Human Optimization

Gluten-Free (GF) is necessary for anyone with Celiac Disease. Yet more than ever, we are seeing non-celiac disease individuals opting for a GF lifestyle. With the rise of GF items at grocery stores astronomically more expensive than their non-GF counterparts, this has raised questions. Are there any benefits to a GF lifestyle? Or is avoiding gluten the latest diet trend?

. . .

What is Gluten?

According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, Gluten is the name for a group of proteins most commonly found in wheat, rye, barley, and triticale – a hybrid between wheat and rye. Gluten is a Latin word that stands for the word: glue. The two main components of the gluten portion of wheat are gliadin and glutenin. Gliadin is the water-insoluble (unable to be dissolved in water) component of gluten. Gliadins are what gives bread the ability to rise while baking. This gluten is found in products such as wheat flour. Glutenin is water-soluble (able to be dissolved in water) that gives dough strength and elasticity. Together, gluten proteins play a key role in the baking quality of wheat by providing flour with a high-water absorption capacity. When you knead the flour with water, the gluten gives the dough a cohesivity, viscoelastic mass that provides, for example, bread its structure and chewiness.

Common Grains that have Gluten:

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Triticale — a cross between wheat and rye
  • Oats – While oats are naturally GF, it is possible for them to be exposed to Gluten during production with other grains that have gluten. If you are looking for GF oats, make sure it is labeled as certified gluten-free.

Some foods that contain gluten that may not be as obvious:

  • Soy Sauce: Wheat is the primary ingredient in standard soy sauce. A good alternative for soy sauce is Coconut Aminos that is not only GF but much lower in salt.
  • Beer: It is typically made from malted barley and hops.
  • Processed Lunch Meats: Lunch meat such as deli meats may have gluten due to its potential gluten contamination with slicers, knives, etc. that is in contact with gluten-containing foods.
  • Dressings: If a dressing has wheat, barley, rye, (wheat) after an ingredient, then it contains gluten. Ingredients such as artificial color, dextrin, soy sauce, food starch, malt, malt vinegar may contain gluten.
  • Krab: Imitation crab meat contain wheat

Celiac Disease

Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder triggered by consuming foods containing gluten. Celiac Disease was first identified in the early 1900s. It wasn’t until about 1953 when scientists Dicke, Weijers, and Van de Kamer identified Gluten as the culprit. It is estimated that Celiac affects 1 in 133 people and about 3 million Americans are diagnosed with Celiac Disease. When a person with celiac disease consumes foods with gluten, the immune system begins to attack it. As a result, gluten destroys the villi, small fingerlike projections that line the small intestine, which then leaves the intestines with no fibers to absorb nutrients, resulting in malnourishment. Regular and ongoing intake of gluten for individuals with celiac disease can lead to serious irreversible health consequences such as osteoporosis, skin rashes, nervous system problems, infertility, anemia, and more. Individuals with Celiac Disease need to eliminate gluten altogether from their diet and ensure that the food they are consuming has not been cross-contaminated with gluten-containing ingredients during production or preparation. A strict lifelong gluten-free diet is the only as of the only treatment for individuals with celiac disease as there is no medication or surgical intervention that cures the celiac disease.

Gluten Sensitivity

Celiac Disease is not the only issue with Gluten. Many individuals suffer from gluten sensitivity or allergies. One gluten-related condition is a wheat allergy. Wheat allergic reactions occur when someone allergic to wheat eats anything with wheat or even when inhaling wheat flour. Unlike celiac disease, wheat allergy occurs when you produce antibodies to proteins found in wheat. This is a different reaction than that of Celiac Disease. Symptoms usually occur within minutes of consuming anything with wheat and may include swelling of the throat, hives, nasal congestion, difficulty breathing, cramps, nausea, and in some cases a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.

Another type of gluten reaction is non-celiac gluten sensitivities. GI symptoms include bloating, diarrhea, constipation. Extraintestinal symptoms vary but include joint pain, brain fog, anemia, depression, eczema, and more. Gluten sensitivities are commonly due to an intolerance to eating FODMAPs. FODMAPs stands for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, & Polyols which together are a group of sugars that your body is unable to digest or absorb in our intestines. This means that when FODMAPs are consumed, they move very slowly, attracting water as it goes, and ultimately gut bacteria ferments undigested carbohydrates resulting in gas and abdominal discomfort. Let’s look at common foods that make up FODMAPs

  • Oligosaccharides: includes fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS). The human body cannot produce the enzymes needed to break the sugars down into single sugars, so these foods move through the gut unabsorbed. In IBS patients, these foods result in bloating, altered motility, and abdominal discomfort. Found in foods such as wheat, rye, garlic, legumes, and onions.
  • Disaccharides: 3 major disaccharides are sucrose, lactose, and maltose. Sucrose is found in table sugar, manufactured foods such as cakes, cookies. Lactose is found in dairy products such as milk, yogurt, sour cream, and other milk products such as frozen yogurts, ice cream, and more. Maltose is found in malt extract, molasses, beer, breads, bagels, cereals, and more.
  • Monosaccharides: Found in foods with fructose such as dried fruits, fruit jams, cereals with fruits, canned fruits, honey, and more.
  • Polyols: Sugar alcohols. Naturally occurring in certain fruits but most commonly found in sugar-free sweeteners or products.

How wheat is cultivated today

Earliest archeological findings of wheat date back to over 12,000 years ago. If wheat has been around so long, then why is this such an issue today? Quite frankly, wheat is just not grown and harvested the same way. Traditionally, farmers would harvest wheat through the process of winnowing. Winnowing involves harvesting wheat by hand using an instrument known as a sickle.  After, stalks would undergo “trashing” that loosens the grains from the stalks by beating the stalks. Grain is then thrown in the wind to blow the chaff dividing it from the grain. Modern wheat found today is not the same wheat that was found 60 years ago due to processes such as bleaching, stripping, and more. 

Diagnosed gluten-related diseases are rare conditions, affecting less than 1% of the population in the United States. Yet the consumption and availability of gluten-free foods have significantly increased. I recall a time when most people had never heard of “gluten” let alone “celiac disease”. Gluten-free bread usually has about 20 ingredients and a complex production method. When you compare regular sliced bread that is about $2 to common GF brands that range about $6 a loaf, this leaves my patients wondering if a GF diet is worth the high price. It’s important to note that you do not need to rely on heavily processed foods to stay gluten-free. A diet made up of whole foods will usually be gluten-free as these are foods that are not processed. 

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is not intended as medical or healthcare information or advice. Please consult your healthcare professional(s) regarding all matters related to your diet and health.

Anything with the term “vegetable” is commonly advertised as healthy or a healthy alternative to a food item we love. For a long time, Canola oil was considered by most as a healthy cooking oil option ultimately, being the oil of choice for most due to its versatility and price point. In recent years, canola oil’s health claims have been put in question. This has led to many of my patients asking me: What are the best fats to use at home?  

