Why testing my DNA was the best thing I ever did

Why testing my DNA was the best thing I ever did

By Jenny Griesel

I have no need to know where my ancestors come from, or whether they were Vikings or celts. My lineage is of little interest to me. I’m a South African living the melting pot society dream where we celebrate our uniqueness and our commonalities simultaneously.

What is of interest to me however is my health! For the longest time, I was afraid of getting Diabetes. There is loads of it on my mom’s side of the family. In fact, I have grandmothers, great grandmothers, and great aunts that died from this dreaded disease. Granted, some of it was in the days before there was a treatment. However, the point is that if it’s coming for me, it’s of a particularly nasty strain. My uncle has it and I don’t envy him.

It came as almost heaven-sent information when I found out that, by testing your DNA, you can get an idea of what’s waiting for you, in your genes. With a simple buccal swab in the mouth, you hand in your saliva sample, and you get the results two weeks later.

The doctor that presented me with my results, Dr. Christa North, was gentle, and thorough. She spent a lot of time explaining everything in great detail. I found out all sorts of things, including why I feel at my best in the afternoons, what I should and should not eat, what deficiencies I have, and why I never stop eating (true story!)

When we got to the part about Diabetes, whadoyaknow….  there it was. I have the gene that indicates that my chances of getting it are real. Red, red and more red! My heart sank.

And this is when things started to change. You see, the doctor explained… it’s not about the fact that you have a chance of getting it, or that it’s in your genes. It’s about how you use this information to avoid it! DNA is a trigger and knowing what your DNA looks like enables you to work around it and prevent it from being triggered.

Thanks to a good friend who works in the pharmaceutical industry, I was able to get an appointment with one of the country’s top endocrinologists. He gave me three very important steps to follow:

  • Cut out all sugar. Specifically fizzy drinks (as they are the most harmful), but best to cut out all sugar.
  • Start exercising. Your fitness in your forties has a major impact on your health in later decades. Three times a week is a good start but 4 – 5 times is ideal.
  • Don’t pick up weight! The fatty band that women get around their tummies can be very harmful in the onset of diabetes.

And from now on, September is blood test month! Every year, I will now be going for a blood test to see what’s going on, on the diabetes front. Until then, I keep living, and more importantly, living more healthily!

So, as much as I got the answer that I did not want to hear at all, I now understand that I can play a role in living healthily and preventing or at least slowing down the onset of diabetes. Truth be told, I had always taken my extremely good health for granted. The advice I was given is perhaps common sense and part of living a healthy life. In retrospect, it’s silly that it had to get to this point for me to make these changes, but I am extremely thankful that I know what I now do.

And that is why testing my DNA was the best thing I ever did. I tested mine through www.geneway.co.za and would recommend it to anyone wanting to unlock the keys to good health and live your best life.

How a DNA test answered Christo’s questions

How a DNA test answered Christo’s questions

Christo Bester (43)’s lifestyle involves a lot of traveling. While he is currently crop farming in South Dakota, USA, he frequently travels to South Africa and the United Kingdom. During his last trip to South Africa in January 2020, he developed internal hemorrhoids, which nobody could explain. This was not the first time this had happened at the end of a trip, and Christo needed answers.  It was then that his dad suggested he do a DNA test after seeing a Geneway representative explain the approach on television.

The idea of doing a DNA test appealed to Christo as he also wanted to understand which foods are best suited to him, given that his food options differ so vastly in the various places he travels to. The results, which were presented to him by Dietician Bernice Venter, gave him all of him the answers he needed and more. 

He learned that charred foods have a bad effect on him. His body can’t handle coffee. Bread makes him bloated and his body doesn’t manage his blood sugar levels optimally. Following recommendations, he now takes the Geneway Carb Support supplement to address his carbohydrate sensitivity and insulin resistance mutations, which ensures that he can metabolize and break carbohydrates down. This will also prevent the onset of insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes, which is a risk associated with these genes. 

