SHMT Gene And The Methylation Cycle

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SHMT Gene And The Methylation Cycle

Date of Content: May 23, 2024
Written by: Avanthika Nityanand
Reviewed by: Maarit Tiirikainen, PhD

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The SHMT gene encodes the enzyme serine hydroxymethyltransferase, an enzyme essential for amino acid metabolism and nucleotide synthesis. This enzyme catalyzes the conversion of serine and tetrahydrofolate (THF) to glycine and 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate (5,10-MTHF). This reaction is essential for various biosynthetic processes, including the methylation cycle and the synthesis of  the nucleotides, the DNA and RNA building blocks. 

The SHMT enzyme supports also the production of thymidylate and purines, which are crucial for cell division and genetic stability. It contributes to the pool of methyl groups needed for methylation reactions that regulate gene expression and protein function. Genetic variations in the SHMT gene can affect itsenzyme activity, influencing folate metabolism, homocysteine levels, and overall cellular health. These variations are associated with cardiovascular diseases, neural tube defects, and certain cancers, underscoring the gene’s importance in maintaining metabolic balance and preventing disease.

Overview of the Methylation Cycle

The central theme of the methylation cycle is the conversion of homocysteine, a potentially harmful substance, to methionine, an essential amino acid. The methylation cycle helps keep your homocysteine levels in check. High homocysteine levels can lead to several health issues.

Here are the steps in the methylation cycle involving key enzymes and intermediates:

[1] Conversion of Serine to Glycine [we are here]

  • Enzyme: Serine Hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT)
  • Reaction: Serine + Tetrahydrofolate (THF) → Glycine + 5,10-Methylenetetrahydrofolate (5,10-MTHF)

[2] Conversion of 5,10-MTHF to 5-MTHF

  • Enzyme: Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR)
  • Reaction: 5,10-Methylenetetrahydrofolate (5,10-MTHF) → 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF)

[3] Conversion of Homocysteine to Methionine

  • Enzyme: Methionine Synthase (MTR)
  • Reaction: Homocysteine + 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) → Methionine + Tetrahydrofolate (THF)
  • Coenzyme: Methionine Synthase Reductase (MTRR) keeps MTR active

[4] Alternative Pathway for Homocysteine to Methionine

  • Enzyme: Betaine-Homocysteine Methyltransferase (BHMT)
  • Reaction: Homocysteine + Betaine → Methionine + Dimethylglycine

[5] Conversion of Methionine to SAM

  • Enzyme: Methionine Adenosyltransferase (MAT)
  • Reaction: Methionine + ATP → S-Adenosylmethionine (SAM)

[6] Methylation Reactions

  • SAM as Methyl Donor: SAM donates a methyl group to various substrates (DNA, RNA, proteins, lipids) and becomes S-Adenosylhomocysteine (SAH).

[7] Conversion of SAH to Homocysteine

  • Enzyme: S-Adenosylhomocysteine Hydrolase (SAHH)
  • Reaction: S-Adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) → Homocysteine + Adenosine

[8] Transsulfuration Pathway (Alternative route for homocysteine) 

  • Enzyme: Cystathionine Beta-Synthase (CBS)
  • Reaction: Homocysteine + Serine → Cystathionine
  • Subsequent Reaction: Cystathionine converts to cysteine and other metabolites.

Importance of Healthy Homocysteine Levels

Homocysteine levels are essential because elevated levels of homocysteine, a sulfur-containing amino acid, are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, including coronary artery disease, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease. High homocysteine levels can damage the lining of arteries, promote blood clot formation, and increase oxidative stress, all of which contribute to the development and progression of atherosclerosis. 

Additionally, elevated homocysteine is associated with other health issues such as cognitive decline, dementia, and certain birth flaws. Monitoring and managing homocysteine levels through diet, lifestyle changes, and, in some cases, medication can be crucial for maintaining cardiovascular health and preventing related complications.

SHMT

Overview of the Methylation Cycle

The central theme of the methylation cycle is the conversion of homocysteine, the harmful substance, to methionine, an essential amino acid. The methylation cycle helps keep your homocysteine levels in check. As discussed in the earlier section, high homocysteine levels can lead to several health issues.

Here are the steps in the methylation cycle involving key enzymes and intermediates:

[1] Conversion of Serine to Glycine

  • Enzyme: Serine Hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT)
  • Reaction: Serine + Tetrahydrofolate (THF) → Glycine + 5,10-Methylenetetrahydrofolate (5,10-MTHF)

[2] Conversion of 5,10-MTHF to 5-MTHF

  • Enzyme: Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR)
  • Reaction: 5,10-Methylenetetrahydrofolate (5,10-MTHF) → 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF)

[3] Conversion of Homocysteine to Methionine [we are here]

  • Enzyme: Methionine Synthase (MTR)
  • Reaction: Homocysteine + 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) → Methionine + Tetrahydrofolate (THF)
  • Coenzyme: Methionine Synthase Reductase (MTRR) keeps MTR active

[4] Alternative Pathway for Homocysteine to Methionine

  • Enzyme: Betaine-Homocysteine Methyltransferase (BHMT)
  • Reaction: Homocysteine + Betaine → Methionine + Dimethylglycine

[5] Conversion of Methionine to SAM

  • Enzyme: Methionine Adenosyltransferase (MAT)
  • Reaction: Methionine + ATP → S-Adenosylmethionine (SAM)

[6] Methylation Reactions

  • SAM as Methyl Donor: SAM donates a methyl group to various substrates (DNA, RNA, proteins, lipids) and becomes S-Adenosylhomocysteine (SAH).

[7] Conversion of SAH to Homocysteine

  • Enzyme: S-Adenosylhomocysteine Hydrolase (SAHH)
  • Reaction: S-Adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) → Homocysteine + Adenosine

[8] Transsulfuration Pathway (Alternative route for homocysteine)

  • Enzyme: Cystathionine Beta-Synthase (CBS)
  • Reaction: Homocysteine + Serine → Cystathionine
  • Subsequent Reaction: Cystathionine converts to cysteine and other metabolites.

SHMT Gene and the Methylation Cycle

The SHMT gene plays a critical role in the methylation cycle, a crucial biochemical pathway in DNA synthesis, repair, and gene regulation. The enzyme encoded by the SHMT gene, the serine hydroxymethyltransferase, catalyzes the conversion of serine and tetrahydrofolate (THF) to glycine and 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate (5,10-MTHF). This reaction is integral to one-carbon metabolism, which provides the necessary methyl groups for the methylation cycle.

Role of the SHMT Gene in the Methylation Cycle

Production of 5,10-Methylenetetrahydrofolate (5,10-MTHF)

The SHMT enzyme produces 5,10-MTHF andis a crucial intermediate that sets off the methylation cycle. 5,10-MTHF is essential for synthesizing nucleotides for DNA replication and repair.

Regeneration of Methionine from Homocysteine

In the methylation cycle, homocysteine converts back to methionine using methyl groups provided by 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF), derived from 5,10-MTHF. This step is critical for maintaining adequate levels of methionine and S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), the body’s primary methyl donor.

Support for Methylation Reactions

SAM, produced from methionine, is used in numerous methylation reactions, including DNA methylation, which regulates gene expression, as well as the methylation of proteins and lipids. The proper functioning of the SHMT enzyme ensures a steady supply of one-carbon units needed for these reactions.

Interplay with Folate Metabolism

The SHMT gene links the folate cycle with the methylation cycle. Folate (B9), in the form of THF, is required for the SHMT enzyme to produce 5,10-MTHF. Adequate folate levels are thus necessary for the proper function of the methylation cycle and overall cellular health.

Implications of SHMT Gene Polymorphisms

The SHMT1 gene C1420T polymorphism (rs1979277 C>T/G>A), which involves a change from cytosine (C) to thymine (T) at position 1420 in the SHMT1 gene, can impact health in several ways due to its role in one-carbon metabolism and the methylation cycle. Here are the key health impacts associated with this polymorphism:

Folate Metabolism

The serine hydroxymethyltransferase enzyme, encoded by the SHMT gene, converts serine and tetrahydrofolate (THF) to glycine and 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate (5,10-MTHF). This reaction is crucial for maintaining proper folate (B9) metabolism. The presence of the T allele at  the SHMT1 C1420T locus may influence the enzyme’s efficiency, potentially altering folate levels in the body.

Homocysteine Levels

The T-allele of the SHMT C1420T polymorphism is associated with higher homocysteine levels, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. This increase in homocysteine levels suggests that individuals with the T-allele may have a higher demand for folate to maintain normal homocysteine metabolism and prevent hyperhomocysteinemia.

Vitamin B12 Interaction

In vitamin B12 metabolism, the SHMT C1420T polymorphism may interact with other genetic factors and vitamin levels to influence health outcomes. Adequate intake of folate and vitamin B12 is essential to mitigate the potential unfavorable effects of this polymorphism.

Genotype-Specific Health Management

Individuals with the SHMT1 1420T allele (rs1979277-A) may benefit from personalized health management strategies, including dietary adjustments to ensure sufficient folate and vitamin B12 intake, regular monitoring of homocysteine levels, and preventive measures for cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.

Get your LifeDNA Methylation Genes report to understand your SHMT and other methylation gene polymorphisms in detail. 

Optimize Your Homocysteine Levels Naturally

To optimize homocysteine levels through diet, focus on the following strategies:

  • Increase Folate (Vitamin B9) Intake: Leafy greens (spinach, kale), legumes (beans, lentils), fruits (oranges, bananas), fortified cereals. Folate helps convert homocysteine into methionine, reducing its levels.
  • Boost Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) Intake: Meat (beef, chicken), fish (salmon, tuna), dairy products (milk, cheese), fortified plant-based milk or cereals. Vitamin B12 is crucial for converting homocysteine into methionine, helping to lower homocysteine levels.
  • Consume More Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Poultry (chicken, turkey), fish (salmon, tuna), potatoes, bananas, and fortified cereals. Vitamin B6 helps convert homocysteine to cysteine, another amino acid, lowering homocysteine levels.
  • Increase Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) Intake: Dairy products (milk, yogurt), eggs, lean meats, green leafy vegetables, and fortified cereals. Riboflavin supports the activity of enzymes involved in homocysteine metabolism.
  • Ensure Adequate Choline Intake: Eggs, beef liver, chicken, shrimp, and soybeans. Choline helps produce betaine, which aids in converting homocysteine to methionine.
  • Limit Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol can impair the function of enzymes involved in homocysteine metabolism and exacerbate high homocysteine levels.
  • Include Antioxidant-Rich Foods: Fruits (berries, oranges), vegetables (broccoli, bell peppers), nuts, and seeds. Antioxidants can help protect against oxidative stress, which may be high with homocysteine levels.
  • Consider Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel), flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. Omega-3 fatty acids tend to lower homocysteine levels and improve heart health.

