The Power of Nutrigenomics - Feeding your Genes!

Someone once told me, “Take your passions and make them your career. We spend most of our lives, and certainly the greatest part of our waking hours working, so it should be connected to what you truly care about and enjoy.” Luckily, I took that to heart and eventually created Culinary Genes, combining three of my passions, the culinary arts, genetics, and nutrition.

Many have reached out wanting to know what the “Get Your Genes On: Knowledge is Power” program is all about. To put it simply, it is a personalized program that is aligned with an individual’s genetic blueprint. A customized report is created from the genetic test results, providing an in-depth look at how to optimize their food-gene connection so that they can start eating according to their genes! The results and recommendations are based on the most current evidence, backed by scientific research, which has been published in peer-reviewed journals and reviewed by a team of world-renowned experts in the field of nutrigenomics.

What is Nutrigenomics? Another very popular question. If you break down the word itself, Nutri = nutrition and Genomics = the study of genomes. The word genome refers to all of the DNA contained in the cells of your body. Nutrigenomics is simply a combination of the two and is the science of how diet effects gene expression, which in turn alters our genetic predisposition toward health or to disease. Nutrigenomics tells us how the food we eat interacts with specific genes by either turning them on (active) or turning them off (inactive). We can’t change our genes, but we can certainly change the way they express themselves. Gene expression is governed by our daily lifestyle choices such as, the foods we eat, our movement, how we sleep, how we handle stress, and our state of mind.

Culinary Genes collaborates with a biotechnology company founded by global leaders in nutrigenomics research grounded by solid science and that focuses on genetic testing for personalized nutrition. Their reports are based on cutting-edge research and stringent standards of scientific evidence. It is an innovative yet simple salivary/cheek swab test that reveals how your body responds to different foods and nutrients based on your individual genetic profile, with the ultimate goal of improving health through personalized nutrition.

The “Get Your Genes On: Knowledge is Power” personalized DNA report can show you how your genes influence your risk (predispositions) for health issues such as:

  • Weight management & body composition

  • Nutrition metabolism Cardiometabolic health (heart disease & diabetes)

  • Food intolerances (gluten & lactose)

  • Eating habits (genetic preference for fat, sweet tastes, ability to digest starch foods)

  • Performance & injury risk as it relates to sports & activity

Scientists want to better understand the unique differences in our genomes. The results of this report are based on genomics, which is the study of single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs (pronounced “snips”) and how they may interact with foods and environmental factors to impact health. SNPs vary from one individual to another, and are what make us each unique. Some SNPs may be associated with an increased or decreased risk of certain health conditions based on current scientific studies. However, the impact of a particular gene SNP in an individual can vary, and is based on the interaction(s) between genes, food, and the environment. These differences are called variances, meaning that sometimes an error occurs on a gene, which then creates an error on the enzyme. Simply put, it’s an error in a gene that makes it work differently. There is nothing wrong with it, it just changes how an individual will function. There is no way really to know how to repair it but we know how to identify it and work with it.

To get a better understanding, some of the nutrients, or bioactive compounds the report looks at, as well as non-nutrients, like caffeine, are as follows and are based on science and research:

Vitamin A: an essential fat-soluble vitamin that is needed for so many things. It is an antioxidant and important for vision, the immune system, hair, nails, skin and cellular communication, for example. The gene associated with beta carotene, the plant form of vitamin A is known as BCMO1. This is the gene associated in converting beta carotene into the active fat-soluble vitamin A known as retinol. Research shows that those with a variant (or snip) on BCMO1 gene are inefficient converters of beta carotene to active vitamin A, therefore, consuming more active vitamin A can help to ensure that circulating levels are sufficient for optimal health.

Folate: a water-soluble B vitamin that is necessary for cell growth and development. Research has shown that an individual’s ability to process dietary folate efficiently depends on a gene called MTHFR. The MTHFR gene produces methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), which is a vital enzyme for folate usage in the body. MTHFR converts folate obtained from the diet to an active form of the nutrient that can be used by the body at the cellular level. The active form, L-methyltetrahydrofolate, requires zero energy by the human body to be utilized and we all need folate. Having a gene variant on the MTHFR gene means that you are at increased risk of folate deficiency.

Vitamin D: a fat-soluble vitamin with extensive clinical research. Many are deficient in vitamin D and have a difficult time getting levels up to normalcy with supplementation. Vitamin D is essential to calcium metabolism and increasing calcium absorption. It also contributes to normal functions of most cells in the body. Research has shown that low levels of vitamin D can result in weak, brittle bones, poor muscle function, and decreased immunity. Research also shows that life-long vitamin D insufficiency has also been linked to accelerated cognitive decline, autoimmune disorders, neurodegenerative diseases and cardiovascular disease. The CYP2R1 gene is responsible for the enzyme known as the vitamin D 25-hydroxylase that converts vitamin D into the active form 25-hydroxy (cholecalciferol), the major circulating form of vitamin D. Studies have shown that variations in the CYP2R1 gene can affect an individuals risk for low circulating 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels, the most common form of vitamin D in the blood. Please note, however, that too much vitamin D is actually toxic. If you are low on vitamin D and are taking supplementation regularly, it must be monitored by your healthcare practitioner. Too much of it is toxic and can put your body into serious medical risk.

Caffeine: is one of the most well studied components of nutrigenomics. It is also the most widely consumed stimulant in the world and coffee is the cost significant source of caffeine. Two landmark studies have shown that the effect of coffee on cardiovascular disease depends on a variation in a gene called CYP1A2, which is directly associated with caffeine metabolism, sensitivity, and response. They CYP1A2 gene produces an enzyme called cytochrome P450 1A2, which is the main enzyme responsible for breaking down caffeine in the body. An error of the enzyme can actually tell you if you are a faster or slower metabolizer of caffeine. Studies have shown that variations in the CYP1A2 gene affect the rate at which caffeine is broken down, which determines the impact of caffeine on heart health.

Become your healthiest self with the help of gene-specific insight to help empower and energize your life. “Get Your Genes On: Knowledge is Power” personalized DNA program will help you gain a new sense of feeling great using food and lifestyle behaviors that match up with your genomic profile.

So “Get Your Genes On” and Express Yourself!

To see if this program is right for you, schedule a Complimentary 15-minute Discovery Call via our website at Click on the Services tab to schedule your call! You may also reach us at 212 920-5788 or via email at

Culinary Genes Believes in Transparency:

The nutrigenomics report is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as medical advice, nor is it intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any medical condition or disease or replace services from your healthcare professional. It is intended for general health and wellness purposes only and is not specific to clients who require a specific nutrition care plan based on a certain disease or condition. Clients with medical conditions should not change or stop their medications or medical care without consulting with their physician first. We believe that your nutrigenomics test results are best used in partnership with your healthcare professional as part of your overall health and wellness program.

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