Intercare Wellness believes there is no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Long-term vitality and wellbeing should be personal, not general. The Abu Dhabi based clinic takes a holistic and ‘whole person’ approach to health and offers patients the tools to make healthy decisions that will impact positive changes in daily life. Diet, exercise, supplementation, skincare, all personalized to your DNA. Read on to know more…
DNA & Genetic testing goes far beyond learning about ancestry, it can actually be an essential part of an individual’s health and wellness. 90% of diets fail because each person’s body reacts differently to various foods, exercise, and micronutrient levels due to their DNA. Your genes don’t just determine your eye colour; but determine your diet and nutrition, physiological traits like endurance, fat burning ability, metabolism, and undiagnosed nutrient deficiencies. They can help determine if an individual has a predisposition for certain illnesses through to how your skin will age.
Who Are YOU? Is it all about DNA?
Ever since scientists mapped the first human genome in 2003, DNA profiling and personalized health has become an area of intense interest to scientists, and purported to be the future of medicine. That being said, we are in the early phases of really understanding our DNA and the impact it has on our health relative to our environment.
Does DNA really affect everything and determine who you are?
Good question. In recent years we have come to realize that rather than our health and longevity being pre-determined by our genetics, at best, our DNA and genetic code only pre-disposes us to certain conditions. It is rather the complex interaction of our environment with our genetic code – called Epi-genetics – which determines our outcomes. In other words, the way our ancestors lived their life, and the environment that we are exposed to, particularly in the first 3 years of life, significantly alter gene expression during our lifetime.
What is Mapping the human genetic code?
The Human Genome Project (HGP) first mapped all three billion chemical units in the human genetic code – otherwise known as the DNA double-helix – which makes up our genetic make-up. With the map in hand, the next step was to identify the genetic variants that increase the risk for common diseases.
The sequencing of the human genome holds benefits for many fields, from molecular medicine to human evolution. We can better understand diseases and direct appropriate treatment by tailoring medication, with the benefit of more predictable effects. We are also able to determine an individual’s pre-disposition to various medical disorders, and their likelihood of passing on hereditary conditions.
Is it all set to transform the world of wellness? How?
Commercial DNA-based products have recently gained traction and are moving us away from the traditional one-size-fits-all approach and in the direction of personalized medicine. The expression of each individual’s genetic code has evolved specifically to the environment their ancestral line was exposed to – otherwise known as selection pressures. And it is these selection pressures which differed, depending on where on the planet we evolved. In simple terms, the selection pressures in the Arctic were very different from sub-Saharan Africa. For this reason, we all have particular pre-dispositions to certain lifestyles which we can establish through DNA-Ancestry and DNA-lifestyle profiling. This gives us the tools to take lifestyle programs to a truly personal level and with more efficient results.
There are a couple of tests that can help us do this.
Vitagene is a non-evasive test (a simple mouth swab) that can show you your ancestral make up, tell you the optimal fitness regimes that will help you meet your health goals and if you’re at risk for certain vitamin deficiencies that can affect your heart, memory, and energy levels. It can also give you an insight into traits such as sodium intake, emotional eating, lactose, and alcohol metabolism and gluten sensitivity. Your results provide you with personalized, actionable recommendations including a tailored supplementation regime designed to help you reach your health goals.
Similar to Vitagene but with more of a focus on fitness & sport, is DNAFit. Recommended for those who are already fit and looking for a more in-depth analysis, DNAFit can tell you what your recovery nutrition needs, your aerobic potential and your power endurance response is. It hones in on small tweaks and lifestyle changes that can make a big impact and turn marginal gains into game-changing results.
SKINdna is a comprehensive genetic skin test that uncovers your skins potential. It tests for firmness and elasticity, wrinkling, sun damage and pigmentation, radical damage and sensitivity and inflammation. The results are used to scientifically create a personalized guide to provide you with a unique regime tailored specifically to you. This allows you to advance beyond the ‘one-size-fits-all’ suggestions – using the right skincare ingredients targeted to your own genetic blueprint.
Geneus is another DNA & Genetics test, but aimed at those looking to get a deeper insight into future illnesses. Through a simple blood test, Geneus screens for a huge range of medical conditions from age related conditions (dementia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s), allergies and immune disorders (arthritis, asthma), heart related conditions (heart attacks, blood pressure) to infertility and reproductive health. It can also screen for cancers, blood disorders and other conditions such as male pattern baldness and sleep apnea.
Telomere testing defines our biological age and it is an excellent indicator of individuals’ overall general health status. Knowing our biological age allows us to obtain a better understanding of the lifestyle habits that impact our aging process, allowing for more personalized medicine.
DNA & Genetics testing results can not only change your overall health and wellbeing but provide a sense of relief from uncertainty and help you make informed decisions about managing your health care. The Intercare Wellness experts focus on identifying risk in the earliest stages and advising clients on personalized treatments; empowering people to take ownership of their wellness. Intercare Wellness is the only clinic in the UAE shifting the focus from a disease oriented health care system toward one of wellness and prevention.
This integrative approach to health, transcending beyond the field of traditional medicine, provides patients with true holistic care.
By: Dr Nas Al-Jafari
BMBS BMedSci (Hons) MRCGP DPD DFSRH DOccMed
“Health and wellness has been a passion of mine and at the forefront of my medical practice since the early years of my career. As a Consultant Generalist, it soon dawned upon me that mainstream medicine was all too focused on managing the ‘sick’. Disillusioned by the perceptual cycle of sicker patients and more medications, I made a conscious decision to seek out the answers. Through self-education and advanced alternative training, I began to appreciate the root causes of disease, and the underlying importance of lifestyle in the etiology of modern illness. My particular focus is in modifying lifestyle factors, optimizing long-term health and prevention of chronic disease. ‘The Doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will instruct his patients in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”
About Intercare Wellness:
Based in Al Marina, Abu Dhabi, Intercare Wellness takes a holistic and ‘whole person’ approach to health and offers individuals, families and patients the tools to make healthy decisions that will impact positive change in daily life. Led by Dr Nas Al-Jafari and Dr Mourad Habib, Intercare Wellness combines the very latest in advanced diagnostics from the US and Europe, seamlessly collaborating to deliver clients a unique and comprehensive pathway to optimal health.
Intercare Health Centre, Al Marina, Abu Dhabi. For appointments, please call 02 639 0080.
Visit www.intercare-health.com to know more.