Incorporating these nutrient-rich foods into your diet can help maintain healthy homocysteine levels and support overall cardiovascular health. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your diet or starting new supplements.

References

Customer Reviews

Christopher Devlin
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I am so impressed with this service. I have even discussed these recommendations with my health care providers and they are all impressed too! I can’t compare it with other services as I have only tried this but I recommend. Also I think I pulled my genetics in from ancestry too which was super convenient.
Lei'a
Lei'a
LifeDNA Customer
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Great source of information I was looking for a platform to make use of my existing raw data from Ancestry. I’m glad I found LifeDNA. I originally took a DNA test to learn about my roots and it’s great to know that my DNA could also play a big role in my health, diet, and even my skin. Overall, all the reports are incredible.
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It is crazy how I felt that I had a strong understanding of my bodies needs, but after having my DNA analyzed by the LifeDNA team, I realized that there was so much I still did not know.
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I got some pretty useful insight that helped me with my diet.
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*Understanding your genetics can offer valuable insights into your well-being, but it is not deterministic. Your traits can be influenced by the complex interplay involving nature, lifestyle, family history, and others.

Our reports have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The contents on our website and our reports are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to diagnose any medical condition, replace the advice of a healthcare professional, or provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes or if you have any other concerns about your results. The testimonials featured may have used more than one LifeDNA or LifeDNA vendors’ product or reports.

MTRR and MTR Genes and the Methylation Cycle

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MTRR and MTR Genes and the Methylation Cycle

Date of Content: May 21, 2024
Written by: Avanthika Nityanand
Reviewed by: Maarit Tiirikainen, PhD

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Disclaimer: This article does not include all possible risk variants for the MTRR and MTR and is only for informational purposes. This article is not intended for diagnosis. Please talk to a healthcare professional if you have symptoms associated with these variants.

Why is the Methylation Cycle Important For You?

The methylation cycle is essential for numerous biological processes and overall health. Protein methylation detoxifies harmful substances, including heavy metals and toxins, thus protecting the body and supporting liver function. 

Methylation  also affects neurotransmitter production and regulation, influencing mood, cognition, and mental health. The methylation cycle helps regulate homocysteine levels, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart disease and stroke. Furthermore, it is involved in energy production by synthesizing creatine and carnitine, both essential for metabolism and muscle function

Finally, methylation modulates the immune system, supporting the production and function of immune cells, which are crucial for combating infections and diseases. The methylation cycle is fundamental to many aspects of health and well-being.

Importance of Healthy Homocysteine Levels

Homocysteine levels are significant because elevated levels of homocysteine, a sulfur-containing amino acid, are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, including coronary artery disease, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease. High homocysteine levels can damage the lining of arteries, promote blood clot formation, and increase oxidative stress, all of which contribute to the development and progression of atherosclerosis. 

Additionally, elevated homocysteine is associated with other health issues such as cognitive decline, dementia, and certain birth flaws. Monitoring and managing homocysteine levels through diet, lifestyle changes, and, in some cases, medication, can be crucial for maintaining cardiovascular health and preventing related complications.

MTR and MTRR

Overview of the Methylation Cycle

The central theme of the methylation cycle is the conversion of homocysteine, the harmful substance, to methionine, an essential amino acid. The methylation cycle helps keep your homocysteine levels in check. As discussed in the earlier section, high homocysteine levels can lead to several health issues.

Here are the steps in the methylation cycle involving key enzymes and intermediates:

[1] Conversion of Serine to Glycine

  • Enzyme: Serine Hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT)
  • Reaction: Serine + Tetrahydrofolate (THF) → Glycine + 5,10-Methylenetetrahydrofolate (5,10-MTHF)

[2] Conversion of 5,10-MTHF to 5-MTHF

  • Enzyme: Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR)
  • Reaction: 5,10-Methylenetetrahydrofolate (5,10-MTHF) → 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF)

[3] Conversion of Homocysteine to Methionine [we are here]

  • Enzyme: Methionine Synthase (MTR)
  • Reaction: Homocysteine + 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) → Methionine + Tetrahydrofolate (THF)
  • Coenzyme: Methionine Synthase Reductase (MTRR) keeps MTR active

[4] Alternative Pathway for Homocysteine to Methionine

  • Enzyme: Betaine-Homocysteine Methyltransferase (BHMT)
  • Reaction: Homocysteine + Betaine → Methionine + Dimethylglycine

[5] Conversion of Methionine to SAM

  • Enzyme: Methionine Adenosyltransferase (MAT)
  • Reaction: Methionine + ATP → S-Adenosylmethionine (SAM)

[6] Methylation Reactions

  • SAM as Methyl Donor: SAM donates a methyl group to various substrates (DNA, RNA, proteins, lipids) and becomes S-Adenosylhomocysteine (SAH).

[7] Conversion of SAH to Homocysteine

  • Enzyme: S-Adenosylhomocysteine Hydrolase (SAHH)
  • Reaction: S-Adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) → Homocysteine + Adenosine

[8] Transsulfuration Pathway (Alternative route for homocysteine)

  • Enzyme: Cystathionine Beta-Synthase (CBS)
  • Reaction: Homocysteine + Serine → Cystathionine
  • Subsequent Reaction: Cystathionine converts to cysteine and other metabolites.

MTR and MTRR in the Methylation Cycle

The MTR and MTRR genes enter the methylation cycle in the third step, which is the conversion of homocysteine to methionine. Methionine is an essential amino acid that plays a crucial role in various bodily functions, including the synthesis of proteins, which are the building blocks of our cells. Methionine is also vital for SAM, a compound that helps with methylation, detoxifies harmful substances, and supports overall cell function. Foods rich in methionine include meat, fish, dairy products, nuts, and seeds.

The MTR gene  produces themethionine synthase enzyme crucial for the methylation cycle. This enzyme catalyzes the conversion of homocysteine, a potentially harmful amino acid, into methionine, an essential amino acid necessary for protein synthesis and other metabolic functions. Methionine is then converted into S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), a key methyl donor involved in numerous methylation reactions that regulate DNA synthesis, repair, and gene expression.

The MTRR gene, encodes for the methionine synthase reductase coenzyme which ensures the continuous activity of methionine synthase enzyme (encoded by the MTR gene). Methionine synthase can become inactive during the conversion of homocysteine to methionine, and methionine synthase reductase reactivates it, allowing the cycle to proceed smoothly. The MTR and MTRR genes maintain proper homocysteine levels and support the methylation cycle, which is vital for many cellular functions and overall health.

How This Can Affect You?

Polymorphisms in the MTR and MTRR genes can directly impact homocysteine levels, and  can therefore influence many health aspects.

Some studies have found that risk variants in the MTR and MTRR genes are associated with difficulties using methylcobalamin, a form of vitamin B12, and producing methionine. Methylcobalamin is a coenzyme that helps convert homocysteine to methionine. Individuals with these risk variants may have lower B12 levels because the MTR enzyme uses B12 more quickly. Vitamin B12 is crucial for DNA synthesis, cell division, red blood cell formation, energy production, mood regulation, and other essential bodily functions. Additionally, those with the risk variants may have higher homocysteine levels, particularly if their B12 levels are low, and elevated homocysteine levels have been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular problems.

A 2007 study examined the association between MTR (A2756G, rs1805087 A>G) and MTRR (A66G, rs1801394 A>G) gene polymorphisms and levels of total homocysteine in 275 healthy women in labor who delivered full-term normal babies. Results showed that the MTR and MTRR genotypes could predict total homocysteine levels, sometimes depending on the serum folate or cobalamin levels. However, women with  MTR 2756AA had statistically significantly higher total homocysteine levels independently of the other factors. 

Get your LifeDNA Methylation Genes report to understand your MTR, MTRR and other methylation gene polymorphisms in detail. 

Optimize Your Homocysteine Levels Naturally

To optimize homocysteine levels through diet, focus on the following strategies:

  • Increase Folate (Vitamin B9) Intake: Leafy greens (spinach, kale), legumes (beans, lentils), fruits (oranges, bananas), fortified cereals. Folate helps convert homocysteine into methionine, reducing its levels.
  • Boost Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) Intake: Meat (beef, chicken), fish (salmon, tuna), dairy products (milk, cheese), fortified plant-based milk or cereals. Vitamin B12 is crucial for converting homocysteine into methionine, helping to lower homocysteine levels.
  • Consume More Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Poultry (chicken, turkey), fish (salmon, tuna), potatoes, bananas, and fortified cereals. Vitamin B6 helps convert homocysteine to cysteine, another amino acid, lowering homocysteine levels.
  • Increase Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) Intake: Dairy products (milk, yogurt), eggs, lean meats, green leafy vegetables, and fortified cereals. Riboflavin supports the activity of enzymes involved in homocysteine metabolism.
  • Ensure Adequate Choline Intake: Eggs, beef liver, chicken, shrimp, and soybeans. Choline helps produce betaine, which aids in converting homocysteine to methionine.
  • Limit Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol can impair the function of enzymes involved in homocysteine metabolism and exacerbate high homocysteine levels.
  • Include Antioxidant-Rich Foods: Fruits (berries, oranges), vegetables (broccoli, bell peppers), nuts, and seeds. Antioxidants can help protect against oxidative stress, which may be high with homocysteine.
  • Consider Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel), flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. Omega-3 fatty acids have been associated with lower homocysteine levels and improved heart health.

Incorporating these nutrient-rich foods into your diet can help maintain healthy homocysteine levels and support overall cardiovascular health. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your diet or starting new supplements.

