Welcome to Genetic Lifehacks

What if you could know the best foods and lifestyle modifications that fit you, personally and genetically?

Right now, we get advice on what to eat and how to live from doctors, nutritionists, and the government — all based on their best guess for the population as a whole.  We are all different!

Genetic Lifehacks is all about looking at the research studies that show these genetic differences, checking your genetic data (from 23andMe or elsewhere), and then figuring out how to apply the information to your life through diet and lifestyle changes.

It’s a journey towards optimal health.  It’s all about educating yourself, taking responsibility for your health, and experimenting with diet and lifestyle to find your best options.

 

Recent Articles

  • 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 ...
  • Weight Loss: Optimizing your diet based on your genes - Diet gurus, talking heads on TV, government food pyramids, and your friend who lost 20 pounds… What do they all have in common?  They all know the perfect diet that will whip you into shape and make you feel good. If that diet doesn’t work for you?  Well, you must have been cheating. You didn’t ...
  • 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 - 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. Jame 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 ...
  • Why Allegra may not work as well for you: genetics of ABCB1 proteins - Ever wonder why a certain medication may work great for a friend and do nothing for you?  One reason could be your genes. Let’s take fexofenadine (Allegra) for example.  You have watery eyes and a drippy nose during spring allergy season and pop an Allegra.  There is a lot that goes on in your body ...
  • Ancestry.com vs 23andMe: Comparing the raw data files - I recently picked up an AncestryDNA kit out of curiosity to find out how well the data matched up to the 23andMe test that I did a few years ago.  Quick answer: It matched up better than I expected. First, a couple of caveats:   I’m not a genealogy expert and was not comparing the ...
  • Biohacks – Experiments and Optimizations Based on My Genetics - After three years of digging into genetics and learning all that I can about my genes, I wanted to get a little personal and share a few things that have worked for me. I would also love to hear back from all of you.  Leave a comment below or comment on the Facebook page if ...
  • Intriguing Genes: Do you taste what I taste? - Ever wonder why some people don’t like Brussel sprouts or strong, dark coffee?  I love a good, dark roast, cup of coffee, and Brussel sprouts and cabbage taste great.  It turns out that I can’t taste the bitter compound in them, but the majority of people can. On the other hand, I have yet to find a ...