Heart Health

Your genetic data can help you find out more about your susceptibility to heart disease. Whether you have a family history of heart problems or just want to optimize your health, your genes can give you insight into the best ways to prevent heart-related problems.

Start here:

  1. Check to see if you carry the Lp(a) variant that is linked to ‘widow maker’ heart attacks. 
  2. See how your genes impact cholesterol levels.
  3. Are you at risk for blood clots? 

Recent articles in the Heart Disease category:

Plant Sterols for Lowering Cholesterol? - One recommendation often made for lowering cholesterol levels is to consume higher amounts of plant sterols.  You can find plant sterols in supplements such as beta-sitosterol or in spreads like Benecol or SmartBalance margarine. These butter alternatives are marketed as a heart-healthy way to...
lipoprotein(a) gene check your 23andMe Lipoprotein(a): A big genetic risk for heart disease - 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. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the US...
Advanced Glycation End Products - Recent research shows that advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are a causative factor in many degenerative diseases – including almost all of the diseases associated with aging. AGEs have been linked to Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, wrinkles and loss of skin...
High blood pressure due to AGTR1 gene variants - Blood pressure isn’t something that you think much about – unless your doctor is harping about it being high or low.  The CDC statistics, though, make a pretty compelling argument that a lot of us should be thinking about blood pressure. The CDC estimates...
NAD+ article including human studies on NR and NMN NAD+ Reversing Aging? Overview of NR and NMN - Nicotinamide riboside (NR) and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) are two supplements that have taken the longevity and anti-aging world by storm. With animal studies showing exciting results including reversal of age-related diseases, these supplements are an exciting glimpse into the future of reversing aging. Just...
The genetics of high triglycerides - Triglycerides are the main type of fat in your blood. Triglyceride is a general term for a type of lipid-containing three fatty acids (tri) bound to a glycerol.  Triglycerides are used by the body as energy. They are also stored in fat cells. Most...
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...
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...
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...
The cheese effect and your genes. - Subtitled: Let’s all try not to have a heart attack this Christmas! Let me set the scene: You’re gathered ’round on Christmas Eve for a get together with all of your family, having traveled from far and wide. Your uncle brings his “special family recipe” of summer...
PCSK9 Gene Variants and Cholesterol - Just over fifteen years ago, researchers discovered that a mutation in PSCK9 gene caused really high cholesterol levels. This led to more discoveries about the gene and a fast-tracked medication for people with hypercholesterolemia.  [ref] What does PCSK9 do? The PCSK9 gene codes for...
Low HDL Levels Can Be Genetic - HDL cholesterol is known as the ‘good’ cholesterol. A study in the late 1970s/early 80s 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...
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...
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...
Saturated Fat and Your Genes - There has been a decades-long debate about which type of fat is best: saturated fat or polyunsaturated fat. Those in the paleo and ketogenic world are quick to tout the benefits of saturated fat; the American Heart Association promotes polyunsaturated fats[ref]. And most people...
Interaction between high fat diet, blood pressure, and your genes - Wondering if you should cut down on red meat and fat to lower your blood pressure? According to a new study, it could depend on your genes. A recent study in the Journal of the American Heart Association illustrates once again the interaction between...
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...
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 had always been by loading up on vitamin C, even though recent studies haven’t really supported the idea that vitamin C increases immune function....
Adiponectin levels, food choices, and genetics - Adiponectin, a hormone discovered in the 1990’s, is secreted by adipose (fat) tissue.  It is an anti-inflammatory protein, protective against the effects of low-grade inflammation that are associated with obesity. Although it is made in adipose tissue, those who have more fat tissue usually have lower...
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...
Coffee: Is it right for your genes? - Coffee — is it good or bad for you? Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world, second only to tea! It is sometimes controversial due to its caffeine content. Large, population-wide studies have shown many benefits of coffee consumption including decreasing the...
Genetics of Cholesterol Levels - Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US and around the world, and hand-in-hand with heart disease goes the often demonized cholesterol.  Standard medical advice on ideal cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease is often confusing, ever-changing, and sometimes downright contradictory. Here is...


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