Glucuronidation: UGT genetic variants, phase II detoxification

The UGT family of enzymes are responsible for an important part of phase II detoxification. In this article, I’ll explain what the UGT enzymes do in the body, how your genes impact this part of detoxification, and lifestyle factors that can increase or decrease…

Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency

A genetic mutation in the SERPINA1 gene causes alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. This increases a person’s susceptibility to COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and, in some cases, cirrhosis of the liver. As far as rare mutations go, the alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency mutations are fairly common…

Quercetin: Scientific studies + genetic connections

Quercetin is a natural flavonoid that acts both as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. This potent flavonoid is found in low levels in many fruits and vegetables, including elderberry, apples, and onions. As a supplement, quercetin has many positive health benefits. This article focuses on…

Plant Sterols for Lowering Cholesterol Depends on Genetics

One recommendation often made for lowering cholesterol levels is to consume higher amounts of plant sterols.  You can find plant sterols in supplements such as beta-sitosterol or spreads like Benecol or SmartBalance margarine. These butter alternatives are marketed as a heart-healthy way to help…

CYP2C8: Prescription medications and arachidonic acid

The CYP (cytochrome) family of genes codes for a number of different enzymes that interact with prescription drugs. This family of enzymes is important in breaking down medications in a process known as phase I detoxification. Genetic variants that alter the way that these…

Uterine fibroids

Uterine fibroids are a problem for a lot of women, especially after age 30. Fibroids are benign tumors that grow in the muscle cells of the uterus. While estimates vary, at least half of American women who are of reproductive age have fibroids. [ref…

Lipoprotein(a): A big genetic risk for heart disease

lipoprotein(a) gene check your 23andMe

For someone reading this, I’m going to save your life today. Nope – this isn’t a scare tactic or overblown health alert type of article – just statistics and solid genetics research. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the US…

Genetics of Double Lashes

Ever wonder why Elizabeth Taylor had such compelling eyes? It turns out that she probably carried a mutation for doubled eyelashes, also known as distichiasis. [article] The FOX (forkhead box) family of genes codes for a type of protein known as a transcription factor. …

Berberine: Research, Absorption, and Genetics

Berberine is a supplement that I’ve written about as a ‘Lifehack’ in a number of different articles. It is a natural compound with some amazing research on it in animal and cell studies, and it seems to be almost unbelievable. The drawback is poor…

Advanced Glycation End Products

Recent research shows that advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are a causative factor in many degenerative diseases – including almost all of the diseases associated with aging. AGEs have been linked to Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, wrinkles and loss of skin…