Currently, in the USA, the top 4 vegetable oils consumed regularly are soybean, canola, palm oil, and corn oil. These 4 oils are referred to as RBD which stands for refined, bleached, and deodorized oils, named after their manufacturing process. RBD oils are produced through a refining process by crushing the plant material to express the oil, commonly followed by treating the plant material with hexane, a petrochemical solvent, to extract the last bit of oil left in the plant material. Refined oils then go through various treatments. These treatments may include: using an earthen bleaching clay to reduce the color and smell of the oils by filtration, steam distillation, exposure to phosphoric acid, and more. Ultimately, the exact process will differ for each oil. Interestingly, when you compare Organic Virgin Coconut Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil(EVOO), vegetable oils are considerably cheaper.

Canola Oil Origins

Canola oil was originally bred from rapeseed cultivars of B. Napus and B.Rapa in Canada in the early 70s. There is no canola plant. Canola oil is made from crushed seeds from a variety of rapeseed, which are in the turnip family. The name canola is the combination of “Can” from Canada and “OLA” that stands for “Oil, low acid”. Originally, Canola oil had a different nutritional profile than what is currently accessible on the shelf of our grocery stores today. Traditionally, rapeseed oil contains almost 60% monounsaturated fats. However, two-thirds of that 60% is erucic acid. Erucic acid has a chain length of 22 carbon atoms with one double bond at the omega 9 position. Erucic acid consumed at high levels is very dangerous as animal studies have shown that its exposure leads to adverse heart health effects. As of 1956, the American FDA has banned rapeseed from the human food chain as a whole. Since the strain developed in Canada was considered low acid, it was granted GRAS (generally regarded as safe) by the FDA, making its way to the United States in the 80s.

In 1995, a genetically engineered rapeseed was introduced to Canada to increase plant resistance to herbicides. This resulted in a genetically modified variety being developed a few short years later. Genetically modified crops are traditionally lab-made by combining the DNA of various species that cannot naturally reproduce together (think Salmon and Romaine Lettuce). In the case of Canola, this genetically modified variety is considered the most disease, herbicide, and drought-resistant canola variety to date. In fact, currently, around 90% of this Canadian variety is herbicide-resistant.

Concerns over GMO

Currently, in the United States, around 93% of the canola grown is from genetically modified seeds. Despite this, it is commonly considered a GMO-free product. There have been health and ethical concerns surrounding genetically engineered foods such as:

Impacts on traditional farming practices

GMO agricultural practices were originally developed to prevent crop and food loss. Unfortunately, this has also led to superweeds and resistant pests. This has forced farmers to have to utilize more labor and use more toxic chemicals to manage this. In an effort to combat this, there has been an overuse of glyphosate which hinders the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients and adversely reduces the longevity and health of the soil. The overuse has resulted in several glyphosate-resistant weeds. 

Harm to human health

A group of scientists conducted a study where they fed rats a diet of GMO potatoes and reported after 10 days of feeding that every organ system was adversely affected. Several organizations have expressed concerns as introducing foreign genes that we would otherwise not have exposure to may hurt human health. Currently, scientists do not believe GMO foods present a risk to human health.

Threat to Genetic Biodiversity

Biodiversity is the variability among living organisms. In farming, this includes plants’ genetic resources and is critical for the sustainable production of food. Additionally, genetic diversity helps us adapt to new conditions whether it be weather, disease, or pests, and aid ecosystems in acclimating to changing environments.

Unintended crossbreeding to non-modified crops

Generally, Crossbreeding occurs when you intentionally select a plant for specific traits and then transfer pollen from one plant to another. GM crops can crossbreed with non-modified crops by pollen. While many times unintended, pollen can be carried by the wind, by water, or even insects and cross-pollinate non-modified crops.

Potential allergic reactions

There have been many concerns regarding the allergenic potential of a genetically modified plant.  

-and more!

 Many countries have placed a total ban on GMO products.

So why is this touted as a healthy oil?

Canola oil is commonly marketed as a healthy oil and a healthy alternative to replacing saturated fats and trans-fat. The American Heart Association recommends using oils such as Canola as a substitute for butter, shortening, lard, and even coconut oil. Let’s look at the nutritional fatty acid composition of Canola Oil:

  • Saturated Fats: 7%
  • Monounsaturated Fats: 62%
  • Polyunsaturated Fats: 28% 
  • Trans Fat 1.9-3.6%

Canola oil is low in saturated fat at 7%, making it one of the cooking oils with the lowest amount of saturated fats. It is important to note that Canola oil has low (yet some) trans-fat content although it is commonly marketed as “zero grams trans-fat”. Despite this claim, all vegetable oils contain small amounts of trans-fat. However, the FDA allows a “zero grams trans-fat” claim for any serving size with less than >.5 grams of trans fat.

With the health industry promoting eating less fat, specifically saturated fat, I believe this has opened room for Canola to take center stage as the oil of choice for many. Critics for decades have associated saturated fats with increased heart disease-promoting a low-fat diet. Despite many health organizations pushing for a lower saturated fat diet, The Journal of the American College of Cardiology published an article that there is mounting evidence that saturated fats are not the issue in itself but of combining saturated fats with highly refined carbohydrate foods. Saturated fats are not all the same and it is a complex nutrient. We simply cannot compare grass-fed, organic, lean cuts of steak to a highly processed, cheap, low-quality, fast food burger. Additionally, it is important to note the difference between fat and fatty acids. Saturated fats as we have learned in the past few weeks are foods that are primarily lipids and solid at room temperature due to their structural property of fatty acids.

Alternative Fats 

Most of my patients prefer whole naturally occurring foods and prefer their oils to reflect that as well. Luckily, we have an array of options with oils.

– Quality EVOO: – Quality EVOO: Primarily made of oleic acid, a beneficial monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid that is linked to health benefits such as reduced inflammation and blood pressure levels. EVOO also contains oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol that have strong antioxidant, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective properties. EVOO is made from pure, cold-pressed olives. This makes it the least processed version of olive oil readily available. Since many antioxidants and vitamins are lost throughout the manufacturing process cold-pressed oils are considered better choices as their processing preserves their nutritional integrity. 

– Extra Virgin Coconut Oil: is unrefined coconut oil. We want to stick with unrefined oils as the refined process can strip the flavor and nutrients.

– Extra Virgin Avocado Oil: This is another great option and has a high smoke point (≥250°C). Additionally, the fatty acid profile is similar to that of olive oil and is primarily made up of oleic acid.

– Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Grapeseed Oils: High smoke point making it a better option for sautéing or stir-frying. High in vitamin e and phenolic antioxidants. Also, a rich source of omega-6 polyunsaturated fats (70%). 

-and more!

One of the best things you can do is have a variety of oils in your pantry between higher monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and get creative. What are your favorite oils? Leave a comment below.

As we have learned throughout the Cell Membrane Series, Omega 3 (n-3) fatty acids are important in human nutrition. Specifically, because these are essential fats that the human body cannot make on its own. N-3 fatty acids are integral structural components of the cellular membranes of tissues throughout the human body necessary from conception and throughout the entirety of our lives. 

