NQO1 Gene: Metabolism of quinones, benzene, and more

Your genes code for the enzymes that break down the toxic substances that we all encounter each day. This ability to clear out potential carcinogens is important when it comes to preventing cancer. The NQO1 gene codes for an enzyme that breaks down quinones,…

Are your cavities caused by genetics?

Genetics and Cavities: Check your 23 and Me data

Friends accuse me of thinking that everything is genetic. Well – there is some truth to that accusation!  To be honest, though, there are a lot of things that have genetic connections that really surprise me. I had always assumed that my cavities were…

TNF-alpha: Inflammation and Your Genes

genetic variants 23andme TNF alpha

Do you feel like you are always dealing with inflammation? Joint pain, food sensitivity, etc? Perhaps you are genetically geared towards a higher inflammatory response. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is an inflammatory cytokine that acts as a signaling molecule in our immune system. In…

Longevity and Genetics: FOXO3, CETP, IGF1, and more

There are several genes known as “longevity” genes. Specific variants of these genes are associated with an increased likelihood of living to be 100 or more. And…  more importantly, these genetic variants are linked to longer ‘healthspan’. Longevity: The term longevity refers to lifespan….

Acne genes

Ever wonder why some teens and adults can do everything ‘right’  – eat great, wash their faces, etc. –  and still have acne? While others can eat pizza three times a day, shower once a week — and end up with perfectly clear skin!…

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: 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: 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…

Should you eat organic? Genes that influence pyrethroid metabolism.

Is buying organic worth the extra cost? There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to that question. Pesticides that are sprayed on conventionally grown foods affect people differently. Some people carry genetic variants that decrease their ability to detoxify specific pesticides, others may be more resilient….

ACTN3: Your ‘muscle type’ gene

When you look at a marathon runner next to a powerlifter, you can’t help but think that there must be a fundamental genetic difference between them. You could be right! At the most elite level, there sometimes is a genetic difference in the type…