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Ready to Get to Know Your Genes?

A Patient’s Guide to Genetics

We hear a lot about genetics these days, from using it to find out where your ancestors came from to testing for specific diseases. But what genes are, what the study of genetics covers, and how genetics can be used as an impactful health recommendations tool is still somewhat a mystery to most.

Here at Health Revolution Institute, we’ve discovered the value of knowing your genes, and want to share it with you. Here’s a quick guide to what genetics is and how it can lead you to your optimal health.

What are genes?

Genes are bits of code found in our DNA that carry and create our various unique traits. Obvious examples are our eye color or height, but genes can also inform other things like our metabolism, how our cardiovascular system works, or if we might be predisposed to disease. 99.9% of our genes are the same as everyone else’s, but it’s that .1% that make us truly unique — and from where we can gain the most insights into how our bodies function.

What is genetics?

Genetics is the study of genes. It’s the study of how traits are passed down through families, which genes affect which body processes, and how different genes express themselves, but most importantly how we respond to the world around us, the food we eat, the exercise we do, and the stress we encounter. . 

What are genetic variants?

That .1% of our genes that isn’t like everyone else’s is important because it’s where genetic variants come into play. Genetic variants are simply ‘spelling changes’ in our genetic code that may impact how the gene works. People that have a specific genetic variant may find their cellular or systems functionality impacted in some way, making it different than someone else’s — sometimes for the better!

What are some examples of genetic variants?

Genes can do all types of things in a person’s body, and variants can influence functionality all the way down to the cellular level. For example, the ACE gene influences our potential for fitness endurance or power. The GSTM1 gene helps eliminate toxins from our body. The HFE gene affects our iron storage. The APOE gene impacts inflammation. As you can probably guess, any variation that alters a gene’s functionality can contribute to everything from general bad health to chronic disease.

How do genetic variants impact my health and wellness?

A common misconception is that our genes are set for life, and we can’t change them. We can’t change the code, but if we know what genetic variants a person has, and how their genes express themselves in various ways to influence a person’s health, then that person can make lifestyle and food choices that take those genetic variants into account. For example, someone may have a genetic variant that causes them to store iron too well. That means that we can do further testing and if need be recommend treatments that will address any excess iron. Or someone may have a genetic variant that impacts their ability to metabolize caffeine. They know then that they need to cut back on that extra cup of coffee! 

What is genetic testing and what does it do?

How do we find out what a person’s genetic makeup is? Take a test! Genetic testing is fast and painless, and typically involves a simple cheek swab. The results, however, are complex, and can provide insights into cellular function, systems function, cardiovascular health, how we manage our energy intake, nutrient processing, and more. 

Why should I get my genes tested?

To reap the benefits listed above! If you knew your genetic makeup that explained how your body functioned and reacted to the world around you, there’s no limit to what kind of insight that could provide into your health. You could eat the foods that would help optimize your health and you could do the exercises that are right for your metabolism and energy levels, based on your genes. Your genetics can also point towards the root causes of illness and disease that could help us create a much more tailored treatment approach. In other words, your genetic test is like a blueprint that will help you know how to build your health and wellness correctly.

We’ve had the opportunity to help a number of our patients understand genetics better which has given them the knowledge to make healthier choices toward increased vitality and energy.

Get to Know Your Genes

You may think you know yourself pretty well, but you can get to know yourself a lot better by getting to know your genes. They won’t just give unique insights into how your body functions, but can put you on the path to optimized health and wellness — maybe the path you’ve always been searching for.

Ready to start your personalized health journey?

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Top 10 Genetic Terms You Need to Know

Understanding our genetics is the key to personalized care, lifestyle choices that fit how your body works, and long-term wellness. But the science behind genes, DNA, and chromosomes takes some time to learn, and sometimes the terminology can get a bit scientific. Here are ten genetic terms made easy.

DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid)

DNA is what makes up the basics of our cells and what contains our hereditary material. It’s formed from four chemical bases — adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T) — in different combinations, and it’s these various combinations that form the building blocks of every organism on earth. Those four chemicals pair up to form the rungs of DNA’s double helix.


Genes are made up of DNA, and not only carry traits but impact functionality throughout the body. Each person has between 20,000 and 25,000 genes, and the entire set of a person’s genes is called a genome. The Human Genome Project, completed in 2003, mapped every gene in the human body, how they’re structured in our body.


Our genes are stored in our chromosomes, which are located in the nucleus of our cells. We have 23 pairs of chromosomes, and it’s critical that these pairs replicate precisely in order for a human to be healthy. Defective chromosomes can cause disease, and not having enough chromosomes can cause someone to not develop correctly.

Genetic Testing

A genetic test maps out a person’s individual genome, and identifies genetic variations that individual may have. These variants can give insight into how a person’s cells and systems function, how they process certain nutrients, what kind of exercise or activities they’re best suited for, and more. Genetic tests are conducted using either a cheek swab, saliva, or blood.


Heritability measures how much a person’s genes contribute to their traits and how it has been passed down through the family. High heritability means that a person’s or a population’s differences are caused mostly by their genes. Low heritability means that differences in traits are only partially caused by genetic factors.

Gene Variation

99.9% of our genetic code is the same, but that .1% of genes carries variabilities that impact a body’s functionality. If genes are made up of the four different chemical bases in DNA, a variation happens when a DNA “letter” is inserted in the chain, deleted from the chain, or when another DNA “letter” is substituted into the chain.

Genetic Diseases

Genetic diseases are caused by variations in genetic code that result in a disorder. The variation can be found in one instance or multiple instances, and can either be inherited or due to environmental causes. Cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, Down’s Syndrome, and even obesity are genetic diseases. The intensity of that genetic disease depends on penetrance: High-penetrance variations have a high chance of impacting someone’s health, while low-penetrance variants are likely to have less of an impact than lifestyle choice or environment. 

Genetics Creates Personalized Healthcare

If you take one thing away from these definitions, it’s that our uniqueness isn’t just skin deep, but that it goes right down to the very ingredients of our cells. If each of us has all different types of combinations of chemicals that make up our genes, some of which have variations that alter how our cells and systems work, or that process the foods we eat and the environment we’re in differently — then why is most healthcare based on one-size-fits-all recommendations?

Here at [practitioner’s name], we value each patient’s individuality, and know that individuality is the key to personalized healthcare for all.

Ready to start your personalized health journey?