Having trouble losing weight? You’re not alone. It is estimated that over 100,000 million people in the United states go on diets every year, many of these trying multiple times. The news is full of the consequences if this goes too far: diabetes, heart disease, cancer or even stroke. Unfortunately, a significant number are morbidly obese, and many opt for expensive surgeries, called bariatric surgery, for help. This seems only to be increasing and the costs with it.
How Our Genetic Testing Can Improve Your Health
Recent advances in genetic testing have made creating a preventative health program easier and more precise. In addition to the thousands of tests being offered for medical conditions and diseases, the science and research behind genetic testing for lifestyle and wellness improvement has progressed dramatically. Weight loss is one area where genetic testing may provide important answers for a healthier life.
The science of genetic testing can now help identify the specific genes that dictate how the human body processes carbohydrates, fats, proteins and micro-nutrients; how type of exercise effects the body; how lifestyle behaviors influence the aging process; and how unique metabolic and physiologic functions influence athletic performance.
Using results from these tests, our health improvement programs are tailored to an individual’s DNA. Individually tailored programs have proven to be much more effective than one-size-fits all programs because they take the guesswork out of health management.
Each program provides essential customized guidelines to food, nutrient, and exercise. Further, we can even give you guidance to maximize performance!
LOSE THE GUESSWORK AND THE WEIGHT
ShiftSlim™ – Scientifically Target Weight Loss
At the Shift Clinic, we focus on your body’s unique genetic make up to determine how you best react to specific food choices and exercise strategies for weight management. This is not a food delivery weight loss program. We employ the medical science needed to specifically target your program for both weight loss and overall health.
In addition, you have the option of fine tuning your ShiftSlim Plan to include these additional goals:
ShiftPerform – For Peak Athletic Performance
We provide you with specific recommendations to assist you in your diet and training regiments to help you reach your peak athletic performance.
ShiftRenew – Aging Better By Nature
We examine your unique genetic makeup to help you understand how your genes dictate how your body ages.
ShiftNutrient – The Next Step In Personalized Nutrition
We gather valuable insights into how your body processes and utilizes key vitamins and nutrients.
A SNP is a single neucloetide polymorphism or a genetic mutation. Genetic testing for SNPs is VERY important in allowing your body to heal properly!
Homozygous vs. Heterozygous?
Humans contain two copies of each gene, one from the father and one from the mother, which sometimes are referred to as the alleles of a gene. If a mutation occurs in just one copy of the gene then that individual is considered heterozygous. On the other hand if both copies of a gene are mutated then that individual is homozygous genotype.
Here is a list of Important SNPs to be aware of and some of the symptoms associated with them:
VDR: Vitamin D Receptor: The VDR is the key vitamin D receptor that binds 1, 25 di-hydroxy vitamin D to activate the key signaling molecule. Vitamin D has an important role in a 3rd of the human genome. This includes immune activation, coordination and balance. It also plays an essential role in xenobiotic detoxification, calcium metabolism and brain development. If you have a VDR gene mutation, you will not be able to absorb Vit D as well as someone without the SNP so an extra co-factor (vitamin or mineral) maybe needed.
BHMT: Betaine-Homocysteine Methylatranserase This is an enzyme that transfers a methyl group from betaine to homocysteine which produces methionine. This is considered part of the short-cut through the methylation cycle.
This enzyme is found in the liver and kidney and is also involved in the choline oxidation processes. The activity of this gene is strongly affected by stress and may play a role in ADHD, focus, concentration and brain fog by affecting norepinephrine levels.
COMT: Catechol-O-Methyltransferase This has important functions in the cells of the nervous system, liver, kidneys and red blood cells. In the liver it helps to inactivate 2 & 4-hydroxyestradiols and catecholamine hormones prior to bile excretion. COMT has a very important role in the nervous system as it helps to degrade catecholamine neurotransmitters such as dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine.
There is an association between the ratio of dopamine to epinephrine and norepinephrine and individuals with ADHD, focus, and concentration. Dopamine levels are also critical in conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders.