Most of us have heard the term “good fats” and “bad fats”. Not all fats are created equal and some even have anti-inflammatory properties while others have pro-inflammatory properties. “Bad fats” usually refer to omega-6 fatty acids that promote inflammation in the membrane phospholipids of cells. While inflammation plays a key role in the healing process, chronic inflammation contributes to tissue damage, aging, and disease. 

What makes essential fatty acids essential?

Fatty acids are the building blocks of the fat in our bodies and in the food we eat. While the human body can produce most of the fats it needs, it cannot produce Omega-3 fatty acids. This means that the body must obtain them through the foods we eat. In our last blog, we took a dive into N-3 Fatty acids which are necessary for cell growth and preservation, providing energy and forming important components of cell membranes. 

The three main omega-3s are 

  1. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) 
  2. docosahexaenoic acid (DHA
  3. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)

EPA

Primarily found in seafood such as salmon, shrimp, and algae. EPA is used by the body to produce signaling molecules and play a role in anti-inflammatory processes. Prescription EPA is used to reduce triglyceride levels.

DHA

Similarly to EPA, it is also primarily found in seafood. DHA is an integral structural component of your skin and retina. The human retina is well known for its unique lipid profiles and not having sufficient fatty acids results in decreased vision and compromises the integrity of the retina. Additionally, studies have shown the impact that DHA has is protective against retinal diseases. DHA is also important for brain development. The developing brain needs sufficient DHA for optimal visual, cognitive development, and brain function.

ALA

ALA is the most commonly found omega-3 fatty acid in our diet. Several plants contain ALA such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseed oil, and walnuts. 

Omega 3s and Disease

Omega 3 fatty acids support and modulate numerous molecular and cellular mechanisms especially in the retina, brain, and in inflammatory reactions. Omega 3 fatty acids support molecules that perform critical signaling between cells. Omega 3 fatty acids modulate membrane fluidity that is essential for the proper functioning of the tissues in the retina, brain, etc. 

Coronary Disease

Large-scale epidemiologic studies suggest that people at risk for coronary heart disease can benefit from adding omega-3 fatty acids to their daily diet. How? 

Omega 3s reduce coronary heart disease by: 

  • decreasing risk for arrhythmias
  • decrease triglyceride and remnant lipoprotein levels.
  • decrease rate of growth of the atherosclerotic plaque.
  • (slightly) lower blood pressure.
  • reduce inflammatory responses
  • And more!

Omega-3s are essential fatty acids that you get from food or supplements that help build and support a healthy body.  Fatty acids play a role in cardiovascular, neurologic, and other diseases due to their mechanisms at a cellular level. They’re key to the structure of every cell wall you have. They’re also an energy source and help keep your body working the way they should.

Disclaimer: Talk to your Physician before taking a supplement first. They may have specific recommendations or warnings, depending on your health and the other medicines you take.

More about The Institute for Human Optimization

At the Institute for Human Optimization, we are committed to helping you create a personalized plan for living your longest, healthiest life possible. My team and I leverage the most cutting-edge advances in genetic testing, nutritional analysis, and functional medicine to get to the root biological imbalances that cause aging.

The Institute for Human Optimization was created with the intention of pursuing a highly personalized approach to longevity medicine to help enhance healthspan. Where lifespan is the actual number of years we’re alive, healthspan is how many of those years are spent in health and wellness.

We believe that a long healthspan – not just a long lifespan – is the most important thing you can cultivate. A long healthspan means you don’t miss out on life as you get older. It means remaining independent and having the vitality to travel and see the world.  A long healthspan means that you can be there – in full body and mind – for the people who need you the most and that every day will feel like a gift.

We know that each person is truly unique. From DNA to iris, we all possess a blueprint that is genetically inherited and environmentally influenced. By gaining a deeper appreciation for the person on a molecular level and addressing the root causes driving disease, we can help promote optimized health through our unique scientific, N of 1, approach to individualized care.

The Institute for Human Optimization provides the most comprehensive, data-driven, personalized approach to wellness. It is:

·   Predictive – We use genomics and advanced biomarker testing to risk stratification and empowerment.

·   Personalized – We use data-driven health information to curate actionable change for disease mitigation and prevention.

·   Preventive – We utilize highly individualized programs tailored to your unique genomic blueprint.

·   Participatory – We empower engagement in personal choices, which allows for improved outcomes and enhanced results.

I am so excited about the possibility to support you on this cutting-edge journey to extend your lifespan AND your healthspan. Click here to schedule Your Longevity Equation Epigenetic Consult! Can’t wait to meet you!

As we continue our Cell Membrane Series, we will be discussions the building blocks of the fat in our bodies – Fatty acids. Fatty acids are necessary for cell growth and preservation, providing energy and forming important components of cell membranes.

Fatty acids are the building blocks of the fat in our bodies and in the food we eat. 

Fatty acids are long-chain hydrocarbons that can be separated into the following categories:

  1. saturated
  2. mono-unsaturated
  3. polyunsaturated
  4. trans fats

1) Saturated Fats 

A type of fat in which the fatty acid chains have all or predominantly single bonds between carbon molecules. The chain of carbon atoms are saturated with hydrogen atoms in these fatty acids makes these fats solid at room temperature. Examples include butter, lard, cream, cheese. 

2) Trans Fats

Trans fat are a form of unsaturated fat. While it can be naturally found in some meat and dairy, there is also Artificial Trans Fat. Artificial trans fat is created during hydrogenation, which converts liquid vegetable to make them solid at room temperature and more stable. Many studies have correlated trans fat to increased heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends reducing trans fat from your diet.

3) Monounsaturated Fats 

monounsaturated fats are simply fat molecules have a single carbon-to-carbon double bond, meaning two fewer hydrogen atoms than saturated fat and a bend at the double bond. Oils that contain monounsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature. Examples include: olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, safflower oil and sesame oil. 

4) Polyunsaturated Fats 

Polyunsaturated fatty acids are fatty acids that contain two or more double bonds in its carbon chain. The two types of polyunsaturated fats are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which refers to the distance between the beginning of the carbon chain and the first double bond. Examples of Omega-3 fatty acids are found in foods from plants like soybean oil, canola oil, walnuts, and flaxseed. Examples of Omega-6 fatty acids are found in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds. Omega 6 fats, when over consumed can be inflammatory to the body so having a balanced ratio between both and avoiding overconsumption of Omega 6 Fatty Acids is optimal. 

How do Fatty Acids work? 

During digestion, the body breaks down fat into fatty acids, this is so that it can then be absorbed into the blood. Fatty acid molecules are then connected together in groups of three, forming a molecule known as Triglycerides. Triglycerides are a type of fat that are the most common type of fat found in your body. They come from foods, such as butters and oils but and also from other fats you eat.

Importance of Fatty Acids to Cell Membrane

Fatty acids have many important functions in the body, stored as triglycerides in an organism, are an important source of energy. If glucose isn’t readily available for energy, the body then uses fatty acids to fuel the cells instead.

