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…

How do your genes influence your vitamin B12 levels?

Vitamin B12 is essential for your health! It is a cofactor for biological reactions such as creating the myelin sheath in nerve cells and the synthesis of DNA (rather important!). A lack of vitamin B12 (also known as cobalamin) can create a cascade of…

How do your genes influence testosterone levels?

While bodybuilding and athletes may come to mind with the word testosterone, it is actually an important hormone for both men and women. In men, low serum testosterone levels are linked to an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, type-2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, and heart disease…

Lipoprotein(a): A big genetic risk for heart disease

lipoprotein(a) gene check your 23andMe

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. It is often tempting to think that people who exercise, are thin,…

Choline – An Essential Nutrient

I just finished listening to an interesting podcast featuring Dr. Zeisel, a researcher at the NC Nutrition Research Institute.  The interview discussed the body’s need for choline and the impact of some genetic variants on our ability to produce it in the body.  So…