COMT – V158M/H62H can have effects on prefrontal cortex processing and especially with mood and pain tolerance. The homozygous variant is associated with deviations in thought processes common in people with schizophrenia, inhibition of behavior and attention. It is also thought to be a risk factor for bipolar, panic, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorders, eating disorders and ADHD.
Individuals with a homozygous mutation are unable to effectively metabolize dopamine, epi and norepi effectively. This sluggish breakdown can be a good effect as it preserves methyl doners in their brain chemistry. However, these individuals have to be careful with methyl donor supplementation as it is known to drive up these excitatory neurotransmitters and lead too hyperactivity, irritability and erratic behavior.
MAO A: Monoamine Oxidase type A This compound functions in the liver and nervous system. Its main role in the liver is to detoxify biological and xenobiotic amines. In the nervous system it degrades neurotransmitters and in particular serotonin.
Imbalances in serotonin levels have been associated with depression, aggression, anxiety and OCD behavior. MAO A is inherited with the X chromosome and is considered a dependent trait so it may not show standard inheritance characteristics in males. The X chromosome in males only comes from the mother so the father’s MAO A mutations would not play a role in the son’s MAO status.
AHCY: Adenosylhomocysteinase This is an enzyme that breaks down methionine by converting S-adenosylhomocysteinase (SAH) into homocysteine. This is a key reaction that regulates the methylation of other compounds. Decreased activity of this enzyme leads to lower homocysteine levels.
This pathway is key to look at in relation to CBS upregulations. A mutated AHCY may partially mitigate the effects of CBS upregulations and lead to taurine levels remaining moderate rather than elevated.
CBS: Cystathionine Beta-Synthase CBS is an enzyme responsible for converting serine and homocysteine into cystothionine. This is the first step of the transsulfuration pathway and it is B6 dependent and a key part of glutathione production. Glutathione is the MASTER anti-oxidant of the body!
CBS defects are upregulations where the enzyme works too fast which results in low levels of cystathionine and homocysteine and high taurine and ammonia. If there is an NOS mutation along with the CBS it can dramatically elevate ammonia levels.
Individuals with a CBS mutation will produce more sulfur end products from the methylation cycle. Those with a homozygous variant will most likely need to limit their intake of sulfur containing foods as they will elevate ammonia levels.
This mutation can also affect a key enzyme called G6PDH in an indirect manner. This leads to altered blood sugar metabolism, red blood cell formation and blood vessel stability. This can contribute to easy brusing, bleeding and broken blood vessels.
MTHFR: Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase This is the popular enzyme that is responsible for the conversion of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate to 5-methyltetrahydrofolate. This is an important step in the conversion of homocysteine to methionine and uses methyl B12 and methyl folate.
There are two key MTHFR polymorphisms – A1298C and C677T. The effect these have on the methylation cycle and overall health are different between the two. C677T SNP’s are associated with elevated homocysteine levels. Elevated homocysteine is a major risk factor for heart disease and neurodegenerative states such as Alzheimer’s disease.
A1298C SNP’s do not lead to elevated homocysteine but instead play an important role in neurotransmitter function. The 1298C is important in the conversion of BH2 to BH4 which plays a huge role in mood regulation and addictive behavior.
MTR & MTRR:
Methionine Synthase & Methionine Synthase Reductase: This is methionine synthase and methionine synthase reductase and these work together and are responsible for the regeneration of methyl B12. This is a critical part of converting homocysteine to methionine. MTRR helps to recycle B12 for use by MTR.
Mutations in this gene grouping leads to methyl group depletion as the morphed enzyme is using up B12 at a faster rate. Individuals with a heterozygous variant may benefit from supplemental methyl B12 and those with a homozygous most likely will need high doses of methyl B12.
Individuals with a homozygous MTR are often low in lithium.Lithium not only plays a role in mood, glutamate control and limiting aggression, but also has been shown to be involved in B12 transport. Many adults as well as individuals who are MTR A2756C + tend to have lower levels of lithium as judged by hair metal analysis (HMT).
