The human body is composed of approximately 50 trillion cells, where the chromosomes are found in the cell nuclei. These are made up of a double helix of DNA that carries the genetic code, our architectural plan. This plan consists of approximately 3.2 billion letters per person, of which 1% is the area we call genes. Each gene is usually a single command for the body with a single function. Some predispose us to blue eyes, others play a role in digestion and the absorption of nutrients in the intestines.
Unfortunately, our genes are not without error, and we are all carriers of some genetic variations that we inherited from parents, or which were created by chance and have a negative impact on our health. These gene variations are common and usually represent only differences in the letters of the genetic code. As a result, they weaken our immunity, increase the risk of heart attack, or lead to vision disorders. We are all carriers of different deviations, variations, and therefore some of us have a higher risk of heart attack and others are more sensitive to lactose. The risk of diseases changes within families and individuals.
These gene variations, however, may not necessarily mean the outbreak of a certain disease, but predict only susceptibility, predisposition, higher risk. The actual onset of illness depends on external environmental and lifestyle factors. For example, lactose sensitivity appears only after milk consumption, or if the gene that impacts iron absorption is impaired, we must intervene to prevent the development of a disease from excessive iron storage, called hemochromatosis.
According to experts, each of us carries about 2,000 genetic deviations, variations that can negatively affect our health and lead to illness. Gene disorders can be caused, for example, by radioactivity, fried food, UV radiation…etc. At the moment of the fertilization of an egg, each fetus inherits half of its genes from the mother and the other half from the father. It may occur that the entire generation or lineage is a carrier, but this may not necessary be the case, and in some individuals it will not manifest at all.
All this means that we are all unique, and because of the variety of gene variations and errors, each of us is a carrier of different health problems. Thanks to the latest technology, we are now able to detect these shortcomings and draw attention to the health risks of the given individual. Thanks to this knowledge of the new generation of preventive medicine, we can intervene in advance, prevent the onset of illness, and aim at maintaining health and well-being.
Here’s what genetic testing can tell us about our bodies.