The Sock Doc: Why Genetic Tests May Fall Short and The Pros and Cons To Discovering Your DNA, Plus: Truths of Leg-Length Discrepancies and More

January 10, 2018
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The Sock Doc, Steve Gangemi, is back to tackle the topic of genetic testing and whether finding out your DNA via testing is worthwhile or not, as well as answer your other questions!

DNA, epigenetics & on getting your genes tested:

  • DNA is the long-term information storage.
  • Via transcription, RNA is formed, and this is how the gene expresses itself = epigenetics.
  • Circadian rhythms turn ~50% of genes on and off each day.
  • Environmental factors are important here.
  • Be careful of correlation vs. causation with genetic tests.
  • Pros and cons of genetic tests.
  • They may give data but not necessarily information that we can use.
  • Even with tests, there are few things we can predict – it’s too complex.
  • Timing is what’s important – what does that mean and why.
  • Using genetic tests to make individualized nutritional recommendations, aka the emerging field of nutrigenomics.
  • If your genetic test says you’re can metabolism a substance well or not (i.e. caffeine, alcohol) is that the be all end all? maybe not. health status matters.
  • The athletes you see do better on a certain diet may likely have that encoded in their genes, due to ancestry and/or childhood rearing, and, thus, their gene expressions (performance) respond optimally when they re-align with their genetic predisposition – but this is not yet verified in the literature.
    Steve thoughts?
  • Associations with diet improvement based on genetics (e.g. will some do better on low-carb, like those with FTO?), but we’re not there with genetic-based interventions.
  • Take homes: clinical application and applying these tests to your own needs.
  • Other health tests that may be more worth your buck and why.

Injury and biomechanical questions:

  • Help for patellar tendonitis.
  • Ramping up intensity and/or volume too quick is often the fast track to injury, take the time to heal and utilize a practitioner who will provide hands on help.

Should someone with a leg length discrepancy use orthotics?

  • Or should you first identify if it’s a true leg length discrepancy or some other underlying issue that can be fixed?
  • True leg length discrepancies are rare.

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