A Genetic Variant Test Can Help You To Mitigate Type 2 Diabetes Risk

By Gene Express Sdn Bhd

Diabetes is a disease of insulin deficiency and glucose oversufficiency. Genetics, nutrition, environment, and lifestyle play a role in determining our risk for developing diabetes. Knowing your genetic predispositions to diabetes will allow you to make specific lifestyle changes that should mitigate some of these risk factors

Type 2 diabetes is a long-term metabolic disorder that is characterised by high blood sugar and relative lack of and resistance to a hormone called insulin, which is a 51-amino acid peptide. Special cells in the pancreas produce, store, and release insulin, in response to blood glucose levels. Insulin then travels the bloodstream to the body’s cells and interacts with specific cell membrane receptors to let the glucose in. Once inside, the cells break down glucose into energy to use immediately or store it as glycogen for use later on. Hence, insulin helps control blood glucose levels. Without the required amount of insulin, long-term complications can include things like heart disease, strokes, and diabetic retinopathy, which can result in blindness, kidney failure, and poor blood flow in the limbs – something that could eventually result in amputation. In type 1 diabetes, the body is unable to make insulin. However, people with type 2 diabetes can make insulin but the cells in their body are unable to use it the way they should. This is known as insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes primarily results from obesity and lack of exercise; however, some people are more genetically at risk than others.

With advances in genetics and genomics, we now know that certain gene variants (i.e., SNPs, single nucleotide polymorphisms) linked with the following traits can influence our risk for developing diabetes:

•          Carbohydrate response

•          Sugar response

•          Overeating sweet foods

•          Genetic obesity risk

•          Genetic type 2 diabetes risk.

Carbohydrate response

There are simple (sugar) and complex (starch, fibre) carbohydrates (also known as carbs), which are broken down into glucose, the most simple sugar, during digestion. A diet rich in simple carbs may increase a person’s risk of developing health problems (like increased inflammation, diabetes, and obesity). Complex carbs are far more nutritious than simple carbs and healthier.

Sugar response

Sugar is the generic name for sweet-tasting, soluble, simple carbs, e.g., glucose, fructose, sucrose, lactose, maltose, etc. It provides a quick fix for energy. However, excessive consumption of sugar has a negative effect on our weight (obesity) and health (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and tooth decay) – the extent of which is controlled by our genetic variations.

Overeating sweet foods

Genes play a role in influencing how our taste buds respond to sweet foods, such as those high in sugar; hence, our taste and food preferences.

Genetic obesity risk

Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to such a level that it is having a negative effect on health. Obesity increases the likelihood of developing various diseases including cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. Obesity is most commonly caused by a combination of excessive food intake, lack of physical exercise, and genetic susceptibility.

Genetic type 2 diabetes risk

The second paragraph above describes the characteristics of type 2 diabetes and its risk.

The “Diet Module” and “Health Module” of Gene Express DNA Testing determine and analyse the variants of *18 genes associated with the above named traits: Carbohydrate response (Diet Module, 2 genes), Sugar response (Diet Module, 2 genes), Overeating sweet foods (Diet Module, 2 genes), Genetic obesity risk (Health Module, 5 genes), and Genetic type 2 diabetes risk (Health Module, 12 genes). (*Note: There are three identical genes affecting different traits.)

The following table summarises the genes and risk levels associated with the five named traits:

TraitGeneRisk Level
Carbohydrate responseADRB2, PPARGLower, Normal, or Increased risk of weight gain
Sugar responseADRB2, PPARGNormal, Increased, or Highly increased response
Overeating sweet foods/Sweet tasteTAS1R2, TAS1R3Less likely to overeat sweet foods, Normal likelihood to eat sweet foods, or Increased risk of overeating sweet foods
Genetic obesity riskFTO, MC4R, TNF, APOA2, ADIPOQLower, Normal, or Increased risk
Genetic type 2 diabetes riskADRB2, PPARG, PLIN1, IL6, FTO, UCP1, CDKN2A, MTNR1B, HHEX, SLC30A8, SLC11A2, GCKRLower, Normal, or Increased risk

We determine the variant profile of your 18 genes mentioned above. Then we will analyse them and estimate your risk level of each of the named traits.

Once you know the estimated risk levels of your above-mentioned traits, you can then customize your prevention or mitigation plan.

You will receive five actionable personalised reports with personalized recommendations, meal guides (suggesting optimal macronutrient and micronutrient intake based on DNA), and fitness and lifestyle plans. The insights are thoroughly explained and the reports provide scientific references.

Hence, you are empowered to take guided informed actions to mitigate type 2 diabetes risk and to achieve your health and fitness goals by staying healthy, improving your health and wellbeing, and reducing health risks.

Find and Get your DNA Kit from your nearest health professional below!

Kevin Tiong Kai Kin

Multicare Health Pharmacy (Taman Pelangi)

Lim Ee Foong

Multicare Health Pharmacy (Mahkota Cheras)

Hii Hieng Chiew

Multicare Health Pharmacy (Sungai Chua)

Lai Ying Jiun

Multicare Health Pharmacy (Sungai Besar)

Tay Yun Min

Multicare Health Pharmacy (Mentakab)
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Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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