Category «Heart Disease»

Saturated Fat and Your Genes

Recent articles on coconut oil and saturated fat being bad for you have been making waves lately via social media.  It has brought up once again the decades-long debate about which type of fat is best: saturated fat or polyunsaturated fat.  Those in the paleo and ketogenic world are quick to tout the benefits of saturated …

Interaction between high fat diet and ACE deletion

Wondering if you should cut down on red meat and fat to lower your blood pressure?  According to a new study, it could depend on your genes. A recent study in the Journal of the American Heart Association illustrates once again the interaction between genetics and diet.  The study looked at blood pressure measurements in …

Building Up Iron – Genetics, Diet, and Health Effects

Hemochromatosis is a fairly common genetic disease that causes iron to build up in the body. Knowing that you carry the genetic variants for hemochromatosis can literally add years to your life since you can prevent the buildup of iron through giving blood. This is a personal cause for me, and getting the word out …

Thiamine – Genetic Variations in Need for B1

Thiamine (thiamin), also known as vitamin B1, is a water-soluble vitamin that serves as a cofactor in the metabolism of carbohydrates, branch chain amino acids, and fatty acids.  It is essential and needed in the production of ATP, which is used in every cell for energy. Severe deficiency of thiamin leads to beriberi, and less …

Vitamin C Levels and Your Genes

As the weather here turns colder, thoughts turn to preventing colds and the flu.  My “go to” method of preventing sickness has always been by loading up on vitamin C, even though recent studies haven’t really supported the idea that vitamin C increase immune function. Like most nutrients, our genes play a role in how …

Adiponectin levels, food choices, and genetics

Adiponectin, a hormone discovered in the 1990’s, is secreted by adipose (fat) tissue.  It is an anti-inflammatory protein, protective against the effects of low-grade inflammation that are associated with obesity. Although it is made in adipose tissue, those who have more fat tissue usually have lower adiponectin levels.  It is thought that the lower adiponectin levels (and …

Omega-3 vs. Omega-6 fats and your genes

Butter is evil.  Butter is the best!  Only cook with Canola oil.  Wait — everyone switch back to saturated fats. Olive oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, cold pressed, expeller pressed….  is palm oil now good?  Am I the only one who is confused by which kind of fat is the best? It turns out, like most …

Coffee: Is it right for your genes?

Coffee — is it good or bad?  It seems like there are news articles all the time on both the drawbacks and the benefits of coffee consumption. Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world, second only to tea!  It is also somewhat controversial due to its caffeine content. Large, population-wide studies have …

Genetics of Cholesterol Levels

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US and around the world, and hand-in-hand with heart disease goes the often demonized cholesterol.  Standard medical advice on ideal cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease are often confusing, ever-changing, and downright contradictory.  So here is a look at some of the ways our genes are involved …

COMT: Genetic Influence on Heart Disease and Interaction with Aspirin, Vitamin E

Everyone knows that aspirin protects against heart disease, right? Well, it turns out that is only true for some of us, and for others it can actually slightly increase the risk of heart disease.  It all depends on a COMT polymorphism. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is the gene that codes for an enzyme that breaks down dopamine, …