Skin and Body Experts

You are here now : MEG The Skin and Body Experts > Published Articles

DNA Lifestyle Diet- Kerryn Gibson

2017 June 28 by

DNA BASED LIFESTYLE CHANGES 

The future of health care and the prevention of illness and disease lie in personalising our lifestyles to match our unique DNA profiles.  Lifestyle habits established over a period of time ultimately affect our health status into old age, and we may have unwittingly been putting ourselves at risk for any number of health related problems.

The exciting news is that testing is now available to map our DNA genotypes and determine our susceptibility to unsuitable lifestyle factors. Based on this information one can plan a personalised diet and exercise programme tailored to suit your individual needs and aimed to achieve the best possible outcome for your health.

The testing involves analysing one’s DNA from a simple cheek cell swab. We all have different genotypes (or genetic codes), that act as blue prints for what we are all about, for example why some of us have blue eyes and some have brown eyes, why some people are tall and some short. This goes beyond basic features and extends to determining whether we may get cancer, become overweight, have high cholesterol or be a good runner. The way our genes are coded pre-determines our potential as well as our risk.

Having a certain genotype does not mean that you are definitely going to suffer from a predetermined condition or become a good runner. However, if you are aware of your DNA makeup, you can identify what factors will affect this predisposition and then adjust your lifestyle accordingly. Knowing which lifestyle factors to avoid or to focus on will act as triggers to our genotype (gene expression) and influence whether we do get cancer, become overweight, have high cholesterol or become a good runner.

There are four types of genetic testing that can be done; DNA Diet, DNA Health, DNA Sport and DNA Oestrogen.

Diet is a major lifestyle factor that plays a role in how our genes are expressed. The DNA Diet gives detailed insight into how each of us should be eating and exercising in order to lose weight the most efficiently. The results will tell you whether you must follow a low fat, low carbohydrate or Mediterranean type diet, if you are sensitive to carbohydrates, your rate of fat absorption, how you metabolise fat, whether you can lose weight easily, your metabolic rate, your responsiveness to exercise for weight loss as well as your sleep patterns. Dietary advice based on genetics is more useful than generic diets that more often than not end up in a roller coaster ride of hit and miss eating habits. Based on your DNA results, a qualified professional can prescribe a suitable eating plan and lifestyle changes.

The DNA Health provides results for genetic variations known to have an effect on health and susceptibility to chronic disease. Diet and lifestyle choices have a significant effect on the expression of these genes, but this is dependent on early detection and intervention. The results provide insight into cholesterol levels, bone health, cancer risk, blood pressure, inflammation, insulin resistance, anti-oxidative capacity as well as sensitivity to stress, salt, lactose and caffeine.

The DNA Sport tests the genetic variants that influence injury risk, speed of recovery, strength training potential as well as endurance ability. The test is suitable for both the elite and recreational athlete looking to maximise their fitness potential and reach peak levels of conditioning. The results provide insight into areas that impact training responsiveness, sporting performance, optimal exercise selection as well as injury and recovery strategies.

The DNA Oestrogen indicates gene variants that have an impact on how oestrogen is metabolised. Research has shown that an increased lifetime exposure to oestrogen is a strong risk factor in the development of breast and ovarian cancer. Improving oestrogen metabolism is also beneficial to women who suffer from oestrogen dominant conditions such as endometriosis, premenstrual syndrome and uterine fibroid tumours.

For some, knowing this kind of information may be tempting fate. However for those willing to invest in their as well as their childrens’ future, DNA testing provides the blueprint for the types of lifestyles that each of us need to be living to ensure our best possible outcome. The more time that each of us has to implement these lifestyle changes the greater the effect on this outcome.

Published by: Kerryn Gibson, Registered Dietitian, Specialised in Sport and Paediatric Nutrition

no comments

Running Into Trouble – Dr Lauren Dwyer

2014 June 5 by

Iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome is a frictional overuse injury causing pain on the outer knee and hip; affecting beginners and seasoned runners alike. So before hitting the streets, newly inspired by this past weekend’s Comrades marathon, follow these quick tips to help prevent the onset of ITB syndrome:

1) Change is good, but too much change can be a shock to the system
. Follow the 10% Rule by only increasing your mileage or time on the road by 10% each week to allow your body time to adjust to the demands of running.

2) Mind your step.
If running on surfaces that are flat and relatively straight is not possible, try changing the side of road or the direction in which you run on the track. This way you ensure you counterbalance the uneven forces on your legs affected by the camber of the road or bends in the track.

