© 2016 Mike Daciuk All rights reserved.
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This book is a culmination of more than 20 years of acquired knowledge and experience in working with thousands of patients and clients from around the world. It was created so we can help as many people as possible lead a life of vitality and love. The fundamentals outlined in this book will help you transform your life and guide you along this journey. I want to personally thank my extended family for the faith and unwavering support they have provided me over the years. I want to thank my wife Heather and four children for their love and encouragement they show each and every day. They are my reason “why” when it comes to creating content that will impact many people. Our legacy will live on through the people who are most important to us. Thank you for supporting our mission to change millions of lives and dedicating your valuable time to this book. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
My feelings in writing this book are both overwhelming and exciting. These two words come to the forefront because there is so much I want to convey to you, yet how do you describe the human body and evolution in layman’s terms? My clients and patients inform me that my passion for health and healing is so evident that our consults routinely go over time and they are left wondering when they will get to talk. I say this in jest but my love for helping people and making their lives better is what brings me so much joy and vibrancy. I also understand that life and health are very complex. It is my obligation to make them as simplistic as possible so my clients can comprehend labs, the brain, subconscious programming, nutrition and other key areas of life. I typically have a small time period in lectures, meetings, or even random conversations to accomplish this. The purpose of this book is to outline and describe nine key areas in life that deserve your attention and which you should focus on in order to live a healthy, happy and fulfilled existence. In over 20 years of studying health, nutrition, physical fitness, functional medicine and human behaviour, I have created a paradigm for you that incorporates the key concepts that will transform the way in which you view health and the corresponding benefits for you, your family and friends.
The nine fundamental categories are:
1) Genetics and Epigenetics
2) The Brain and Subconscious Programming
3) Gut-Brain Axis
6) Exercise Programs and Health Benefits
7) Stress Reduction Techniques
8) The Top Functional Medicine Labs
9) Natural Supplements That Help Balance the Body
With careful consideration, my team reviewed the major components that contribute to health and well-being. In the forthcoming chapters, we will thoroughly describe and explain each section, why they’re important to you, specific functional medicine labs you can administer to assess benchmarks and current state, protocols that have helped our clients and then implementation. In seeing hundreds of clients and patients each year, it has become obvious to our team that many people want to get better but they just don’t know how to. They know there is an issue but they don’t know where to start. Our team bridges the gap between self-care and the conventional medical system. We look at your concerns from a holistic approach while running functional labs to understand your physiology. Our approach is to make continual improvement each and every day while working with you to obtain clinical correlation. Do your lab results match your symptoms? Have you effectively dealt with your childhood and problems that still limit your potential to this day? We will cover many broad topics at first while simultaneously delving very deep into specific areas that interest you.
- Genetics and Epigenetics
There are certain genes that have been passed on from previous generations that we cannot change no matter how hard we try. These may include eye colour, skin colour, height, etc. They are ingrained in our DNA. DNA is made out of two long strands that contain genetic information. A gene is a part of DNA that is passed down from your parents. To be more specific, genes are grouped into units called chromosomes. As you may recall from your high school science class, humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. One set of chromosomes for each pair comes from a person’s mother, and the other set of chromosomes comes from the father. Genetics can be defined as “The study of genes, heredity, and genetic variation in living organisms.” 1 It must be noted that while you have inherited your genes, many factors play a role in determining how your genes are expressed. Although we may have the gene that could trigger a disease, lifestyle, diet and environmental factors play a much greater role in that issue actually coming to fruition. This is what is known as “epigenetics”. This emerging field has garnered the attention of cell biologists, doctors, scientists, and nutritionists. What many people referred to as a life sentence for unfavourable gene formation is now being modified and altered by the way in which you live your life. This 4
puts the onus and accountability back in the hands of the individual and the decisions they make each and every day.
