Dirty Genes is the title of a book whose author, Dr. Ben Lynch, is famous, appreciated and well known in the naturopathic field as a molecular biologist, environmental and naturopath specialist.
I learned about him and his research since my impact with MTHFR and methylations. Dr. Lynch has been traveling around the world, facing risks and commitments, and just during these trips he had to cope with some health issues and came across the Ayurvedic Medicine; since then he began to get interested with this type of medicine.
Dirty Genes is for genetic variation, modification of a gene, mutation, and SNPs are the single nucleotide polymorphisms or genes variations, for both are the same thing.
Some of these variations, like he says, can make huge difference in our life, for example a SNPs, or mutation in the MTHFR gene can create a number of health problems from cardiovascular and neurological inflammation to cancer.
In the introduction of his book he explains the reason for he began to dig into his type of research. He was watching a scientific documentary that was demonstrating why two mice genetically identical did develop differently based on the way they were nourished.
The reason of this difference was due to methylations which has the power to turn off and on bad genes based on lifestyle conditions; the mice who had chance to methylate its DNA was healthy and thin, the other who had deficit of methylations was obese and unhealthy.
Actually, during this experiment while still in womb one mice was given methyl-donors from the mother and the other not; the one who received the methyl-donors was healthy, the other sick.
Many factors can influence gene expression, and this is what the epigenetics study, and what Dr. Lynch investigates from time and review in his book besides analyzing the different SNPs and protocols related.
We have thousands of genes in our body and millions of genetic polymorphisms, but only few thousand can potentially alter the genetic function. The doctor has chosen to treat and discuss seven of the most important SNPs: MTHFR, COMT, DAO, MAOA, GST/GPX, NSO3, PEMT, this denomination derives from the enzymatic process or pathway that these genes control; each of these influences hundreds of other genes.
SNPs can cause weakness in a gene like anxiety, depression, irritability, deficit of attention and so on, but also strengths as energy, good spirit, enthusiasm, focus mind, and other positive attitudes.
Dr. Lynch has created a Clean Gene Protocol that can help to stabilize these variations with modification of lifestyle, diet and environment enhancing the strengths of a person and reversing the weakness, but if genes are enough dirty there might be more serious problems as diabetes, cardiovascular issues and cancer.
Some genes are dirty from the birth, others become dirty along the way for lifestyle, influence of environment, toxicity, bad habits and other reasons.
MTHFR is the most important gene, the gene of the methylation process, the transfer of a methyl group, -CH3, from a donor to a receiver which becomes methylated, a process that influence the stress response, inflammation and immune response, energy and antioxidants production, cell repair, brain chemistry and more.
Strengths for this gene are alertness, productivity and focus, improved DNA repair, decreased colon cancer risk.
Weakness: depression, anxiety, autoimmunity, migraines, autism, pregnancy complications, birth defects, Down Syndrome, cardiovascular problems and increased risk of stomach cancer.
COMT is the gene with powerful effects on mood, focus, and way to handle estrogens.
Strengths: focus, energy and alertness, good spirit and glowing skin.
Weakness: irritability, insomnia, fibroids, increased risk of estrogen-dependent cancer, neurological disorders, vulnerability to addictions.
DAO’s genetic modifications can make very sensitive to foods and chemicals; it affects the response to histamine and so to allergic reactions and food sensitivity.
Strengths: Awareness of allergens and trigger foods
Weakness: Food sensitivity, leaky gut syndrome, allergic reactions, autoimmunity.
MAOA is the gene that affects mood swings and carb cravings, it helps to regulate the levels of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin, brain chemicals that affects mood, energy and alertness, self-confidence, vulnerability to addition, and sleep.
Strengths: energy, self-confidence, focus, productivity and joy
Weakness: mood swings, carb cravings, irritability, headaches, insomnia, additions
GST/GPX, the gene that affects the ability of detoxifying
Strengths: Awareness of potential chemicals, improved response to chemotherapy
Weakness: Extreme sensitivity to harmful chemicals, increased DNA damage
NSO3 influences the production of nitric oxide and so the blood flow and blood vessel production; therefore, cardiovascular and brain health.
Strengths: Potentiality of reducing the growth of a cancer for decreased blood vessel production.
Weakness: Headaches, high blood pressure, vulnerability to heart disease and heart attack, dementia.
PEMT, the gene that affects cell membranes and liver for supporting the ability to produce phosphatidylcholine, essential to maintain cell membrane, bile flow, muscle health and brain development.
Strengths: more support for methylation, better response to chemotherapy
Weakness: gallbladder disorders, small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), pregnancy complications, cell membrane weakness, muscle pain
When we clean up our genes born dirty or that become dirty along the way we give a boost to our life, a sense of clean and regeneration, and all of the variety of discomforts will disappear, pain, brain fog, allergy, gastrointestinal discomforts, and others.
The doctor then analyzes the variety of causes and factors that can make a gene dirty like:
Diet: too many carbs, too much sugar, too much proteins or not enough, unhealthy fats and not enough healthy fats, deficit of nutrients as vitamins and minerals
Exercise: sedentary lifestyle or overtraining, dehydration and electrolytes deficiency
Sleep: not enough deep and restorative sleep, not the right time of sleep, too short or too long
Environmental toxins: dirty food, water and air, chemicals in products, pesticides
Stress: Physical stress, chronic illness and infections, food intolerance and allergies, insufficient sleep, psychological stress
Methylation is the most important process of all of this and if we do not nourish well our body through the introduction of B vitamins, proteins and minerals, eat properly and live healthy, we do not methylate sufficiently and the consequences- as more time repeated- can be devastating.
The clean gene protocol starts with a “soak” and “scrub” projected to clean up all genes, which substantially means awareness of toxins in the environments and all things we must stay away, or doing right and necessity of detoxification, and if we keep this protocol or other clean protocols for the life, we can keep our gene clean and properly functioning.
The book has also a profile and personalities match where we can identify what eventually SNPs are associated to that type of symptomatology or behavior; in addition there are questionnaires related for each SNPs; after founding the eventual SNPs we might have we can start to check for the appropriate suggestions for scrubbing and cleaning, the right protocol and diet to follow.
As already mentioned, dirty MTHFR are the most common of all SNPs. Usually are associate with hypothyroidism, and variety of more condition as intolerance to alcohol, or difficulty to get pregnant, children with autism spectrum or Down Syndrome, tendency to blood clots, low white blood cells count (WBC), high levels of homocysteine, vitamin B12 and folates.
MTHFR runs in families, for if there are problems related to mood swings they will be in the family too; with this deficit there are days where focus is at the max and we feel great, and, unfortunately, days with poor concentration, moods, or apathy, or even exhaustion.
If MTHFR was born dirty it can have more than one hundred SNPs.
There are people that even if were born with 30% of dysfunction of this gene do not have symptoms or may develop conditions, the doctor thinks that Italians because of healthy eating and lifestyle are some of these.
The other way to learn about genetic variations or SNPs is through the well-known genetic test “23 and Me”, in this case the data interpretation, for what is my knowledge, can be done thanks to Dr. Lynch’s system called “Strate Gene”, or Dr. Peter D’Adamo’s system, the “Opus 23”.
Either way we would still need a protocol to follow and both these scientists are worth of trust and respect to follow either one protocols and suggestions.
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Thanks for reading.