Can Genes Dictate Diet?
Personally, I believe that choices in diet are more influenced by environmental factors than genes, however, I've listed several genetic factors below and in the video to the right that one should consider if they have certain genetic defects.
- Gluten and Dairy - As I state in all my videos, I do NOT use a person's genes to discuss gluten and dairy. Someone may have zero defects in this area and still have antibodies to gluten and its peptides (see video). However, should one have two or more HLA defects or any KIAA defects, they probably need to go gluten-free. Actually, I'm a huge proponent of everyone staying away from gluten! It is highly inflammatory and a completely different food than that which our ancestors consumed.
- Coffee - Having the variants (defects) on the caffiene metabolism genes can be a benefit for those that enjoy a morning cup of java. A defect here actually increases the rate in which your liver gets rid of caffiene, decreasing any ill-effects. This doesn't give you a "green-light" to drink a dozen lattes but it may allow you to enjoy in moderation. Note: there are other considerations you must acknowledge when consuming coffee. Caffiene is hard on your adrennal glands so those with adrennal insufficiency need to watch this. Also, caffiene can mimic some gluten peptides and some people actually develop antibodies to it. Getting tested through Cyrex labs is extremely enlightening.
- FUT2 and BCMO1 gene defects suggest an overall hindered ability for the GUT to heal. People with these variants have a much more difficult time recovering from any insult to their digestive tract. You have hundreds of millions of organisms living symbioticly in your body (your microbiota) and disturbances in their number and diversity lead to LEAKY GUT and chronic inflammation. If you've ever heard me lecture, I've hounded: "Inflammation in the GUT equals inflammation in the brain and the body!" These two gene defects ALONE may be the cause of 80% of people's problems and working on healing the GUT should be everyone's first concern. See my video on this subject and subscribe to my GUT SERIES if you want to learn more.
- Histamine - Histamine is a natural immune chemical that serves a host of wonderful purposes in our bodies. However, when one cannot adequately breakdown dietary histamines (because it is also found in numerous foods) because they have ABP1 gene defects and/or they can't break it down well in the tissues because of HNMT gene defects, hyper-histamine symptoms may occur. Watch the video on this section again if you have defects in these genes. Also, try to limit high histamine foods knowing that it is impossible to eliminate all histamines from one's diet. See a dietary histamine list and more info HERE.
- SLC gene defects in the mitochondria (these are the carnitine genes found in the Energy Production section) are responsible for getting carnitine in the cells to allow fat utilization to make energy. A "clinical pearl" - defects here often require supplementing with a product containing carnitine but checking a patient's fat digestion can be equally important. As we age, our liver's output of bile (the substance necessary to breakdown fat in the intestines) diminishes. Supporting this with digestive enzymes that contain Ox Bile may be just what the doctor ordered to help boost energy.
- PON1 defects should motivate the person to EAT ORGANIC. Pay attention to the "dirty dozen - clean fifteen" list to assure a minimal exposure to pesticides and insecticides.
- Folate defects of any kind should motivate all of us to "get back to basics" in our diet in regards to eating more greens.
- MAT gene defects in the Methionine pathway may suggest, especially in cancer patients, that consuming foods high in methionine is NOT a good idea. Some cancers may feed on amino acids (methionine and glutamine) and those with MAT defects may already have excess methionine in the tissues. Those with the MAT defect as well as defects in the GAD1 and GLS, BHMT-08, and CBS699 genes may have excess glutamate, glutamine, and methionine that can lead to numerous issues. These people tend to do better on a more Vegan-like diet that reduces proteins. They tend to do better on grains, greens, and veggies.
- CBS defects can causes issues in a person's ability to detoxify surfur groups, sulfites, and sulfates. This may also lead to issues feeding the glutathione pathway and it amy be recommended that one stay away from thiol/sulfur foods. See HERE.
- MAO and COMT gene defects can cause either increases or decreases in serotonin and dopamine respectfully. The metabolic precursors to these neurotransmitters are amino acids (tyrosine, tryptophan and phenylalanine). If a person defects in these genes and has symptoms of TOO MUCH serotonin and/or dopamine (see a paper on this here) they may try to reduce the substrates - cut back on protein! If they have symptoms of TOO LITTLE serotonin and/or dopamine they may try to increase thier protein intake for a while. Warning: it is ALL about balance!
- GAD1 defects along with BHMT-08 and CBS699 defects may lead to excess glutamate levels. Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter that wakes-up the brain. Before you start think that you may need more of this, understand, it is usually in EXCESS in most everyone. As a matter of fact, because the food industry purposely puts these in our foods, most of us have neurons with an overabundance of glutamate receptors. This makes things worse! This is so imortant that I've written a paper on this as well - see HERE.