NOS: Nitric oxide synthase The NOS enzyme plays an important role in ammonia detoxification within the urea cycle. Those who have a homozygous variant have a reduced activity of this enzyme. NOS mutations will have an additive effect with CBS upregulations. This will lead to dramatically increased ammonia levels which can result in major health issues.
In addition, an MTHFR A1298C homozygous gene may put an additional burden on proper urea cycle function. NOS variants will also play a role in the bodies ability to handle oxidative stress. This can lead to mitochondrial dysfunction and accelerated aging and chronic disease development.
SHMT: Serine Hydroxymethyltransferase This is serine hydroxymethyltransferase and is responsible for catalyzing the conversion of glycine to serine. This shifts the emphasis of the methylation cycle towards new DNA synthesis and away from processing homocysteine to methionine.
Mutations in this gene can interfere with the fragile balance of the methylation cycle. This can lead to elevations in homocysteine and imbalances in other intermediates in the body.
SUOX: Sulfite Oxidase This is a mitochondrial enzyme that is responsible for oxidizing sulfites to sulfates. Sulfites are produced in the transsulfuration cycle and also through the ingestion of sulfur compounds.
Sulfites are also used in food processing to reduce the discoloration of light-colored fruits and veggies and to inhibit the growth of microorganisms in fermented foods like wine and dough. They are also commonly used to prevent black spots on shrimp and lobster. They can also be found in certain medications to maintain stability and potency.
SUOX gene variants will not be able to process sulfur rich foods and sulfites well and should be on low-sulfur diets. For homozygous individuals they could have extreme reactions including severe asthma attacks. Sulfites can cause chest tightness, nausea, hives and difficulty breathing. This mutation may also be a risk factor for certain types of cancer including leukemia.
DAO: D amino acid oxidase
This is responsible for the breakdown of extracellular histamine. The breakdown of histamine is very important and the failure for it to be broken down can lead to asthma, chronic allergies and general congestion issues.
FOLR: Folate receptors
Also known as Folate receptors. They transport 5-MTHF into the cells. Methyl Tetra Hydro Folate (MTHF) is very important in methylation!
This is responsible of disorders of the gut, especially in the mucosal layer. Since research has shown the 80% of the immune system is in the gut and there is more serotonin (the neurotransmitter that helps us be happy) in the gut than in the brain, this is a VERY important gene.
GAD: Glutamate acid decarboxylase
This converts glutamate into GABA. The role of GABA in the brain is to promote relaxation, improve sleep cycles, reduction of blood pressure and reducing anxiety.
GSTP: Glutathione S-transferase
This helps with the detoxification process with Glutathione. The key function is in xenobiotic metabolism. Glutathione is the MASTER anti-oxidant in the body!
HNMT: Histamine N-methyltransferase
Provides the breakdown of intracellular histamine. The breakdown of histamine is very important and the failure for it to be broken down can lead to asthma, chronic allergies and general congestion issues. Increased histamine levels can also contribute to anxiety and depression.
NQO: NAD: Quinone oxidoreductase
The enzyme responsible for determining the effectiveness of CoQ10 in providing extra cellular energy and helping to eliminate free radicals. CoQ10 is very important because it is used in every cell of your body and it is especially important for the mitochondria which are the powerhouses of the cell. It is important in regards to energy levels, heart, liver, kidney, lipid and protein function.
PNMT: Phenylethanolamine N Methyltransferase
The enzyme responsible for converting norepinephrine to epinephrine (adrenaline). It is important for adrenal function, energy production, blood pressure and overall healing.
SHMT: Serine hydroxymethyltranferase
Protects us against oxidative stress (free radicals) and damage in the cytosol. SHMT is associated with Neurological disorders.
SOD: Super Oxide dismutase
Protects us against oxidative stress (free radicals) and damage in the cytosol. SOD is associated with neurological disorders.