No two people have the same genetics. Your DNA tells a unique story about you. It also determines your risks of developing chronic diseases and getting infected by viruses. In the time of a pandemic, it pays to gain insights into your health by getting a personalised genetic report.
The DNA Company CEO Dr Mansoor Mohammed returns to this podcast for the third time. Dr Mansoor shares and explains the results of the gene test Lisa did with them. He also talks about functional genomics and how knowledge of it can help improve our health.
If you want guidance on how you can navigate the COVID-19 pandemic given your genetic make-up, then this episode is for you.
Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:
- Find out how The DNA Company does genomics differently.
- Learn how understanding your genetic make-up helps your health.
- How can you optimise your health if you share Lisa’s health risks?
- Join Lisa’s online running coaching if you want to smash your running goals.
- If you want to develop mental toughness, enrol in Lisa’s online course, MINDSETU.
What Does The DNA Company Do?
- DNA is a language in and of itself.
- Majority of gene reports study only the ‘vocabulary’ of the DNA.
- What The DNA Company does differently is to look at genetics as a functional, cellular and biochemical cascade, starting from the human being.
How Does Understanding Your Genes Help Your Health?
- Functional genomics is not fatalistic but empowering.
- It allows you to better understand your operating manual.
- We have to get rid of the belief that the human body is too complex for the average person to understand.
Why Do You Need to Know Your Genetic Make-Up?
- Understanding your genetics is timely with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
- However, even without SARS-CoV-2, there are other existing viruses and microbes that constantly challenge the human body.
How Does the Body Fight Microbial Infection?
- We commonly associate the body’s antimicrobial capacity with antibiotics and our body’s natural antibodies.
- Our body has a small subset of genes that encode antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) distinct from our antibodies.
- The AMPs are one of the first-order defence mechanisms against microbial agents such as viruses and bacteria.
- At optimal levels, vitamin D activates the genes that encode AMPs.
- Dr Alexander Fleming discovered AMPs together with antibiotics. But it got lost along the way because the discovery is not patentable.
What Happens to Vitamin D in the Body?
- The CYP2R1 gene encodes an enzyme that activates vitamin D.
- The vitamin D binding protein (VDBP) gene produces VDBP, which transports vitamin D in the blood.
- The functional receptor gene produces vitamin D receptor (VDR), which allows vitamin D to enter the cells.
- Superficial reports would say the CYP2R1 gene determines if you have healthy levels of vitamin D. However, that is only the first part of the puzzle.
- Lisa has the optimal version of the CYP2R1 gene, but her VDBP and VDR are low. It means her body is efficient in making vitamin D but not in transporting and absorbing it.
Will Taking Vitamin D Supplements Boost AMP Production?
- Vitamin D dosing will do Lisa no good.
- She needs to take vitamin D in a circadian dosing regimen to work around her limited capacity to transport and absorb it.
- She also needs daily sun exposure.
- Optimising the cellular uptake of vitamin D is what boosts AMP production.
- We get poorly designed studies on viral infections because they do not understand the individuality of each participant.
How Does COVID-19 Worsen Inflammation?
- COVID-19 is a totally different beast. It has a wide spectrum of outcomes and causes.
- One core factor in triaging individuals with mild symptoms is the health of the glycocalyx of the blood vessels. It acts like a Teflon coating on the inner lining of the blood vessels.
- One possible site of SARS-CoV-2 infection is the lining of the blood vessels.
- People with pre-existing conditions such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes have inflamed blood vessels. When SARS-CoV-2 enters the cell, it accelerates the inflammation.
- Vitamin D also plays a role in controlling chronic inflammation.
How Does Genetics Determine Your Predisposition Towards Inflammation?
- Genetics contributes to the health of your glycocalyx. In turn, the quality of the glycocalyx determines your risk of inflammation.
- Three genetic markers, with two copies each, in the chromosome 9p21 contribute to the quality of your glycocalyx.
- Each of these markers comes as either A or G. The more G’s you have, the weaker your glycocalyx is.
- If you have genetically weaker glycocalyx, you need to moderate your blood pressure and ensure your vitamin D levels are optimal.
- Lisa has six G’s.
What Should You Do If Your Glycocalyx Is Weak?
- Ensure your blood pressure and heart rate are at healthy levels.
- Avoid food, medications and products with toxins.
- Detoxify efficiently.
How Is the Glutathione S-Transferase Gene (GST) Related to the Glycocalyx?
- Lisa has a poor GST gene.
- Glutathione is a tri-amino acid peptide that acts as a tag. When glutathione tags a toxin, it reduces that toxin’s toxic properties and makes it more water-soluble.
- Glutathione transferase is an enzyme that shows the cells how to tag toxins.
- If your body is weak at tagging toxins, they will abrade the blood vessels, causing inflammation. Toxins also create oxidants, which inflame cells.
How Does Lisa’s Genetics Cascade?
- Her genetics isn’t doing her service, given her poor ability to neutralise toxins, her high risk for inflammation and her poor vitamin D uptake.
- Knowing this, she cannot afford to turn a blind eye.
- Lisa can approach her diet, lifestyle and health parameters to dramatically reduce her inherent risks.
How Does Genetics Explain Lisa’s Asthma?
- The three major portals of entry into the human body are the skin, the respiratory tract and the gastrointestinal tract.
- You want the genes producing the neutralising enzymes active in the portals of entry.
- GSTP1 gene is a backup mechanism of the GST gene. In particular, it is active in the respiratory tract.
- Lisa’s GSTP1 is not effective, and her six G’s also make her lung linings less resilient. Thus, she has increased risk of being asthmatic.
- How Does Having Suboptimal GST Affect the Stomach Lining?
- It is strongly correlated with increased risk of irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
- Your microbiome is one of the most significant determinants of your gastrointestinal health.
- A healthy gastrointestinal microbiome can camouflage the effects of having suboptimal GST.
- However, having poor GST can affect the toxicity of the environment in which your microbiome grows.
- Lisa needs to make sure to avoid toxic intake, improve her detoxification and keep her microbiome healthy.
5 Powerful Quotes from This Episode
‘Only when you understand genes in the cohesive, connective language-based system can you really interpret genetics intelligently’.
‘If you appreciated how much of yourself that you could better understand, that you could actionalise, that will make you feel empowered of taking health steps for you and your family members, good god, we could dramatically improve the health of our societies’.
‘This, Lisa, is exactly, in its beautiful little nuance, the full story of functional medicine, functional genomics. Functional genomics—understanding that it was not just a single gene. It was the system’.
‘We're not perfect. We all have our things. We all have our glitches. If this is one of my glitches, I'm going to make sure that this is not one of the glitches that becomes my Achilles heel’.
‘It's (genetics) not a fatalistic part of you, as you've seen, but it is a huge part of you. It requires some commitment. It demands that we should treat it with a degree of respect’.
About Dr Mansoor
Dr Mansoor Mohammed is the founder of The DNA Company. He has received various academic and industry accolades for his pioneering work in medical genomics. He also holds several patents in molecular diagnostics and has spoken at conferences about personalised medical genomics.
If you want to get your own DNA report, contact Lisa at email@example.com or visit The DNA Company at www.thednacompany.com.
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