| UNDER CONSTRUCTION
1. CONSULTATION ON NUTRITION AND DIETARY PLAN.
Additional option of :
a.NUTRIGENOMIC TESTING (see genetic testimg/genetic polymorphisms below)
b.THERAPEUTIC PLAN FOR SPECIFIC FOOD SUPPLEMENTS (for health optmimization or in cases of chronic disease)
c.FOOD ALLERGIES AND INTOLERANCES
3. ALLERGY TESTING
4. GENETIC TESTING FOR DISEASE PREVENTION AND HEALTH OPTIMIZATION (genetic polymorphisms, www.genosense.com)
5. TESTING FOR SPECIFIC HORMONAL DYSFUNCTION
1. NUTRITIONAL CONSULTATION
PERSONALIZED DIETARY PLAN in accordance with specific medical conditions or needs, such as losing weight "properly". In many instances, dietary plans are prescribed on the basis of the number of calories one should consume for one's height and weight, with generalized recommendations ("don't eat fried foods"). A proper dietary plan should go deeper than that; modern medicine is starting to acknowledge that "we are what we eat", especially in the context of heart disease and certain cancers. A balanced diet entails not only the amount of foods that one should consume but also the type of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
a. Nutrigenomic testing (genetic polymorphisms)
To find out what genetic polymorphisms are, see below.
In relation to diet and nutrition, nutrigenomic testing can highlight: foods that should be avoided (for instance, excess carbohydrates in an individual at risk for developimg type II diabetes) and foods/food supplements which are beneficial (such as calcium, vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 in a woman at risk for osteoporosis).
Detailed explanation: Nutrigenomics is a new sub-specialty of Molecular Medicine, which analyses correlations between food and specific genetic profiles. The aim of this new test, is to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP’s) by means of which, by altering dietary habits, the course of a disease may be modified. Knowing the identity of these polymorphisms enables the individual to recognise which foods increase ad which decrease the risk of developing a disease.
b. Therapeutic plan for specific food supplements
for health optmimization or in cases of chronic disease.
ORTHOMOLECULAR MEDICINE describes the practice of preventing and treating disease by providing the body with optimal amounts of substances which are natural to the body. The term “orthomolecular” was first used by Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling in a paper he wrote in the journal Science in 1968. The key idea in orthomolecular medicine is that genetic factors affect not only the physical characteristics of individuals, but also their biochemical milieu.
Biochemical pathways of the body have significant variability and many diseases are associated with specific biochemical abnormalities which may be causal or contributing factors of illness. There are many examples of orthomolecular therapies in everyday medicine for common illnesses. Here are some examples:
-The prescription of calcium and vitamin D3 for osteoporosis.
- The intake of folic acid for the prevention of neural tube defects.
- High doses of vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 in cases of chronic nerve pain
- High doses of vitamin B12 in severe alcohol-induced liver disease.
- Amiodarone, a well-known drug in cardiology, contains high doses of iodine.
- Intravenous magnesium is sometimes administered in cases of severe cardiac instability.
- Iodine may be prescribed for some types of thyroid disease.
- Vitamin K plays a vital role in blood coagulation.
In some of the above cases, failure to prescribe a specific vitamin or mineral could be potentially viewed as medical negligence.
Unfortunately, very often when there is not a need for a specific vitamin or mineral -as is the case in the above examples- supplements are taken randomly and in non-therapeutic doses; such a practice may, on the one hand be harmful, and on the other equate to taking a coloured tablet. Many food supplements can exert a therapeutic effect in the context of certain diseases, but in highly specific doses and appropriate chemical form;. Here is one example: 250mg of ascorbic acid, commonly known as "vitamin C" has virtually no measurable therapeutic effect, whereas it is a different story with 2g of natural bioflavonoids, the "real vitamin C".
It is important to note that in many diseases, food supplements DO NOT and SHOULD NOT replace conventional treatments. However, with appropriate supervision, it may be possible to decrease the pharmacological agent, or improve general well-being.
It would be ideal to commence food supplementation with a balanced diet in healthy individuals who are at risk of developing disease in the future (e.g. where there is a family history of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer). Needless to say, every case needs to be investigated om a personalized basis. Contrary to what many physicians think, much reputable scientific literature is now emerging on the role of specific nutrients.
c. Specific food allergies and intolerances
These tests are based on the fact that certain constituents of foods may have an "irritant" effect in our gastrointestinal system, thereby causing an immune response (characterized by the formation of immunoglobulins - abbreviation Ig's- in higher than normal amounts). Classically, a food "allergy" (mediated by a type of Ig known as IgE) is quite rapid in onset and easily recognizable; in some rare cases, food allergies have even had a fatal outcome. Food "intolerances" on the other hand are subtle and subclinical in onset and not easy to diagnose; (they are mediated by an entirely different class of Ig known as IgG). The most frequently reported symptoms include irregular bowel habits, loose stool, constipation, abdominal bloating, flatulence and cramping and tiredness. However, food intolerances have also been linked to seemingly unrelated signs and symptoms such as headaches and skin conditions. Needless to say, any one of these clinical complaints should be investigated on an individual basis. INeedless to say, any one of these clinical complaints should be investigated on an individual basis. It may be useful to test for food intolerances in cases of:
-The gastrointestinal symptoms described above and or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
-Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
- In cases of chronic disease in which there is a clinical suspicion that food intolerances may be present.
