How do YOU choose the research?

For the integrative practitioner stepping into a more extended use of SNP testing, knowing which research to rely on is a key component for clinical success. Scientific research may be defined as “systematic, controlled, empirical, and critical investigation of hypothetical propositions about the presumed relations among observed phenomena.1 Yet research is significantly more complicated than implied in this definition. There are multiple styles, motivations, and funding of scientific research that may affect overall outcomes.

To determine the most relevant research to support single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) testing, it is necessary to identify the strongest, largest and least skewed studies. News and television may present information that is new and sexy, yet it may lack the statistical strength to support the claims. Overall, SNP’s have only gained popularity since the early 2000’s. Before 2007, there were less than 10 publications on around 100 SNP’s. By 2011 the research had skyrocketed to over 140 publications per 6 months on over 2000 SNPs!2 Although the research bank is growing at a rapid rate, the current knowledge base truly is the tip of the iceberg. When delving into research, it is vital to differentiate a study on one small rodent study, from a large meta-analysis.

What to look for: Research on SNPs should have been validated to have at least 20% prevalence in the general population OR have extreme pathological effects. There is a multi-step process that can simplify the identification of valid SNPs and their research. Multiple databases are available that collate applicable information and guide the determination of SNP importance. The Kashi Medical Genetics in Clinical Practice Workshop on July 21, 2018, includes a presentation that takes a deeper look into this systematic process of discovering the SNPs that have the greatest application based on the most up to date research. Select the link below to learn more about the full agenda for the Workshop.