If we recall from our earlier Cell Membrane blogs, cell membranes are primarily composed of lipids, specifically phospholipids and a few cholesterol molecules. Phospholipids are the lipids which have phosphate in their molecular structure. It is an important component of cell membrane. It is made up of two hydrophobic fatty acid tails and a hydrophilic head consisting of a phosphate group. The two constituents are joined by a glycerol molecule. Phospholipids are what support the cell membranes unique structure due to their hydrophobic (non-polar) tails and hydrophilic heads (polar). This means that heads of the molecules face outward and are attracted to water whereas the tails face inside away from the water allowing them to arrange themselves in a sphere form in aqueous solutions. 

Fatty acids are part of the lipid class, widespread in food and organisms, being an critical component of the membrane cell. They have important biological functions, structural and functional roles, and stored as triglycerides in an organism, are an important source of energy.

This blog highlights the importance of fatty acids in human health, both regarding on the physiology of human body, especially omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids become common ground to these pathologies. In the upcoming blog we will discuss how these fatty acids play a role in cardiovascular, neurologic, endocrinological, and other diseases due to their mechanisms at a cellular level.

More about The Institute for Human Optimization

At the Institute for Human Optimization, we are committed to helping you create a personalized plan for living your longest, healthiest life possible. My team and I leverage the most cutting-edge advances in genetic testing, nutritional analysis, and functional medicine to get to the root biological imbalances that cause aging.

The Institute for Human Optimization was created with the intention of pursuing a highly personalized approach to longevity medicine to help enhance healthspan. Where lifespan is the actual number of years we’re alive, healthspan is how many of those years are spent in health and wellness.

We believe that a long healthspan – not just a long lifespan – is the most important thing you can cultivate. A long healthspan means you don’t miss out on life as you get older. It means remaining independent and having the vitality to travel and see the world.  A long healthspan means that you can be there – in full body and mind – for the people who need you the most and that every day will feel like a gift.

We know that each person is truly unique. From DNA to iris, we all possess a blueprint that is genetically inherited and environmentally influenced. By gaining a deeper appreciation for the person on a molecular level and addressing the root causes driving disease, we can help promote optimized health through our unique scientific, N of 1, approach to individualized care.

The Institute for Human Optimization provides the most comprehensive, data-driven, personalized approach to wellness. It is:

·   Predictive – We use genomics and advanced biomarker testing to risk stratification and empowerment.

·   Personalized – We use data-driven health information to curate actionable change for disease mitigation and prevention.

·   Preventive – We utilize highly individualized programs tailored to your unique genomic blueprint.

·   Participatory – We empower engagement in personal choices, which allows for improved outcomes and enhanced results.

I am so excited about the possibility to support you on this cutting-edge journey to extend your lifespan AND your healthspan. Click here to schedule Your Longevity Equation Epigenetic Consult! Can’t wait to meet you!


What we eat applies on the cellular level directly to cell membranes. Proper nutrients provide the inputs so that our trillions of cells and cell membranes that are constantly signaling each other can properly function. Lacking these critical nutrients overwhelms our cells and their functions leaking material out of our bodies, this is also known as “leaky cells”.

This week, we are continuing our series on Cell Membrane. If you have followed along, you know that the Cell membrane creates a protective barrier that shields the outside elements from the internal components of the cell, organelles.

Cell membrane provides vital functions in the maintenance of cell activities including:

• They protect from toxic substance out of the cell

• Contain pathways that allow specific molecules to enter and leave the cell such as ions, nutrients, waste via transmembrane proteins.

• Separate vital metabolic processes conducted within little organs known as organelles.

• Communication

• Signal generation

Importance of Proper Nutrients

As we learned last week, all our cells have a cell membrane. Cell membrane creates a protective barrier that shields the outside elements from the internal components of the cell, organelles. Organelles have specific functions such as producing energy and controlling cell growth. For our organs and body systems to work at a functional level, that requires to have proper nutrients for optimal cellular performance. This means we need to consume an adequate number of phospholipids, cholesterol, amino acids, to support our cell membranes. Unfortunately, when we do not have enough of the necessary nutrients, our cells become “leaky”.

Leaky Cells

We have heard the term “leaky gut” which is caused by increased intestinal permeability when the gaps in the walls of your intestines loosen. This condition invites bacteria, toxins, and more to pass through your intestinal walls. This condition is linked to several health conditions and triggers inflammation, autoimmune disorders, and more.

Similarly, this can occur in our cell membranes too. When we are not consuming the adequate amount of phospholipids, cholesterol, amino acids that make proteins that deficit in conjunction with oxidative stress burdens our cell membrane on a cell level. This results in our cell membranes being unable to perform properly and making them unable to detoxify our cells. Luckily, we can take steps to optimize our cell membrane health.

How to Optimize Cell Membrane Health

Supporting our cell membrane health requires a nutrient-dense diet. A diet that is rich in processed oils, genetically modified foods, conventional high-fat dairy products will result in your cell membranes being composed of unhealthy fatty acids from those foods. Why isn’t this ideal?

All cells are contained by a cell membrane that is selective to desired components but protects it and acts as a protective barrier to undesired components, known as cell membrane permeability. When your cells are less permeable that reduces the ability for nutrients to reach our cells and for our cell membranes to properly function.

What foods will optimize cell membrane health?

-High-quality fats such as Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, and Avocado Oil

-Cruciferous vegetables

-Root Vegetables: Yams, Carrots, Turnips, Squash

-Fruit

-Whole Grains: Buckwheat, Brown Rice, Gluten Free Oats are great examples.

-Bioavailable animal protein: a protein that is easy for the body to digest, absorb, and make into other proteins

Ultimately, what you put into your body has a direct impact on your cellular function. However, so does the toxins and stressors we are exposed to daily. Other tips you can try at home include

Optimized Sleep: Making sure your sleep area is dark and cool. The best bedroom temperature for sleep varies from person to person but studies have shown it is around 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. Limiting your blue light exposure before bedtime also helps with sleep rhythms.

Stress Management: Stress is a part of everyday life but there are things we can do individually to manage it including daily exercise and relaxation techniques such as yoga, stretching, and meditation.

More about The Institute for Human Optimization

At the Institute for Human Optimization, we are committed to helping you create a personalized plan for living your longest, healthiest life possible. My team and I leverage the most cutting-edge advances in genetic testing, nutritional analysis, and functional medicine to get to the root biological imbalances that cause aging.

The Institute for Human Optimization was created with the intention of pursuing a highly personalized approach to longevity medicine to help enhance healthspan. Where lifespan is the actual number of years we’re alive, healthspan is how many of those years are spent in health and wellness.

We believe that a long healthspan – not just a long lifespan – is the most important thing you can cultivate. A long healthspan means you don’t miss out on life as you get older. It means remaining independent and having the vitality to travel and see the world.  A long healthspan means that you can be there – in full body and mind – for the people who need you the most and that every day will feel like a gift.