- For optimization of health as part of a personalized dietary plan
2. ALLERGY TESTING
In recent years, there has been much debate on the clinical benefits that one may derive from testing for food intolerances, while testing for food allergies in specified cases has been widely accepted. There is now a huge amount of clinical data in support of testing for food intolerances. However, there are a variety of tests on the market, of which only one has a scientific basis, namely, testing for IgG's to individual foods in blood. Moreover, it is important to understand the significance of the test: the controversy has been based on the fact that if one were to carry out the test and repeat it one year later, one could have become intolerant to entirely different foods. Therefore, one may be "intolerant for life" to certain foods, have varying intolerances, or a mixture of both. The value of the test lies in detecting foods that may be causing or contributing to a problem -and quite often, it may be foods deemed as being healthy which one would never have suspected- and prescribing a personalized dietary plan in order to prevent food intolerances from reoccurring in the future.
3. GENETIC POLYMORPHISMS: GENETIC TESTING FOR DISEASE PREVENTION AND HEALTH OPTIMIZATION
Put simply, through this type of testing one is able to detect potential weaknesses in the functioning of the human body which may lead to illness in the future.
These weaknesses can be positively influenced by dietary and life-style changes. An opinion shared by many goes along the lines of: "If there is going to be something wrong with me, I'd rather not know now!"...a statement worth analysing: genetic poly morphisms predict a potential risk of a certain disease, NOT a mathematical certainty. This genetic testing should therefore not be confused with the "other type" of genetic testing known and applied for decades for the diagnosis of certain diseases -hence a 100% certainty.
If, for instance, it were established that a child tested positive for Down's syndrome or a disabling neurological illness, only a miracle can alter the clinical course of events.
The following analogy explains how one could view this test: picture a very big house that you would like to keep in good shape as you don't want sudden unpleasant surprises; where would you start with the maintenance work? Testing for genetic polymorphisms could show you, for instance that the tubes draining your upstairs shower are at risk of getting clogged up. You could therefore regularly pour some Domestos and wash your furry dog (who loves a hot shower but sheds an infinite amount of hair in the process) in another shower!
The analysis of genetic polymorphisms enables :
- Detection of susceptibility for certain diseases even before they become manifest.
- Individual measures for prevention and therapy for diseases.
- Patient-tailored guide in the choice of certain hormones and medication, (based on the function of detoxification pathways).
- An optimisation of life style and therefore quality of life.
- A slowdown of ageing due to an individualized dietary plan and choice of nutritional supplements.
How is the test carried out?
The test is simple and painless: having given one's consent, a cotton bud is rubbed against the inner side of both cheeks. It is then sent to the lab. One should have brushed one's teeth and not have had anything to eat or drink for the 2 hours preceding the test.
Unfortunately, in some countries, genetic polymorphisms can be tested for "over the counter"; however, competent laboratories only carry out the test if requested by a physician; the reason being that the proper interpretation of the results can only be carried out by a physician who has experience in the field of Molecular Medicine.
There are tests in the following areas:
Urology and andrology: evaluates the risk of prostate cancer as well as the risk for thrombosis, osteoporosis, metabolic imbalances of detoxification and chronic inflammation.
Gynecology: evaluates the advantages and disadvantages of hormone replacement therapy, in relation to breast cancer, bone metabolism (osteoporosis), thrombosis and long-term exposure to estrogens.
Obstetrics: evaluates the advantages and disadvantages of hormone replacement therapy, in relation to: breast cancer, bone metabolism (osteoporosis), thrombosis and long-term exposure to estrogens.
Cardiology: evaluates the risk profile of the most common cardiovascular diseases (atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, stroke) and the potential risks of obesity and imbalances in lipid metabolism.
Pharmacology: provides information regarding one’s “genetic” tolerance to medications.
Nutrition (see above).
Comprehensive: all of the above (for male and female)
The most appropriate test is selected on the basis of a person's medical history and symptoms, if present (present and past), family history and social history.
The test entails a testing procedure based on genetic polymorphisms; these are becoming a valuable medical tool, for preventive as well as treatment options. The characterization of genetic variants (known as polymorphisms) in the human genome (or "genetic code") has made great progress in the past decade; the interactions between these genetic variants and body functions have been examined by a large number of scientific trials, enabling more precise statements about the clinical significance of polymorphisms. Genes constitute the body's construction plan for "building" human bodies.
Nearly the total human DNA is identical from human to human, yet a tiny fraction that is different in an individual is very important. A gene sequence that varies from the usual pattern (a so-called polymorphism) may alter the normal shape and function of proteins, and therefore have both a negative as well as a positive influence on the human body. This can influence the way the body functions. It can also make us more susceptible to some diseases and less likely to develop others.
Approximately 25,000 genes code for up to 100,000 proteins, that carry out most life’s functions. We do not inherit a disease state per se: rather; we inherit a set of susceptibility factors to environmental influences that modify the risk of developing a disease. These factors can include things like cigarette smoke or air pollution, excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet, sun exposure, bacterial infection, chronic nutrient deficiencies, hormone imbalances, lifestyle habits, or toxic exposure. In other words, the vast majority of genetic polymorphisms only have the potential to cause health problems, if exposed to the wrong "mix" of harmful agents over time.
Preventive Genetic Diagnostics helps to explain why individuals are affected differently by the same environmental factors, and most importantly, it enables the physician to select appropriate measures for his patient tailored to his individual