We all know that prevention is always better than the cure, but what if you could take it one step further by applying personalised healthcare interventions based on your genetic makeup? A newly opened health centre in Cape Town, 3X4 Clinics is seeking to do just that with the launch of their new genetic test, 3X4 Genetics.

3X4 Clinics was launched in January 2018 as the first clinical centre of its kind in South Africa with the purpose of offering their customers a gene-based, personalised health and nutrition service based on scientific evidence. The clinic is founded by Dr Yael Joffe, a global expert in the field of nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics, who over the past 18 years has developed a number of nutrigenetic tests to help her patients get a 360° view of their health and address the root cause of any issue with personalised nutrition.

During the 3X4 Genetics launch Dr Joffe will share with the audience, consisting of both healthcare professionals and patients, her experience in test development, clinical translation and nutrigenomics teaching. She will be joined by a guest speaker from the US, Dr Myles Spar, a fellow expert on precision preventative medicine and a specialist in men’s health and performance optimisation.

Dr Spar decided to embark on a career as an integrative internal medicine physician after realising from his time with Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) that the traditional medical training he received focused primarily on acute, hospital-based care instead of prevention and holistic care. He currently directs the Integrative Medicine programme at the Southern California Men’s Medical Group and at the Simms-Mann Health and Wellness Center at Venice Family Clinic and Co-chairs the American Board of Integrative Medicine. He also heads Tack180, an individualised care plan programme designed to help his male clientele achieve peak performance, mitigate genetic predisposition to disease and live a longer, stronger life.

“The programme takes into account this whole idea of what you can do to stay on your game; to achieve your goals with an understanding of where you start, what are your risks, where you want to get to and what you can do to get there,” Dr Spar told eHealthNews.

Based on his expertise as an optimal men’s health expert, Dr Spar also acts a consultant for the US’ National Basketball Association (NBA) where he advises 17 of the 30 teams on nutrition, stress management and sleep, in addition to sexual health to ensure that they stay healthy and play their optimal game.

“Conventional medicine is very much waiting until something is wrong and then treating it. Whereas integrative medicine is prevention orientated and is therefore much more than just pharmaceutical-based medicine. It’s about lifestyle, what you can do in terms of your diet, exercise, sleep and managing stress. All of these factors not only have a big impact on preventing disease, but even if you have a problem it can be carried out in conjunction with pharmaceuticals,” said Dr Spar.

During the 3X4 Genetics launch Dr Spar will be presenting on two topics; with healthcare practitioners in mind, he’ll be talking about men’s health and how to engage and equip men. This is important because health messaging is often more orientated towards women, and men respond differently. And then for the patients and clients in the audience, he will talk about tools that can be used to implement meaningful behaviour changes, leading to real health improvements.

“I’m really excited about Dr Joffe’s new 3X4 Genetics test, it’s ground-breaking in that it has a lot of elements that you don’t have elsewhere. For example, the test focuses on how different gene variations work together in pathways,” said Dr Spar.

“The test will only be available to practitioners who are knowledgeable about what to do with the results, which is more sensible than some of the direct consumer tests on the market that can be confusing and even potentially unhealthy if you just make decisions based on one test result and don’t know what you are doing,” concluded Dr Spar.

According to Dr Joffe, the 3X4 Genetics test is a single test solution with a multitude of insights for health optimisation and disease prevention, encompassing cellular processes, body systems, energy and weight management, as well as exercise and sports performance optimisation – all in one single cheek swab test. The test includes 82 gene variants across 25 metabolic areas, targeting gene-based pathways, rather than individual gene variants.

3X4 Genetics will be launched in Johannesburg on 23 May, in Cape Town on 24 May, and in Durban on 31 May. For more information about 3X4 Clinics, the launch events and Dr Spar’s presentation, visit: http://3x4genetics.io/

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