Author: Caroline Zanelli, Nutritionist at bounceREHAB
Co-Author: Matthew Craig, Physiotherapist at bounceREHAB
WHAT IS DNA?
DNA (full name – deoxyribonucleic acid) is a long two-stranded molecule that has a unique ‘double helix’ shape, like a twisted ladder that contains our unique genetic code! It’s like a recipe book that holds the instructions for making all the proteins in our bodies! Our DNA code is made up of four bases adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). The bases always pair together in the same way, A with T, C with Gand in total the human body has about 3 billion bases!
Us humans are pretty unique but not as unique as you might think! About 99.9% of our DNA coding is the same as all other humans! That means what makes us humans different to each other is only 0.1% of our DNA coding. This 0.1% might not seem like much but it actually accounts for about 15 million pairs in our genetic coding!
Okay so our human DNA is pretty similar but how much DNA do we share with other other animals?
Fruit Fly 60%
Now within that 0.1% difference, you’ll find variations in your genetic coding and these are know as SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms). SNPs determine our genetic differences – including our risk of particular illnesses and disease.
But it’s not just SNPs in our genetic it’s the environment too!
Things like body size, skin colour and predisposition to specific disease are all depended on how your genes interact with your environment. Your genes may suggest that you’ll grow to be somewhere between 170cm and 180cm. But your actual height is an interaction between genes and your environment. If you are malnourished during the vital stages of growth, you won’t reach 180cm. Or your genetic might suggest you are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease but if you eat right, exercise and stress less, you might not ever develop cardiovascular disease.
What we eat early in life (and also what our mums eat while they’re pregnant) can affect our genes and regulate our traits – including the development of diseases, even decades later!
While we might not be able to control our genes, we might be able influencetheir expression through our environment. If we know more about our genetic variants (SNPs), we might be able to adjust our lifestyle or environment in order to prevent some disease or to become healthier
WHAT DNA TESTING IS AVAILABLE AT BOUNCEREHAB
DNA testing is a sophisticated, investigative tool, which helps to identify variations in your genes. It provides a more informed approach towards health and lifestyle decisions. Results are provided in an in-depth report from our nutritionist, outlining the potential effects of specific gene variations (SNPs). This understanding helps us to develop a more targeted and effective treatment protocols. Researchers have found that SNPs may help identify dietary, lifestyle and supplemental changes that can be made to optimise overall health outcomes