References

Customer Reviews

Christopher Devlin
Christopher Devlin
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I am so impressed with this service. I have even discussed these recommendations with my health care providers and they are all impressed too! I can’t compare it with other services as I have only tried this but I recommend. Also I think I pulled my genetics in from ancestry too which was super convenient.
Lei'a
Lei'a
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
Great source of information I was looking for a platform to make use of my existing raw data from Ancestry. I’m glad I found LifeDNA. I originally took a DNA test to learn about my roots and it’s great to know that my DNA could also play a big role in my health, diet, and even my skin. Overall, all the reports are incredible.
Shiraz Dole
Shiraz Dole
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
It is crazy how I felt that I had a strong understanding of my bodies needs, but after having my DNA analyzed by the LifeDNA team, I realized that there was so much I still did not know.
Doc Sheila Lim
Doc Sheila Lim
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I got some pretty useful insight that helped me with my diet.
Previous
Next

*Understanding your genetics can offer valuable insights into your well-being, but it is not deterministic. Your traits can be influenced by the complex interplay involving nature, lifestyle, family history, and others.

Our reports have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The contents on our website and our reports are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to diagnose any medical condition, replace the advice of a healthcare professional, or provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes or if you have any other concerns about your results. The testimonials featured may have used more than one LifeDNA or LifeDNA vendors’ product or reports.

How Genetics May Influence Friendship Satisfaction

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How Genetics May Influence Friendship Satisfaction

Date of Content: April 16, 2024
Written by: Harvey Talento
Reviewed by: Maarit Tiirikainen, PhD

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What is Friendship Satisfaction?

Friendship satisfaction refers to a person’s perception of the overall quality of their relationships with friends. It is an important indicator of a person’s subjective well-being, as friendships serve many important functions in a person’s life, such as providing companionship, help, intimacy, reliable alliance, self-validation, and emotional security

Research on friendship satisfaction can be broadly classified into two categories:

  1. Identifying the predictors of friendship satisfaction. The social provisions perspective suggests that the level of satisfaction with friendships is determined by the extent to which they fulfill the various needs of an individual.
  2. Examining the outcomes of friendship satisfaction. Studies have found that strong, high-quality friendships are associated with higher life satisfaction, even for people who are dissatisfied with their romantic relationships.

Friendship satisfaction has also been linked to lower levels of depression, anxiety, and hostility, as well as higher self-esteem and psychosocial adjustment.

Friendship satisfaction

Signs of Friendship Satisfaction

The key signs of friendship satisfaction involve a sense of mutual care, trust, intimacy, and fulfillment in the relationship, rather than it being one-sided or convenience-based.

  • Mutual support and reciprocity: Satisfied friendships involve a balance of giving and receiving support, where both friends make efforts to help each other when needed. 
  • Open communication and emotional intimacy: Satisfied friends feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, feelings, and personal information with each other. They listen with empathy and don’t dominate the conversation. 
  • Shared interests and enjoyment of each other’s company: Satisfied friends have common hobbies, activities, or interests that they can bond over and genuinely enjoy spending time together. 
  • Reliability and dependability: Satisfied friends can count on each other and trust that their friends will follow through on plans and be there for them. They don’t frequently cancel or forget plans.
  • Mutual respect and consideration: Satisfied friends respect each other’s opinions, priorities, and boundaries. They consider each other’s needs and preferences when making decisions.
  • Absence of one-sided or exploitative behavior: In satisfied friendships, neither friend takes advantage of the other or expects them to be constantly available to fulfill their needs. The relationship is balanced.

The Genetics of Friendship Satisfaction

Recently, research studies have found that genetics can be a major factor in friendships. 

A 2022 GWAS that studied more than 269,000 individuals of white British ancestry found genetic variants associated specifically with friendship satisfaction. 

While individual genes and genetic variants in specific genes could be associated with a person’s level of satisfaction in friendships, another approach for determining a person’s genetic likelihood for a trait is to use a PRS (Polygenic Risk Score), which comes from a combination of multiple SNPs that together play a role in the genetic association. LifeDNA’s high-density SNP signature for the Friendship Satisfaction Trait has been developed from a set of 659 SNPs that together play a role in fluid intelligence (note: only 15 top SNPs are displayed on our report).

Genetic variants in some interesting genes were found to be associated with friendship satisfaction. These include SEMA6A (rs563598) and SEMA6B (rs32972). These two genes encode for different members of a large family of Semaphorins, which include both secreted and membrane-associated proteins, many of which have been implicated to have important roles in neuronal growth processes in the brain.

Non-Genetic Factors Influencing Friendship Satisfaction

Factors influencing friendship satisfaction can be diverse and multifaceted, encompassing various aspects of the relationship dynamics. Based on the provided sources, some key factors that influence friendship satisfaction include:

  • Communication and Self-Disclosure: Effective communication and the ability to share thoughts, feelings, and personal information openly contribute to friendship satisfaction. Mutual self-disclosure fosters intimacy and trust in friendships.
  • Similarity and Shared Interests: Having common values, interests, and aspirations with a friend can enhance satisfaction in the relationship. Shared experiences and activities create a sense of connection and enjoyment.
  • Reciprocity and Mutual Interest: Friendships characterized by reciprocal candor, mutual interest, and personableness, where both friends show genuine interest in each other and reciprocate kindness and sincerity, tend to be more satisfying.
  • Physical Attraction and Attractiveness: While not the sole determinant, physical attraction, and perceived attractiveness can influence friendship chemistry and satisfaction.
  • Parental Relationships and Emotional Regulation: The quality of parental relationships, especially with the mother, and the ability to regulate emotions play a significant role in predicting satisfaction with friendship networks. Conflict between parents can also impact friendship satisfaction.
  • Individual Factors like Shyness, Self-Esteem, and Social Skills: Personal characteristics such as shyness, self-esteem, social skills, and defensive pessimism can affect the formation and quality of friendships, thereby influencing satisfaction levels.

How to Improve Friendship Satisfaction

Friendship satisfaction requires effort from both sides. It is possible to cultivate deeper and more satisfying friendships. To increase your friendship satisfaction, consider the following tips:

  • Foster open and honest communication with your friends. Share your thoughts, feelings, and needs, and encourage them to do the same. Effective communication helps build understanding, resolve conflicts, and strengthen the bond between friends.
  • Handle conflicts constructively and address any issues that arise. Approach disagreements with empathy, active listening, and a willingness to find a resolution that satisfies both parties.
  • Prioritize spending quality time together. Engage in activities you both enjoy, have meaningful conversations, and create shared experiences.
  • Invest time and effort in maintaining and nurturing the friendship. Reach out regularly, make plans to meet, and show interest in their lives.
  • Manage your expectations. Recognize that no friendship is perfect. Focus on appreciating the positive aspects of the friendship rather than dwelling on minor shortcomings

The LifeDNA Personality & Cognition Report

In a world where understanding ourselves is crucial for meaningful connections, the LifeDNA Personality & Cognition Report offers an invaluable tool for enhancing your connection with yourself and others – including friendship satisfaction. By diving deep into your unique personality traits and cognitive strengths, this report provides personalized insights that can revolutionize your way of knowing yourself better and your approach to relationships. 

Armed with a deeper understanding of your communication style, emotional triggers, and conflict resolution strategies, you’ll be better equipped to navigate social dynamics and foster deeper connections with others. Get your report today!

You may also like: Does Your Genetics Influence Your Social Life?

Summary

  • Friendship satisfaction refers to how someone perceives the quality of their friendships, which greatly influences their well-being. It involves feelings of companionship, support, intimacy, and emotional security.
  • Friendship satisfaction is characterized by mutual support, open communication, shared interests, reliability, respect, and the absence of exploitation or one-sided behavior.
  • While genetics can play a role in personality traits that affect friendships, non-genetic factors like communication, shared interests, reciprocity, physical attraction, parental relationships, and other individual traits also significantly influence friendship satisfaction.
  • Improving friendship satisfaction involves fostering open communication, handling conflicts constructively, spending quality time together, investing in the relationship, and managing expectations. It requires effort from both parties to nurture and maintain fulfilling friendships.

References

  1. https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_1090
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10902-022-00502-9
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/beware-the-one-sided-friendship
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10086127/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4470381/
  6. https://scholarscompass.vcu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3118&context=etd
  7. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jpr.12201

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I am so impressed with this service. I have even discussed these recommendations with my health care providers and they are all impressed too! I can’t compare it with other services as I have only tried this but I recommend. Also I think I pulled my genetics in from ancestry too which was super convenient.
Lei'a
Lei'a
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
Great source of information I was looking for a platform to make use of my existing raw data from Ancestry. I’m glad I found LifeDNA. I originally took a DNA test to learn about my roots and it’s great to know that my DNA could also play a big role in my health, diet, and even my skin. Overall, all the reports are incredible.
Shiraz Dole
Shiraz Dole
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
It is crazy how I felt that I had a strong understanding of my bodies needs, but after having my DNA analyzed by the LifeDNA team, I realized that there was so much I still did not know.
Doc Sheila Lim
Doc Sheila Lim
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I got some pretty useful insight that helped me with my diet.
Previous
Next

*Understanding your genetics can offer valuable insights into your well-being, but it is not deterministic. Your traits can be influenced by the complex interplay involving nature, lifestyle, family history, and others.

Our reports have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The contents on our website and our reports are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to diagnose any medical condition, replace the advice of a healthcare professional, or provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes or if you have any other concerns about your results. The testimonials featured may have used more than one LifeDNA or LifeDNA vendors’ product or reports.

New Study: NK-Cell Dysfunction Markers Linked To AD?

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New Study: NK-Cell Dysfunction Markers Linked To AD?

Date of Content: April 25, 2024
Written by: Avanthika Nityanand
Reviewed by: Maarit Tiirikainen, PhD

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Disclaimer: This article is meant for informational purposes only. LifeDNA does not offer clinical analyses nor diagnoses for any conditions discussed herein or otherwise.

The study: https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/immunology/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2024.1360687/full

Background

Dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease (AD), which constitutes 60% to 80% of cases, is becoming increasingly common due to the aging population, with projections indicating up to 152 million affected individuals by 2050

Alzheimer’s is marked by a gradual decline in cognitive functions, including memory loss, language deterioration, and changes in personality and mood, making its prevention and treatment a global challenge. There is a pressing need for biological markers that can aid in early diagnosis, differentiate between types of dementia, and predict disease outcomes. 

Aging, as the primary risk factor for AD, brings about physiological degradation and increases susceptibility to various conditions, including neurodegenerative disorders. Research suggests that aging contributes to AD through the accumulation of senescent cells which promote pathological changes by releasing inflammatory factors.

