It’s been an ‘interesting’ couple of months. I’ve had some wonderful support from friends and family, and I love them dearly for it (you know who you are!).
I recently took a genetic test. I didn’t even consider the consequences, because this few weeks aside, I strive to eat well and look after myself. So whatever my genes are, I firmly believe that I can up- and down- regulate them using diet and lifestyle. I was just curious!
The good news is I haven’t got the Alzheimer’s gene, nor am I prone to high cholesterol and inflammation (I am truly surprised!). The bad news is that the gene associated with leptin (appetitie/satiety hormone) is flaky, but I’m not at all surprised about that. I’ve always struggled with control of what I eat, particularly when I’m feeling down.
What kind of floored me was that my liver is severely compromised. In retrospect it’s not really that surprising, but the red band in the heading of the report made me feel a bit insecure! I feel highly stressed much of the time, and get migraines, acne and hormonal issues – all signs of a compromised liver. Apparently my gene Glutathione S-transferase M GSTM1 doesn’t work at all. It’s switched off. It’s one of the 2 main enzymes that helps detoxify rubbish (carcinogens, drugs, environmental toxins, free radicals). This is not a good thing! It is responsible for detoxifying steroid hormones (including the stress hormone cortisol and the sex hormone estrogen), and neurotransmitters (like serotonin and adrenalin) from the brain. Well no wonder I’m hormonally and adrenally challenged then eh? It’s certainly explains a lot!
And just as an aside, I will be looking in to ways to switch this gene back on! Funnily enough, the reason I felt compelled to write this post, is that I totally craved cruciferous vegetables with my dinner tonight. My mum used to make me eat Brussels sprouts and I HATED them. Now I crave them. Seems to me, subconsciously I am trying to right the defective gene, as cruciferous veg are manna for the liver.
I’m also concerned that this whole glutathione switched off business points to inadequate methylation. Methylation is complicated and needs a whole other post to explain, but suffice to say that poor methylation is linked to heart disease, Alzheimer’s and a whole other host of nasties, even if the report shows I don’t have the genes that make me prone to these things.
The bottom line? Poor methylation needs B vitamins, and I will be taking a supplement for that one. I need to keep sugar and caffeine (and alcohol) to a minimum (but this goes for everyone and anyone!) I love the supplement N-acetyl-cysteine for the liver, but as a dear friend and personal guru pointed out to me today, I’m very probably not metabolising this supplement properly, so I’m looking at a more herbal and gentle solution – will let you know.
Do I recommend the gene testing? It rather depends. If you are going to use it to your advantage, of course. If it’s going to freak you out and paralyse you – don’t bother, just eat well,and strive to do your best.
As ever, here to advise you, whatever your needs.
Nutrition and wellness advisor/practitioner/real person xxx