How to improve heart health
Have you ever tried to picture your ancient ancestors? Perhaps you love diving into family lineage, or maybe you’re just curious about what their lifestyle was like. Or perhaps your family circumstances make it impossible to know exactly where your ancestors are from without taking a DNA test.
Like it or not, the habits of your ancestors play a significant role in your body’s ability to get the nutrients it needs. That’s why genetics is so important for determining lactose intolerance, gluten sensitivity, vitamin deficiencies, and more.
According to research conducted by the DNA Company, nearly 25% of people should be eating goat and lamb meat to help their heart health. This is the best way for their bodies to absorb enough vitamin B12.
It’s not a coincidence that these people come from backgrounds that have a history of eating goat and lamb meat as their primary source of red meat. Their ancestry is typically South Asian, North African, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, or Eastern European.
If this is starting to sound like you, you might recall a point in time when you heard that people from your same background tend to have heart issues. What if the way to solve this problem is as simple as changing the type of meat you eat?
The importance of vitamin B12
The primary vitamin found in red meat associated with heart health is vitamin B12. Aside from lowering your risk of heart disease, proper vitamin B12 consumption has the following benefits:
Promotes red blood cell formation
Supports bone health
Improves symptoms of depression
Prevents memory loss
There are three genes that influence whether or not your body can absorb vitamin B12 effectively. The main one is called the FUT2 gene, which corresponds to the fucosyltransferase enzyme that is part of the digestive system.
Your FUT2 gene determines how well your body can absorb vitamin B12. If you have the suboptimal version of the gene, you’re more likely to have vitamin B12 deficiency than if you have the optimal version. That means it’s even more important for you to get enough vitamin B12 from your diet.
The other genes that correspond to vitamin B12 levels are the MTR gene and the MTRR gene. The MTR gene indicates which kind of vitamin B12 is ideal for your genotype, either methylB12 or adenosylB12.
The MTRR gene relates to your body’s ability to recycle vitamin B12. If you have the suboptimal version of the MTRR gene and the suboptimal version of the FUT2 gene, you are at high risk for vitamin B12 deficiency.
Which kind of meat should you eat?
Now that we’ve laid a genetic foundation for vitamin B12 absorption, let’s circle back to the question of which meat you should eat. This depends on the way your body can best absorb vitamin B12.
When you eat beef, the vitamin B12 is absorbed in your gut. When you eat goat or lamb, on the other hand, the vitamin B12 is absorbed directly from your mouth into your bloodstream.
If your body is genetically designed to absorb vitamin B12 through your mouth but you’re only getting this vitamin from beef, you’re probably not getting enough vitamin B12. This can eventually result in cardiovascular concerns related to inflammation in the arteries.
If you’re like most North Americans, your diet probably consists of mainly beef and chicken. Maybe you don’t particularly like goat or lamb. Go out and try some new dishes! When prepared the right way, lamb and goat can be quite delicious.
What about vitamin B12 supplements? The typical vitamin B12 supplement pill is absorbed through the gut, so it doesn’t replace the vitamin B12 you can get from goat and lamb meat.
There is, however, another type of supplement called sublingual B12 that melts under your tongue. You can either get your genes tested to determine which type of supplement is best for you, or you can try both and see which one seems to reduce your vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms such as brain fog and inflammation.
How to improve heart health
Other than thinking about changing the type of meat you eat, there are many things you can do to improve your overall heart health. Of course, the best way to know exactly what your body needs is to test your DNA and find your genetic strengths and weaknesses.
Here are some steps you can take to prioritize your cardiovascular health:
Get plenty of rest
Stop eating fried and sugary foods
Drink green tea twice a day
Prioritize foods that have anthocyanins, such as açaí, plums, figs, raspberries, red cabbage, blackberries, cherries, red potatoes, and eggplant
Buy an air filter for your home and office
Test your biomarkers regularly, including your cholesterol profile, vitamin D, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), homocysteine, hemoglobinA1C, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)
Try taking an omega-3 fish oil supplement
Are you wondering whether you’re genetically predisposed towards heart disease? The best way to find out is by decoding your genes through our 360 DNA Report. You’ll discover whether your heart health depends on goat and lamb meat as well as 37 other custom reports surrounding sleep, diet, nutrition, hormones, fitness, cardiovascular health, immunity, and behavior.
Each custom report includes your genetic tendencies as well as practical steps you can take to optimize your health and wellness. You are a unique individual, and you deserve health strategies that reflect your unique genome. Get started today.
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WELLNESS INFLUENCERSWhat Doctors Are Saying
“The DNA Company reports are also very concise and to the point. Clinically I didn't find the value of looking at hundreds of SNPs that we don't have a hope of influencing. I would much rather look at the DNA Company reports and correlate with other testing and their history to see where we can actually shift a person's health in the right direction. By strategically looking at genetic variables we can influence, we give the body a tremendous tool that it can use to start fixing itself.”
DR JARED SEIGLER DC, CFMP, CGP
THE LIVING PROOF INSTITUTE
“Over the past two years, functional genomics has added tremendous value to my practice and my clients’ lives. I have been able to strategically formulate recommendations for my clients around nutrition, lifestyle and targeted nutrient therapy. This test compliments the work I have been doing for years by taking away the guesswork and helping me create a more personalized long-term approach for health optimization.”
MICHELLE ROGERS, ND, MSAOM, FDN-P
THE WELLTHY WOMAN | FUNCTIONAL HEALTH
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FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE | NYT BESTSELLING AUTHOR
THE LIVING PROOF INSTITUTE