Hemochromatosis – Genes involved

Hemochromatosis is a genetic disorder in which the body stores too much iron.  Normally, a person absorbs about 8 – 10% of iron that they eat, but a person with hemochromatosis can absorb up to 4 times that amount. In classic hemochromatosis, men may start seeing problems associated with too much iron in their 30’s, …

Alzheimer’s and APOE type

One very important gene that has been researched in association with Alzheimer’s disease is the APOE gene.    Late-onset (after age 60) Alzheimer’s disease is thought to be influenced both by genes and by environmental factors, so keep in mind when looking at your genetic risk that your genes are only one part of the equation …

Do you like broccoli? Bitter tastes and your genes

My husband has always hated raw broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and coffee.  Turns out he is not just being picky, he can actually taste a bitter flavor that I can’t detect.  It really is all in the genes! It was discovered in the 1930’s that some people can taste a bitter compound known as phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) …

Vitamin E, Genetics, and Inflammation

Vitamin E is  an antioxidant which is touted as a supplement that helps prevent cardiovascular disease and prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.  It is an essential nutrient found in a variety of foods including wheat germ, almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, and peanut butter. The RDA for adults is 15 mg/day (22.4 IU/day), and the …

Living to 100? Longevity and Genetics

There are several genes known as “longevity” genes that increase your odds of living to be 100 years old.  This would be great to know for retirement planning! There are few centenarians living today in the US, but the odds do increase dramatically depending on your year of birth.  Someone born a hundred years ago has …

Gut Health and Your Genes – FUT2 Polymorphism, Updated

FUT2 Polymorphisms

I am constantly amazed at the interaction between our bodies and the microbes within us.  Yes, a bit geeky, but this stuff is really cool! I never imagined that secreting your blood type (or not!) could play such a big role in the type of bacteria that dwell in our gut microbiome.   This gets …

Histamine intolerance and the methylation cycle

Histamine Intolerance - The genes and pathways of breaking down histamine.

Are you itching by the end of the day?  Miserable in the evening due to heartburn?  Nose constantly stuffy and drippy? Plagued by migraines? All of these (and more) can be related to histamine intolerance. First, symptoms of histamine issues can be more than just watery eyes and sneezing when the pollen count rises each spring. From …

Lactose Intolerance: The genetics of not producing lactase

Lactose1

Lactose, a sugar in milk, is broken down by the enzyme lactase.  For some people, the production of the lactase enzyme is decreased when they become an adult; this decrease is driven by a genetic variation near the LCT gene.  This means that some adults are genetically predisposed to not be able to consume larger …

Genetics of Cholesterol Levels

cholesterol-genes

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 …

How Well Does YOUR Body Convert Beta-Carotene to Vitamin A?

How Well Do YOU ConvertBeta-Carotene to Vitamin A-

Everyone knows that carrots and sweet potatoes are great sources of vitamin A, right?  Turns out it isn’t that straightforward for everyone.  The beta-carotene in orange fruits and vegetables has to be converted into the form of vitamin A that our bodies can use, and genetics plays a huge role in how well we do …