Blood Lipids Metabolism
Heart health depends on a complex balance of environmental, dietary and genetic factors. While you may have heard that eating less red meat and fatty foods will help lower cholesterol, this may not necessarily be true for your body. Certain genes influence LDL (‘bad’) and HDL (‘good’) cholesterol, and knowing how the fat in your diet interacts with your genes, will give you a much better understanding of how to change your diet to achieve good heart health.
Removes lipids from the circulation of hydrolysing triglycerides into free fatty acids.
Plays a key role in the metabolism of HDL and mediates the exchange of lipids between lipoproteins.
Plays an important role in cholesterol metabolism.
Essential for the normal catabolism of triglyceride-rich lipoprotein constituents. Affects antioxidant requirement.
Protects LDL and HDL from oxidation. Low PON activity has been associated with increased risk for coronary artery disease.
B vitamins, especially folate, play an essential role in energy metabolism, building and repairing DNA, and in preventing cardiovascular disease, cancer, and neural tube defects. Most people need very small doses of B vitamins, but variations in your genes can alter how efficiently your body uses these vitamins, and if this is the case, you may need to increase your daily dose.
Directs folate from the diet either to DNA synthesis or homocysteine remethylation.
Catalyses the re-methylation of homocysteine to methionine.
Catalyses the transfer of a methyl group from S-adenosylmethionine to catecholamines, including the neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.
Catalyses methylcobalamin, which is essential for maintaining adequate intracellular pools of methionine. It is also responsible for maintaining homocysteine concentrations at non-toxic levels.
Catalyses the conversion of homocysteine to cystathionine and is directly involved in the removal of homocysteine from the methionine cycle.
Detoxification is complex. There are many genes that play a role in the cleansing process, and if you have a gene variation in any one of these sequences, your body may need help when it comes to detoxing. The only way to know for sure is through DNA | Health, which will provide you with valuable information such as whether you need to be eating more cruciferous vegetables or taking extra supplements to aid your body’s natural detoxification processes.
The cytochrome P450 enzyme converts environmental procarcinogens to reactive intermediates, which are carcinogenic.
Influences Phase II detoxification. It is responsible for the removal of xenobiotics, carcinogens, and products of oxidative stress.
Influences the metabolism of many carcinogenic compounds.
A member of a superfamily of proteins that catalyse the conjugation of reduced glutathione.
Quinone Reductase is primarily involved in the detoxification of potentially mutagenic and carcinogenic quinones derived from tobacco smoke, diet and estrogen metabolism.
Inflammation is the way our body responds to injury, infection or injuries. Our genes switch the inflammation process on and off as needed, but sometimes a genetic variation causes a gene to stay switched on for longer than required. Low-grade inflammation over a long period has been linked to cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes. DNA | Health will tell you if your body’s immune processes are running when not needed, and we can then recommend certain nutrients to help “switch off” these genes.
Plays a crucial role in inflammation by regulating the expression of the C-reactive protein (CRP).
TNFα is a proinflammatory cytokine, secreted by both macrophages and adipocytes, which has been shown to alter whole-body glucose homoeostasis, and has been implicated in the development of obesity, obesity-related insulin resistance, and dyslipidemia.
This gene forms part of the inflammatory cascade and therefore genetic variations to this gene have been associated with increased risk for a number of chronic diseases.
Antioxidants are the body’s defence against free radicals. Free radicals can be a normal by-product of the body’s energy processes or can come from the outside in the form of eg. toxins. However, these molecules can damage DNA and proteins in the body and have been linked to various chronic diseases. Antioxidants are found naturally in the body in the form of enzymes, but can also be consumed in a wide variety of foods. DNA | Health will tell you whether you should be altering your diet and lifestyle in order to boost the antioxidant activity in your body.
Influences vascular tone and peripheral vascular resistance. It also has vasoprotective effects by suppressing platelet aggregation, leukocyte adhesion, and smooth muscle cell proliferation.
Has vital anti-oxidant activity within the cell, especially within the mitochondria. It destroys the radicals that are normally produced within cells.
The gene encodes the antioxidant enzyme, catalase. This enzyme is responsible for the rapid conversion of hydrogen peroxide molecules to water and oxygen. Decreased CAT activity can lead to increased oxidative stress.
Plays an important antioxidant role in almost every tissue in the body. Genetic variations have been linked to a disturbance in the antioxidant balance with increased risk for chronic disease.
Our bodies break down and rebuild bone all the time. Our genes, diet and lifestyle (including exercise, stress, smoking and alcohol consumption) are all important factors in this process. By identifying how your genes affect your body’s calcium and Vitamin D metabolism, you can change your diet and lifestyle to keep your bones strong.
Has a profound influence on bone density.
Influences the ratio of collagen-alpha chains produced by bone cells, affecting bone mineralisation of bone and bone strength.
In a healthy body, food is absorbed into the bloodstream in the form of sugars such as glucose. The hormone, insulin, is then released to enable glucose to move from the bloodstream into the cells to be stored or used for energy. However, if you suffer from insulin resistance, your body’s cells will not respond as effectively to insulin. According to researchers, insulin resistance may play an important role in many health conditions such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. DNA | Health can tell you whether you suffer from insulin resistance and if so, how best to work around this health issue.
Involved in adipocyte differentiation. It is a transcription factor activated by fatty acids and is also involved in the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism.
Influences blood glucose homoeostasis – both insulin secretion and resistance.
Influences susceptibility to obesity and risk for type 2 diabetes.
Facilitates glucose-induced insulin secretion and is involved in food intake and regulation.
Food Responsiveness and Sensitivity
There are certain nutrients and food components that affect us all in different ways. For instance, your friend may be able to down three glasses of milk in a row, while you’re left feeling bloated and tired after just looking at a cappuccino. New research means that we can now test specific genes to tell us more about how our bodies will respond to certain food components. DNA | Health does this by testing for issues such as lactose intolerance, polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) metabolism, caffeine sensitivity, salt sensitivity and iron overload.
Associated with adult hypolactasia (lactose intolerance).
Influences blood fat concentrations by affecting desaturase enzyme efficiency
This detoxification enzyme influences the ability to metabolise caffeine.
ACE & AGT
Part of the renin-angiotensin system and response to salt.
This gene encodes the taste receptor responsible for the sensitivity to bitter compounds. Genetic variations in this gene can influence food preferences.
This SNP/gene determines the activity of the enzyme ALDH2 and plays a role in blood acetaldehyde level after alcohol consumption.
Hereditary hemochromatosis is a genetic disorder in which iron accumulates in the body, leading to iron overload. If you have this disorder, the amount of iron your body absorbs from the intestines is greater than the amount needed to replace losses. Since your body cannot naturally increase iron excretion, this extra iron accumulates.
Severe symptoms and signs of iron overload include sexual dysfunction, heart failure, joint pains, liver cirrhosis, diabetes mellitus, fatigue and hypomelanotic pigmentation. That said, people who carry the genes for hereditary hemochromatosis often show no symptoms or signs, and early detection, which can be done via DNA | Health, is imperative for successful treatment.
Regulates iron absorption by regulating the interaction of the transferring receptor with transferrin. Hereditary hemochromatosis results from defects in the HFE gene.