It’s all a question of genes
Do you know your genome? The blueprint that is stored in all your cells and that makes you a human being? And what does that have to do with HPU? Quite a lot! Because as varied as the symptoms of HPU can be, HPU sufferers have one thing in common: they are bad detoxifiers. But where exactly are the weak points in your personal metabolism? In detoxification phase I or II, in methylation or somewhere else entirely? Which active form of vitamin B12 is the right one for your metabolism? Methylcobalamin or Adenosylcobalamin? What genetic predispositions are dormant in your genome? With which nutrients can you support your metabolism particularly well, what should you better avoid? A genetic test will give you answers to all these questions.
Genetic testing in Germany
Laboratories in Germany analyse your genes – but not all of them and in most cases you have to pay for each gene individually. For example, 5 to 10 genes quickly add up to around 1,000 euros. The big advantage of this is that in Germany your genetic data, like other medical examinations, are subject to strict data protection regulations.
Genetic tests from the USA and England
In the USA, extensive gene analyses are already available for 90 to 300 Euros. However, the US providers “23andme” and “Ancestry” already made headlines because they had sold their customers’ data to pharmaceutical companies.
The “MTHFR-Genetics” test laboratory in England excludes the disclosure of the data in its data protection guidelines. As a self-tester, it currently provides the most comprehensive test on the European market, with around 650,000 SNPs analysed. With the discount code “HPUGER“ a test there is available for 173.99 pounds (= approx. 198 Euro) instead of 189 pounds. The evaluation of the data is also very user friendly. In addition to the raw data, the user receives a “variation report” in which about 250 SNPs are examined in detail in English. All statements on the SNP constellations are backed by scientific studies and clearly presented. A good basis for becoming familiar with the topic of genes and their effects on metabolism is the book “Dirty genes” by the American physician Dr. Ben Lynch.
How a genetic test works
The procedure of a genetic test is simple: After purchasing the test on the websites of the providers, the customer receives a test kit by mail, which he can use to send a saliva sample back to the laboratory. A few weeks later, the result is sent by email.
What is tested there, however, is not the complete genetic code. This is about polymorphisms, more precisely single nucleotide polymorphisms, abbreviated as SNP, spoken as “snip”. What is that anyway? To understand this, we must first take a look at our genome, the totality of our genetic information.
Do we all have the same genetic code?
No, but almost! Of the 3 billion base pairs in our genome, 99.9% are identical in all humans. With chimpanzees, the similarity is 98.5%.
The genetic differences that are responsible for our different looks, our different abilities, likes and dislikes, but also for our state of health, are called polymorphisms. According to current knowledge, there are about 10 million of these in the human genome.
A polymorphism is the occurrence of several gene variants within a population.
The best studied polymorphism is the SNP. Here, one base (heterozygous) or both bases (homozygous) at one point in the genetic code is different from the rest of the general population. Each person has about 1 million SNPs.
Are SNPs harmful to health?
No, that cannot be answered in such a generalized way. While most SNPs do not affect our lifes very much, some SNPs can have a significant impact on our physical and mental health. In principle, SNPs can influence us both positively and negatively. Some can even be positive AND negative.
An example of SNPs with a major impact on the body are the SNPs in the MTHFR gene. They are particularly common in HPUs.
The MTHFR gene
THFR is a particularly important gene because it influences the methylation cycle in the body. The body provides genes, enzymes and biochemical substances with methyl groups (chemical -CH3) that they absolutely need for their functionality. SNPs in the MTHFR gene can have far-reaching consequences, since the MTHFR-controlled methylation cycle supplies at least 200 processes in the body with methyl. Disorders can manifest themselves in:
- a low energy level,
- Fear, dizziness,
- Chemical sensitivity,
- a fiery temperament,
- a low white blood cell count,
- a poor tolerance of alcohol,
- strong side effects with laughing gas (nitrous oxide),
- increased homocysteine levels in the blood (> 12 µmol/L),
but also in positive qualities like:
- very good power of concentration,
- good DNA repair,
- high performance (“nerd”) and
- a reduced risk of colon cancer.einem niedrigen Energielevel,
The gene MTHFR codes for an enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. The best-studied SNPs in the MTHFR gene are A1298C and C677T. Using C677T as an example, it quickly becomes clear how strongly a homozygous (both bases altered) or a heterozygous (one base altered) SNP influences the activity of the enzyme at this site:
Genes are not fate
Genes are not a fate into which we have to submit powerlessly. Dr. Ben Lynch describes this very vividly in his book “Dirty Genes” : “Italy has a high rate of a SNP type that lowers the MTHFR function to 30 percent. Most Italians, even pregnant women, do not take a dietary supplement containing B vitamins. And yet there are few children in Italy who are born with the birth defects typical of MTHFR SNPs”. Why? It’s because of the vegetable-rich diet, sunny Italy and the sociable, stress-reducing lifestyle of Italians.