Recent advancements in the study of AD focus on the immune system’s role in its progression, particularly the involvement of Tau protein and T cells, including cytotoxic T cells observed in affected brain areas. 

Techniques like single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) and T cell receptor (TCR) sequencing (scTCR-seq) have linked CD8 T cells to age-related AD progression. The integration of multi-omics approaches provides a comprehensive molecular insight, enhancing understanding of AD pathogenesis and helping to identify potential biomarkers. 

Furthermore, studies have shown natural killer (NK) cells play a crucial role in the immune surveillance of aging. They help mitigate inflammation, clear harmful proteins and damaged neurons, and are pivotal in managing inflammation and protein accumulation in the brain. This has led to clinical trials exploring NK cell therapies in AD patients, showing promising results in stabilizing or improving patient conditions. 

Hence, there’s an ongoing effort to delve deeper into the role of NK cells in aging and AD, leveraging biomarkers for early diagnosis and potentially curative treatments, alongside exploring the developmental trajectories of NK cells across different age groups through advanced genetic and cellular analysis.

New Study

Gaps in Alzheimer’s Genetic Research

Genetic studies on AD have provided significant insights but also face several critical gaps that hinder a fuller understanding and more effective treatment strategies. Here are some of the main gaps in current genetic studies of Alzheimer’s:

Limited Genetic Diversity

Only a few  genetic research studies on Alzheimer’s has been conducted on populations of European descent. This limits the applicability of findings to global populations, particularly given the genetic, environmental, and lifestyle variations across different racial/ethnic groups. More studies involving diverse populations are essential to uncover relevant genetic markers and risk factors specific to various ancestries.

Complex Genetic Interactions

Alzheimer’s disease is influenced by multiple genes, and the interactions between these genes can be complex. Current studies often fail to fully capture the interplay between genetic factors and how they contribute to disease risk, progression, and response to treatment.

Polygenic Risk Factors

While significant progress has been made in identifying major genes associated with Alzheimer’s, such as APOE ε4, many other genetic factors likely contribute to the disease in a polygenic manner. Other less known genes and their variants often have small individual effects that are difficult to detect with current study designs and sample sizes.

Integration with Environmental and Lifestyle Factors

There is a need for better integration of genetic data with environmental and lifestyle factors. Alzheimer’s disease is influenced by a complex interaction of genetic predispositions with factors such as diet, physical activity, exposure to toxins, and other lifestyle choices. Few studies comprehensively integrate these aspects to provide a holistic view of risk and progression.

Epigenetic Factors

Epigenetics plays a crucial role in gene expression without altering the DNA sequence. Changes in epigenetic patterns can significantly impact the development and progression of Alzheimer’s, yet this area remains underexplored compared to direct genetic studies.

Rare Variants

Current studies often focus on common genetic variants with minor effects. Rare variants might have significant impacts on disease risk and manifestation but are challenging to detect without large sample sizes or specialized study designs.

Results of the Study

NK cells, known for their dual functions in cytotoxicity and immune regulation, play a crucial role in managing infections, malignant tumors, and senescent cells (old or dying cells). 

Interestingly, while the number of these cells increases with age, their functionality declines, potentially due to decreased cytokine (protein-based immune signaling molecules) secretion and cell toxicity. This study suggests that senescent cells activate immune responses, and the NK cells respond by eliminating these cells through direct killing or secretion of cytokines.

Further, through Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis based on a cell trajectory model developed from different age groups, the study points to CHD6 as a potential gene influencing AD. CHD6, involved in DNA damage response and chromatin remodeling, is speculated to affect transcriptional activities linked to AD progression. 

How the Study Addresses Gaps in AD Research

By focusing on the role of NK cells, which increase in number but decrease in functionality with age, the study enhances the understanding of the immune system’s involvement in AD. This addresses the complex interplay between genetics and the immune system, showing how genetic predispositions can influence immune responses, potentially leading to AD progression or influencing its severity. This insight into immune-genetic interactions is crucial for developing targeted therapies that can modulate immune functions in AD.

Furthermore, the research uses advanced techniques like single-cell RNA sequencing and Mendelian randomization to investigate the role of specific genes like CHD6 in the context of AD, bridging the gap between genetic predispositions and cellular behavior. This methodological approach helps in pinpointing specific genetic pathways that contribute to AD, beyond the common genetic markers like APOE ε4. 

This studyprovides a more nuanced understanding of how aging-related genetic changes impact cellular functions and disease progression, potentially leading to the identification of new therapeutic targets and personalized treatment strategies based on an individual’s genetic and cellular profile. This aligns with the need for pharmacogenomic studies in AD, aiming to tailor treatments to genetic and cellular characteristics that may vary from one individual to another.

Possible Drawbacks of the Study

Despite the insightful findings, the study faces several limitations such as data derived solely from peripheral blood mononuclear cells. These cells may not fully represent the cellular or molecular processes occurring in other tissues, especially in diseases primarily affecting specific organs or systems, like AD.

Further, the study relied on single-cell analysis from an Asian population, and the use of GWAS data from a European cohort. 

These factors could affect the generalizability and reliability of the findings. To overcome these limitations, further studies involving larger and more diverse populations are recommended, alongside continued exploration of the underlying mechanisms and potential therapeutic targets in AD.

References

  1. https://www.who.int/news/item/07-12-2017-dementia-number-of-people-affected-to-triple-in-next-30-years#:~:text=As%20the%20global%20population%20ages,to%20152%20million%20by%202050.
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35216123/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10141847/
  4. https://www.ajmc.com/view/nk-cell-therapy-snk01-improves-cognitive-function-in-alzheimer-disease-for-up-to-11-weeks
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10615750/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7536832/
  7. https://www.cdc.gov/genomics/disease/mendelian_randomization.htm#:~:text=Mendelian%20randomization%20can%20be%20used,%2C%20smoking%2C%20or%20alcohol%20use.

Customer Reviews

Christopher Devlin
Christopher Devlin
LifeDNA Customer
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I am so impressed with this service. I have even discussed these recommendations with my health care providers and they are all impressed too! I can’t compare it with other services as I have only tried this but I recommend. Also I think I pulled my genetics in from ancestry too which was super convenient.
Lei'a
Lei'a
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
Great source of information I was looking for a platform to make use of my existing raw data from Ancestry. I’m glad I found LifeDNA. I originally took a DNA test to learn about my roots and it’s great to know that my DNA could also play a big role in my health, diet, and even my skin. Overall, all the reports are incredible.
Shiraz Dole
Shiraz Dole
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
It is crazy how I felt that I had a strong understanding of my bodies needs, but after having my DNA analyzed by the LifeDNA team, I realized that there was so much I still did not know.
Doc Sheila Lim
Doc Sheila Lim
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I got some pretty useful insight that helped me with my diet.
Previous
Next

*Understanding your genetics can offer valuable insights into your well-being, but it is not deterministic. Your traits can be influenced by the complex interplay involving nature, lifestyle, family history, and others.

Our reports have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The contents on our website and our reports are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to diagnose any medical condition, replace the advice of a healthcare professional, or provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes or if you have any other concerns about your results. The testimonials featured may have used more than one LifeDNA or LifeDNA vendors’ product or reports.

Understanding 23andMe’s New Historical Matches Feature

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Understanding 23andMe’s New Historical Matches Feature

Date of Content: April 24, 2024
Written by: Avanthika Nityanand
Reviewed by: Maarit Tiirikainen, PhD

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23andMe has a new premium feature in their service that can reveal whether individuals are genetically related to historical figures. 23andMe’s new Historical Matches feature includes famous names such as Ludwig Van Beethoven. It also includes historically significant profiles such as a high-status Viking woman from the 9th century, an African female hunter-gatherer, or a Caquetio man from Curaçao dating back to pre-colonial times. 23andMe analyzes DNA to identify potential links between present-day individuals and their ancestors, offering insights into personal and human history. This scientific process helps individuals understand their ancestry by connecting them with past cultures and populations.

This new feature is available through its 23andMe+ Premium service. This feature allows users to identify potential genetic links to 335 historical figures by finding identical DNA segments that suggest a shared ancestor. The aim is to give users a method to trace connections to their historical lineage.

The company plans to expand the feature by adding more historical genomes. It will provide users with additional opportunities to explore their connections to history.

Dan Chu, Chief Product Officer at 23andMe, stated that “Historical Matches” represents a significant advancement in detecting genetic connections between modern individuals and historical figures. The feature uses peer-reviewed scientific methods and in-depth data analysis.

23andMe is the first prominent DNA ancestry service to offer genetic matching at this level with historical figures.

23andme's Historical Matches

How does 23andMe Match to Historical Figures?

Research by Harvard population geneticist David Reich and Svante Pääbo, a Nobel Prize winner at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, has contributed to understanding ancient human populations, migration patterns, and the relationship between Neanderthals and modern humans. Their work has challenged traditional views on human history and migration and also provided insights into disease origins that may lead to new treatments.

23andMe’s Historical Matches feature extends beyond traditional ancestry tests that trace maternal or paternal lines. This new feature scans the entire genome to find identical DNA segments that link members to historical figures who lived hundreds or even thousands of years ago.

The process uses publicly available data, scientific research, and 23andMe’s relative-matching technology to establish these connections. Like the DNA Relatives feature, Historical Matches identifies potential links by finding shared DNA segments between 23andMe+ Premium members and historical figures. The system sets quality thresholds for the length of a shared DNA segment to minimize the likelihood of incorrect matches.

Members with a 23andMe+ Premium subscription may find that they have a connection to at least one historical figure, though, per 23andMe, these connections are generally distant. In some cases, the matches may indicate closer relationships.

Which Historical Figures Are Included?

The genomes included in 23andMe’s Historical Matches feature vary widely in age; some are from individuals who lived thousands of years ago, while others date back just a few centuries. Most remain anonymous, with notable exceptions such as Ludwig van Beethoven, who passed away in 1827.

The feature provides detailed reports on each historical individual, covering aspects of their lives, how they died, and the historical context of their times, including any artifacts found with them.

Beethoven’s genetic predispositions have been explored through DNA extracted from a lock of his hair. In 2023, researchers from the University of Cambridge and the Max Planck Institute published a study analyzing Beethoven’s genome to investigate his health issues, including hearing loss, liver disease, and gastrointestinal problems.

