Profile: Lisa Cianfrini

Helping others attain optimum health

lisa-cianfrini-photoLisa Cianfrini is a recent graduate from Brescia’s Master’s of Foods and Nutrition program and is a Registered Dietitian (RD). She also belongs to a select group of RDs who offer nutrigenetic testing services for personalized nutrition to promote optimum health. As part of her private practice, she offers this testing to people in southwestern Ontario. What is the testing and how does it promote good health? The Nutrigenomix® test kit that she will use was developed by a University of Toronto start-up biotechnology company and empowers dietitians to provide their clients with comprehensive, reliable, genomic information. The ultimate goal is to improve health through personalized nutrition based on how individuals react to various foods based on their unique genetic dispositions.

Lisa looks at seven different dietary components and assesses how people will react to them. These groups are: caffeine, sodium, Omega 3 fats, saturated fats, whole grains, Vitamin C, and Folate. Depending upon what the testing reveals, Lisa will suggest healthy amounts of each of these items for her clients. For instance, if a client exhibits, through testing, an elevated risk gene type associated with caffeine consumption and heart disease, she might recommend that her client reduce their caffeine consumption so that it is lower than the general dietary guidelines. This is where dietitians, like Lisa, with their intense study of food and nutrition become particularly important. Lisa won’t just be telling clients what their risks are but will also be giving them recommendations for healthy changes in their consumption of these seven dietary components to further reduce their risk.

The genetic test kits, genotyping, and customized reports are all based on cutting-edge research and stringent standards of scientific evidence, which were officially launched in Canada at the Dietitians of Canada’s annual conference in Toronto on June 14, 2012 and has since launched in Australia and the United States. The Founder of Nutrigenomix Inc. and Chair of the International Science Advisory Board is Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy, a Canada Research Chair in Nutrigenomics at the University of Toronto. Lisa came into contact with Dr. El-Sohemy through one of her internship placements and has been proud to work with him since graduating as part of the Nutrigenomix team. She is also delighted to be the first dietitian offering Nutrigenomix services in southwestern Ontario. She recently launched her own web site, and has been a guest on Rogers TV Daytime, Global News, and CTV News. Lisa, who aspires to teach future dietitians, returned to Brescia to co-teach a course in the winter term this year.