At STR!VE, we believe that personalized medicine is the next era of excellent medical care. This means considering the individual when making medical recommendations: including a person’s genetic make-up, environmental exposures, nutrition, stress, mental health, sleep, relationships, etc…

Let’s look at cholesterol as an example. Diet and nutrition play a major role, but so do genetics. The ApoE gene is a major factor in how our bodies metabolize cholesterol and react to fats and carbohydrates. Those with the genetic variant called ApoE4 may see more notable improvement in cholesterol levels with a low-fat diet. Those with the ApoE2 variant may have more success with a low-carb diet. When we have this piece of genetic information, in addition to detailed lifestyle information, we can add personalization to the general guidelines that exist on treating cholesterol.

The same idea holds true with cholesterol medications. Currently the vast majority of evidence in treatment of cholesterol is based on generalizations of the population. So, when counseling patients on the effectiveness of medication and potential for side effects, we reference studies for the whole population. This approach does not take into account genetic difference on how we metabolize cholesterol, which affects how well the medication works and the side effects such as muscle cramps. Knowing this information, we can give more detailed counseling and may help select a different, more effective, medication. In some cases, we may be able to alter diet and help avoid medication all together.

For more information on the role genetics can play in your overall health and wellness visit