That same year, researchers from Harvard, the Smithsonian, and 23andMe analyzed the DNA of 27 African Americans, both enslaved and freed, who worked at a Maryland iron furnace during the American Revolution and the 19th century. Published in the journal Science, the study unveils the overlooked history of these individuals. It sets the ethical and technical benchmark for studying such burial sites. Of these, the genomes of nine individuals were well-preserved, though their names are lost. The study provides insights into the harsh and often brutal conditions they endured.

Overall, the Historical Matches feature includes 335 historical figures, mostly anonymous. These individuals are grouped into different historical categories based on the original published studies, providing a narrative of their lives and times.

Which Historical Groups Are Included?

The Viking Age

During the 8th to 11th centuries, known as the Viking Age, seafaring people from Scandinavia traveled extensively, establishing settlements and trading across Europe and the North Atlantic.

Catoctin Furnace Ironworkers

The Catoctin Furnace Iron Workers consisted of enslaved and freed African American laborers who worked at one of the earliest industrial sites in the United States during the 18th and 19th centuries. This furnace produced iron goods, including artillery used during the siege of Yorktown and supplies for the Continental Army.

Iron Age Taiwan

In Taiwan, the Iron Age was when the indigenous Atayal people began utilizing metals, such as bronze, iron, and silver, for their tools and artifacts.

The Ancient Eurasian Steppe

The Eurasian Steppe is a vast expanse of grasslands extending from modern-day Hungary and Romania to Mongolia and China. It served as a significant route for human migration and played a crucial role in spreading the Indo-European languages.

The First Peoples of the Caribbean

This group includes the indigenous communities that inhabited the Caribbean region from around 1000 BC until the arrival of Spanish explorers in 1500 CE.

The Genomic Formation of South and Central Asia

Contemporary South Asian populations are primarily descendants of a mix of two ancient groups known as “Ancestral South Indians” and “Ancestral North Indians.” Ancestral South Indians emerged from an admixture of ancient Iranian farmers and southern Asian hunter-gatherers around 2000 BCE. Ancestral North Indians originated from pastoralists who inhabited the eastern Eurasian Steppe during the Bronze Age.

Late Stone Age and Iron Age South Africa

While Southern Africa is renowned for sites associated with early human ancestors dating back hundreds of thousands of years, it also has sites from more recent periods. The Late Stone Age has no definitive end date in this region. However, the Iron Age began around 200 CE with the arrival of Bantu-speaking peoples skilled in ironworking.

Ancient Northern Chinese Millet Farmers

The area between the Yellow River and the West Liao River hosted some of the world’s earliest complex agricultural societies, which cultivated millet. This cultivation and subsequent human migrations from the region helped establish millet as the staple crop of Northeast Asia nearly 8,000 years ago.

The Ancient City of Beirut

Beirut, Lebanon, has been continuously inhabited for over 5,000 years and was controlled by various empires including Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, and Ottoman. Each left a cultural but not always genetic legacy.

Is the 23andMe Historical Matches Worth It?

Several users on the Reddit forum have voiced a positive opinion on this new feature. 

A user who goes by the handle ThePikminLord found the closest match with a Norse woman from Greenland, with more shared DNA than 74% of users and another with an infant girl from the Faroe Islands, with shared DNA greater than that of 71% of 23andMe users

The user Icy-You9222 reported approximately seven matches, with three from Denmark, two from Sweden, one from Estonia, and one from Ukraine. The highest percentage of shared DNA was with a young woman from Denmark, at 0.10%. As a Black American female, her Ancestry DNA results showed about 5% Swedish and Danish heritage and 1% Norwegian, while 23andMe reported 2.6% Scandinavian ancestry. She noted that these results seem consistent with her ancient Viking ancestry and expressed enjoyment in learning about her genetic background.

References

  1. https://blog.23andme.com/articles/23andmes-historic-matches
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2842210/
  3. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/science-technology/the-nobel-for-svante-p-bo-is-an-attempt-to-redefine-modern-man-85353
  4. https://www.cam.ac.uk/stories/beethovens-dna-reveals-health-and-family-history-clues
  5. https://hms.harvard.edu/news/historical-dna-study-connects-living-people-enslaved
  6. https://en.natmus.dk/historical-knowledge/denmark/prehistoric-period-until-1050-ad/the-viking-age/
  7. https://www.nps.gov/cato/learn/historyculture/furnace.htm
  8. https://china.usc.edu/calendar/introduction-taiwan’s-indigenous-people-and-atayal-tayan-tribe
  9. https://www.reddit.com/r/23andme/comments/1b9b9tn/my_historical_matches_i_caved_in_and_bought/
  10. https://www.reddit.com/r/23andme/comments/1b9b9tn/comment/ktvalmv/

Customer Reviews

Christopher Devlin
Christopher Devlin
LifeDNA Customer
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I am so impressed with this service. I have even discussed these recommendations with my health care providers and they are all impressed too! I can’t compare it with other services as I have only tried this but I recommend. Also I think I pulled my genetics in from ancestry too which was super convenient.
Lei'a
Lei'a
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
Great source of information I was looking for a platform to make use of my existing raw data from Ancestry. I’m glad I found LifeDNA. I originally took a DNA test to learn about my roots and it’s great to know that my DNA could also play a big role in my health, diet, and even my skin. Overall, all the reports are incredible.
Shiraz Dole
Shiraz Dole
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
It is crazy how I felt that I had a strong understanding of my bodies needs, but after having my DNA analyzed by the LifeDNA team, I realized that there was so much I still did not know.
Doc Sheila Lim
Doc Sheila Lim
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I got some pretty useful insight that helped me with my diet.
Previous
Next

*Understanding your genetics can offer valuable insights into your well-being, but it is not deterministic. Your traits can be influenced by the complex interplay involving nature, lifestyle, family history, and others.

Our reports have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The contents on our website and our reports are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to diagnose any medical condition, replace the advice of a healthcare professional, or provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes or if you have any other concerns about your results. The testimonials featured may have used more than one LifeDNA or LifeDNA vendors’ product or reports.

The Genetics of Multitasking

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The Genetics of Multitasking

Date of Content: April 17, 2024
Written by: Harvey Talento
Reviewed by: Maarit Tiirikainen, PhD

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What is Multitasking?

Multitasking refers to the human ability to engage in and switch between multiple tasks or actions concurrently. This includes dual-tasking, where two tasks are performed simultaneously, and more complex forms of multitasking involving three or more tasks.

Research on the human ability to perform multitasking has examined the underlying cognitive mechanisms, including structural accounts of processing bottlenecks, cognitive flexibility in task switching, and the role of practice and experience in developing multitasking skills.

Experimental paradigms have also been developed to assess multitasking in more realistic settings, beyond simple dual-task scenarios. This allows for a more comprehensive understanding of the challenges and tradeoffs involved in human multitasking behaviors.

Multitasking

Common Misconceptions About Multitasking

In today’s fast-paced world, multitasking is often seen as a necessary skill for keeping up with the demands of modern life. However, common misconceptions about multitasking, listed below,  may be hindering rather than helping productivity and performance.

  • Multitasking Boosts Productivity: Contrary to popular belief, multitasking often leads to decreased performance compared to focusing on one task at a time. Many individuals overestimate their ability to multitask effectively.
  • Gender Disparity in Multitasking: Despite the stereotype that women excel at multitasking, research suggests otherwise. Male college students tend to have higher self-perceptions of their multitasking abilities, often agreeing with misconceptions about memory and attention more than their female counterparts.
  • No Negative Effects: Multitasking, especially when involving digital distractions, can impair memory and learning. Research indicates detrimental impacts on cognitive performance associated with multitasking.
  • Necessity of Multitasking: While common in modern life, multitasking is often counterproductive. Developing strategies to minimize multitasking and focus attention may yield better results.

Dispelling these misconceptions can lead to improved study habits and productivity.

How Genetics May Influence Multitasking

COMT Gene

 The Val158Met polymorphism (SNP rs4680)  in the COMT gene, has been extensively studied for its association with cognitive control functions. The valine (Val) to methionine (Met) substitution (Val158Met)influences the activity of the catechol-O-methyltransferase enzyme (COMT), which in turn affects dopamine (DA) levels in the prefrontal cortex (PFC).

A 2008 study provided early insights into how the COMT Val158Met polymorphism is associated with brain activation during tasks measuring cognitive stability and plasticity. The study found differential patterns of brain activation based on an individual’s genotype, suggesting that task characteristics may mediate the effects of the COMT gene on multitasking behavior. This implies that the COMT genotype can affect specific cognitive processes involved in multitasking.

Further research suggested that lower prefrontal cortex dopamine levels characterize individuals with the Val158 allele  (SNP rs4680-G) and may exhibit greater cognitive flexibility compared to the Met158 allele (rs4680-A) carriers. This suggests that low prefrontal dopamine levels promote cognitive flexibility, potentially influencing multitasking behavior.

Another research study from 2012 further supports the role of the COMT gene in attentional processes and executive control. The Met158 allele was found to be associated with lower COMT enzyme activity and enhanced PFC dopamine signaling which can lead to difficulties in tasks requiring cognitive and behavioral flexibility. 

All these studies indicate that individuals with certain unfavorable COMT genotypes may struggle with multitasking, particularly in situations where flexibility is required.

Another GWAS-based genetic variant associated with multitasking is SNP rs7165213, which is located in a long non-coding RNA, LINC02253. While the function of this transcript is not known, interestingly, it is highly expressed in the heart and brain. Research suggested that rs7165213 could regulate the expression of another proximal gene with an unknown function (FAM169B) in the frontal cortex.

Non-Genetic Factors Influencing Multitasking

The multifaceted nature of factors influencing multitasking encompasses demographic, personality, motivational,  school course-specific, and task-related dimensions. Understanding these factors is crucial for developing effective interventions to manage multitasking behavior.

  • Task characteristics: The interaction between multitasking and task characteristics, such as the task’s level of difficulty and cognitive load, can impact learning outcomes in virtual reality environments.

How to Multitask Effectively

Scientists say that doing more than one task at the same time is cognitively impossible; it’s just that the brain shifts its focus so fast, that you feel like you’re multitasking.

