51 comments posted · 4 followers · following 0

6 years ago @ http://www.gbhealthwat... - Eat right in your 20s ... · 0 replies · +1 points

Yes, unfortunately this is a big issue (food additives, colorants etc). Read food labels carefully. It also takes a bit more effort to prepare meals with fresh ingredients, but it's definitely worth it!

7 years ago @ http://www.gbhealthwat... - Are plant or animal fa... · 0 replies · +1 points

Hi, Asa. What Mendel referred to as "low-converting FADS1 alleles" is what this article specifies in one example: the variant of SNP rs174550 in the FADS1 gene, that reduces the activity of the converting enzyme (3rd paragraph). Note: genetic effect is never 100% certain, and this is just one possible variant related to the fatty-acid conversion enzyme (SNP rs174550 based on current research published in various publications), among other factors. But we do know, generally, that this genetic variant can be found in anyone, but is more common in people of Asian or Latin-American/ Native American descent. If you get your DNA tested with, you can find out if you have a 'C' or a 'T' allele at that genetic location (SNP rs174550); if it's a 'C', then you have the low-converting variant. (once you get tested, you can click on the 'show gene info' button at the top of this page, and connect to your 23andMe data to see this variant info clearly).

7 years ago @ http://www.gbhealthwat... - The MTNR1B gene, dinne... · 0 replies · +3 points

You've touched on a very important point: there are MANY factors that affect health (it's not just one nutrient and one gene and one environmental factor). Regarding our biological clock (and the particular topic of insulin and elevated blood sugar), the safest solution seems to be to eat during the day. As a night-shift worker, maybe your blood sugar levels are normal because 1. your genetics might be protecting you, or 2. you might be eating the right kinds of food already- low in carbs, or 3. you might be tricking your body with bright light at night and very dark conditions when you sleep in your room during the day , or several other reasons. That is why, apart from knowing your genetics, it's also important to track the way things affect you. Through research and observation, you can connect the dots between your genes, your nutrition and your health. And if you ever need to, please consult with a health professional.

7 years ago @ http://www.gbhealthwat... - How do genes predispos... · 0 replies · +1 points

This would be interesting to track using the HealthWatch 360 Health Tracker (there is a tracker for 'blood pressure', and you can create custom ones for 'crab catching day', 'cuts in hands' etc; track for a month and see if any Trends emerge; we'd love to see these). As you know, science is usually valid and solid, but if people begin to see different patterns, it could warrant new research to be conducted.

7 years ago @ http://www.gbhealthwat... - How do genes predispos... · 1 reply · +1 points

Current research points to the fact that skin is a tight, water proof membrane designed to keep water and ions and other molecules inside while keeping the outside out. The molecules that are absorbed through the skin tend to be hydrophobic organic molecules. Ions, which any dissolved salt in water would become, do not easily pass through cellular membranes or your skin. If your skin is damaged, it may have tiny holes, which would allow ions into your blood. This paper (2014) points to the possibility that skin could be 'permeabilized' so that ionic and larger molecules may be delivered transdermally: (but this would only be possible with be a purposeful, man-made procedure: low-frequency sonophoresis, microneedles, electroporation and iontophoresis)

7 years ago @ http://www.gbhealthwat... - Genes and Hair Curl · 0 replies · +1 points

