Vitamins & Minerals

Our genes make us unique in lots of ways — one of which is how we absorb and utilize vitamins and minerals from our food.

Take, for example, eating carrots to get your daily vitamin A. Some people are great at converting beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A in vegetables,  into the form of vitamin A that the body uses. Other people carry genetic variants that make that conversion process difficult.

Instead of wondering, you can simply check your genetic data to see which form of vitamin A is best for you.

Recent articles on Vitamins and Minerals:

Selenium and Your Genes - Selenium is a trace element found in certain foods. Learn how selenium is used in the body, why it is important, and how genetic variants can make someone more susceptible to problems with a selenium-deficient diet.
Choline-rich foods and recipe ideas - Interested in choline-rich foods? This article focuses on foods high in choline that can be easily incorporated into your diet plus links to choline-rich recipes.
Foods rich in vitamin A – retinol form - Interested in vitamin A foods? This article focuses on foods high in the retinol form of vitamin A that your body doesn’t need to convert plus some great links to vitamin A-rich recipes.
Coffee Consumption, Genetics, and Prediabetes - Does coffee increase or decrease your risk of prediabetes? Learn more about coffee consumption and your genetic risk. (Member's article)
Vitamin K: CYP4F2 and VKORC1 Genetic Variants - Genetic variations cause people to have higher or lower levels of vitamin K, which can affect blood clotting. Learn more about the genes that affect vitamin K and how it relates to your genetic raw data.
Lithium orotate and B12 make the world a happier place… for some people. - For some people, low-dose, supplemental lithium orotate is a game changer when combined with vitamin B12. But other people may have little to no response. The difference may be in your genes.
SCD1 Stearic Acid weight loss SCD1: A lynchpin of metabolism - The SCD1 enzyme converts saturated fatty acids to unsaturated fats. Learn how your genes impact this enzyme, and how this relates to weight loss.
Zinc genes: The healing power of zinc - Learn why zinc is important for your immune system and so much more. Find out how your genes impact your need for zinc and discover ways of boosting your zinc status. 
Tryptophan: Building block for serotonin, melatonin, and kynurenine - Tryptophan is an amino acid that the body uses to make serotonin and melatonin. Genetic variants can impact the amount of tryptophan that is used for serotonin. This can influence mood, sleep, neurotransmitters, and immune response.
Genetic Variants that Decrease Vitamin B6 - Vitamin B6 is an important co-factor in hundreds of different enzymatic reactions. Low levels of B6 are linked to an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer. B6 is also important for reducing oxidative stress and inflammation.
Vitamin C: Do you need more? - Like most nutrients, our genes play a role in how vitamin C is absorbed, transported, and used by the body. This can influence your risk for certain diseases, and it can make a difference in the minimum amount of vitamin C you need to consume each day.
How do your genes influence your vitamin B12 levels? - There are several genes that can influence your absorption, transport, and need for vitamin B12. Some people need higher amounts of B12, and some people thrive on different forms of B12. Take a look at your genetic data to see if you should up your intake of B12. (Member's article)
TRPV1: More than just a spicy food receptor - The TRPV1 receptor is activated by capsaicin in spicy foods. But there is a lot more to this story... find out how this receptor impacts diabetes, metabolic function, and more.
Nutrients Topic Summary - Utilize our Nutrients Topic Summary Reports with your 23andMe or AncestryDNA genetic data to see which articles may be most relevant to you. These summaries are attempting to distill the complex information down into just a few words. Please see the linked articles for details and complete references. (Member's article)
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), MTHFR, and Genetics - Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, is an essential cofactor for many biological pathways. Learn how to check your genetic raw data to see if you may need more riboflavin.
How Well Do You Convert Beta-Carotene to Vitamin A? - Genetics plays a huge role in how well you convert beta-carotene into vitamin A! Learn how to check your genes to see how you convert beta-carotene into retinol.
Do you carry the Hunter-Gatherer or the Farmer Genetic Variant - Our ancient ancestors lived much differently than we do today. They were hunter-gatherers, living off of fish, meat, and plant foods that they gathered. A huge shift took place when those hunter-gatherers began farming, growing grains, and storing them so that there would be food available all year. Learn if you carry the hunter-gatherer or farmer gene variant. (Member's article)