According to his genetics, Christo cannot convert certain nutrients into their active form and therefore he has a risk for undermethylation. He now takes a Methylation support supplement so that his body will receive the right nutrients, in their right form to support his underlying body processes like DNA repair, maintenance on brain neurotransmitters, and detoxification. 

Christo was an irregular eater and never used to eat dinner. His test showed that this is because he has a mutation on his circadian rhythm gene (his body clock gene) which made him prone to skipping meals. The dietician recommended that he take a Protein shake with Glucahol 22 in the evenings and consider sleep therapy to improve his sleeping habits.

Christo’s DNA revealed that he stresses easily and is prone to anxiety. The supplement that Venter recommended he take to address his anxiety, stress levels, and sleep has made a world of difference. His general mood has improved, he feels much calmer and more grounded.

Christo now eats according to the guidelines that were given in his genetic test reports and he has seen many health and wellness benefits through this approach. Purely by eating according to these recommendations, his weight has dropped from approximately 110kg to now 100 kg, enabling him to wear a size 36 jeans, instead of 38.

He’s also a lot more careful about the way he braais his meat, ensuring it isn’t charred!

When asked whether he would recommend the Geneway test to others, Christo explained “Yes! I like the personalized approach. The guidelines have been easy to follow, and I feel so much healthier all around.”

To learn more about the DNA tests offered by Geneway, go to https://www.geneway.co.za/

To book your Geneway test, kindly contact your Supreme Aesthetics practice.

Senior citizen shows it’s never too late to test your DNA

Senior citizen shows it’s never too late to test your DNA

Remarkable results for Bets Zietsman

Johannesburg resident Bets Zietsman (69) has struggled with her weight all her life. Having tried various diets and eating plans, she started feeling despondent after she wasn’t able to retain her weight position on any of them. Suffering from high cholesterol, for which she is on medication, she was desperate to find a way to live a healthier life.

A few months ago, she came across the concept of nutrigenomics, eating according to your DNA, which is simple to achieve by doing the Geneway Genediet test. After consulting dietician Bernice Venter, Bets decided she had nothing to lose by doing this test, and the results have been astounding.

Bets now eats according to her genetic profile, which is made easy by the Genediet report that gives a person a guideline on what type of diet will work for her, how to incorporate exercise into her routine and what extra nutrients her body needs for optimal function and health. By following these simple guidelines, she has lost body fat mass, increased her muscle mass and lost weight in just one month. 

Her cholesterol levels have also improved significantly, and she has less cravings for sweet things like she did in the past.  Bets explains that she feels more healthy, has more energy overall, and no longer needs to sleep every afternoon. 

“The truth is that a person’s DNA never changes, so whether you test your genes at age 7 or 70, the results will be the same, proving that it is never too late to test your DNA in order to live a healthier life” explains Bernice Venter. “It is such a simple way to achieve a better state of health” Venter concluded.

Visit https://www.geneway.co.za/  to find out about how DNA testing can help you improve your health and wellness, or contact your Supreme Aesthetics practice to book your DNA test today.

Should you test your child’s DNA?

Should you test your child’s DNA?

To test or not to test…

In countries like Norway and Finland, it is standard practice to test every new born baby for various genetic disorders. Conditions like Cystic Fibrosis, Sickle Cell Anaemia, Duchenne Muscular dystrophy, Tay-Sachs Disease, Phenylketonuria, and Thalassemia which are caused by a single gene mutation and respond well to early treatment which can prevent potentially serious complications or permanent disability.

In other countries, for example Kuwait, compulsory DNA testing was over-ruled after being challenged in court, in favour of protecting the right to personal liberty and privacy.

However, few diseases are the result of a single genetic mutation. Instead, multiple genes interact with each other and with environmental factors to influence the child’s risk of illness and the severity of any given disease or condition. This means that it is possible to make changes to the child’s diet and conditions to influence whether or not these conditions will manifest.