You may train yourself to effectively multitask especially at work or at school, by doing the following:

  • Work on related tasks together. If you need to multitask, then minimize the switching cost by bundling related tasks together. The more similar they are, the easier it will be for you to shift fluidly between them
  • Keep your to-do list visible. If you work in a chaotic office, create systems to ensure that important tasks or long-term projects don’t get neglected or forgotten. To stay on top of your work, remind yourself what really needs to get done. Post your to-do list in a prominent spot and rank it by priority. Color code or bold the most important tasks, and make sure you set aside enough time to address them.
  • Use downtime to review new information. One of the dangers of multitasking is that it gets in the way of your memory. If you have to skim an important document during a busy workday, take time to review it later that day. Reread it while you walk between meetings or commute home, and explain it back to yourself to make sure you understand it, and it will stick to your memory.

About the LifeDNA Personality & Cognition Report

Discover the intricacies of your personality and cognitive abilities with the LifeDNA Personality & Cognition Report. Gain insights into your unique traits and cognitive strengths, including your capacity for multitasking.

Armed with this knowledge, you can optimize your productivity and make informed decisions about your personal and professional life. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to uncover your true self and unleash your full potential! Get your report today!

Summary

  • Humans can engage in and switch between multiple tasks concurrently. Researchers investigate cognitive mechanisms and develop experimental paradigms to better understand multitasking challenges.
  • Multitasking often leads to decreased performance, contrary to common beliefs.
  •  The Val158Met polymorphism in the COMT gene influences cognitive flexibility and dopamine levels in the prefrontal cortex, affecting multitasking abilities. Different genotypes have been shown to have varying impacts on cognitive control.
  • Demographic, personality, cognitive, and task-related factors influence multitasking behavior. Gender, personality traits, cognitive beliefs, and task characteristics all play significant roles.
  • Effective multitasking tips include bundling related tasks, maintaining visible to-do lists, and utilizing downtime for reviewing information to enhance memory retention. Effective organization and memory strategies are crucial for optimizing multitasking performance.

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30025805/
  2. https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Handbook-of-Human-Multitasking/ca13993431869092ad23836689b7e76f244fc4f0
  3. https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/An-experimental-paradigm-for-the-assessment-of-Bock-Drescher/42789e21b468ba49cc09c60be8b39732fde26833
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29349506/
  5. https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Four-common-multicommunicating-misconceptions-Cameron-Webster/0dfa9db5f3a16fa42d3bfdc70b2e35235b928c19
  6. https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Gender-Predicts-Beliefs-and-Knowledge-about-among-Seymour-Erdynast/1992c308599e79f72a0d841a1fa16c8059889d33
  7. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0028393210001697?via%3Dihub
  8. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0028390811004679?via%3Dihub
  9. https://www.nature.com/articles/1301658
  10. https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Antecedents-of-smartphone-multitasking%3A-roles-of-Chen-Wang/a6e0c84b891613331bfeac9f536d1e520b681dc3
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35459431/
  12. https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Effect-of-multitasking-and-task-characteristics-on-Tugtekin-Odaba%C5%9F%C4%B1/d89c1c4a3f90651f31b0e29db25451bcf5cfa22c

Customer Reviews

Christopher Devlin
Christopher Devlin
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I am so impressed with this service. I have even discussed these recommendations with my health care providers and they are all impressed too! I can’t compare it with other services as I have only tried this but I recommend. Also I think I pulled my genetics in from ancestry too which was super convenient.
Lei'a
Lei'a
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
Great source of information I was looking for a platform to make use of my existing raw data from Ancestry. I’m glad I found LifeDNA. I originally took a DNA test to learn about my roots and it’s great to know that my DNA could also play a big role in my health, diet, and even my skin. Overall, all the reports are incredible.
Shiraz Dole
Shiraz Dole
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
It is crazy how I felt that I had a strong understanding of my bodies needs, but after having my DNA analyzed by the LifeDNA team, I realized that there was so much I still did not know.
Doc Sheila Lim
Doc Sheila Lim
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I got some pretty useful insight that helped me with my diet.
Previous
Next

*Understanding your genetics can offer valuable insights into your well-being, but it is not deterministic. Your traits can be influenced by the complex interplay involving nature, lifestyle, family history, and others.

Our reports have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The contents on our website and our reports are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to diagnose any medical condition, replace the advice of a healthcare professional, or provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes or if you have any other concerns about your results. The testimonials featured may have used more than one LifeDNA or LifeDNA vendors’ product or reports.

Your Tendency to Skip Breakfast: Genetic Predisposition or Lifestyle Choice?

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Your Tendency to Skip Breakfast: Genetic Predisposition or Lifestyle Choice?

Date of Content: April 2, 2024
Written by: Jess Gayo
Reviewed by: Maarit Tiirikainen, PhD

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Overview

Breakfast, often hailed as the most important meal of the day, has garnered significant attention in nutritional discourse. Yet, amidst the fervor for healthy eating habits, a notable phenomenon persists: breakfast skipping. Picture this — a rushed morning, a glance at the clock, and the decision to skip breakfast. But is this habit merely a consequence of lifestyle factors, or could there be a genetic reason for this behavior?

Why is Breakfast Considered the Most Important Meal of the Day?

Breakfast has earned its reputation as the most important meal of the day for several compelling reasons. After a night’s sleep, our bodies need to refuel and replenish essential nutrients to kickstart the day. Eating breakfast provides the necessary energy to fuel both physical and mental activities, enhancing productivity and concentration throughout the morning.

Breakfast consumption has also been linked to improved cognitive function and academic performance, especially in children and adolescents. Nutrient-rich breakfast options provide essential vitamins and minerals crucial for brain development and function, enhancing memory, attention, and problem-solving skills.

Breakfast skipping

Is Skipping Breakfast Harmful?

Skipping breakfast can have negative implications for both short-term and long-term health. In the short term, skipping breakfast can lead to decreased energy levels, reduced concentration, and increased feelings of hunger later in the day. This can result in overeating during subsequent meals, potentially leading to weight Increase over time.

Moreover, breakfast skipping has been linked to various metabolic disturbances, including impaired glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Consistently skipping breakfast may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, especially among individuals with genetic predispositions to the condition.

Furthermore, breakfast omission has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that individuals who regularly skip breakfast are more likely to have elevated blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and markers of inflammation, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.

For individuals with certain genetic variations related to appetite regulation and metabolism, skipping breakfast may exacerbate these risks. It is essential to consider both genetic predispositions and lifestyle factors when evaluating the potential harm of breakfast skipping. Overall, incorporating a balanced breakfast into your daily routine can contribute to better health outcomes in the long run.

Is Skipping Breakfast Genetic?

A recent 2019 study has shed light on the genetic factors influencing this morning habit. Researchers delved into the UK Biobank data, involving a whopping 193,860 participants, to uncover genetic variants associated with skipping breakfast.

What did they find? Six independent genetic variants stood out, each revealing intriguing insights. Among them were variants associated with genes connected to caffeine metabolism (ARID3B/rs35107470) ), carbohydrate processing (FGF21/rs637174), and even mental health conditions like schizophrenia (ZNF804A/rs12693399). Surprisingly, some of the six associated genes were linked to the circadian rhythm—the body’s internal clock—suggesting a biological basis for breakfast behaviors.

The study also unveiled associations between breakfast skipping and various health outcomes. Individuals genetically predisposed to skipping breakfast tended to have higher body mass index, more depressive symptoms and were more likely to smoke. On the flip side, those who identified as “evening people” were more prone to skipping breakfast, hinting at a bidirectional relationship between sleep patterns and morning eating habits.

These findings underscore the importance of breakfast in a healthy lifestyle. While genetics may play a role in our breakfast preferences, understanding these genetic influences can empower individuals to make informed choices about their eating habits. 

What Other Factors Can Affect Skipping Breakfast?

Environmental factors play a significant role in shaping an individual’s tendency to skip breakfast. While genetics may predispose someone to certain behaviors, environmental influences can either exacerbate or mitigate these tendencies. Here are several key environmental factors that can affect a person’s likelihood of skipping breakfast:

  1. Time Constraints: Busy schedules and hectic mornings are common reasons for skipping breakfast. When individuals are pressed for time, they may prioritize other tasks over-preparing or consuming breakfast. Factors such as early work or school start times, long commutes, or caregiver responsibilities can all contribute to time constraints in the morning.
  2. Accessibility and Availability of Food: The availability of breakfast foods in the home or workplace can influence whether someone chooses to eat breakfast. Limited access to nutritious breakfast options or a lack of time to prepare food can lead individuals to skip breakfast altogether. On the other hand, easy access to grab-and-go breakfast items or pre-prepared meals may encourage breakfast consumption.
  3. Socioeconomic Status: Socioeconomic factors, such as income level and education, can impact breakfast habits. Research suggests that individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are more likely to skip breakfast due to financial constraints or limited access to resources. Additionally, individuals with higher levels of education may be more aware of the health benefits of breakfast and prioritize its consumption.
  4. Cultural and Social Norms: Cultural traditions and social influences can shape attitudes toward breakfast. In some cultures, breakfast is considered a substantial and essential meal, while in others, it may be less emphasized or skipped altogether. Social factors, such as peer influence or workplace norms, can also impact breakfast behavior. For example, individuals may skip breakfast to align with colleagues or friends who do the same.
  5. Meal Planning and Preparation Skills: Effective meal planning and preparation skills can contribute to consistent breakfast consumption. Individuals who plan their meals ahead of time and have the necessary culinary skills are more likely to prioritize breakfast. Conversely, those who lack meal-planning skills or find cooking challenging may opt to skip breakfast.
  6. Dietary Habits and Preferences: Personal preferences and dietary habits play a crucial role in breakfast choices. Some individuals may simply not enjoy breakfast foods or prefer to eat later in the day. Additionally, dietary restrictions or preferences, such as vegetarianism or food intolerances, can influence breakfast choices and may lead to skipping breakfast if suitable options are not available.
  7. Psychological Factors: Psychological factors, such as stress, anxiety, or depression, can impact appetite and eating behaviors, including breakfast consumption. Individuals experiencing high levels of stress may be more likely to skip breakfast or engage in emotional eating patterns.

Understanding these environmental factors can help individuals identify potential barriers to breakfast consumption and make informed choices to promote healthier eating habits. By addressing these influences, individuals can create environments that support consistent breakfast consumption and overall well-being.

What are the Best Breakfast Options?