We know that each person is truly unique. From DNA to iris, we all possess a blueprint that is genetically inherited and environmentally influenced. By gaining a deeper appreciation for the person on a molecular level and addressing the root causes driving disease, we can help promote optimized health through our unique scientific, N of 1, approach to individualized care.

The Institute for Human Optimization provides the most comprehensive, data-driven, personalized approach to wellness. It is:

·   Predictive – We use genomics and advanced biomarker testing to risk stratification and empowerment.

·   Personalized – We use data-driven health information to curate actionable change for disease mitigation and prevention.

·   Preventive – We utilize highly individualized programs tailored to your unique genomic blueprint.

·   Participatory – We empower engagement in personal choices, which allows for improved outcomes and enhanced results.

I am so excited about the possibility to support you on this cutting-edge journey to extend your lifespan AND your healthspan. Click here to schedule Your Longevity Equation Epigenetic Consult! Can’t wait to meet you!

Every cell in the body is protected by a membrane. Cell membrane creates a protective barrier that shields the outside elements from the internal components of the cell, organelles. By understanding the cell membrane and what it needs, we can support our cells and cell membranes and consequently optimize our overall wellness.

The cell membrane has been historically characterized as having a fluid-mosaic model which allowed for selective permeability of various agents into the cell. Importantly, cell membrane integrity is essential to cell viability and function. Cell membranes are responsible for maintaining electrochemical gradients with a negatively charged intracellular composition and positively charged extra-cellular environment. This gives rise to what is known as the Resting Membrane Potential (RMP) and is responsible for every single physiological event that takes place within the body.  Additionally, these dynamics are a key factor in the rate of aging especially within brain cells, known as neurons.

Cell membrane structure and its function.
Cells are the building blocks of life. We each have trillions of cells throughout our bodies that provide structure for the human body, take in nutrients, convert nutrients into energy, and perform specialized functions. The cell membrane, also known as the plasma membrane, is the envelope lining of the cell that shields the cell but carries important functions.

Cell membrane provides vital functions in the maintenance of cell activities including:
• They protect from toxic substance out of the cell
• Contain pathways that allow specific molecules to enter and leave the cell such as ions, nutrients, waste via transmembrane proteins.
• Separate vital metabolic processes conducted within little organs known as organelles.
• Communication
• Signal generation

Cell membranes are made up of proteins, and fats, also known as lipids. Lipids form the building blocks of cellular membranes with phospholipids being the most abundant type of lipid found in the membrane. Phospholipids are what support the cell membranes unique structure due to their hydrophobic (non-polar) tails and hydrophilic heads (polar). This means that heads of the molecules face outward and are attracted to water whereas the tails face inside away from the water allowing them to arrange themselves in a sphere form in aqueous solutions.

Cholesterol is another cell membrane component.  We often only hear about how cholesterol can build up in your arteries and cause heart disease but it’s important to acknowledge its function. Biologically speaking, cholesterol is critical for cell function and plays a vital role in membrane fluidity which is the ease with which lipids move within the bilayer of the cell membrane. About 25-30% of lipid in the cell membrane is cholesterol.

Role of Phospholipids
As previously mentioned, phospholipids play a critical role in insulating cell membranes. Two of the most important outer and inner leaflet phospholipids are phosphatidylcholine (PC) and Phosphatidylserine (PS). Supplementing with phospholipids is a part of a clinical strategy known as membrane lipid replacement and is a prudent measure in maintenance of overall cellular health and aging.

Role of lipids
In addition to phospholipid compounds, there is a select class of lipids, known as the Eicosanoids, that are liberated from the membrane, metabolized into an intercellular communication and information system by their prostaglandin regulatory activity. Prostaglandins, thromboxanes, and leukotrienes mediate inflammatory signaling and coagulation pathways within the blood.

Role of Protein
Proteins are the second major component of cell membranes. Proteins mostly contribute to the function of cell membranes but also play a small role in forming the structure of the membrane.

There are 3 main types of membrane proteins
1. Integral Membrane Proteins: also known as transmembrane proteins allow molecules such as nutrients and waste to enter and leave the cell and also transmit signals between the cells internal and external environments.
2. Peripheral Membrane Proteins: form a temporary attachment with the cell membrane by allowing the proteins to attach, detach, and reattach.
3. Lipid-anchored Proteins: anchor the protein to either side of the cell membrane promoting the function of the protein to which it is anchored to.

Proteins are what help the cells interact with its environment but also help transporting substances across the cell membrane.  

How to optimize cell membrane health

Now that we have a better understanding of the cell membrane structure, we can see how cell membrane integrity influences our overall health. Optimal health begins with an optimally functioning cell membrane structure. It is important to maintain a nutrient rich diet, antioxidants, and healthy fatty acids so that the cell membrane remains flexible to transport nutrients into your cells while eliminating the cells of waste. Additionally, a nutrient rich diet and healthy fatty acids is necessary for the nervous system and cardiovascular system and more.

What else can you do? Follow us along as we take a deep dive on cell membrane health during our Cell Membrane Series.

More about The Institute for Human Optimization

At the Institute for Human Optimization, we are committed to helping you create a personalized plan for living your longest, healthiest life possible. My team and I leverage the most cutting-edge advances in genetic testing, nutritional analysis, and functional medicine to get to the root biological imbalances that cause aging.

The Institute for Human Optimization was created with the intention of pursuing a highly personalized approach to longevity medicine to help enhance healthspan. Where lifespan is the actual number of years we’re alive, healthspan is how many of those years are spent in health and wellness.

We believe that a long healthspan – not just a long lifespan – is the most important thing you can cultivate. A long healthspan means you don’t miss out on life as you get older. It means remaining independent and having the vitality to travel and see the world.  A long healthspan means that you can be there – in full body and mind – for the people who need you the most and that every day will feel like a gift.

We know that each person is truly unique. From DNA to iris, we all possess a blueprint that is genetically inherited and environmentally influenced. By gaining a deeper appreciation for the person on a molecular level and addressing the root causes driving disease, we can help promote optimized health through our unique scientific, N of 1, approach to individualized care.

The Institute for Human Optimization provides the most comprehensive, data-driven, personalized approach to wellness. It is:

·   Predictive – We use genomics and advanced biomarker testing to risk stratification and empowerment.

·   Personalized – We use data-driven health information to curate actionable change for disease mitigation and prevention.

·   Preventive – We utilize highly individualized programs tailored to your unique genomic blueprint.

·   Participatory – We empower engagement in personal choices, which allows for improved outcomes and enhanced results.

I am so excited about the possibility to support you on this cutting-edge journey to extend your lifespan AND your healthspan. Click here to schedule Your Longevity Equation Epigenetic Consult! Can’t wait to meet you!

Our environment can drive disease or mitigate disease risk. As we look at medicine through the lens of a systems biology approach, most disease is a result of a complex interchange between genetic and environmental factors. 

.  .  .

The exposome is the sum of all the exposures of an individual in a lifetime and how those exposures relate to health. This term originated by Dr. Wild in 2005 introduced the concept to create awareness of the need to look at environmental impacts in epidemiological studies. 

The exposome makes up of all exposures from conception to death.