Every parent at some stage worries about whether they have passed on a hereditary disease to their child, and the truth is that their susceptibility to those conditions is indicated in many of today’s DNA tests. Nonetheless, this information is not necessarily doom and gloom. The focus of precision medicine, which includes DNA testing is to use this information to avoid these conditions setting in. Prevention is more effective once one knows the risks.

“Genetic tests can help parents to make informed lifestyle choices for infants and young children. For example, these tests can help identify the likely cause of digestive issues, to avoid further symptoms and promote healthy digestion” says Dr Christa North, nutrigenomics specialist at Geneway. 

What lifestyle DNA testing will enable you to know about your child

  • The risk of nutritional deficiencies can be identified in DNA test results. This way you can work out exactly which nutritional supplements should be given to the child.
  • The Geneway Genediet test explains which food types are best suited to his / her system and which should be avoided
  • DNA tests explain a child’s circadian rhythm and give insights regarding their optimal sleep times and needs.
  • The Geneway Genesport test explains whether one’s body is better positioned for anaerobic (power/ strength) or aerobic (endurance) sports, as well as how well their body will respond to exercise. This explains their sport potential and will help guide you on how to manage this aspect of their development.  
  • New DNA tests identify the strengths and weaknesses of each person’s immune system and give indications of how these can be addressed for optimal health
  • The onset of Diabetes in children has increased tremendously in the past decade. Testing the child’s DNA helps explain his / her predisposition for this condition so that parents can structure their diet accordingly, and know the signs to look out for.

The details are in the DNA

Here are a few of the genes that are tested by South African  DNA testing company Geneway and what they indicate:

MTHFR – Switching genes on / off Sometimes your child’s focus is great, other days s/he has major anxiety, complains about headaches or is simply just grumpy. Even autism is a possibility…..
COMT – “laid-back or tense?” The gene that determines whether your child is cheerful and focused or quickly irritated, impatient, has a high pain sensitivity and sleep is a challenge
DAO – “sensitivity to certain foods” You know your child is allergic to ‘something’ or sometimes you feel like he / she is allergic to ‘everything’, but cannot figure out what?
GSTs – “Detox issues” Chemicals and smells make your child feel sick and they probably will develop grey hair early. In addition, they are more vulnerable to DNA damage.
MAO-A – mood swings & carb cravings This gene helps govern the levels of dopamine and serotonin, brain chemicals that affect mood, aggression, productivity, vulnerability to addictions, self-confidence, sleep and carb cravings!
NOS3 – heart issues Are heart problems on the way? Cold hands and feet can indicate that blood flow and blood vessel formation are affected.
PEMT – liver and brain issues No! Your child is not made to be a vegetarian! In addition, gallbladder problems and muscle pain are common.
APOE – want to play rugby? The ApoE gene promotes repair and growth in brain cells after traumatic injuries such as concussions. Contact sports are not a good idea
HFE – “iron man” Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world, however, the opposite, an iron overload, can have far more devastating consequences. Too much iron in the body causes liver disease, fatigue, weight loss, abdominal pain and has an effect on normal puberty development.
F2 & F5 – blood clotting issues Blood clotting disorders, heart disease and strokes.  Diseases that start young but are often only diagnosed when too late

To test or not to test

The information obtained in DNA tests can be used to dramatically improve a child’s quality of life if this is accompanied by proper medical interpretation and thorough recommendations. You as a parent will be in a position to make more informed choices regarding their health, wellness, sport and diet if you are equipped with detailed information. 

What is important is to ensure that a qualified healthcare provider interprets and presents the results to you. DNA reports are highly detailed, and while some international companies do offer a test and report (without consultation) a professional consultation is highly recommended to ensure that both you the parents and your child gets the full benefit of the test.

This is why we at Supreme Aesthetics offer the Geneway tests as this consultation is essential and our doctors are trained to provide this feedback.

More information about the Geneway DNA tests is available at https://www.geneway.co.za/  

Contact your Supreme Aesthetics practice to book your DNA test today

Happy family sitting together in the backyard, having fun. Father and mother playing with their kids while sitting in patio.

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