When it comes to choosing the best breakfast options, prioritizing nutrient-rich foods that provide sustained energy and essential vitamins and minerals is key. Here are some scientifically-backed breakfast options to consider:

  • Whole Grain Cereal or Oatmeal: Opt for whole grain cereals or oatmeal, which are high in fiber and complex carbohydrates. Fiber helps promote satiety and aids in digestion, while complex carbohydrates provide a steady release of energy throughout the morning. Look for options with minimal added sugars and top with fresh fruit or nuts for added nutrients.
  • Eggs: Eggs are a versatile and nutrient-dense breakfast choice, providing high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals. Research suggests that consuming eggs for breakfast can promote feelings of fullness and aid in weight management. Try scrambled eggs, omelets, or hard-boiled eggs paired with whole-grain toast and vegetables for a balanced meal.
  • Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is rich in protein, calcium, and probiotics, making it an excellent choice for breakfast. Protein helps keep you full and satisfied, while calcium supports bone health. Opt for plain Greek yogurt and add your own toppings, such as berries, nuts, or honey, to control added sugars.
  • Smoothies: Smoothies are a convenient and customizable breakfast option, allowing you to pack a variety of nutrients in one portable drink. Start with a base of leafy greens, such as spinach or kale, then add fruits, protein sources like Greek yogurt or protein powder, and healthy fats like nut butter or avocado. Blend until smooth for a quick and nutritious breakfast on the go.
  • Whole Grain Toast with Nut Butter: Whole-grain toast topped with nut butter, such as almond or peanut butter, is a satisfying and nutrient-rich breakfast option. Nut-based butter provides healthy fats, protein, and fiber, while whole-grain toast offers complex carbohydrates for sustained energy. Sprinkle with chia seeds or sliced banana for extra nutrients and flavor.
  • Fruit and Nut Bars: When pressed for time, fruit and nut bars can serve as a convenient breakfast option. Look for bars with minimal added sugars and ingredients you can pronounce. Aim for options made with whole grains, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit for a balanced combination of carbohydrates, protein, and fats.

By incorporating these nutrient-rich breakfast options into your morning routine, you can fuel your body with the essential nutrients it needs to thrive throughout the day. Experiment with different combinations to find what works best for you and your unique genetic makeup.

Is Skipping Dinner Better Than Skipping Breakfast?

While both skipping dinner and skipping breakfast can have potential implications for health, scientific evidence suggests that skipping breakfast may have more detrimental effects than skipping dinner. 

Breakfast consumption has been linked to improved cognitive function, academic performance, and mood regulation, particularly in children and adolescents. Skipping breakfast may lead to decreased energy levels, reduced concentration, and increased feelings of hunger later in the day, potentially resulting in overeating and poor food choices.

On the other hand, skipping dinner may not have as significant of an impact on metabolic health and cognitive function. While eating close to bedtime may affect digestion and sleep quality in some individuals, research on the effects of dinner skipping is less conclusive compared to breakfast skipping.

While individual preferences and lifestyle factors may influence meal-skipping behaviors, prioritizing a balanced breakfast may offer greater benefits for overall health and well-being compared to skipping dinner.

How Can You Include Breakfast While Fasting?

Incorporating breakfast while fasting can be achieved through various fasting protocols, such as intermittent fasting or time-restricted feeding. One popular approach is the 16/8 method, where individuals fast for 16 hours and consume all their meals within an 8-hour window. Here’s how you can include breakfast while fasting:

  • Adjust Your Eating Window: Shift your eating window earlier in the day to include breakfast. For example, if you typically start eating at noon, adjust your window to begin eating at 8 am, allowing you to enjoy some zero-calorie drinks within the fasting period.
  • Choose Fasting-Friendly Breakfast Foods: Select breakfast options that are low in calories and won’t break your fast. Examples include black coffee, herbal tea, water, and non-caloric beverages. These options can help curb hunger and provide some energy without interrupting the fasting process.
  • Opt for Low-Calorie Breakfasts: When breaking your fast, choose nutrient-dense, low-calorie breakfast foods to ease into eating without consuming a large meal. Options such as eggs, leafy greens, berries, and lean protein sources like turkey or tofu are ideal choices.
  • Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to your body’s hunger cues and adjust your fasting schedule accordingly. If you find that drinking something for breakfast within your fasting window improves your energy levels and overall well-being, continue incorporating it into your routine.

By adjusting your fasting protocol and selecting appropriate breakfast options, you can include breakfast while still adhering to your fasting goals and potentially reap the health benefits associated with both fasting and breakfast consumption. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet or fasting regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions or concerns.

Ways to Lessen Breakfast Skipping

Reducing the tendency for breakfast skipping can be achieved through various strategies that address both genetic predispositions and environmental influences. Here are some ways to lessen the tendency for breakfast skipping:

Establish a Routine

Creating a consistent morning routine can help reinforce the habit of eating breakfast. Set a specific time each morning dedicated to breakfast and make it a non-negotiable part of your daily schedule.

Plan Ahead

Prepare breakfast options in advance to save time and ensure accessibility. Consider batch cooking or prepping grab-and-go breakfast items like overnight oats, hard-boiled eggs, or pre-portioned smoothie ingredients.

Choose Convenient Options

Select breakfast foods that are convenient and easy to prepare, especially on busy mornings. Opt for ready-to-eat options like yogurt cups, whole fruit, whole grain cereal bars, or single-serve oatmeal packets.

Stock Nutrient-Rich Foods

Keep your kitchen stocked with nutrient-rich breakfast foods to encourage healthier choices. Include a variety of options such as whole grains, lean protein sources, fruits, vegetables, and dairy or dairy alternatives.

Find Breakfasts You Enjoy

Experiment with different breakfast foods to find options that you genuinely enjoy. Incorporating foods that appeal to your taste preferences increases the likelihood that you’ll look forward to eating breakfast each morning.

Listen to Your Hunger Signals

Pay attention to your body’s hunger cues and eat breakfast when you feel hungry. Ignoring hunger signals may lead to overeating later in the day or exacerbate feelings of fatigue and lethargy.

Start Small

If breakfast skipping is a challenging habit to break, start by incorporating small, manageable changes into your routine. Begin with a simple breakfast option and gradually increase variety and complexity over time.

Seek Support

Enlist the support of friends, family members, or coworkers who can help hold you accountable to your breakfast goals. Sharing your commitment to breakfast consumption with others can provide motivation and encouragement.

Address Underlying Factors

Identify and address any underlying factors that may contribute to breakfast skipping, such as stress, lack of appetite, or time constraints. Implementing stress-reduction techniques, improving sleep quality, and managing time effectively can all support healthier breakfast habits.

By implementing these strategies, individuals can lessen their tendency for breakfast skipping and reap the numerous health benefits associated with regular breakfast consumption. Remember that consistency and persistence are key to forming lasting habits, and finding what works best for you may require some trial and error.

LifeDNA’s Breakfast Skipping Trait Report

Unlock the secrets of your genetic blueprint with LifeDNA’s Breakfast Skipping Trait Report. Our comprehensive Nutrition Report analyzes your unique genetic profile to provide personalized insights into your breakfast habits and nutritional needs. 

Breakfast is often hailed as the most important meal of the day, but did you know that your genetics can play a role in whether you tend to skip it? With LifeDNA, you can discover how your genes influence your breakfast preferences and tendencies, empowering you to make informed choices about your morning routine.

Our Breakfast Skipping Trait Report is just one piece of the puzzle. With over 200 trait reports available across our Nutrition, Vitamins and SupplementsWellness, Fitness, Sleep, Skincare, and Personality and Cognition Reports, LifeDNA offers a holistic approach to understanding your genetic predispositions and optimizing your health and well-being.

Take the first step on your wellness journey today. Avail of LifeDNA’s scientifically-backed and comprehensive Nutrition Report, and unlock the insights you need to nourish your body and thrive every day. Your genetics hold the key to a healthier, happier you—discover it with LifeDNA.

Summary

  • Breakfast skipping is a common phenomenon influenced by both genetic predispositions and lifestyle choices.
  • Breakfast is deemed crucial for replenishing nutrients and enhancing cognitive function, especially in children and adolescents.
  • Skipping breakfast can lead to reduced energy levels, impaired metabolic health, and increased risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • Recent research identified six genetic variants associated with breakfast skipping, implicating genes related to caffeine metabolism, carbohydrate processing, and circadian rhythm regulation, for example.
  • Individuals genetically predisposed to skipping breakfast tend to have higher body mass index, more depressive symptoms and are more likely to smoke.
  • Environmental factors such as time constraints, socioeconomic status, and cultural norms also influence breakfast-skipping behavior.
  • Optimal breakfast choices include whole grain cereals, eggs, Greek yogurt, smoothies, whole grain toast with nut butter, and fruit and nut bars.
  • Skipping breakfast may have more detrimental effects on health compared to skipping dinner, highlighting the importance of prioritizing breakfast consumption.
  • Incorporating breakfast while fasting can be achieved by adjusting eating windows and selecting fasting-friendly breakfast options.
  • Strategies to lessen breakfast skipping include establishing a routine, planning ahead, choosing convenient options, stocking nutrient-rich foods, finding enjoyable breakfasts, listening to hunger signals, starting small, seeking support, and addressing underlying factors.

References

  1. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/breakfast
  2. https://gatorcare.org/2023/09/05/food-for-thought-better-breakfast-month/#:~:text=After%20a%20night’s%20rest%2C%20our,even%20our%20weight%20management%20efforts.
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3737458/#:~:text=Increased%20frequency%20of%20habitual%20breakfast,positively%20related%20to%20school%20performance.
  4. https://longevity.stanford.edu/lifestyle/2023/10/24/potential-risks-to-skipping-breakfast/#:~:text=Side%20Effects%20of%20Skipping%20Breakfast&text=Although%20this%20eating%20pattern%20may,insulin%20sensitivity%20and%20glucose%20uptake.
  5. https://bmcnutr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40795-021-00451-1
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31190057/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8401108/
  8. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/easy-healthy-meals
  9. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323251#summary
  10. https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/what-does-skipping-dinner-do-to-your-body/#:~:text=Americans%20who%20eat%20three%20meals,lunch%2C%20according%20to%20the%20USDA.
  11. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/16-8-intermittent-fasting#meal-plan
  12. https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2020/april/how-to-understand-hunger-cues#:~:text=every%20movie%20night.-,Dr.,feel%20like%20for%20the%20future.