There are three areas of the exposome

  1. Internal Factors
  2. Specific External actors
  3. General External Factors

There are studies that show that even from conception, there is a link between exposures throughout pregnancy and fetal growth. When we look at the skin exposome, there are various internal and external factors that show a clinical presentation of skin aging. 

There are various types of environmental exposures that influence our health and aging including but not limited to:

  • Air quality
  • Tobacco
  • Sun Radiation
  • Pollution
  • Stress
  • Nutrition
  • Sleep Quality
  • Temperature
  • Heavy Metals
  • Mold
  • Pesticides

Exposures are from our external environment as listed above but also are a result of our internal biological processes. Internal exposures rely on the omics of medicine. You can learn more about the omics of medicine with our blog series linked here. Utilizing omics data we can measure internal exposures and explore how the exposome is linked with disease.

Exposome and Cellular Ageing

If you recall, in our Hallmarks of Aging series, we discuss cellular senescence and its role in aging.  Studies have shown that environmental exposures influence telomere length which is an indicator of cellular aging. Telomeres are the caps at the ends of the strands of DNA called chromosomes, which house our genomes. Telomere shortening is one of the most recognized biomarkers of aging. As cells divide, oxidative stress is considered one of the main factors contributing to telomere shortening. By the exposome influencing the shortening of telomeres, which in turn accelerates the process of aging by affecting our biological pathways that result in health decline. 

Application of Exposome in Medicine

Exposome research is currently being developed to better understand an individual’s health, recommending therapies, and how they will respond to such therapy. This concept targets your individual conditions that influence your health. These exposures integrate your social science, environmental, occupational on a cumulative individual level. From a medical perspective, when we look at the microbiome, which plays a critical role on the exposome, that is unique to each individual due to the variability in bacterial diversity for various environments. 

As you can imagine, there are complex challenges in accurately measuring the exposome of an individual. Additionally, your exposome can change throughout your lifetime which makes its analysis a life-long assessment in theory. These concepts have led to an approach that integrates the exposome and the genome known as the exposome-genome paradigm. By analyzing an individual’s exposome and genome, now leads to better insight for disease prevention.

The biological impact of the exposome is improving our understanding of the connection between exposures and health to help mitigate adverse health outcomes across the lifespan. Genetics only accounts for about 10% of disease leaving the rest to be related to environmental causes.  Exposome information is a key step in precision medicine and precision environmental health monitoring. 

More about The Institute for Human Optimization

The Institute for Human Optimization we believe that Omics-based medicine and systems biology taking into account your exposome will realize a new approach to practicing medicine – personalize, predicative, and precise medicine. We are committed to helping you create a personalized plan for living your longest, healthiest life possible. My team and I leverage the most cutting-edge advances in genetic testing, nutritional analysis, and functional medicine to get to the root biological imbalances that cause aging.

The Institute for Human Optimization was created with the intention of pursuing a highly personalized approach to longevity medicine to help enhance healthspan. Where lifespan is the actual number of years we’re alive, healthspan is how many of those years are spent in health and wellness.

We believe that a long healthspan – not just a long lifespan – is the most important thing you can cultivate. A long healthspan means you don’t miss out on life as you get older. It means remaining independent and having the vitality to travel and see the world.  A long healthspan means that you can be there – in full body and mind – for the people who need you the most and that every day will feel like a gift.

We know that each person is truly unique. From DNA to iris, we all possess a blueprint that is genetically inherited and environmentally influenced. By gaining a deeper appreciation for the person on a molecular level and addressing the root causes driving disease, we can help promote optimized health through our unique scientific, N of 1, approach to individualized care.

The Institute for Human Optimization provides the most comprehensive, data-driven, personalized approach to wellness. It is:

·   Predictive – We use genomics and advanced biomarker testing to risk stratification and empowerment.

·   Personalized – We use data-driven health information to curate actionable change for disease mitigation and prevention.

·   Preventive – We utilize highly individualized programs tailored to your unique genomic blueprint.

·   Participatory – We empower engagement in personal choices, which allows for improved outcomes and enhanced results.

I am so excited about the possibility to support you on this cutting-edge journey to extend your lifespan AND your healthspan. Click here to schedule Your Longevity Equation Epigenetic Consult! Can’t wait to meet you!

Today, we continue our series on the Omics of Medicine. If you have followed along, you will find that each Omic plays a key role in precision medicine. 

This week we are taking on an important Omics system: Metabolomics. While appreciated for its role in biomarker discovery, metabolomics has emerging applications towards personalized medicine, precision nutrition research, and even agriculture. 

.  .  .

What is metabolomics, the metabolome, and more?

Metabolomics is the large-scale study of small molecules, commonly known as metabolites, within cells, biofluids, tissues, or organisms. Metabolites are small molecules that are the end product of a metabolic process. Metabolites have several functions including but not limited to epigenetic influencing, fuel, structure, signaling, defense, and more!

Metabolites are either primary or secondary.

Primary: directly involved in normal growth, development, and reproduction of an organism. Examples include: Ethanol, Glutamic Acid, Acetic Acid, Glycerol.. 

Secondary: Is not involved in normal growth, development, and reproduction but serves   

an ecological function and its absences is detrimental to the organism.  Examples include: Peptides, Growth Hormones, Antibiotics, Alkaloids, and more. 

In humans, there are thought to be approximately 3000 common metabolites although researchers suspect that there are much more. The metabolome is the complete set of metabolites within a cell. Within a cell many reactions take place such as:

-Binding 

-Dissociation

-Degradation

-Modification

-Classic biochemical reaction

-Transport

These reactions are considered to be anabolic, where you are growing and/or building, or catabolic which is when you break down food and molecules for energy. 

Importance of Metabolomics

The metabolome is considered the closest link to the phenotype and thus, a critical omics discipline in the pursuit of personalized medicine. How? Recall that a phenotype is an individual’s observable traits (e.g, height, eye color, blood type). These traits are mostly determined by your genotype (your set of genes) or by the environment. A phenotypic variation is due to a variation in the genotype, the environment, and how the genotype and environment interact. Omics research is currently exploring how genetic effects on phenotype are being filtered through the metabolome, making it a critical omic to possibly bridge the gap between genotype and phenotype. This will be a powerful tool in informed decision-making, developing drugs, and preventative healthcare.

Uses Today & Future Applications

Precision Nutrition: Metabolomics has emerging applications with precision nutrition which has the goal of customized nutritional recommendations. Utilizing metabolomics data, researchers can make better nutritional recommendations.  For example,  utilizing metabolomic data, when we look at infant formula, it has been optimally formulated to mimic the molecular composition of human milk taking into account the distribution of fatty acids. 

Dietary Analysis: Researchers are using metabolites found in blood and urine to accurately measure dietary intake. This is a gateway to assess eating habits as currently the tools being used rely on our recordation and subject to human error.

Biomarker Discovery: Human metabolites being profiled has accelerated biomarker discovery.