Continue reading »

no comments

Ways to Care For Your Hands and Feet This Winter

2013 May 8 by

Winter is hard on your hands. Hands that are smooth, supple and soft in January, become red, chapped, and rough by May.

The main culprit? Lack of moisture.
During winter, the humidity in the outside air plunges. Inside, things are even drier, thanks to indoor heating. If you’re washing your hands frequently to avoid catching a cold or the flu, you could sap whatever natural oils are left in your skin.That can leave your hands so dehydrated that they crack, peel, and bleed.
People visit our Specialist Skin Center complaining of dry chapped hands and feet and are desperately looking for a solution. It’s a simple one to fix as we simply need a combination of a therapeutic hand and foot treatments that focus on removing the excessive dry skin and then repairing the barrier function of the skin to allow the skin to protect itself.

Continue reading »

no comments

The A-Z about acne

2011 April 8 by

What do Cameron Diaz, Bill Murray, Britney Spears and Brad Pitt have in common? Believe it or not, they’re all acne sufferers.

Gone are the days when acne was associated only with teenagers. Nowadays more and more adults are suffering from the condition. East Coast Radio Life has asked Durban skin expert Shana Sandri for the lowdown:

Continue reading »

no comments

All you need to know about Omega-3’s

2011 April 8 by

Three years ago I was introduced to the idea of Omega-3 when under the employment of The Dermal Institute of South Africa. It was a topic my boss was newly passionate about and being the leaders in Post Graduate Education for the Skin Care Industry, it soon became a class topic on its own.

The industry was buzzing with excitement around these new findings in essential fatty acids and when I began to research and understand their impact on our bodies, I realized how the lack thereof could explain why so many illnesses were so prevalent in our community; they soon became one of my most favorite supplements.

Three years later everybody knows that they need Omega 3’s but the question is: Why or how much ?

Continue reading »

no comments

A brighter future for skin..

2011 April 8 by

Appearing on her vocational yacht in the 1920’s looking bronzed and no doubt fashionable, Coco Chanel set forth a movement that made the darkening –or- tanning – of skin a sign of health and affluence. Thanks in part to awareness that UV light causes skin aging and cancer, tanning is falling out of favor as a sign of skin health. Consumers worldwide are more interested in obtaining lighter, brighter skins and research has indicated that those with uneven skin tone perceive their skins as looking ‘aged” whilst those with even complexions feel far younger!

Skin Lighteners are the fastest growing area in the skin care arena . In fact there is over 170 brands of different skin lighteners on the African market alone! The average consumer spends R1800 on whitening/lightening products and editors state that it is the most important trend of today!

Continue reading »

no comments

Skin Cancer: Prevention is better than Cure

2011 April 8 by

Most skin cancer can be prevented by practicing sun protection, according to numerous research studies. Research also shows that not only does sun protection reduce one’s risk of developing skin cancer; sun protection also may decrease the likelihood of recurrence.



Even if you have spent a lot of time in the sun or developed skin cancer, it’s never too late to begin protecting your skin. The American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) recommends that everyone protect their skin by following these sun protection practices:



Continue reading »

no comments

Sun Protection Practices

2011 April 8 by

Spring is in the air. Summer knocks on our door and I love this time of the year! A new season, a new chapter and new beginnings. You have got to love it!

This perfect weather is of course the beginning of our sun season and with that comes a need to understand why sun protection is a man’s best friend. There is not a week that goes by where I don’t send one of my clients to a dermatologist for some suspicious lesion that has announced itself on their skins. These days one can never be careful enough! The problem with skin cancers is that it is less than likely to kill you but it will disfigure you and you’ll remember it every day when you look in the mirror.

Continue reading »

no comments

The changes you should be making to your skin care routine this winter

2011 April 8 by

Although winter in Durban is by far the lesser harsher climate in South Africa, you can still expect to notice that your skins needs are somewhat more demanding!
I for one noticed that my summer time face moisturizer is just not enough and it doesn’t matter how much I mask my skin, it still feels quite parched.
In the skin center we are seeing more sensitivity and allergic type skins too. Why you ask?

Continue reading »

no comments

What happens to your skin in winter?

2011 April 8 by

Environmentally Sensitized Skins

You would have noticed that your face and body skin needs have changed significantly over this winter period. Environmentally stressed skin is one of the worlds fastest increasing skin phenomena’s and the chances are you are experiencing some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Increased sensitivity especially on the cheek area
  • Dehydration
  • Accelerated ageing lines
  • Itchy skin or a skin that suddenly reacts to anything or everything
  • On your body: fine rash or ever thirsty skin that no moisturizer seems to quench
  • Eczema sufferers are probably at their worst

Continue reading »

no comments