Genes Involved in Autophagy:

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…

CYP3A4 and CYP3A5: How genes impact prescription medications

Our bodies break down (metabolize) drugs and other toxins through a group of enzymes known as the CYP450 family. Different CYP enzymes break down different substances, and we all carry genetic variants that can impact whether we metabolize a drug quickly or slowly. The…

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. It is often tempting to think that people who exercise, are thin,…

Vitamin K: CYP4F2 and VKOR Genetic Variants

Vitamin K1 is a fat-soluble vitamin that is needed by our bodies to synthesize the proteins responsible for blood coagulation.  Without vitamin K1, also known as phylloquinone, bleeding is hard to control.  We get vitamin K1 from eating green plants, as phylloquinone is a part…

How light at night could double your risk of cancer.

The World Health Organization listed ‘light at night’ as a possible carcinogen in 2007. That is an eye-opening statement for something that affects almost all of us. From streetlights to the lamp in the living room, from accent garden lighting to the glow of…

Genetic variants that increase susceptibility to Lyme disease

Lyme disease is caused by being bitten by a tick that carries the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi  in North America or other Borrelia species in Europe.  General symptoms after being bitten can include a bulls-eye rash, fever, headache, pain, and general malaise. The majority of people recover after…

Dads matter: MTHFR variants in fathers affect miscarriage risk

Dads matter – MTHFR variants affect sperm quality and infertility risk. They also affect the risk of miscarriage.

Circadian Rhythm Genes: Mood Disorders

Roosters crowing at the first crack of daylight. Morning glories unfurling their blooms as the sun rises in the sky. Lightning bugs flickering just as dusk falls. Most people intuitively understand that plants respond to sunlight, using photosynthesis to produce energy and store sugar…

Are you allergic to grass pollen? It may be genetic.

Spring is in full force here! Time to dust off the lawnmower.  As that smell of fresh cut grass fills the air, many people also get watery eyes, runny noses, and itching everything. Speaking of smelling the grass… Did you know that some people can’t…

Lithium: A mineral that affects mood, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, and telomeres

Researchers found that Texas counties with higher levels of lithium in their groundwater had less of an increase in Alzheimer’s rates compared with counties that had lower levels of lithium. This isn’t a total surprise since previous studies had linked lithium to a decreased risk of dementia, but it is a great confirmation at a large scale population level.