Welcome to the cutting edge of Nutrigenomics, Epigenetics and Functional Medicine. The kind of life saving stuff your standard doctor probably won’t know about for another 20 years. Chances of finding a Naturopathic Doctor who is knowledgable in this area is slightly higher, but even then don’t hold your breath. So thus it is important you become your own doctor.
Every person has a unique set of genes. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could optimize our diets/supplements for maximum well-being based on your very own personal genetic results? I know that sounds so future-esque, however the reality is you can begin to take the first steps today. In fact it is more crucial now then ever as our planet and our food are now loaded with toxic chemicals that are pushing our bodies to their very limits. In addition to this poor diet of your parents or even grandparents can have real lasting epigenetic (gene expression) effects on your life. DNA is like hardware, and epicgenetics is like software. Time magazine has an excellent article on Why Your DNA Isn’t Your Destiny and how this impacts your health.
As an extension of my last post on Fake Estrogen – a modern Health epidemic, one of the things I discovered as being crucial in detoxifying xenoestrogens is a biochemical process in the body called Methylation. Methylation is one of the most fundamental process’s in the body and about 40% of the global population has defects/mutations/polymorophism on a key gene (MTHFr) that is critical for the methylation process to occur. Whats more is that it appears xenoestrogens can actually block the MTHF pathway which is supposed to help create the very detox agents (glutathione) which get rid of the toxic substances. This can create a partial negative feedback loop.
Because the MTHFr genetic defect is so common, supplementing around/bypassing the defect with L-5-MTHF has almost miraculous panacea like qualities in resolving a whole host of diseases and ailments. Methylation is the key to human life and optimal well being. It does the following:
- Turn on and off genes (Epigenetics – gene regulation)
- Process chemicals and toxins (biotransformation)
- Build neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine)
- Process hormones (estrogen)
- Build immune cells (T cells, NK cells)
- DNA and RNA synthesis (Thymine aka 5-methyluracil)
- Produce energy (CoQ10, carnitine, ATP)
- Produce protective coating on nerves (myelination)
When methylation does not function properly, it is now known to be of the primary root causes of the following conditions:
Autism, Cancer, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Diabetes, Pulmonary Embolisms, Cleft Palette, Spina Bifida, Parkinson’s, Neural Tube Defects, Atherosclerosis, Immune Deficiency, ADD/ADHD, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Chemical Sensitivity, Congenital Heart Defects, Depression, Alcoholism, Addictive Behaviors, Insomnia, Down’s Syndrome, Chronic Viral Infection, Thyroid Dysfunction, Neuropathy, Recurrent Miscarriages, Infertility, Anxiety, Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Allergies
Now there is a lot more to the methylation cycle than just the MTHFr gene that has a real verifiable impact on health.
- COMT and MAO A: processes neurotransmitter catabolism and estrogens
- CBS: processes homocysteine and if upregulated, depletes methyl groups, increases taurine
- MTR/MTRR: recycles B12 and processes B12 for methionine production GSTM1 and SOD: major detoxification enzymes
- GAD: transforms glutamate to GABA
- HNMT: processes histamine (secondary enzyme for histamine; primary is DAO)
- QDPR: recycles BH4
- NOS: processes ammonia, forms nitric oxide from arginine
- SUOX: processs sulfites/sulfur and this mutation is made worse from CBS upreg
Nutrigenomic Methylation Pictures:
Genomic Lab Testing:
*Note: 23andme uses a different gene categorizing system than Genova & Amy Yasko. There is a conversion chart here
and one by Calico13 here
Important slide from Dr.Ben Lynch’s presentation:
To see how I used this knowledge to help cure myself of CFS please see My Nutrigenomic Analysis.
Pioneering Doctors/Researchers in this field:
- Dr. Jill James
- Dr. Amy Yasko – Focuses on Autistic children
- Dr. Rich van Konynenburg – Biochemist; applied to Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia
Youtube/Vimeo Video Presentations: