My Supplements via Pure Encapsulations (post genetic testing)
My Experience Analyzing My DNA via PureGenomics®
First of all, can we even begin to count the number of “supplements” out there these days (or the number of companies that sell them)? On top of that, how the heck am I supposed to know what I need to take (and when and also, is it really working?) Honestly, it’s one of the most confusing things to me, which means I am sure it is for others too. Last year I started taking probiotics and digestive enzymes because well, everyone else did. I have tried 10-12 different companies and every time I was like, yeah I have no idea if this is working.
Then, I worked with Pure Encapsulations to try their products and immediately felt “the difference”. Pure Encapsulations products are my go to; they have the HIGHEST quality and they are super knowledgable. I teamed up with them again a few months ago to take a genetics test and work with their PureGenomics® team to interpret my results. PureGenomics is a platform via PureEncap that ‘combines tools, protocols and nutritional supplements with a dynamic, practitioner-exclusive website application designed to help easily translate, identify and address common genetic variation known as SNPs. A lot of you on my stories were asking what testing I did to get this info — I did their genetic testing because…”within your DNA is a roadmap to achieving optimal health and wellness. Genetic testing can help you better understand your genetic makeup and its impact on your health.” Of course I do not know how to read it so they have skilled practitioners who sort through it and break it down for you.
I took the 23andMe® genetics test and then that was uploaded into the PureGenomics® web application. Then Pure Encapsulations’ nutritional genomics expert, Dr. Morris met with me to review and interpret my color-coded PureGenomics® report. During my 1:1 consult with him, I was able to learn more about my overall health. As you probably know, I eat a pretty healthy diet, exercise regularly and tend to listen to my body as needed. As I have learned, sometimes your body needs a little extra push and that’s where supplements/vitamins come in. The PureGenomics® report shows diet/lifestyle recommendations and supplement recommendations. The report showed the SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms) I have and do not have. While there are more than 10 million SNPs, PureGenomics® identifies SNPs that are relevant to our health and are well-researched and responsive to dietary and/or lifestyle interventions. So, basically, SNPs you can actually do something about through foods and vitamins. Below is a snapshot of the categories of SNPs that the PureGenomics® application dives into:
Within each category, the PureGenomics® app distills down the function and effect of each SNP, what the lifestyle recommendations are (if any) and recommends a supplement (if necessary) with nutrients to help improve function. I learned a lot about my body when it comes to how my body converts dopamine, how certain enzymes work and even how my body metabolizes certain things, (like saturated fat, caffeine, alcohol, etc). ,Also recommendations on certain foods that need to be increased or decreased in my diet according to my genetics. To make it a little simpler they break it down by color to show you how many copies of each gene, if any, contain a variant. If your genotype shows green, you don’t have a variant. Genotype reports that show yellow mean that there may be a reduction in function, and nutritional support may be beneficial. Red genotypes typically mean that you should pay closer attention and strongly consider nutritional support.
Even through there was a lot to take in and process, I took away SO much about myself, my body and my brain. A lot of the things I found out, I was able to make connections to and most of them actually made a lot of sense when I thought about it in terms of how I feel, etc. For the Vitamin and Mineral section, it shows that one of the SNPs I have may reduce the body’s ability to make the needed amount of Vitamin A from the foods I eat. With this, it is recommended to eat more eggs, dairy products, cod liver oil and organ meats (stomach, liver, etc.). Due to my non-interest in cod liver and organ meats, I need to make sure I am adding Vitamin A into my daily diet. Detoxification was interesting as one of my SNPs showed my body may have a reduced ability to eliminate certain toxins. Making sure to continue the consumption of cruciferous veggies as well as a daily supplement to support detoxification (NrF2 Detox).
