When new patients join Wild Health, one of the most exciting perks they receive is access to their personalized health report. Using our advanced testing, our doctors examine your genome and your Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs), the variations in your genes that make you a unique individual. By examining SNPs, we can learn about everything from how you respond to caffeine to your risk factor for certain diseases. Our recommendations utilize the principles of epigenetics, or how to turn the advantageous genes on and the disadvantageous genes off. The key is that the report is individual to you, because personalized medicine recognizes that not every health “rule” will work for every body in the exact same way.
Think of our health report as a comprehensive, incredibly detailed user manual to your own health, using your SNPs as the foundation of all that knowledge. Equipped with all this information, our doctors can better communicate with you about your health goals and the best ways to achieve them.
Want a peek behind the scenes? Here’s a look at the core health pillars in our health plan – and why we find these markers so helpful to our patients.
Macronutrients are the building blocks of your diet: fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Some diets promote high fat, low carb; others emphasize carbs and protein for athletic performance. However, the precision medicine approach recognizes that there’s not one “right” diet, and your body processes different nutrients in its own unique way.
With our advanced testing, Wild Health will look at things like how you handle saturated fats and whether your body does better with less or more carbs. We might explore what superfoods will best enhance your specific DNA, as opposed to what foods might make you feel worse. At the end of the report’s macronutrients section, we’ll recommend a personalized macronutrients breakdown based on your DNA, as well as what vitamins you’re currently deficient in and how you can boost those levels through supplements and food choices.
One last thing: with precision medicine, we’ll never make you eat foods you don’t like or suggest you follow a restrictive diet just because it's trendy. Our recommendations will always take your preferences into account because you’re more likely to keep up your healthy habits when you actually enjoy what you’re eating.
Movement is important for longevity; that’s not a secret. The secret lies in how to maximize your workouts and prioritize recovery too. We use a combination of three major polygenic scores to help develop your personalized workout plan: Strength and Endurance, Recovery, and HIIT. Using that information, we can understand what types of exercise might lead to faster progress. We can also recommend an ideal number of recovery days to take per week, and we can even clue you in to what injuries you’re most susceptible to.
Contrary to what hustle culture preaches, a lack of sleep shouldn’t be worn as a badge of honor. When you sleep poorly, you perform poorly – it’s as simple as that. We prioritize sleep because great sleep leads to a better mood, higher energy levels, and improved mental clarity.
By examining your genome, we can look for SNPs that can affect sleep and then create a personalized sleep plan. For example, MTNR1B impacts glucose tolerance in your melatonin receptor, meaning anyone with that SNP should consider having their last meal at least three hours before bed. Or, we can look for SNPs that link poor sleep and disease risk. Gene NPAS2 is one of those; it’s a marker for increased cancer risk associated with alterations in circadian rhythm. Someone with this SNP shouldn’t eat when it’s dark and should fast for at least 12 hours every night.
Stress and anxiety may be “all in your head,” but they have a real, physical effect on the body and mind. Mindfulness can help stabilize cortisol and improve the balance of hormones in our body, and it can even lower blood pressure by 10-15mm Hg.
Some of the neurobehavioral genes we include in our health report include AKT1, FAAH, and COMT. AKT1 indicates an increased risk for cannabis-associated psychosis, so while cannabis may be considered a depressant, we’d advise individuals with this SNP to avoid it. FAAH refers to Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase, or how your body breaks down cannabinoids and whether something like CBD will actually help your sleep. COMT, meanwhile, can lead to more dopamine in the prefrontal cortex and affect mood energy, and more.
Your microbiome is the bacteria in your gut, and it affects your risk of chronic disease (like heart disease and dementia). This bacteria also affects your vitamins, nutrients, neurotransmitters, mental health, and more – so suffice to say, your microbiome is a major force on your health. We use your microbiome data to build your inflammation score, which may give a glimpse into your risk of chronic disease, and a diversity score, which has been linked to your longevity.
Using these inflammation and diversity scores, we can flag any foods that might trigger uncomfortable symptoms. We can also advise on the best foods to improve your digestive system and any supplements to best support your gut health.
Chronic Disease Risk
Using your genome, we can assess your risk for chronic diseases, like cardiovascular disease, dementia, insulin resistance, and inflammation. For example, we’ll look for signs of insulin resistance by breaking down your body’s ability to transport glucose. If we see markers of insulin resistance, you might be at risk for pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. So, we’ll offer a strategic plan for restoring insulin sensitivity, like a low-carb diet, increased exercise, and optimized sleep.
The whole point of a health report this detailed is to increase your longevity. Your estimated lifespan is based on a blend of genetics and lifestyle factors, and with your personal “user manual” in hand, we feel strongly that we can offer actionable advice on optimizing your sleep, exercise, diet, supplements, and more.
For example, some of the SNPs we look at for longevity include UPC1, JAK2, and SIRT1. UPC1 is associated with a reduced resting metabolic rate. That’s easy enough to increase through cold exposure, exercise, and more Omega-3 fatty acids. JAK2, meanwhile, points to an increased risk for blood cancer; quarterly three-day fasts might help mitigate that risk. Finally, SIRT1 is linked to an increased risk for more mental decline with aging. A prescribed supplement regimen along with certain lifestyle changes can help keep your brain healthy for longer.
The goal of Wild Health’s personal health report isn’t to try and counteract or work against your genetics. It’s to complement your natural tendencies and enhance your health by working with your body. After all, that’s what personalized medicine is all about.
Want to learn more about Wild Health’s plans and what you could find in your own health report? Click here to book a free coaching call.