In my practice, I tend to hear and see people who blame their lack of progress on their parents, siblings, genetic makeup, etc. They say they are big boned, hot tempered, impatient, or moody. As I have just described, this may be true for some people but the typical ratio I see is 10 percent to 20 percent of your results are genetic while 80 percent to 90 percent are lifestyle, environmental and nutrition based. This means that you can control around 80 percent of what happens to you. “Modern genetics has expanded beyond inheritance to studying the function and behavior of genes. Gene structure and function, variation, and distribution are studied within the context of the cell, the organism (e.g. dominance) and within the context of a population. Genetics has given rise to a number of sub-fields including epigenetics and population genetics. Organisms studied within the broad field span the domain of life, including bacteria, plants, animals, and humans.” 2
We must take a step back and first look at how your parent’s and even your grandparent’s lifestyle and nutrition decisions affected your DNA. The science is just starting to show that their decisions
on type of food, living environment, etc. played a significant role in forming your DNA sequence. Professor Mark Hanson, University of Southampton, says, “Aspects of our early lives stay with us for the rest of our lives and set the control mechanisms of our body processes such as appetite and our predisposition to lay down fat or exercise. These are set early and are affected by a mother’s diet, physical composition and even aspects of a father’s lifestyle. The environment during development affects gene expression and thereby the setting of physiological control systems that stay with us for the rest of our lives. They affect the way the genes we have inherited from our parents actually operate and can be influenced by aspects of mother’s and father’s diet and lifestyle.” 3 Now that we can thank our parents for setting the genes in motion with their decisions, we will also review how our own lifestyle actually expresses them.
Responsibility and ownership of your own life will invariably fall back on you and that is exactly how it should be. We control our destiny and I am going to explain how our own decisions actually alter our genes and the subsequent results. “In terms of heart disease, we were able to show, for the first time, that it could be reversed by changing lifestyle, and these improvements occurred much more quickly than had once been thought possible. Usually
within hours, and almost always within days to weeks, your heart can receive more blood flow. As a result, we found over a 90 percent reduction in the frequency of angina or chest pain. People not only felt better but also, in most cases, they were better in every way we could measure. Their hearts received more blood flow and pumped more normally. The arteries that feed the heart became measurably less clogged in one year and showed even more improvement after five years. Using cardiac positron emission tomography (PET) scans, we found that 99 percent of the patients in our research were able to stop or reverse the progression of heart disease simply by changing lifestyle, without drugs or surgery. These findings may capture people’s imagination—so often, people think there is not much they can do, what I call genetic nihilism: “Oh, it’s all in my genes, what can I do?” Well, it turns out you can do a lot, more quickly than we had once realized and to a much greater degree than had been thought possible.“ 4 This research is revolutionary and confirms the suspicions that your daily decisions affect the chances of activating specific genes and consequently serious illness.
Someone who I respect immensely surmises it very eloquently when he discusses how the environment affects your genes. He is a leading cell biologist and world expert. Here is what Dr. Bruce Lipton has to say: “Each cell membrane has receptors that pick up various environmental signals, and this mechanism controls the “reading” of the genes inside your cells. Your cells can choose to read or not read the genetic blueprint depending on the signals being received from the environment. So having a “cancer program” in your DNA does not automatically mean you’re destined to get cancer. Far from it. This genetic information does not ever have to be expressed… What this all means is that you are not controlled by your genetic makeup. Instead, your genetic readout (which genes are turned “on” and which are turned “off”) is primarily determined by your thoughts, attitudes, and perceptions! The major problem with believing the myth that your genes control your life is that you become a victim of your heredity. Since you can’t change your genes, it essentially means that your life is predetermined, and therefore you have very little control over your health. With any luck, modern medicine will find the gene responsible and be able to alter it, or devise some other form of drug to modify your body’s chemistry, but aside from that, you’re out of luck… The new science, however, reveals that your perceptions control your biology, and this places you in the driver’s seat, because if you can change your perceptions, you can shape and direct your own genetic readout.” 5 This is exciting news as we
can now impact our gene expression and what genes we turn on and turn off. The victim mentality does not even hold merit from a genetic perspective. Of course there are some instances but in the majority of cases, we can control our destiny.
