When you plan dinner do you think, calories, comfort, food groups, fiber, what leftovers are there in the fridge? All seem sensible, and none of which should be ignored when planning your meals. But when you planned dinner last night did you really think hard about why you should or should not eat certain vegetables. Well, this may be the newest frontier in personalized medicine. We process many medications through a complex network of enzyme pathways. Based on our genetics we either metabolize a particular medication well, poorly, or perhaps modestly poorly. However, it turns out that your diet can factor into this equation. Did you know about the gene CYP1A2? It is a factor in the metabolism of many medications as varied as naproxen, acetaminophen, and estradiol. Did you realize that some women who normally process this enzyme reaction can switch and the function of CYP1A2 can switch and in the face of eating cruciferous vegetables become a rapid metabolizer of these medications. The cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage can be very good four you, as they are high in vitamin C, fiber, phytochemicals and other important nutrients. Thus it is good, as a general rule to eat these cruiciferous vegetables. But how about you, personally, and your health? Do you understand the genetics of your metabolism? One dinner is unlikely to change your medication, but we are always looking for reasons medications, for instance the prescription of estrogen for hot flashes, seems to be working, and then may be reported by a patient to be less effective in controlling her symptoms. The diet certainly can help explain some short term symptoms. This is what prioritized medicine is about. Perhaps it’s time to get tested!
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