BChE – Pesticides, Parkinson’s, and Potatoes

The BCHE gene codes for the butyrylcholinesterase enzyme. The BChE enzyme is found in the plasma of the blood, and it is a cholinesterase which breaks apart choline esters, such as acetylcholine. Acetylcholinesterase is a similar enzyme that is responsible for breaking down the…

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…

Decrease Your Risk of Diabetes – Using Genetics

What comes to mind as far as the risk of type 2 diabetes? Usually first up is the mental picture of someone eating donuts and slurping down soft drinks.  While diet definitely contributes to diabetes risk, not everyone who eats donuts and slurps soft…

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. 

Ancestry.com vs 23andMe: Comparing the raw data files

I recently picked up an AncestryDNA kit out of curiosity to find out how well the data matched up to the 23andMe test that I did a few years ago.  Quick answer: It matched up better than I expected. First, a couple of caveats:…

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…

CYP2D6: Metabolism of many OTC and prescription medicines

Say you aren’t feeling well, have had a cold for a week, and can’t sleep…  You’re just plain miserable.  And in your sleep deprived state, you decide to take some Nyquil (or another cough syrup containing dextromethorphan). Some people may get relief and finally get…

A little lithium and B-12 makes the world a happier place – for some.

It is funny sometimes, looking back on the journey you take to discover something new and personal to your health. For me, seeing first hand the power of supplementing with a little mineral (lithium orotate) was eye-opening as to the power of combining genetics…

Vitamin E, Genetics, and Inflammation

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is often promoted as a supplement that prevents cardiovascular disease and that prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. It is an essential nutrient found in a variety of foods including wheat germ, almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, and peanut butter. The…

Histamine intolerance and the methylation cycle

Histamine is a molecule that plays many roles in the body. It is involved in allergic reactions, plays a role in our immune defense system, acts as a vasodilator, and is a neurotransmitter.  While most of us think of histamine only when reaching for…