About Dr. Penny Kendall-Reed, BSc, ND
Penny Kendall-Reed is a Naturopathic Doctor in Toronto. After graduating from McGill University in Neurobiology, she earned a degree in Naturopathic Medicine from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine; here she received the Dr. Allen Tyler Award for Most Outstanding Clinician. Penny Kendall-Reed is the author of 5 national bestselling books including The New Naturopathic Diet, Healing Arthritis, The No Crave Diet, The Complete Doctor’s Stress Solution and The Complete Doctor’s Healthy Back Bible. In 2013 she was voted Naturopath of the Year by her peers and colleagues, and in 2018 was the recipient of the top Naturopathic Doctor Award in Canada.
Dr. Kendall-Reed travels worldwide lecturing on topics including personalized genetic medicine (how to interpret and treat SNP analysis), neuro-endocrine disorders and metabolic-related diseases. Dr. Kendall-Reed analyzes and interprets genetic profiles and uses them to design personalized health programs for patients worldwide. She is an international medical consultant for Douglas Laboratories and Pure Encapsulation, helping create product formulations and overseeing the neuro-metabolic department. Dr. Kendall-Reed is a member of the scientific board for Pure genomics and presently is the director of natural therapies at the Urban Wellness Clinic in Toronto.
When I started clinical practise in 1996, I rapidly realized that although the knowledge and training gained from my years as a student was comprehensive it did not explain the idiosyncrasies of individual patients. Diagnosis and patterns of treatment were useful in many cases but as I delved deeper into the complexities of metabolic health, I found I needed to expand my spectrum of management. My research took me through numerous dietary trends, supplement regimens and lifestyle modifications. I explored the impact of exercise, the environment and chronic stress and tried my best to fit patents into diagnostic and therapeutic “boxes” within which I could expect them to improve their health, lose weight and reverse or prevent metabolic abnormalities such as high blood sugar or cholesterol. It worked well but I found I had to continually expand the number of “boxes” to accommodate everyone. Certain patients did well with some aspects of their treatment but not others, while other patients seemed to require the interaction of two or more boxes.
In 2011, I noticed an increasing number of articles referencing SNP’s, single nucleotide polymorphisms, and their association with metabolic function, weight management and risk of disease, particularly diabetes. Numerous genome-wide association studies examining the correlation of SNP variants with disease risk made them relevant to my practise. So I began to build my own database of research, focussed on SNP’s that were both relevant to my patient population and available on different genetic platforms. At this point I ran myself through a number of commercially available genetic tests to see what genes were analysed and how well the results correlated with what I knew about my personal health. I found that while some of the information was both useful and accurate, many of the genes I knew to be important from my research were either not sequenced or were documented but not analysed. As my research base developed in concert with the ever-expanding literature, I was able to start formulating programs based on individual SNP patterns. I began to realize why certain patients did not fit into some of the therapeutic “boxes” I had assigned them to and why treatment options that worked for some individuals failed in others that on the surface appeared clinically similar. I recognized that patients were unique and did not fit into pre-designed boxes.
As I went over their results, explaining why they felt a certain way after different foods, with varying types of exercise and when stressed or losing sleep, their eyes lit up with a recognition that I truly understood them and their individual issues. “Yes, that’s me” would be a common expression at the end of our discussion. I would receive emails a few weeks later from patients seeing improvements in their health, their energy, their sleep and their weight, problems they had struggled with for years without an answer. Patients for whom I had scratched my head trying to figure out why my protocols were not working were suddenly doing amazingly well with simple SNP-based tweaks to their treatment.
As I learned more I felt that assigning treatment based on one SNP seemed oversimplified, particularly considering the tremendous number of SNP’s influencing certain aspects of health and metabolism. There were well- documented interactions between SNP’s and as my database grew, I recognized that patients with a certain SNP genotype responded differently dependant on their coding for other complementary SNP’s. These algorithms, which I have termed “SNP integration” are one of the unique features of my protocols and are based on a combination of research and clinical evaluation with my patients.
For more information visit http://pkrhealth.ca