Emulsifiers in Processed Foods: Your genes and your microbiome

Recently, I listened to an interview (from 2015) of a scientist who did a study on emulsifiers and found that they can lead to low-grade inflammation in the gut, especially in mice with certain immune system genes knocked out. I find the interaction between our…

Checking Your Carrier Status for Genetic Diseases

The term “carrier status” when applied to a genetic disease usually means looking at whether or not you are heterozygous (have one copy) for a mutation that causes a Mendelian genetic disease. Generally, these are the rare diseases that you would need two copies…

Empowering YOU to Understand Your Genes

Welcome to Genetic LifeHacks! The whole point of this blog is to share current research on genetics that you can actually use, breaking down the science into something that you can apply.  Personalized medicine and health information based on your genes will be mainstream…  someday….

Aspirin, colon cancer, and genetics

I don’t usually blog about cancer risks, mainly because I don’t want to alarm anyone unnecessarily. There are lots of very common genetic variants that add just a little bit to your risk for cancer, but the bigger picture for most cancers seems to…

Genetics and Mannose-Binding Lectin

Mannose-binding lectin, also known as mannose-binding protein, is involved in the body’s innate defense against infection. Lectin is a general term for a protein that binds to a carbohydrate.  (A lot of what you read about lectins on alternative health blogs is referring to…

Ancestral Diet: Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Butter will give you a heart attack! Only cook with Crisco  vegetable oil  canola oil   olive oil.  Wait — everyone is switching back to saturated fats. Olive oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil,  — cold expeller pressed, extra virgin hand squeezed oil from pine nuts grown in…

Liver Detox Gene – CYP17A1

This is part of a continuing series on the Phase I and Phase II detoxification system. CYP17A1 is involved in the formation and metabolism of steroid hormones such as precursors to androgens and estrogens.  Major pathological disorders involved with this gene include adrenal hyperplasia….

Genes linked to susceptibility to lupus

Systemic lupus erythematosus, more commonly referred to as lupus, is a complex autoimmune disease that can affect many different organs of the body.  Some of the more common symptoms include fatigue, joint pain, a butterfly-shaped rash on the face, photosensitivity, headaches, and more.   It is…

Inflammatory Bowel, Crohn’s Disease, and Gut Microbes

“Fix your gut!” seems to be the standard advice from most healthy living blogs, but concrete advice on how to actually accomplish this seems to be lacking. While general suggestions abound, specific actions that actually work for an individual are hard to find. I…

Mono and genetics

Ever wonder why some people get mono and others don’t?  Almost 95% of adults carry antibodies to the Epstein Barr virus that causes mono, but less than 30% of people are estimated to get mono.  [CDC.gov]   Turns out that there may be a genetic susceptibility…