Snips about SNPs: Quick bits about your genes

The Snips about SNPs series gives you a short, quick article about different genetic variants that you can look at in your 23andMe, Ancestry.com, or other genetic data.

Jump in, read a little – and then check your genetic data.  Want to know more? There is always a link to the in-depth article.

Snips about SNPs:

Snips about SNPs: Diabetes and TCF7L2 - Diabetes is usually blamed on eating the wrong foods, but your genes play a big role in your susceptibility to the disease. The TCF7L2 (transcription factor 7-like 2) gene codes for a protein that activates many genes involved in type 2 diabetes,  including glucagon-like peptide...
Snips about SNPs: Low LDL Cholesterol - Low LDL cholesterol throughout life and a decreased risk of heart disease? Sign me up! No, this isn’t the latest pill from a pharmaceutical company, but a genetic variant that some people have. The PCSK9 gene codes for an enzyme that is important in...
Snips about SNPs: Taste Receptors - Do you love dark chocolate and coffee? Both of them have bitter flavors that some people can taste – and some people cannot!  We have a bunch of different genes that code for different taste receptors. So different genetic variants of those taste receptor...
Snips about SNPs: High Triglycerides and APOA5 - The APOA5 gene codes for a lipoprotein that is important in triglyceride metabolism. A variant in the APOA5 gene is linked to higher triglyceride levels and also an increased risk of heart disease.  [ref] Check your genetic data for rs662799 (23andMe v4, v5; AncestryDNA): A/A: normal...
Snips about SNPs: MTHFR - The MTHFR gene codes for the enzyme that converts folate into the form that your body needs in the methylation cycle (methylfolate).  There are two main SNPs that have been shown to decrease the efficiency of the MTHFR enzyme.  For both of these, it...
Snips about SNPs: Opioid Receptor - Your body’s reaction to opiates, such as oxycodone or hydrocodone, depends on the opioid receptor.  Genetic variants in OPRM1 (opioid receptor, mu 1) change your response to opioids. This can mean more pain, which leads to increased dosages… And this can lead to a...
Check your 23andMe for resistance to HIV Snips about SNPs: HIV resistance - The CCR5 gene codes for a protein used by your immune system.  In order to hijack immune cells, the HIV virus uses CCR5 to sneak inside. A mutation in CCR5 known as Delta 32 causes a change in the protein that makes it non-functional....
Snips about SNPs: ADA gene and sleepiness - Do you wake up every morning feeling groggy? Adenosine building up during the day is one thing that drives us to feel sleepy during the night. Then while you sleep, the adenosine is cleared out, leaving you refreshed and ready to go in the...
Snips about SNPs: Omega-3’s from plants - Omega-3 fatty acids are good for you in several ways, but one big thing we gain from omega 3’s is DHA and EPA for brain health.  These two fatty acids are linked to lower heart disease and better brains. The body can convert plant-based...
Snips about SNPs: Digesting Carbs - Amylase is the enzyme used in the first step of breaking down carbohydrates for fuel. Not everyone produces the same amount of amylase.  Some people are champs at breaking down carbs. Other people may need to take it a little bit easier on the...
Snips about SNPs: Evening chronotypes - The aptly named CLOCK gene is part of your core circadian rhythm. Recently, researchers have linked the circadian clock to a variety of different chronic conditions including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and depression. Your CLOCK gene variant may impact whether you are more likely...
check your genetic data for lp(a) Snips about SNPs: Heart attack risk – Lp(a) - Lipoprotein(a) carries LDL cholesterol proteins. Elevated Lp(a) is a big risk factor for heart attacks, and elevated Lp(a) is mainly due to genetics.  Check your 23andMe or AncestryDNA data today to see if you carry the genetic variants linked to elevated Lp(a). If you...
Snips about SNPs: Hangry Gene - Ever wonder how your friends can go all day without eating — or why they love intermittent fasting — when you get so irritable and grumpy?  Perhaps you have the “Hangry Gene”. Or, more accurately, perhaps you carry a genetic variant in the GNB3...
Snips about SNPs: Alcohol Flush - Does your face flush after a drink or two? The ALDH gene is responsible for the enzyme that breaks down acetaldehyde, which is a toxin that your body produces from alcohol. While most people can get rid of acetaldehyde fairly quickly, for some, a...
Snips about SNPs: HFE gene and iron - The HFE gene controls how much iron you absorb in the intestines from food.  Iron is tightly regulated by the body. It is completely essential for carrying oxygen in the bloodstream and for many other reactions in the body.  But too much iron is...
Snips about SNPs: BCMO1 and beta-carotene - The BCMO1 gene is responsible for the enzyme that converts beta-carotene into the active form of vitamin A that your body needs.  SNPs in this gene cause it to not function as well, possibly leaving you deficient in vitamin A. These two SNPs add...
Snips about SNPs: FTO and your weight - The FTO gene has the unfortunate nickname of the ‘fatso gene’ because several FTO variants are associated with obesity.  Lots of studies link it to being likely to have a higher BMI.  [ref][ref] Of course, this SNP isn’t entirely to blame if you have...
Snips about SNPs: Lactose Intolerance Gene - The LCT gene controls whether you produce lactase (enzyme that breaks down lactose) as an adult. The genetic variant that allows people to still drink milk as an adult is found in about 90% of Caucasians.  But Caucasians are the exception here, and most...
Snips about SNPs: ACTN3 (muscle type gene) - The ACTN3 gene codes for a type of muscle fiber found in fast-twitch skeletal muscles. These are the muscle fibers that produce explosive, powerful contractions. Think Olympic sprinters and powerlifters… About 25% of Caucasians have a non-functioning ACTN3 genetic variant. If you carry this...


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