Choline – An Essential Nutrient - An essential nutrient, your need for choline from foods is greatly influenced by your genes. Find out whether you should be adding more choline into your diet.
Short-chain Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase Deficiency - If you have tried fasting or perhaps a ketogenic diet and felt horrible, there could be a genetic reason. One explanation could be found in the way that your body uses different types of fats. (Member's article)
Genetics of Biotin Deficiency - Biotin, also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H, is a cofactor that aids in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Biotin deficiency due to diet is pretty rare, but there are genetic variants that can increase your risk for biotin deficiency or insufficiency.
Glucose Response: Caffeine and Carbs interact with Your Genes - Consuming caffeine along with carbohydrates changes glucose response for people with certain genetic variants and yet it doesn't change blood glucose levels for those without the variants. Find out more about your response. (Member's article)
Saturated Fat and Your Genes - There has been a decades-long debate about which type of fat is best: saturated fat vs polyunsaturated fat. It may depend on your genes as to which answer is right for you. Learn more about this debate and find out how your genes play a part.
Ancestral Diet: Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids Impact the FADS1 gene - We all vary in how well we convert the plant-based omega-3 oils into the DHA and EPA that our body needs. Some people are really poor at this conversion and thus should either eat more fish or consider taking a DHA / EPA supplement. Learn more about how your variants might affect your health.
BChE – Pesticides, Parkinson’s, and Potatoes - The BCHE gene controls how your body reacts to organophosphate pesticides. BCHE genetic variants increase the risk of Parkinson's with pesticide exposure.
Mushroom intolerance genes Mushroom intolerance and your genes - Mushrooms contain a healthy antioxidant called ergothioneine. But for people with an OCTN1 genetic variant, this antioxidant can be too much of a good thing, leading to intestinal problems. Check your genetic data to see if you carry this mushroom intolerance variant.
CBS Genetic Variants: Should you eat a low sulfur diet? - Some clinicians recommend a low sulfur diet for people with CBS mutations. Find out what the research shows - and why that recommendation is not backed up. (Member's article)
Is intermittent fasting right for you? - Intermittent fasting and ketosis have a lot of benefits, but they may not be right for you. Your genes play a role in how you feel when fasting. Learn more on how this new trend might or might not be a good fit for you. (Member's article)
Mediterranean Diet and Your Genes - A study looked at the interaction between a Mediterranean diet, genetics, and metabolic syndrome. Find out if a Mediterranean diet would work well for you. (Member's article)
5 ways you can optimize your diet today, based on your genes - 5 quick ways that you can use your genetic data (23andMe, AncestryDNA, etc) to optimize your diet to fit your genes.
Shining Genetic Light on Your Vitamin D Levels - Your vitamin D levels are impacted by sun exposure and your genes. Learn more about how vitamin D is made in the body and how your genetic variants impact your levels. (Member's article)
Lactose Intolerance: The genetics of not producing lactase - Your genes control whether you are likely to produce lactase as an adult. Check your 23andMe or other genetic data to see if you are likely to enjoy a big glass of milk.
Carbohydrate metabolism: Your genes play a role in insulin and blood glucose levels - Genetic variations play a role in how people react to carbohydrates in the diet. Learn about a few genes that affect insulin or glucose levels based on carbohydrate consumption. Use your genetic raw data and discover how your body handles carbohydrates.
Thiamine: Genetics and the need for vitamin B1 - Also known as vitamin B1, thiamine is essential for energy production and brain function. Learn how your genes influence your need for thiamine. (Member's article)
Coffee: Is it right for your genes? - Wondering how your genes influence your reaction to coffee? Find out if you will benefit from drinking coffee and how this interacts with your genes. (Member's article)
Low Histamine Salsa Recipe - On a low histamine diet and craving salsa and tortilla chips? Here is a quick recipe for a low histamine salsa using roasted red peppers instead of tomatoes.
Vitamin E and its role in Genetics and Inflammation - Vitamin E is an antioxidant often promoted as a supplement that prevents cardiovascular disease and the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. New research shows a genetic component to whether a person benefits from supplementing. Find out more by checking your genetic data.
The Link Between Vitamin D, MS, and Your Genes - Is there a link between Vitamin D and multiple sclerosis (MS)? Many researchers are speculating a connection. Learn more about the research and check your own 23andMe and AncestryDNA data.