Genetic variants that increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder caused by the degradation of dopamine-producing neurons in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra. It affects up to 10 million people worldwide. Symptoms of Parkinson’s include a tremor (usually in the hand), problems with balance…

Bipolar disorder, depression, and circadian clock genes

New research shows that depression and bipolar disorder are linked to changes or disruption in circadian genes. Some people carry genetic variants in the circadian genes that make them more susceptible to circadian disruption.

Turning up the internal heat for weight loss- UCP1 genetic variants

The dream for overweight people: just turn up the internal heat and naturally burn off the extra fat.It turns out that genetically some people do have more active ‘internal heat’ and they actually are burning off more energy all the time.

Which genes cause insomnia?

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…

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…

PMS, Genetics, and Solutions

A lot of women know the moodiness and brain fog that comes with premenstrual syndrome (PMS).  It can range from simply feeling irritable and icky to being something that really interferes with our lives. What role do genes play in PMS?  It has been shown…

Growing up ‘big boned’: MC4R gene and obesity

There are several key players in our body’s regulation of hunger, satiety, and energy expenditure. Leptin and ghrelin are two pivotal hormones involved in our desire to eat. Within that leptin pathway, another key regulator of our body weight is MC4R. This explanation is…

UCP2 Gene: Weight Loss Lifehacks

Turning up the heat on your metabolism is the job for UCP2. The UCP2 gene codes for an uncoupling protein that works in the mitochondria (energy powerhouse) of our cells, producing heat through the uncoupling of the protons. It is found in a variety…

Weight Loss Genetics – MC4R Revisited

I was catching up on podcasts this weekend and listened to a fascinating one by Dr. Rhonda Patrick.  She does the Found My Fitness podcast and had recently interviewed Dr. Panda.  The interview was on circadian rhythms and time restricted feeding.  In a nutshell, time…

Weight loss genetics – GNB3 C825T

I’m geeking out this week and diving deep into the genetics of weight and obesity. One fairly well-studied variant, rs5443, confers a 2x to 3x risk of obesity and is found in the GNB3 gene. So what is the GNB3 gene?  The G protein β-polypeptide…