Circadian Rhythm

Insomnia: A combo of genetics and environment?

Everyone at some point knows the pain of a sleepless night. For some, though, this is an all too frequent occurrence. A few quick facts:

  • 10% of adults (and 22% of the elderly) have insomnia disorder[ref]
  • Heritability estimates from twin studies show that insomnia is around 50% genetic; genes lending susceptibility along with environmental factors. [ref] Another study broke this down further, finding that most genetic influence is on the type of insomnia where people have a hard time staying asleep, rather than difficulty falling asleep. [ref]
  • 80-90% of people with major depression experience insomnia of some sort, with about half of them experiencing severe insomnia. [ref]
  • Insomnia can be either a problem with initially falling asleep or with waking up in the early morning hours and not being able to fall back to sleep.
Is there an "Insomnia Gene"? well, no... (more…)

By Debbie Moon, ago
Detox

CYP3A4 and CYP3A5: Genes that Impact Drug Metabolism

Our bodies break down (metabolize) drugs and other toxins through a group of enzymes known as the CYP450 family. Different CYP enzymes break down different substances, and we all carry genetic variants that can impact whether we metabolize a drug quickly or slowly. The CYP3A genes (which code for enzymes of the same name) is a subfamily of CYP 450 and is involved in the metabolism of about half the drugs on the market today as well as other xenobiotics and steroids.  There are several major genetic polymorphisms in the CYP3A family that can play a role in how a person reacts to a medication. Several fruits - grapefruit, noni, pomegranate - are potent inhibitors of CYP3A4.  Eating or drinking these can cause adverse effects on drug metabolism, either increasing the efficiency of the drug or decreasing the effect. (more…)

By Debbie Moon, ago


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