Not able to loose those extra kilos? Confused about which supplements to take? Allergic to gluten? Prone to injury and pigmentation? Still figuring out how to tackle such issues? Fear not as help is already here. A simple cheek swab test to extract DNA holds the answer to the above questions.
DNA is the basic building block of the human body containing all the information necessary to make you, run you, and repair you. Gene variants can explain how a person metabolizes macronutrients and vitamins and minerals, why people choose the foods that they do (greater propensity for salt or sugar), an individual’s weight loss propensity as well as their post injury recovery speed and endurance capabilities.
The Human Genome Project, which completed the first map of human genome in 2003 along with the advancements in ways to identify individual genetic mutations, have now made it possible to know what is happening in a human body before health conditions develop. This means that genes can determine all the answers necessary for achieving a healthy body and what works best for individuals in terms of nutrition as well as the medication needed to treat certain conditions. For example, specific variations in gene MTHFR lead to high homocysteine levels and low metabolism of folate in the body. Individuals with these specific mutations need supplements because their body cannot convert folate to methyl folate, resulting in higher homocysteine levels, which in turn leads to atherosclerotic vascular diseases or thrombosis.
Unlocking the secrets of one’s genetic code used to be expensive and confined to very few laboratories worldwide, but advancements in next-generation sequencing (NGS) and genotyping technologies have brought the costs down and enabled the business of DNA to help medical professionals make recommendations for a person’s food intake, dosage of medication to avoid adverse drug reactions as well as provided all the information a person needs for proactive and preventive health planning. The aim is to move from a one-size fits all approach to something that is highly personalized and as such completely changes how people perceive their overall health and well-being.
These genetic tests are as common as pathology tests in the United States of America and many countries in Europe. But in India the genetic testing market is still in a nascent stage. According to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the addressable market for these tests is 500,000 people but can actually be in millions. Every Indian should get tested as everyone has the right to know more about themselves and their bodies.
Innovation is a driving change in the healthcare industry in India. I believe that there is a gap in the market for personalized wellness solutions including bespoke skin products, as well as nutrition and fitness programs because if one can tailor their clothes and shoes, why not their wellness solutions too?
Futuremed as a company with their highly skilled team of molecular biologists, bio-informaticians, accompanied by a scientific data driven approach and state-of-the-art laboratory is helping in creating awareness among clinicians and wellness experts to offer smart and efficient solutions to individuals. The company is providing genetic tests not only in the wellness space of nutrition, weight loss, fitness, and skin but is also helping people determine their risk for developing diseases ranging from cancer, neuro to cardiovascular and various other conditions. In addition tests are also offered in the field of pharmacogenetics/precision medicine and autoimmune diseases. The aim is to make inroads in this nascent market with the target of making these tests accessible and affordable for all thus making genetic screening a routine part of healthcare in India.