Why should you consider your genes?

As a nutritionist we are privileged to work with a variety of client cases. Variety brings comparison. And with that, an informed understanding over time, that by applying the same protocol to the same condition in different individuals, we do not bring about the same results.

The question then has to be asked, Why?

When I first began to ask this question I discovered environmental toxins such as heavy metals, glycophosphates, herbicides, pesticides all from varied and multiple sources. The air we breath, the water we drink, the food we eat can all be a source of contamination.

Then, some years later I came across the importance of viruses.  How viruses implicate auto-immune conditions and therefore obstruct healing as they change the relation our first line of defence has with our biological systems.

More recently I discovered another layer, parasites.  For the sake of not repeating you can link to my previous post on the three shields here.

However all of these areas of health are concerning. especially when complex health conditions have manifested.  And are NOT shifting!

So the question is Why?

I am one to never settle for the patient who doesn’t get better.  I believe nothing is random…

Genetic predisposition lies within the differences between how biological systems respond to heavy metals, parasites and infections.  All of it is valid, each part potentiating the final genetic expression and therefore health outcome.

Let’s start with, what genes do:

Simply put, they follow orders.  Meaning that the information we deliver to the gene (in the form of our thoughts, dietary choices, breathing patterns, sleep patterns etc) is then taken and they then make it happen.  Genes simply inadvertently do what we ask them to do, therefore it’s up to us to put in good orders.

Putting in orders:

Putting in the orders comes in the form of ‘how we are and what choices we make’.

When we are calm, cool and collected, our genes will have more nutrients available to complete the usual tasks. The result might be that we convert serotonin to melatonin and then we sleep better, or at least promptly when the lights go out.

We we are frazzled and anxious, we rattle through magnesium using it up more rapidly, inhibiting the conversion of methionine to SamE and therefore without the donor SamE Serotonin cannot be converted to melatonin and we do not sleep as well.  This is just one example.

One of the other task genes have to do is that they make enzymes.  Which in turn get rid of things like environmental pollutants such as Bisphenol A, a carcinogen.

The more demand of our genes, in terms of resources the more our genes are tied up, pre-occupied dealing with these additional challenges. And therefore the less able our genes are able to deal with their original roles.  Such as converting seratonin to melatonin.  Or converting toxic substances such as homocysteine to the powerful antioxidant glutathione.

Homocysteine is just one by-product of a normal biological function. Therefore it is a normal toxicity compound produced by the body under completely normal circumstances.

The same gene responsible for lowering homocysteine is also used for clearing the heavy metals Lead and  Thallium from the intestines.

Conversely, the more we give our genes a break, the more they can restore themselves.

Eating junk food or poor quality foods, going to be late all places additional challenges on your genes.  So with in mind, we can know our genetic predispositions, in terms of the outcome of our SNP’s are fluid and malleable rather than fixed.

Factors within the environment which influence our genetic outcome are environmental toxins  They are everywhere and unavoidable to an extent.  The choices we make either increase this challenge or lessen it. But the fact remains non of us are immune to the exposure of heavy metals and environmental pollutants.

And heavy metals are so heavy that they really do put pressure on the genes giving them much extra work, thus slowing them down.

An apt example of this has been provided by Ben Lynch; he says that it is like when you are at a restaurant and order a meal.  But then you don’t get the meal because the chef is so busy putting a fire out in the kitchen.  He says that heavy metals and environmental pollutants are like the fire in the kitchen.  Our genes can’t do their usual work because they are so busy dealing with heavy metals AKA putting the fire out.  The gene nolonger cares about lowering homocysteine, because they are so caught up in  dealing with the additional exposure to pollutants.

We have 19,000 genes in the human body give or take.  With 1000’s known to be impacted directly by heavy metals.  The consensus in current thinking is that ALL of them are influenced indirectly.

Other examples of what happens when our genes are compromised: Hydrogen peroxide is produced by stress, a pro-oxidant, required by our body in order to engage the immune system.  It’s a positive thing, but too much of it turns our hair white.  Our GST glutathione genes deal with this.  However iron, copper mercury, selenium and zinc also slow it down.  Any gene that is functioning too fast, or too slowly is not a good thing.

Soux, a gene relevant to sulphites is affected by arsenic and tungsten.  Sulphur sensitivity is on the increase, and question has to be, why?  Few people are aware that cysteine bonds are typically very reactive.  If the body is not breaking it down quickly then we can have too much sulphur and feel BAD!  Increased sulphur sensitivity can result just from chronic inflammation experienced for any of the following reasons; not sleeping well, fighting infections, having lots of heavy metals in the bod.  Cysteine then becomes cystine, but is damaging to all the systems of the body.

MTR, also relevant to methylation is slowed by lead, cadmium and aluminium, inhibiting the cycling of B12 and therefore  homocysteine.

Arsenic, found in apples, chicken, rice and many other foods slow down our body’s ability to produce ATP and therefore promotes mitochondrial dysfunction.