There is also a possibility that I may need more antioxidant support as well. On top of increasing the number of foods rich in lycopene and antioxidants, I have added Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) on a daily basis. One of the things I learned from the Weight Management SNPs is certain people carry a gene that makes them prone to weight gain and increased food intake when consuming high amounts of saturated fat. I do not have this SNP and when I mentioned that I have a high saturated fat diet and it works well for me, Dr. Morris mentioned what this makes sense (but made me realize even more, just how different everyone is!) However, the report showed a recommendation for me to add something to help support me in the omega-3 fatty acid area (known as EPA and DHA). The diet recommendations listed cold water fish as something to incorporate into my diet, but because this still may not be enough, I should consider adding the EPA/DHA Essentials supplement (omega 3/fish oil) to my daily routine. Another that stood out is it showed a genetic predisposition to a higher body weight and body fat percentage. To address that, the PureGenomics® app suggested an increase in my protein intake and that I should consider the Mediterranean diet. Honestly, something I haven’t really thought much about recently but truly makes me curious on how I would feel and how my weight would change if I upped the protein a little and decreased my potato consumption (ha, that might be hard for me!)
Now for the Cognitive Health Memory SNPs, my results showed multiple SNPs that are associated with lower dopamine levels and altered signaling of dopamine in my body, which can impact mood and memory. Many of you may not know, but I have been on medications to support my mental health since 2015. I have tried 3 different ones, not even sure if they were working. I have been on Prozac for about a year now. Looking at my genetics offered some helpful clues about my neurotransmitters. I’m definitely going to share my PureGenomics® results with my doctor and have a discussion about whether nutritional support for my neurotransmitters would be beneficial for me. Important Note: You should NEVER stop a medication or start a new supplement without consulting your doctor first.
Glucose Homeostasis SNPs are basically related to blood sugar regulation within the body. Due to my genetics, regular exercise is highly recommended in order to maintain proper blood sugar balance as well as manage my stress. The PureGenomics® app showed that the Mediterranean diet with a reduction in carbs and sugar might be a good choice for me based on my Glucose Homeostasis SNPs. I do eat a high fat, high veggie, medium potato diet and Dr. Morris mentioned that also keeping an eye on intake of sugars and starches (cornmeal, flour (millet, sorghum, whole wheat, oats, rice, pasta (durum wheat), corn, beans, cereal) could be beneficial for me. To me, I never would have thought of it being beans or oats but completely makes sense.
After our 1:1, Dr. Morris sent over a recap of all of the supplements we talked about so I could print them out and discuss them with my doctor.
Ascorbic Acid: Helps enhance immune and vascular system health, provides antioxidant support, 1000 mg of vitamin C per capsule.
Dopa Plus: Supports dopamine production and maintains healthy reuptake for daily mental function and sharpness’. Dopamine can help regulate emotional responses, movement‚ and internal reward and pleasure centers.
EPA/DHA: Fish Oil. support for cardiovascular health and daily wellness. Promote cardiovascular health by supporting healthy triglyceride and lipid metabolism, maintaining healthy blood flow, and supporting healthy platelet function. Fish oil is also important for optimal joint function.
Magnesium (glycinate) - Magnesium plays a part in more than 300 chemical activations in the body. It is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in our modern lifestyle. Magnesium glycinate is a very stable form of magnesium that can support calming the brain, reduce anxiety, promote better sleep and maintain a strong bone density. Magnesium is connected to other nutrients in the body (ie. calcium and vitamin D), which can help regulate them in your body.
Nrf2 Detox: Support detoxification and antioxidant defenses
PureGenomics® Multivitamin: Provides vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K in highly bioavailable forms and offers vitamin B12 in unique and multiple blends.
23andMe ® is the registered trademark of 23andMe, Inc. Pure Encapsulations is not affiliated with or endorsed by 23andMe ® These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
It was such an awesome experience to learn but now I can even listen to my body more closely. I do not think you HAVE to take supplements to “be healthy”. But, it is always good to understand WHY something happens to YOU and not someone else and being able to address it. If you’re curious about understanding more information about your genetic testing, click here.
ps- I do not take every single one of these everyday, I just listen to what may be needed more times than others. I also have other supplements that I take when needed such as a probiotic, Liver Detox, Digestive Enzymes and a turmeric supplement, when needed.