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:
NAD+ Reversing Aging? Overview of NR and NMN - Nicotinamide riboside (NR) and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) are two supplements that have taken the longevity and anti-aging world by storm. With animal studies showing exciting results including reversal of age-related diseases, these supplements are an exciting glimpse into the future of reversing aging. Just... Tryptophan: Building serotonin and melatonin - For a lot of people, tryptophan brings to mind napping on the couch after eating a huge amount of Thanksgiving turkey. (Turns out that it isn’t really true that the tryptophan in turkey makes you sleepy – but the post Thanksgiving dinner nap phenomenon... Should you take folic acid? - There is a lot of buzz online about MTHFR variants and the need to avoid folic acid. I’ve seen recommendations ranging from avoiding all processed foods that are fortified with folic acid — to recommendations that people with MTHFR variants need to take extra... 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... Lithium: A mineral that affects mood, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, and telomeres - Researchers found that Texas counties with higher levels of lithium in their groundwater had less of an increase in Alzheimer's rates compared with counties that had lower levels of lithium. This isn't a total surprise since previous studies had linked lithium to a decreased risk of dementia, but it is a great confirmation at a large scale population level. Shining Genetic Light on Your Vitamin D Levels - Vitamin D is essential to so many processes in the body! It isn’t actually a vitamin at all, but a prohormone that is synthesized in the skin using cholesterol in a chemical reaction with UVB radiation from the sun. Most people think of vitamin... Thiamine – Genetic Variations in Need for B1 - Thiamine (vitamin B1) is a water-soluble vitamin that serves as a cofactor in the metabolism of carbohydrates, branch chain amino acids, and fatty acids. It is essential, meaning you have to get it from food. Thiamine is needed in the production of ATP, which is... Supplements for Methylation and More… - I have ended up a cabinet full of bottles of all kinds of supplements! Every time I learn about something new — methylfolate for MTHFR polymorphisms, hydroxycobalamin for MTRR polymorphisms, vitamin A because I don’t convert beta carotene, etc – off I go to order... Vitamin C and Your Genes - 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 how much vitamin C you need to consume, at... Your need for riboflavin (B2): MTHFR and other genetic variants - Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) is a water-soluble vitamin that is a cofactor for many enzymes in the body. To put it in simpler terms: riboflavin is vitally important! Riboflavin is a ribose sugar bound to a flavin molecule. It is the precursor to FMN (flavin... Genetics of Biotin Deficiency - Biotin, also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H, is a cofactor which aids in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Biotin deficiency due to diet is pretty rare, but eating raw egg whites for an extended period of time can deplete the... MTHFR, Depression, and Homocysteine Levels - An interesting study looking at MTHFR and depression was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. The study, Correlation of Clinical Response With Homocysteine Reduction During Therapy With Reduced B Vitamins in Patients With MDD Who Are Positive for MTHFR C677T or A1298C... Green Smoothie Genes: A high oxalate diet and kidney stones - Green smoothies have been a health fad for quite a while now. Most people rave about the health benefits of sneaking lots of spinach and other leafy greens into a delicious tasting smoothie. Not all people benefit from large amounts of spinach due to... Hemochromatosis – Genes involved - Hemochromatosis is a fairly common genetic disease that causes iron to build up in the body. Knowing that you carry the genetic variants for hemochromatosis can literally add years to your life since you can prevent the buildup of iron through giving blood. This... Vitamin E, Genetics, and Inflammation - Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is often promoted as a supplement that prevents cardiovascular disease and that prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. It is an essential nutrient found in a variety of foods including wheat germ, almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, and peanut butter. The... How Well Do You Convert Beta-Carotene to Vitamin A? - Everyone knows that carrots and sweet potatoes are great sources of vitamin A, right? Well… it turns out it isn’t that straightforward for everyone. The beta-carotene in orange fruits and vegetables has to be converted into the form of vitamin A (retinol) that our... The Link Between Vitamin D, MS, and Your Genes - Many researchers have speculated that there must be a link between Vitamin D and multiple sclerosis (MS) based on the distribution of cases at certain latitudes. There are increased numbers of MS cases in areas that don’t get as much sunlight, and thus residents...