Genes are made uo of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and are the template to make proteins. We have two copies of each gene - one inherited from each parent.
Human DNA consists of over 3 billion nucleotide base pairs, more than 99% of which are identical in each of us. The remainder contains small variations known as SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms). An SNP is a variation in a single nucleotide that occurs at a specific position in the genome. Usually, SNPs alone will not cause disease; rather they can convey a susceptibility to disease and change responsiveness to environmental exposures.
The Value of Genetic Testing In Practice
Genetic testing assesses the presence of the genetic variations. SNPs can have a profound effect on the functioning of the genes in which they are found. This in turn affects the biological pathway in which the gene is active, affecting metabolic functions that are important for maintaining a state of health. Knowledge of a patient’s SNPs offers a powerful health advantage, enabling the trained healthcare practitioner to prescribe precise lifestyle and nutritional recommendations (nutrigenomics) aimed at compensating for the genetic variants.