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July 6, 2020 69 min
In this episode of Functional Medicine Research, I interview Dr. Tommy Wood on the question of whether commercial genetic testing for SNPs is helpful or harmful.  This is a topic I have wanted to cover in detail for a long time so when I read Dr. Wood's paper and listened to him speak, I knew his expertise would be invaluable to this conversation.  It is important that practitioners and patients know the truth about the current state of genetic testing and whether or not it is scientifically valid or invalid. Dr. Wood has done the necessary research to outline all of the reasons why genetic testing is not a valuable tool in practice and he presents compelling data that it can be more harmful than helpful.  As stated in the interview, this is an area that I have never bought into because the science simply doesn't support genetic testing or interventions to address SNPs in clincial practice.  I think you'll find this interiew invaluable to your understanding of genetic testing. If you have any published papers to refute any of this information, myself and Dr. Wood would love to read these papers. Below is a transcript of the interview if genetic testing is helpful or harmful: Dr. Hedberg: Well, welcome, everyone, to "Functional Medicine Research." I'm Dr. Hedberg and very excited today to have Dr. Tommy Wood on the show. We're gonna be talking about genetics and genetic testing. And Dr. Wood is a research assistant professor of pediatrics in the University of Washington, Division of Neonatology. Most of his academic work is focused on developing therapies for brain injury in newborn infants but also includes adult neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases, as well as nutritional approaches to sports performance. Tommy received an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of Cambridge before obtaining his medical degree from the University of Oxford. After working as a doctor in central London, he moved to Norway for his PhD, and then to the University of Washington as a postdoc. So, in addition to his academic training, he's coached athletes and dozens of sports, weekend warriors to Olympians and world champions. He's the outgoing President of the Physicians for Ancestral Health Society, a Director of the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine, and sits on the Scientific Advisory Board of Hinson performance, which includes researching performance optimization strategies for Formula One drivers. Tommy's current research interests include the physiological and metabolic responses to brain injury and their long-term effects on brain health, as well as developing easily accessible methods with which to track human health performance and longevity. So, Dr. Wood, welcome to the show. Dr. Wood: Thanks so much for having me. I'm excited to be here. Dr. Hedberg: Great. So, before we got on, we were just talking about a lot of the big issues in functional medicine include, unscientific and unvalidated testing and therapies and things like that. And so that's why I was really looking forward to this because genetics is something that I've never really got on board with as far as testing and treating patients. So, why don't we lay some bedrock for the listeners? And if you could just let us know, what is the current academic position by scientists on commercial genetic testing for SNPs and the interventions that some practitioners are using? Dr. Wood: That's a great question. And having spent a lot of time sort of straddling both traditional allopathic medicine, traditional academic research, and then also functional medicine, particularly with athletes, but also with various clients with chronic health conditions, there's this real tension between the two in terms of, you know, what's done and the evidence that supports it. And I think that's where some of these genetics stuff comes into play. And when I started really looking into this, you see very rapidly that academic geneticists who h...
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