PCSK9 Gene Variants and Cholesterol

The PCSK9 gene codes for an enzyme that is involved in cholesterol transport.  It binds to LDL particles which transport fat molecules, including cholesterol, throughout the body. LDL particles bind to LDL receptors which allows the liver (or other cell membranes) to use the fats…

Low HDL Cholesterol Levels Can Be Genetic

HDL cholesterol is known as the ‘good’ cholesterol. A study in the late 1970’s known as the Framingham Study determined that higher levels of HDL cholesterol were protective against heart disease. This is one of those studies that is foundational to a lot of…

Gallstone Genes

Gallstones are not something you usually think about — until something goes wrong.  And then you think about it a lot! Gallstones are usually made up of cholesterol but can also contain calcium bilirubinate.  It is estimated that 10 – 40% of the population…

Medications and Your Genes

Here’s a dirty little secret: not all prescription drugs will work for you. Ok, that isn’t really a secret. Anyone who has ever gotten a prescription from their doctor knows it is usually accompanied by “Let’s see if the medication will work for you”….

Heart disease, cancer, diabetes: A gene that ties together the “Big 3”

When it comes to chronic diseases, the Big 3 are heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Heart disease is the number one killer in the US, with cancer a close second. Diabetes numbers are increasing at an alarming rate. I recently was reading several…

Mediterranean Diet and Your Genes

This website is all about how your genes make a difference in your body’s response to dietary choices.  Some people are awesome at breaking down dietary carbohydrates; others are champs at converting carrots into vitamin A. But a recent study pointed out not only…

Early to bed, early to rise – helps with weight loss and diabetes

Meal timing and light at night are modern issues that impact diabetes and obesity risk.

Should I Take Aspirin to Prevent Heart Disease?

Everyone knows that aspirin protects against heart disease, right? Well, it turns out that aspirin may only protect some people from heart disease, and for others, it can actually slightly increase the risk of heart disease.  It all seems to depend on a variant of the…

Changing Your Circadian Gene Expression with Polyphenols

This is a bit of a departure from my usual article. It is a paper that I recently wrote for a class that I’m taking for my Master’s in biology.  Thought I would share it in case anyone is interested… Overview: Resveratrol, EGC/G, grape…

Autophagy Genes

Autophagy is a general term for cellular pathways that move something from the cytoplasm of the cell into the lysosome for degradation. The term comes from the Greek ‘auto’ (self) and ‘-phagy’ (to eat).  So when you see articles touting ‘autophagy diets’ as the…