Pon1 is super significant too, as the challenge with glyphosates, barium, mercury, colbalt are all on the rise, slowing this gene down.

And of course there are cascades … eNos gene is always going to be dirtied by PEMT, MTHFR and a few others. Methioine synthase are slowed by a lot of common heavy metals, but then COMT is dirtied and so is MAOA.  GSTM1 is always affected and dirtied when any other gene is struggling.

The key here, is to draw a road map with multiple SNP’s.  Understanding the wider pictures will give you the advantage. And then, when you learn your genetic road map and can see that you are in the clear WITHOUT SNP’s in certain areas of health, remember that your genes can STILL ACT as if there are SNPs present, when genes are presented with the wrong environment. This is due to either a lack of co-factors and/or the presence of heavy metals.  So go by how you feel. Not just gene results!

Action steps; 
  • Look at your history in detail.  Think about where you have lived. Think about pollution, old lead piping.  Then take action to reduce the burdens.  Find the sources, then reduce or remove them.  Look to your air, environment, food, cosmetics and water first. The fact of the matter remains, if you don’t reduce or remove the current heavy metal burden your load will not be reduced.  And there will always be more.

Functional Medicine Tests to consider:  

Other effective methods for daily detox:

Read about how heavy metals can interfere with the glymphatic system and sleep

Read about the links between heavy metals, parasites and other organisms

 

If you like this post, or found it interesting please do help to get our message out there and share it.  

Nutrients to support a Genetic Detoxification

The very notion of a detoxification brings up images in the mind of juicing, skin brushing, saunas, salads, perhaps tinged with deprivation.

The desire to detox, usually comes from desperation.  From having over-indulged from either recent events such as Christmas, or from an over-spent youth and abuse in former years.

Facing the fact that we are now really fat, sluggish, depressed, even riddled with adult acne forces the better side of self to buckle down, grow up and parent ourselves to a more healthful future.

Or, Detox can become a way of life.  Again perhaps from desperate circumstances.  Not a mis-spent youth, but rather having drawn the short straw in some way, resulting in chronic fatigue / fibromyalgia or multiple chemical sensitivity.  This can be due to genetic predisposition or is can be due to chronic overt stress in youth, alcoholic or abusive parents, or living in a chemically toxic environment for some years.

Detoxification, however is not all about cleanse, cleans cleanse.  There are in fact TWO pillars to detoxification; cleanse and nurture.

It is the Nurture aspect of Detoxification that has pays dividend to potentially sub-optimal functioning genetic pathways.  Nurture includes to make use of optimal nutrient intake.  Especially where there are some genes which require higher doses of nutrient intake.

In this post I will explore some of these key nutrients and their impact upon health.

What are the key ingredients to create successful detoxification?

Betaine, also known are trimethylglycine: supports the short route of methylation by transferring a methyl group from itself to homocysteine, converting it into L-methione in the liver and kidneys.  It is a powerful lipotropic nutrient found in high concentrations in food such as beets and beet greens and has a powerful effect upon the liver’s detoxification pathways and it can help to reduce homocysteine levels.

High homocysteine is a marker of potentially poor heart health.

Zinc (Gluconate) converts vitamin B6 to its active form.

Magnesium (Citrate) is essential for the activation of enzymes.  Methylation cannot take place without a magnesium molecule.

Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (vitamin B6) has been shown to improve the absorption of magnesium as well as other minerals into cells.  It also enhances transulphuration which improves glutathione production.

Riboflavin (vitamin B2) specifically support MTHFR 677 and is included as co-factor for this enzyme which converts food folate to methylfolate.  MTHRR is the key  folate metabolising enzyme and a low status of riboflavic may interfere with the metabolism of folate, particularly in individual homozygous for the MTHFR/ C677T

Cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12) is involved in the ocnversion of homocycsteine L-methionine.

Choline (B group vitamin) mobilises fat from the liver and plays an important role in fat metabolism and liver detoxification.

Rosemary supports oestrogen detoxification.  It stimulates the liver enzymes involved in activating oestrogen hormones.  These are responsible for oestrogen dominance and various associated problems.

Broccoli extract and DIM, essential sulphur from broccoli and DIM support sulphation (a phase 2 detox pathway within the liver).

N-Acetyl L-Cysteine (NAC) supports glutathione production that aids the detoxification of many water-soluble environmental toxins and the removal of unstable compounds from the liver including unhealthy oestrogen, drugs, and metals such as mercury and aluminium.  If this pathway is under strain then this can lead to the accumulation of such unstable compounds and can contribute to the toxic symptoms of fatigue, depression, allergy, asthma, infertility. obesity and hormonal imbalances.

Alpha Lipoic Acid is a potent antioxidant that supports the intermediary phase of detoxification and recycles used glutathione.

Selenium is a strong antioxidant that supports glutathione production and the intermediate phase of detoxification.