THE PERSONALIZATION AND COMMERCIALIZATION OF HUMAN HEALTH
We’re entering the age of customized medicine and health which is tailored individually to us – not people ‘like’ us.
For decades we’ve been subject to recommendations from health professionals suggesting things like people with certain blood types should eat certain foods.
People with certain heretical backgrounds are in greater danger than others due to factors such as smoking etc. That’s not what I’m talking about.
Specifically, we’re the start of the age whereby your own DNA or RNA can or will be soon able to say specifically what one could or should be doing to improve their health. This is a far cry from eat lots of food and vegetables, but it’s the reality of today’s consumer marketplace.
Companies can now spin you up specific recommendations. For you, for your diet, for your medications that will definitively tell you what you should do, based on your own metabolism – not on someone who’s like you.
This has far-reaching revocations. And it’s worth exploring due to the potential to dramatically improve human health and longevity.
Let’s look at a couple of examples
Viome is a science-based company that generates food recommendations specifically for you based on your RNA.
As individuals people’s genes express differently we have no way of really understanding which foods are good for us and which are not. Other than some sort of gut feeling. But that’s really not very accurate as when we sit down to eat we typically eat a whole variety of different foods at once. And thus it’s difficult for us to understand which might be causing that stomach trouble or rash.
What makes this so different is its ability to specifically tell you what you should avoid completely. (Hint: Chickpeas and lentils are my kryptonite).
What you should minimize. What’s good to eat as much as you want and what are your superfoods?
Knowing this information allows you to gradually swap out the foods you’ll want to minimize in order to gradually improve your diet.
This isn’t some radical approach to completely shifting your diet. Even though it may be a radically evolved approach to tailoring it.
In practice, I found that the changes have given me more energy. Particularly during the afternoons. They’ve also helped digestion largely reduced inflammation.
Other people have other reactions, however to personalizing their diet. It is linked to a whole host of factors from Alzheimer’s to depression, sleep and energy levels, even cancer.
So for $129 dollars U.S., this is one of the first things individuals can do at a reasonable price to actively tailor their diet to improve their health.
I had no idea previously I should be minimizing cauliflower but maximizing broccoli. Or minimizing blueberries and maximizing blackberries. Or minimizing oranges and maximizing apricots.
While these foods all fit into the category of healthy foods, apparently some are more healthy than others for me personally.
But this is just a start. We’re about to go into…
The Era of Custom-Tailored Drugs
There’s an old joke in the medical profession, (or perhaps about the medical profession), that the practice of medicine. is called that because of the fact that they’re practicing on you.
As disturbing as this may sound ask anybody who’s had adverse drug reactions and you’ll soon get the idea that the only way today to understand a drug’s efficacy is to basically try it on you and see what happens.
That’s a less than ideal approach.
Wouldn’t it be better if we knew exactly what was going to work and what not based on our own biology – before we took the pill.
Well, we may not be completely there yet but things are definitely moving in that direction. 23 and Me, the genetics company.
That has provided genotyping information for tens of millions of people. Have recently sponsored their own drug specifically aimed at reducing or stopping inflammation.
In people that are predisposed to it, inflammation is a major cause of everything from heart disease to Alzheimer’s and beyond.
It’s suspected to be the thing that silently kills the majority of us. To say it’s a billion-dollar problem would be. Understanding as to how much it costs humanity each year.
But with the genotyping information of tens of millions of people 23andme is able to
determine (apparently with high accuracy) who is susceptible to this. And thus likely. To suffer.
From things like cancer Alzheimer’s and heart disease down the road.
The drug, which is about to be produced by a Spanish drug manufacturer, apparently blocks three key enzymes which lead to inflammation.
As 80% of 23andme’s customers have allowed their data to be anonymously shared with partner companies for third-party research, one would expect that the subset of people within the group which are likely to suffer from inflammation will soon be informed about the advancements and suggested that they talk to their doctor.
These are just two of the radical changes that have just hit or about to hit global health care.
Over the course of the next 20 years. We’d expect hundreds of different products to hit the market with ever increasing specificity and frequency of monitoring.
When you think about it? Your health is just like your money. There’s fundal mental need to be proactive about both. Otherwise, you’ll end up poor whether that be financially or health-wise.
Proactivity, through a personalized scientifically proven approach will likely be recognized by future generations as a key part of an overall regimen that leads to a happy, healthy and successful long life.