DNA – your DNA is the carrier of all your genetic information, it contains the instructions you need to develop, live and reproduce.
Genes – your 23,000 genes are made up of DNA and contain instructions for our cells to make compounds known as proteins. Proteins provide the structure and function to all living things.
Gene Expression – you have a mechanism in your DNA that influences your genes to respond to what you do (to ‘express’ themselves). Genes can be turned on, off, up or down depending on the signals we give them.
Genetic Predisposition – to have a genetic predisposition means that you are more likely than average to develop a particular health or diet condition. This doesn’t mean you will develop a specific condition.
People are diagnosed everyday that they have no genetic predisposition to particular conditions and others with a predisposition don’t ever contract that disease. This is because genetic risk is only part of the story. Our lifestyle decisions, activities, diet and nutrients also influence our health risks.
Polymorphism – means a variation of a gene, polymorphisms are not mutations. Some polymorphisms may affect how well a particular function works in your body.
BRCA Genes – the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes suppress tumors in the breast. Certain variations of these genes cause their function to be impaired, this can be a predisposing factor to breast cancer.
Methylation – is the process of modifying DNA by turning on or off our genes. For example, moderate exercise turns on many health-promoting genes and turns off a number of harmful genes.
MTHFR Gene – provides instructions for making the enzyme vitamin B9 (folate) that we eat, into a form our body can use. Folate is important because it plays a role in DNA synthesis and repair, detoxification and is important for optimal health.