to foreign particles detected, the body activates an acute response to flush out or devour the foreign particle. Some genes can be highly sensitive and may cause an over-response known as a cytokine storm., attacking and damaging more than just the foreign particles. This sometimes happens when people get Covid-19, with devastating effects.
Due to the body’s activity in destruction of foreign particles and toxins alike, free radicals are released for disposal. Free radicals are destructive to the body and are neutralized by antioxidants. Additionally, cellular and tissue repair is required. Your genes will help you understand what you can expect of your body which is different from the person next to you.
By evaluating your personal gene-variations and understanding how they influence the biological processes involved in your own immune system, you will gain an understanding of the optimal personalized diet, exercise and lifestyle behaviors or habits that will benefit your body. This is extremely valuable because managing your health proactively has multiple benefits.
The importance of supporting your immune system cannot be understated, however, do you know if you are at risk for developing Vit D toxicity as a result of supplementation? The answers to which supplements you may need lie to a great extent in your DNA. While many supplements may provide benefits, there is no need to take nutrients for minerals or vitamins that your body doesn’t need. The Gene-Immune test will guide you and your practitioner with supplementation, saving you time and money.
For more information, go to www.geneway.co.za