Labs to Run
Every day in my practice, I get asked about the best labs to run that look at your genetics and how they are expressed. The first step in finding out more about your genes comes from understanding your SNPs (Single nucleotide polymorphisms) and how they are categorically different between individuals. They reveal critical data that helps determine your genetic makeup and where you may require lifestyle or dietary changes to live an optimal life. “Single nucleotide polymorphisms, frequently called SNPs (pronounced “snips”), are the most common type of genetic variation among people. Each SNP represents a difference in a single DNA building block, called a nucleotide. SNPs occur normally throughout a person’s DNA. They occur once in every 300
nucleotides on average, which means there are roughly 10 million SNPs in the human genome. Most commonly, these variations are found in the DNA between genes. They can act as biological markers, helping scientists locate genes that are associated with disease. When SNPs occur within a gene or in a regulatory region near a gene, they may play a more direct role in disease by affecting the gene’s function. Most SNPs have no effect on health or development. Some of these genetic differences, however, have proven to be very important in the study of human health. Researchers have found SNPs that may help predict an individual’s response to certain drugs, susceptibility to environmental factors such as toxins, and risk of developing particular diseases. SNPs can also be used to track the inheritance of disease genes within families.“ 6
The two most prevalent genetic labs that I encounter in my practice are DNA Fit and 23andMe. From a fitness perspective, DNA Fit provides data on genes related to power and endurance, post-exercise recovery speed, injury risk profile, recovery nutrition needs, aerobic (VO2 Max) trainability, full genotype report and
breakdown, DNA benchmark against a British Olympian and a DNA collection kit and sample analysis. It does so by looking at many gene markers which include but are not limited to ACTN3, ACE, PPARA, NRF2, VDR, AGT, BDKRB2 and IL-6. This is important because you can determine your genetic composition and this can influence what sports you want to play. Some people have a hard time with this as they feel individuals or parents are playing “God” and trying to manipulate them into playing a certain sport while limiting them in other areas. The reality is that testing gives you an idea of what you are best at and then you can make the decision in terms of what you’ll want to pursue. You are making an informed decision now and who doesn’t want more data? I think it is a great idea if you want to pursue athletics as a profession or play at an elite level. Leverage your God given abilities with hard work and determination.
The second main benefit of using DNA Fit is the nutrition testing modules. This test uncovers which nutrition plan will best suit you. It will look at fats, proteins and carbohydrates and this is based on analyzing genes like ADBR3, APOA2, ADRB2, FABP2 and many more. You may presently be eating foods that are not complementary to your genetic makeup or that actually hinder your progress. This test will see what foods work best based on
your profile and how you can maximize the benefit. A major benefit of this test is you will receive meal plans tailor made for you. This is important as every person is different in their makeup and their food should be customized towards that. We will discuss nutrition in greater detail later on in the book but the data revealed in the nutrition module is very important.
The second genetic test that my clients run if they are so inclined to do so is the 23andMe panel. It is a genetic scan of your SNPs in your genome as described above. This saliva based test looks at over 40 reports on inherited conditions, 10 reports on your body’s response to certain drugs, more than 10 reports on your genetic risk to specific diseases and over 40 reports on genetic traits you carry. It provides a wealth of DNA information and a baseline of your physiology. The results are typically mailed back to the client but the concern for many people is they don’t understand them or can’t articulate the meaning. Many of my peers are routinely asked to help interpret the data and put them into layman’s terms for the patient. It is imperative that you get a qualified practitioner who can help you assess the information and analyze the genes and variants. 12
The real merit of these labs comes in the form of implementation. It is one thing to know your DNA and it is another to know if you ever “turn on” the genes. In working with some of the best doctors and specialists in the world, your life is 10 percent genetic and 90 percent lifestyle as we advised earlier. This means that what you do every single day matters much more than what genes your parents passed on to you. When you fully comprehend this, you must then start to make decisions each and every day that will contribute to your longevity. This means eating the appropriate foods which we will discuss later in the book, exercising where necessary, meditating and balancing a lifestyle that is void of stress and disease. The results can guide you in a certain direction and this is where the care of a health coach or practitioner is beneficial. Their experience in working with patients under similar circumstances is extremely valuable.
