Health Resources Picks: Your Genes and Health5 Minute Read
Our genetic code is so much more complicated than we can even imagine! Everyday, scientists are learning more about our genes and how they relate to our overall health. With the convergence of biology and consumer technology over the past 20 years, the availability of information about our own genetics is becoming increasingly available.
Before we talk more about genes, let’s distinguish between genetics and epigenetics. Genetics refers to the actual code of your genes. For example, you have a gene that dictates eye color and that gene will have a very specific code. Your body reads your genetic code and it results in our physical traits, including how we process different types of types of fuel (carbohydrates, proteins and fats).
Epigenetics is how the environment interacts with our genes, meaning the environment can cause our genes to be turned on and off. So, your actual genetic code AND how the environment influences these genes will play a role in how your cells function.
An excellent resource available for people that have their genetic code is the website FoundMyFitness by Dr. Rhonda Patrick. If you have sent a sample out to either 23andMe or Ancestry.com, you can upload your genetic sequence to the FoundMyFitness website for a genetic report about your own body’s genes concerning nutrition and lifestyle.
You can check out some results from my own genetic report below, but keep in mind that the expression of genes is also very dependent on your environment! Epigenetics will play a huge role in HOW these genes are expressed. So, we aren't just a sum of our genes. We are a sum of our genes AND our environment.
To help me in my own health journey, here are a few examples from my own report!
Increased risk for altered blood lipids and type 2 diabetes in response to a diet high in saturated fats. PPAR alpha is a master regulator of lipid, carbohydrate, and protein metabolism. The particular variant that I have suggests that my body would not respond well to a diet high in saturated fats, meaning the ketogenic diet is not something that works well for MY body.
Vitamin D Binding Protein
GC vitamin D binding protein is a member of the albumin protein family that is involved in the storage and transport of vitamin D throughout the body.
The variant in my genetic code increases my risk for vitamin D deficiency. Check out my blog post on the importance of vitamin D for more info! This is why I routinely check my vitamin D levels and supplement when necessary.
CYP1A2 is a variant of an enzyme that plays a role in metabolism of drugs in the liver. This particular gene can result in slower metabolism of CAFFEINE!
Therefore, caffeine is something I am more careful about in terms of HOW much I drink. Caffeine can be a major STRESSOR on the body, especially if it takes a long time to clear.
Check out this resource and contact me with any questions!