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Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Genes, and Gut Microbes

Key takeaways:
~ Inflammatory bowel disease is a serious, life-altering diagnosis.
~Genetics plays a role in susceptibility to IBD
~Knowing which genetic variants you have may help you figure out which lifestyle changes would be most helpful.

Why a targeted, personal approach matters!

“Fix your gut!” seems to be the standard advice from most healthy living blogs, but concrete advice on how to actually accomplish this seems to be lacking. While general suggestions abound, specific actions that actually work for an individual are hard to find.

All of the general advice — fix your gut, eat more fiber, eat fermented foods, avoid sugar, grains, dairy, etc. — may work for some but not for everyone. We need to get personal here and take a good look at some of the genes that affect our microbiome.

I find the microbiome intriguing: the complexity of the interaction between our human genome, the gut microbiome, and environmental factors is mind-boggling.

While what we eat is important to our microbiome, our genes also play a role in which gut bugs will flourish and which ones will never take up permanent residence.

IBD Genotype Report:

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Diet and Lifestyle Actions:

NOD2 can be upregulated in the intestines by butyrate.[ref] Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid produced by certain gut bacteria and also found in small amounts in foods such as butter and other full-fat dairy. Resistant starch (found in cooked and cooled potatoes and rice) feeds the kind of bacteria that produce butyrate.

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TNF-alpha: Inflammation and Your Genes
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About the Author:
Debbie Moon is the founder of Genetic Lifehacks. Fascinated by the connections between genes, diet, and health, her goal is to help you understand how to apply genetics to your diet and lifestyle decisions. Debbie has a BS in engineering and also an MSc in biological sciences from Clemson University. Debbie combines an engineering mindset with a biological systems approach to help you understand how genetic differences impact your optimal health.

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