The final point on genetic testing pertains to the psychological state of patients once they receive their results. I find in my daily practice that once they receive the results, they feel it is a death sentence and they are doomed to develop that disease. The FDA in the United States of America required 23andMe to have
disclaimers on their website stating that diseases and gene expression are influenced by many factors. If only 10 percent of what happens to you is genetic, then it would be wise to spend your time creating the lifestyle that will bring you the most health, peace and happiness. I routinely have to remind my patients of this because as Dr. Bruce Lipton describes your beliefs and perception of your environment have a major impact on your physiology. As practitioners, we spend the majority of our time working through solutions and finding how to empower our patients so they can form the proper mindset and utilize their inherent strengths. By doing this, we allow them to focus on what matters and shift their vision to productivity not fear.
You will likely hear a great deal about this topic in the coming years as the research is starting to support its involvement in so many processes in the body. I receive many questions from clients asking what methylation is, why it is important and how can you test it? I will explain in great detail as my clients and patients need to be well versed when they speak with their doctors or health care
practitioners. Methylation is a natural biochemical process that produces energy, processes hormones, creates immune cells, builds neurotransmitters, regulates gene function, synthesizes DNA and helps protect your nerves. From a science based perspective, it is the process of taking a single carbon and three hydrogens (methyl group) and applying it to many critical functions in your body that have been outlined above. Methylation happens in all the cells of your body by distributing methyl groups to dozens of chemical processes in the body.
The question then becomes what can impair your methylation cycle? What causes it to become out of balance and cause problems for your body? Some of the factors are insufficient diet, genetic mutation, toxic exposure, high stress, anxiety, medications, drinking alcohol, xenobiotics, virus, infection or any combination of them but not limited to. We measure toxicity every day with the labs we run and we can tell you that many of our clients have very high toxicity levels and they are not necessarily the result of working in a toxic environment. Many manufactured items you come in contact with leave traces of industrial chemicals in your body. These can range from cans of food, plastic bags, styrofoam
cups, cleaning products, shampoos, hairsprays and makeup. Virtually any consumer product you touch can introduce chemicals into your body. This is why we always have our clients run the BH101 toxicity lab.
The most popular SNP currently getting a great deal of attention in 2016 is the MTHFR gene (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase). Almost half of all people living have this trait which is the main reason for all the press. You can thank your parents if you carry the gene but as mentioned previously, lifestyle and nutrition play an important role on if it is expressed and utilized within the body. Vitamin and mineral deficiency will play an important role in disrupting the methylation pathway. The reason is that these nutrients are required to make the active form of folate known as methylfolate. They include B2, magnesium, B6, Zinc, B12 and Folate. There are other SNPs that are looked at and they include SHMT, BHMT, MTRR, COMT and MTR. As previously mentioned, you can run genetic tests to find out what you are predisposed to.
So why does all of this matter? It matters because it is believed that methylation defects have been tied or associated with many health issues and diseases. Here is a sample list of potential health
risks associated with poor methylation. Some conditions that can arise from methylation defects are:
Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Allergies or Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
Spina Bifida or Cleft Palate or Neural Tube Defects
Multiple Sclerosis and other Autoimmune Disorders
Hashimoto’s or Hypothyroidism
ADD or ADHD
Testing For Methylation
There are a few ways in which you can test your methylation cycles and certain SNPs. One way is from the genetic testing mentioned above in 23andMe. It will show if you have relevant DNA polymorphisms that will reduce your ability to make many of the enzymes which collectively form the methylation cycle. The second approach is a serum test of homocysteine levels which will highlight problems with recycling methionine back to homocysteine. The third and final test I recommend is from Genova Diagnostics called the NeuroGenomic profile. They offer various test panels which monitor how your methylation processes are working. I use this lab for many of my functional lab tests and they are always excellent in their efficiency and quality. Please reach out to our team if you have any questions at all about genetics or methylation.
- Griffiths, Anthony J. F.; Miller, Jeffrey H.; Suzuki, David T.; Lewontin, Richard C.; Gelbart, eds. (2000).“Genetics and the Organism: Introduction”.An Introduction to Genetic Analysis(7th ed.). New York: W. H. Freeman. ISBN 0-7167-3520-2.
- Hartl D, Jones E (2005)