Category «Disease Prevention»

Gulf War Illness: Genetic susceptibility and current research

A question from a patron via Patreon prompted me to look into the link between genes and Gulf War Illness. I wanted to share what I found in case it can help other veterans who are dealing with the aftereffects of their service to our country during the Gulf War. The Dept. of Veteran Affairs …

How to download your AncestryDNA raw data and import it into Excel

A quick tutorial for today on downloading your data from AncestryDNA. Why download your data?  Well, it is YOUR data — genetic data about you that you paid for…  If you download it from AncestryDNA, then you can use that data in a variety of ways. You also don’t have to worry about the company …

5 ways you can optimize your diet today, based on your genes

With all the dietary advice out there today, how can you know what is right for your body? I’ve boiled down 5 quick ways that you can use your genetic data (23andMe, AncestryDNA, etc) to optimize your diet to fit your genes. #1) Are you genetically lactose intolerant? Lactase is the enzyme that breaks down …

Caffeine Metabolism and Your Genes

Whether you start your morning with a cup of coffee or a cup of tea, caffeine remains the most popular ‘drug’ of choice for a large percentage of the population. Caffeine wakes us up by blocking the adenosine receptor.  Caffeine also acts as a central nervous system stimulant, increasing reaction time. Genetics determine how quickly your …

Meat consumption, colon cancer, and your genes

The link between colon cancer and meat consumption has been trumpeted by vegetarians and heatedly refuted by paleo fanatics. My question, as usual, is: “What role does genetics play?” The World Health Organization includes processed meat on their list of probable carcinogens, based on several large epidemiological studies. According to the American Cancer Society, the lifetime …

Are you genetically less likely to get the flu?

Have you ever wondered why some people never seem to get the flu when it is going around?  Turns out that our genes play a role in both our immune response to the flu virus and the virus’ ability to replicate in us. Simply put, some people are just more susceptible to getting the flu …

Cannabis and your genes: effects, dependency, and risks

As cannabis becomes legal for medicinal use or recreational use in more states across the US and Canada, I thought I would dig into exactly how and why cannabis has an effect on the body.  And while cannabis may not be something that is legal or interesting for you, our body’s endocannabinoid system does so …

Circadian Rhythms: Genes at the Core of Our Internal Clocks

Circadian rhythms are the natural biological rhythms that shape our biology.  Most people know about the master clock in our brain that keeps us on a wake-sleep cycle over 24 hours.  This is driven by our master “clock’ genes. It turns out that we also have circadian cycles (peripheral clocks) in most organs such as …

Salt and High Blood pressure: Genes Make a Difference (Patrons only)

Salt: Is it good for you? Or is it putting you at risk of high blood pressure? There is an interesting new book out by Dr. James DiNicolantonio called The Salt Fix that makes the argument that the experts got it wrong as far as the salt and blood pressure connection goes.  In contrast, the …

Increased Inflammation and IL-17A Genetic Variants

In looking into the effects of emulsifiers on our gut, I came across quite a few genetic variants that are involved in increased inflammation and increased risk of inflammatory bowel diseases. IL-17A is a pro-inflammatory part of our immune system that, while necessary in times of injury or pathogenic infection, can cause problems if it …