Tryptophan: Building serotonin and melatonin

For a lot of people, tryptophan brings to mind napping on the couch after eating a huge amount of Thanksgiving turkey. (Turns out that it isn’t really true that the tryptophan in turkey makes you sleepy – but the post Thanksgiving dinner nap phenomenon…

Should you take folic acid?

There is a lot of buzz online about MTHFR variants and the need to avoid folic acid. I’ve seen recommendations ranging from avoiding all processed foods that are fortified with folic acid — to recommendations that people with MTHFR variants need to take extra…

How do your genes influence your vitamin B12 levels?

Vitamin B12 is essential for your health! It is a cofactor for biological reactions such as creating the myelin sheath in nerve cells and the synthesis of DNA (rather important!). A lack of vitamin B12 (also known as cobalamin) can create a cascade of…

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. 

Shining Genetic Light on Your Vitamin D Levels

Vitamin D is essential to so many processes in the body! It isn’t actually a vitamin at all, but a prohormone that is synthesized in the skin using cholesterol in a chemical reaction with UVB radiation from the sun. Genes play a big role in…

Building Up Iron: Check your genes to see how iron affects your health

Hemochromatosis is a fairly common genetic disease that causes iron to build up in the body. Knowing that you carry the genetic variants for hemochromatosis can literally add years to your life since you can prevent the buildup of iron through giving blood. This…

Thiamine – Genetic Variations in Need for B1

Thiamine (thiamin), also known as vitamin B1, is a water-soluble vitamin that serves as a cofactor in the metabolism of carbohydrates, branch chain amino acids, and fatty acids.  It is essential and needed in the production of A/TP, which is used in every cell…

Supplements for Methylation and More…

I have ended up a cabinet full of bottles of all kinds of supplements!  Every time I learn about something new — methylfolate for MTHFR polymorphisms, hydroxycobalamin for MTRR polymorphisms, vitamin A because I don’t convert beta carotene, etc – off I go to order…

Vitamin C Levels and Your Genes

As the weather here turns colder, thoughts turn to preventing colds and the flu.  My “go to” method of preventing sickness has always been by loading up on vitamin C, even though recent studies haven’t really supported the idea that vitamin C increase immune…

Your need for riboflavin (B2): MTHFR and other genetic variants

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) is a water-soluble vitamin that is a cofactor for many enzymes in the body.  To put it in simpler terms: riboflavin is vitally important! Riboflavin is a ribose sugar bound to a flavin molecule.  It is the precursor to FMN (flavin…