Heart attack risk and hantavirus protection

Say that you slip with the knife while cutting up an apple for lunch. Ouch. It may bleed a bit, but you know that pretty soon it will stop. A whole cascade of events takes place to form a blood clot.  The ITGB3 gene codes for…

Melatonin: Key to Health and Longevity

It seems like everything that I’ve written about lately has a common thread: melatonin. When I started weaving together all those melatonin threads, a big picture was revealed. You could say it is a… tapestry of health. Melatonin may actually be the key to…

C-Reactive Protein Gene: Marker of Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is the driver of many common diseases such as heart attacks, diabetes, obesity, and autoimmune diseases. Measuring C-reactive protein (CRP) through a simple blood test is one way to know if you have a problem with chronic inflammation. It is an easy biomarker…

Genetic Mutations that Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a scary possibility that faces many of us today — whether for ourselves or for aging parents and grandparents. Currently, 10% of people age 65 or older have Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  It is a disease for which prevention needs to start…

Prothrombin and DVT

You wake up one morning with a pain in your leg, trying to think back as to what you did the previous day to cause it.  Then you notice that your leg is a little swollen and warm…  Oh no, this could be the…

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…

Opioid Receptor Genetic Variants

Your body makes it’s own, natural opioids as a way to regulate pain, reward, and addictive behaviors. One example is the endorphin rush after a hard workout — a runner’s high.  This is also how the body shuts down too much pain. Genetic variants,…

Factor V Leiden

Say you are chopping up peppers for your morning omelet and slip with the knife. Ouch! While cutting your finger seems to produce a huge amount of blood compared to the size of the wound, the actions going on behind the scenes to stop that…

Will taking vitamin E increase your risk of cancer?

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is often recommended as a supplement that everyone should take to prevent everything from heart disease to skin aging. But does everyone actually benefit from vitamin E supplements? Large, population-wide studies of different macronutrients (e.g. fats vs carbs)…

Genetic Variants Associated with PCOS

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder that causes an increase in androgen hormone production in women. It affects 5 -10% of premenopausal women, and genetics plays a large role in whether you have PCOS. There is no one gene that causes PCOS, but…