Future of Medicine

Utilizing Omics data will provide us the lens for the molecular microscope to objectively examine individual variability. With metabolomics being used to identify metabolites that alter a phenotype, it is no surprise that many researchers consider metabolomics as the omics discipline closest to the phenotype.

The future of medicine is a precision base medicine approach that takes into account your bio-individuality, environment, lifestyle, and molecular phenotype to find the best clinical care option for you. The Institute for Human Optimization is committed to helping you create a personalized plan for living your longest, healthiest life possible. My team and I leverage the most cutting-edge advances in genetic testing, nutritional analysis, and functional medicine to get to the root biological imbalances that cause aging.

We know that each person is truly unique. From DNA to iris, we all possess a blueprint that is genetically inherited and environmentally influenced. By gaining a deeper appreciation for the person on a molecular level and addressing the root causes driving disease, we can help promote optimized health through our unique scientific, N of 1, approach to individualized care.

The Institute for Human Optimization provides the most comprehensive, data-driven, personalized approach to wellness. It is:

·   Predictive – We use genomics and advanced biomarker testing to risk stratification and empowerment.

·   Personalized – We use data-driven health information to curate actionable change for disease mitigation and prevention.

·   Preventive – We utilize highly individualized programs tailored to your unique genomic blueprint.

·   Participatory – We empower engagement in personal choices, which allows for improved outcomes and enhanced results.

I am so excited about the possibility to support you on this cutting-edge journey to extend your lifespan AND your healthspan. Click here to schedule Your Longevity Equation Epigenetic Consult! Can’t wait to meet you!

The technology surrounding proteomics has evolved in recent years providing promising new directions to study for future clinical application and in the pursuit of precision medicine. Moreover, advanced proteomic technology has allowed researchers the platform to improve our understanding of biology.

.  .  .

What is proteomics?

Proteomics refers to the study of proteomes. Proteomes are the entire set of proteins that are expressed by an organism. Proteins are responsible for the function of the cells. Since protein is the main element in food, and with proteins being fundamental to cellular function, proteomic technology can successfully identify the protein content of food, assessing their protein biomarker, and how they change during their production. 

Application of Proteomics in Medicine

Currently, proteomics is being used extensively for biomarker discovery. Biomarkers is defined by the National Institute of Health Biomarkers Definitions Working Group as “a characteristic that is objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biological processes, pathogenic processes, or pharmacologic responses to a therapeutic intervention.” It is a means to a facet of health.

With proteomic technology, we look at proteomic expression to identify protein biomarkers of disease. Biomarkers can be categorized as diagnostic, prognostic, predictive or predisposition biomarkers.

  • Diagnostic: Diagnostic biomarkers are used to confirm that an individual has the presence of a specific disease or health disorder.
  • Prognostic: A prognostic biomarker can showcase how disease will progress when an individual has been diagnosed with a specific disease or health disorder.
  • Predictive: A predictive biomarker is used by clinicians to help determine how well a treatment will work for the individual.
  • Predisposition: A genetic predisposition biomarker is a biomarker that indicates a susceptibility for that individual to develop a specific disease or heath disorder.

Techniques used in Proteomics

Most approaches in proteomic analysis use a bottom-up or top-down approach.

Bottom-up proteomics: is also considered a peptide-level approach as samples are characterized by their amino acid sequences prior to analyzing.

Top-Down proteomics: Unlike bottom-up that digests proteins into peptide sequences, Top-down proteomics analyzes proteins intact. By bypassing the protein digestion step this method is considered less time consuming and simpler.

What are some of the techniques used for proteomic analysis?

  • Ionization: There are two main methods used for the ionization of protein. One is Electrospray Ionization (ESI) is a technique where a high voltage is applied to a liquid to create an aerosol. The other is the matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) that uses a laser energy absorbing matrix to create ions from large molecules with minimal fragmentation. While different techniques are both used in the proteomic analysis by looking at how proteins and peptides react.
  • Analyte Quantitation Methods: Analyte quantitative methods are techniques used to determine the number of proteins in a sample as well as differences between biological samples. This is used to compare samples between healthy and disease patients as well as to identify and quantify changes in individual proteins.

Clinical Applications

Proteomics is used in a host of clinical scenarios from common disease diagnosis and management to the diagnosis of cancer. These biomarkers are used to help assess clinical responses to medical interventions and gauge the severity of illness. For example, hs-CRP is used to assess cardiovascular inflammation. When these protein is elevated in circulation its associated with an increased risk for heart disease and stroke in people who don’t already have it.

Future of Healthcare

This Omics in medicine is important as it improves our understanding of biology by allowing us insight into the vitality of cells. As the vitality of a cell changes, these changes are visible at the proteomic level. Techniques in the proteomic analysis are seeing changes in protein profiles being a future predictive diagnostic tool to assess disease. While technology is advancing, the use of proteomics in healthcare is still very much considered in the discovery phase as full integration is still under works. While we have not reached full clinical utility, the benefits and potential uses are promising with technology rapidly evolving. As medicine continues to advance, the use of proteomics will be a part of precision, personalized approach to medicine.

The Institute for Human Optimization is committed to helping you create a personalized plan for living your longest, healthiest life possible. My team and I leverage the most cutting-edge advances in genetic testing, nutritional analysis, and functional medicine to get to the root biological imbalances that cause aging.

We know that each person is truly unique. From DNA to iris, we all possess a blueprint that is genetically inherited and environmentally influenced. By gaining a deeper appreciation for the person on a molecular level and addressing the root causes driving disease, we can help promote optimized health through our unique scientific, N of 1, approach to individualized care.

The Institute for Human Optimization provides the most comprehensive, data-driven, personalized approach to wellness. It is:

·   Predictive – We use genomics and advanced biomarker testing to risk stratification and empowerment.

·   Personalized – We use data-driven health information to curate actionable change for disease mitigation and prevention.

·   Preventive – We utilize highly individualized programs tailored to your unique genomic blueprint.

·   Participatory – We empower engagement in personal choices, which allows for improved outcomes and enhanced results.

I am so excited about the possibility to support you on this cutting-edge journey to extend your lifespan AND your healthspan. Click here to schedule Your Longevity Equation Epigenetic Consult! Can’t wait to meet you!

A gateway to a better understanding of disease pathogenesis.

As technology in genomic analysis has enhanced, so has our ability to learn about DNA, RNA, and how they react as we age. With recent developments, we can provide more precise medicine and utilize transcriptomics as a gateway to a better understanding of disease pathogenesis. 

.  .  .

What is Transcriptomics?

Transcriptomics is the study of the transcriptome, that covers all RNA transcripts including the mRNA, non-coding RNA, and small RNAs, produced by the genome. The goal of transcriptomics is to detect which genes are expressed in the given sample. By collecting and comparing transcriptomes of different types of cells, clinicians can gain a deeper understanding of what makes a specific cell type, how that type of cell conventionally functions, and how changes in the regular level of gene activity contribute to disease.

In the ’90s this field was originated to study gene expression. Gene expression is defined as the conversion of DNA into protein by the process of transcription and translation. DNA is first transcribed into mRNA which is then translated by cells into different proteins. This phenomenon is known as the central dogma of molecular biology.  

