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Nutrigenomics: How Genes & Nutrition Personalize Medicine

Nutrigenomics, Genes and nutrition

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Sisters and mothers, Brianna Wheeler and Ashley Coombs learned they cannot process folic acid after learning about nutrigenomics. It is the research of how nutrition works best with genetics.

Folic acid is man made and found in most prenatal vitamins. Folate is the natural form of the vitamin, which is found in foods like avocados and broccoli.

"I was just curious why i was miscarrying," said Wheeler.

Younger sister Coombs, wanted to take preventative measures.

"I was 24 when I found out about MTHFR, I was young enough that i hadn't developed any serious diseases, I hadn't miscarried," said Coombs.

Both were tested by Monika Buerger at Eagle Canyon Wellness after their history revealed some red flags.

"Difficulty getting pregnant, miscarriages, any autoimmune disorders," said Buerger.

Results showed the sisters both had a mutation of the MTHFR gene.

"it stands for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase,' said Buerger.

Changes to the gene are related to several health conditions including, heart disease, stroke, glaucoma, spina bifida, certain cancers and pre-eclampsia.

"About 46 percent of the population has MTHFR," said Buerger.

Burger focuses on discovering the mutation, then, correcting it with nutrition.

"That's so exciting about this field, we no longer have to be doomed by our genes, we can bypass those weaknesses by lifestyle and diet changes," said Buerger.

Those changes for Wheeler and Coombs meant changing how they used to eat.

"I just ate whatever I wanted," said Wheeler.

"Sandwich for lunch, cereal for breakfast, pasta for dinner," said Coombs.

Coombs now follows the Paleo Diet removing sugar and processed food.

"Dr. Burger explained it like a beaker, only so much our bodies can handle with different toxins, food allergies and stress," said Coombs.

Understanding how these stressors affect your body, at the genetic level, is what this cutting edge field of personalized medicine is about.

Getting that genetic screening is routine in some offices, but it is also something you can pay to get checked whether or not you have insurance.

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