Hi, Keara. Wow, you really have been thinking about this. This is exactly the sort of 'chat' I hoped to have when I created this social-commenting system on the GB HealthWatch site! I would say that… one thing that might lead to some confusion, is that you are thinking about so many different things, all together (they are 'similar', but they aren't all the 'same'). Multiple observations are actually a great fit for our Health Tracker and Research Portal technologies. With Health Tracker, we hope that you (and anyone) will be able to find patterns between 'anything' (hair curl, skin color and ability to convert fats, for example). With our Research Portal, we hope that international researchers/scientists will prove (and disprove) the connections between things. Anyway, considering some of your points one at a time, my thoughts:
1. "Africa has the greatest genetic diversity but skin color and hair texture are ubiquitous, but outside of Africa, not many people have curly hair"- As we mention in this article, there might be particular reasons why a trait endures or why another gene evolves to replace it (an 'advantage').
2. "It doesn't make sense that skin color and hair serve as protection against the sun, because hair is dead and hair color is not like skin color"- Actually, regarding protection from direct solar radiation, hair and skin are 2 different things, acting in different ways and controlled by different genes. Skin color protects from the sun through melanin in the skin (skin color adapts to sunlight irradiation, and protects directly). Hair also has color, but that is not what protects from the sun (it's the form and density of the hair that protects directly, like an 'umbrella').
3. "People outside of Africa can have dark skin but not curly hair"- Nature/genetics is not such a perfect system that it can always find the best combination. Genes don't have 'intelligence' and it's not as if they planned one thing or another. Genetic evolution can be a long process and has a lot to do with the people who survive and carry on genes to future generations. So in some cases, beneficial hair genes and the different beneficial skin genes don't all necessarily survive (or maybe those parts of the world have a lot of sunlight leading to darker skin, but also can get cold/dry leading to straight oilier hair?).
4. "Curly hair could be due to cooling through sweating"- Yes. Interesting: this is sort of the flip-side to what we mention in this article. In the past, the people who left Africa and went to the colder north, might have needed oilier lubricated tight hair in order to not lose body heat from their head (through evaporation). And, as you mention, the opposite might be for people who stayed in hot Africa.

7 years ago @ http://www.gbhealthwat... - Genes and Eye Color · 0 replies · +1 points

Current research has shown that eye color can change right after birth (developmental changes), or in a slow gradual manner (like, when one ages- basic darkening or lightening). Or, because of strong symptoms (like jaundice, Wilson's Disease etc). However, it is unlikely that diet can affect color directly and in the short-term. A quick Internet search shows that these claims are coming from people with products to sell (not neutral, not unbiased, and not solid research).

7 years ago @ http://www.gbhealthwat... - Caffeine Consumption · 0 replies · +2 points

I'm looking at the Genesight website and I think they only test these genes: MTHFR, CYP2D6, CYP2C19, CYP2C9, CYP3A4, CYP2B6, CYP1A2, OPRM1, COMT, ADRA2A, SLC6A4, and HTR2A. So only CYP1A2 relates to this Caffeine article, but we do have some other relevant articles:

7 years ago @ http://www.gbhealthwat... - Caffeine Consumption · 0 replies · +2 points

Hi, Jessica. Unfortunately our system is not programmed to connect with Genesight; rather, we connect with 23andMe ( ). If you had had your test done with 23andMe, then for most of our articles, you can just click on the blue 'show gene info' and automatically receive insight for those specific genes in that specific article-- based on your personal 23andMe data. HOWEVER, genes are genes, of course, the same whether you have them read through Genesight or 23andMe or another service. With Genesight and our web site, you would just have to connect some of the dots yourself. In this Caffeine article, for example, we mention these genes: CYP1A2, AHR, and ADORA2A. Actually, more specifically, we mention very specific locations in each of these genes, for example: rs2472297 in gene CYP1A2 (see table 1 above). In any one location, you can have one of four nucleotides/alleles: 'A', 'T', 'C', 'G' (in the case of rs2472297 in gene CYP1A2, it's either 'C' or 'T'; if you have a 'T' there, you have higher risk, and if you have a 'C' there, you have lower 'risk'). Finally, of course, the 'risk' types are different depending on the genetic location, for example: rs2472297 in gene CYP1A2 means "tendency to consume more coffee", while rs762551 in gene CYP1A2 means "fast or slow caffeine metabolizer" (and one study has shown that 'slow' metabolizers of caffeine have elevated risk of suffering a heart attack if they consume a lot of coffee). Remember: none of this is 100% certain, and shouldn't be taken as medical advice. We simply offer insights based on the latest publish genetic research, which you can consider based on your personal lifestyle and genetics. Nutritional Genomics (and Genetics in general) are still emerging fields with a LOT left to be discovered; I hope that our website and app is useful to you in the path to a healthy future!

7 years ago @ http://www.gbhealthwat... - Genes and Skin Color · 0 replies · +1 points

Hi, deepa. Interesting experience. A big factor is the production of melanin. This is affected by many different genes, but skin color also changes because of other 'general' factors. For example, melanocyte-stimulating hormones can increase skin pigmentation (they increase in humans during pregnancy, so pregnant women can have darker skin). And, with age, the production of melanin can decrease.