 All RNAs are not translated into proteins. Some remain in the cell and serve different functions. Like rRNA (Ribosomal RNA) is a structural RNA and makes up the ribosome. They are also transporters like tRNA (transfer RNA) and transports amino acids for the formation of proteins. Some are also regulatory which include siRNAs and IncRNAs. If the gene is abnormally expressed, then abnormal mRNA transcript and ultimately abnormal protein will form. These things are studied in transcriptomics and also in genomics and proteomics.

Techniques used in Transcriptomics:

The two techniques used in transcriptomics are microarrays and RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq). Microarray is a lab technique used for the detection of the expression of thousands of genes in a single reaction quickly and efficiently. The quantity and sequences of RNA in a sample can be examined using RNA sequencing which is a Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS). 

Microarray: Microarray technology was created by a team led by Dr. Schena at Stanford University. This high-tech technology has revolutionized medicine by giving us insight into the human genome. Microarrays are used for analyzing transcriptomes. It is used to detect the expression of thousands of genes at a time. They detect only known sequences. They are not used for the discovery of new sequences. Microarrays are a recent technology and are used for cancer research. It is also used for drug development and clinical research. A part of the genome with missing or extra genetic information can be detected using Microarrays.

RNA sequencing: It analyses the transcriptome of gene expression and allows us to discover and investigate the transcriptome. This technique tells the scientists which genes are on and which are off. Also, it determines the level of expression of genes in a cell. RNA helps to determine the biology of the cell. If any unusual changes are present in sequencing, a disease is indicated. The techniques in which RNA sequencing is used are transcriptional profiling, SNP identification, RNA editing, and differential gene expression analysis. RNA sequencing is a revolutionary tool for transcriptomics. RNA-Seq uses deep-sequencing technologies. 

Precision Medicine: In precision medicine, clinicians look at your bio-individuality, environment, lifestyle, and more to select the optimal therapy for you. Genomics and transcriptomics involved in precision medicine can be used for determining the accurate and reliable treatment for different diseases. For the determination of disease pathways and accurate treatments, a study of genomics and transcriptomics is essential.

Applications of Transcriptomics in Medicine:

Stem Cell and Cancer Research: Intratumor heterogeneity is a challenge to the treatment of cancer as it shows therapeutic resistance and undergoes metastasis. (Spread of cancer) Transcriptomics helps in the identification of such types of aspects in cancer research. A highly heterogeneous disease, Cancer, is driven by molecular aberrations at the genetic, epigenetic, transcriptomic, and protein levels. 

Transcriptomics combined with proteomics is one of the most promising approaches for the investigation of stem cell biology. Stem cells have the property of self-renewal and differentiation and so the mechanisms that regulate these processes are widely studied. Stem cell studies using transcriptomics will promote the clinical applications of stem cells. 

  • Embryogenesis and In-vitro Fertilization: The development of an embryo after fertilization of sperm with egg is called Embryogenesis. In vitro is the artificial technique for producing offspring. In In-vitro fertilization, mRNA is injected into the zygote and so transcriptomics is involved in this process.
  • Characterization of non-coding RNAs:  Non-coding RNAs are those molecules that are not translated into proteins. Non-coding RNAs have been found in various biological and pathological processes. Transcriptomics is used to find the role of these RNAs in any disease.
  • Detection of Transposable Elements in Genome: The sequence of DNA that can change its position within the genome is called a transposable element. It can create or reverse mutations and can also alter the cell genome’s size. Transcriptomics is used for the detection of transposable elements in the genome.
  • To produce Epigenetic Alterations: Epigenetics is the inherited genetic alterations that are not the result of changes in DNA sequence. At the level of transcription, genetic expression is influenced by epigenetic processes.
  • Role in Precision Medicine: In transcriptomics, it is studied how living organisms and their transcriptomes respond to diseases and environmental factors. The study of transcriptomes is very important in discovering the pathways of disease and for the development of effective drugs. The difference in the same disease has been studied in different people at the genomic level. In the early stage of disease, precision medicine can play a preventive and predictive role. 
  • Pharmacogenomics: The effects of genetic differences on drug metabolism are studied in Pharmacogenomics. It is one of the important applications of Transcriptomics. Due to genetic differences, different individuals respond differently to the drug. According to the genotype of the person most appropriate dosage is prescribed to the patient. Transcriptomics helps in Pharmacogenomics studies and processes.
  • Role in Disease Determinants and Causes: Screening of diseases and their causes can be determined using transcriptomics. This is of great use as this helps in the detection of complex diseases like breast cancer, acute myeloid leukemia, and cardiovascular diseases.  

Future of Healthcare

Transcriptomics is one of the fields undergoing massive research as researchers aim to understand better how changes in transcriptional activity can influence disease. In transcriptomics, the focus is on the mRNA of the gene expression. Causes of genetic disorders can be identified using transcriptomics. RNA analysis helps in the determination of disease and treatment markers and also the response of the genome to different drugs for treatment purposes. 

At the Institute for Human Optimization, we are currently utilizing advanced molecular testing to predict how genes are theoretically behaving by assessing their structural makeup and biochemical expressions. Additionally, we use the latest technology to test your blood markers, biome, and genetics, to create a health plan tailored just for you. We use a genome to phenome approach to your care. 

More about The Institute for Human Optimization

The Institute for Human Optimization is committed to helping you create a personalized plan for living your longest, healthiest life possible. My team and I leverage the most cutting-edge advances in genetic testing, nutritional analysis, and functional medicine to get to the root biological imbalances that cause aging.

The Institute for Human Optimization was created to pursue a highly personalized approach to longevity medicine to help enhance healthspan. Where lifespan is the actual number of years we’re alive, healthspan is how many of those years are spent in health and wellness.

We believe that a long health span – not just a long lifespan – is the most important thing you can cultivate. A long health span means you don’t miss out on life as you get older. It means remaining independent and having the vitality to travel and see the world. A long healthspan means that you can be there – in full body and mind – for the people who need you the most and that every day will feel like a gift.

We know that each person is truly unique. From DNA to iris, we all possess a blueprint that is genetically inherited and environmentally influenced. By gaining a deeper appreciation for the person on a molecular level and addressing the root causes driving disease, we can help promote optimized health through our unique scientific, N of 1, approach to individualized care.

The Institute for Human Optimization provides the most comprehensive, data-driven, personalized approach to wellness. It is:

·  Predictive – We use genomics and advanced biomarker testing to risk stratification and empowerment.

·  Personalized – We use data-driven health information to curate actionable change for disease mitigation and prevention.

·  Preventive – We utilize highly individualized programs tailored to your unique genomic blueprint.

·  Participatory – We empower engagement in personal choices, which allows for improved outcomes and enhanced results.

I am so excited about the possibility to support you on this cutting-edge journey to extend your lifespan AND your healthspan. Click here to schedule Your Longevity Equation Epigenetic Consult! Can’t wait to meet you!