Customer Reviews

Christopher Devlin
Christopher Devlin
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I am so impressed with this service. I have even discussed these recommendations with my health care providers and they are all impressed too! I can’t compare it with other services as I have only tried this but I recommend. Also I think I pulled my genetics in from ancestry too which was super convenient.
Lei'a
Lei'a
LifeDNA Customer
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Great source of information I was looking for a platform to make use of my existing raw data from Ancestry. I’m glad I found LifeDNA. I originally took a DNA test to learn about my roots and it’s great to know that my DNA could also play a big role in my health, diet, and even my skin. Overall, all the reports are incredible.
Shiraz Dole
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It is crazy how I felt that I had a strong understanding of my bodies needs, but after having my DNA analyzed by the LifeDNA team, I realized that there was so much I still did not know.
Doc Sheila Lim
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LifeDNA Customer
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I got some pretty useful insight that helped me with my diet.
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*Understanding your genetics can offer valuable insights into your well-being, but it is not deterministic. Your traits can be influenced by the complex interplay involving nature, lifestyle, family history, and others.

Our reports have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The contents on our website and our reports are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to diagnose any medical condition, replace the advice of a healthcare professional, or provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes or if you have any other concerns about your results. The testimonials featured may have used more than one LifeDNA or LifeDNA vendors’ product or reports.

LifeDNA Aging Report: A Walkthrough

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LifeDNA Aging Report: A Walkthrough

Date of Content: April 21, 2024
Written by: Avanthika Nityanand
Reviewed by: Maarit Tiirikainen, PhD

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This is a LifeDNA Premium Report.

Aging is a natural and complex process involving gradual physiological and biological changes in an organism over time. This process affects individuals on a cellular, molecular, and organ system level. It leads to the eventual decline in physical and mental capacities and increased susceptibility towards certain conditions and  the end of an individual’s lifespan.

Biological markers of aging include:

  • deterioration of cellular functions
  • loss of telomere length
  • accumulation of metabolic waste products
  • decreased regenerative capacity of stem cells 

While aging is a universal process observed across different species, the rate and impact of aging can vary significantly due to genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.

LifeDNA Aging Report

How Aging Works

Aging works through several mechanisms that impact the body on a cellular and molecular level. One primary aspect is the accumulation of cellular damage over time, which includes DNA mutations and oxidative stress caused by free radicals. 

Additionally, telomeres—the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes—shorten with each cell division, leading to cellular aging and dysfunction. Hormonal changes also play a critical role, particularly the decrease in hormones like estrogen and testosterone, which affect various body systems. 

Moreover, the decline in cellular autophagy (a process by which cells clean out damaged components) and increased inflammatory responses contribute to the aging process. These changes collectively lead to the typical signs of aging, such as wrinkles, decreased mobility, and impaired cognitive functions.

LifeDNA Aging Report

The LifeDNA Aging Genetic Report analyzes genetic markers that influence the some of the aging processes and related outcomes. Here’s a general overview of the traits covered in the report and how understanding the genetics can be beneficial:

Age-related Hearing Loss

Age-related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis, is the gradual loss of hearing that occurs as people get older. This condition typically affects both ears and results from changes in the inner ear, auditory nerve, and other structures. Contributing factors include long-term exposure to loud noises, genetics, and changes in blood supply to the ear due to heart disease or high blood pressure. Hearing loss can impact speech understanding, particularly in noisy environments, and often high-pitched sounds are lost first. Genes like SIK3 have been shown to influence this trait.

Age-related Muscle Mass Loss

Age-related muscle mass loss, or sarcopenia, involves the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength beginning as early as the 30s or 40s. This decline can contribute to weakness, decreased stamina, and an increased risk of falls and fractures. Sarcopenia is driven by factors such as hormonal changes, reduced physical activity, changes in protein synthesis, muscle regeneration, and genetics. Genes like VDR and ACTN3 have been shown to be associated with this trait.

Eyelid Sagging

Eyelid sagging, in the forms of dermatochalasis or ptosis, refers to the drooping or sagging  of the upper eyelid that often occurs with age. This can be due to the weakening of the muscles that raise the eyelid (ptosis) or degeneration of the skin and soft tissue around the eyes (dermatochalasis). Eyelid sagging can impair vision if the eyelid falls low enough to cover the pupil. A 2018 GWAS identified several new genes, like MACROH2A2 (or H2AFY2), that were shown to be significantly associated with eyelid sagging.

Age-related Physical Function Impairment

Age-related physical function impairment encompasses a decline in the ability to perform daily tasks and movements effectively, such as walking, balancing, and handling objects. This impairment results from a combination of factors including muscle weakness, joint problems, neurological decline, cardiovascular limitations, and genetics. Genes like ACTN3 and UCP2 have been shown to be associated with this trait.

Risk of Repeated Falls

As people age, they face an increased risk of repeated falls due to factors such as reduced muscle strength, balance disturbances, visual impairments, and slower reaction times. Falls are a major concern in the elderly, leading to injuries like fractures and head trauma, which can significantly impair mobility and independence.  Genes like FHIT have been shown to be associated with this trait.

Vascular Aging

Vascular aging refers to the changes in the vascular system as we age, including stiffening of the arteries and reduced efficiency of blood vessels. These changes increase the risk of cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension, stroke, and heart attacks. Factors like smoking, high cholesterol, and diabetes can exacerbate vascular aging. A 2022 GWAS uncovered nearly 60 significant genes associated with this trait.

Age-related Bone Loss

Age-related bone loss, or osteoporosis, is the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density over time. As bones become less dense, they weaken and are more likely to fracture. This process is accelerated in women after menopause due to a drop in estrogen levels, a critical factor in bone density and health. Studies have shown that genes like ALDH7A1 significantly influence the risk for osteoporosis. The ALDH7A1 gene codes for a protein that breaks down and detoxifies acetaldehyde—a substance that disrupts the growth of osteoblasts (young bone cells) and reduces bone formation.

Age-related Cognitive Decline

Age-related cognitive decline is the gradual decrease in cognitive functioning that includes memory, thinking, and reasoning skills. While not all older adults experience significant cognitive decline, many will notice slower processing speeds and difficulties with multitasking, learning new skills, and remembering information. Studies have shown that the APOE region is significantly associated with cognitive aging. The LifeDNA Aging report covers many more such markers.

You may also like: Walkthrough of the LifeDNA Personality & Cognition Report

Age-related Muscle Weakness

Age-related muscle weakness is a decrease in muscle strength that accompanies aging and is often associated with sarcopenia. It results from a reduction in muscle fiber quantity and quality, impacting an individual’s ability to perform physical tasks and maintain independence. Genetic variation in genes like SLC39A8 have been shown to influence this trait.

Age-related Verbal Memory Decline

Age-related verbal memory decline involves the deterioration of memory functions, characterized by difficulties in recalling names, appointments, and recent events. This type of memory loss is considered a normal part of aging, distinct from the memory impairments seen in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. A first-of-its-kind large genetic study in 2017 found significant associations between genes like APOE and memory-related parameters like immediate recall. 

Hair Graying

Hair graying is a common sign of aging caused by the gradual loss of pigment cells (melanocytes) in hair follicles. This results in hair turning gray and eventually white as pigment production decreases. Genes like IRF4 have been shown to influence this trait.

Healthy Aging

Healthy aging refers to the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables well-being in older age. This concept emphasizes optimizing opportunities for physical, social, and mental health to extend life expectancy and improve the quality of life as individuals age. Factors that promote healthy aging include a balanced diet, regular physical activity, social connections, and effective management of health conditions. Genes like LRP1B have been shown to be associated with this trait.

Can Aging Be Stopped?

Currently, aging cannot be completely stopped as it is an inevitable biological process driven by complex genetic and environmental interactions. However, significant research is focused on understanding and potentially modifying the mechanisms of aging to extend the health span, the period of life spent in good health. 

While it’s unlikely that the aging process can be completely halted, interventions such as gene therapy, caloric restriction, and advanced medical treatments may potentially delay the onset of age-related diseases and extend overall lifespan. 

The field of gerontology continues to explore these possibilities, aiming to break down the biological barriers of aging.

Can Aging from Stress Be Reversed?

Aging accelerated by stress, often referred to as “stress aging,” can be partially reversed or mitigated. Chronic stress leads to increased production of cortisol, a hormone that, in high levels over prolonged periods, can have detrimental effects on the body, including accelerating aging processes. Managing stress through techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, regular physical activity, and proper sleep can significantly reduce cortisol levels. 

Furthermore, adopting a healthy diet rich in antioxidants can help repair some of the cellular damage caused by stress. While it’s challenging to completely reverse the effects of stress on aging, these lifestyle changes can improve both physical and mental health and potentially slow the aging process.

Can Aging Be Slowed Down?

Aging can be slowed down through several scientifically supported methods. Key lifestyle choices such as maintaining a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, regular physical activity, and avoiding harmful habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can significantly delay the onset of aging process with its typical signs and diseases. 

Caloric restriction has been shown in various studies to extend the lifespan of certain organisms by reducing metabolic stress. Advances in medicine, such as the use of antioxidants, hormone replacement therapies, and anti-aging skincare products, also contribute to slowing down the effects of aging.

Additionally, ongoing research into pharmacological agents that target aging processes, like senolytics which remove dysfunctional cells, holds promise for further slowing down the aging process in humans.

Why LifeDNA?

LifeDNA has emerged as a prominent option for analyzing raw DNA data from 23andMe and many other sources, owing to a combination of unique offerings and a commitment to personalized wellness. 

We offer a basic DNA data analysis package to kickstart your journey. Users with raw data from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, etc., can access close to 200 traits across interests such as Nutrition, Wellness, Vitamins and Supplements, Personality and Cognition, Fitness, Sleep, Methylation, and Skincare.

Further, if you do not have raw DNA data, such as from 23andMe, LifeDNA provides that too. Start your personalized wellness journey with LifeDNA’s state-of-the-art DNA kits here.

Here is why many regard LifeDNA as the best option for making the most of your 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and other raw data:

  • Holistic Approach to Wellness: Unlike many other platforms that focus strictly on health-related risks or ancestry, LifeDNA adopts a holistic approach. We analyze genetic data to offer personalized optimizations for nutrition (including a customized grocery list!), skin care, vitamins & supplements, wellness, personality & cognition, and fitness. This range lets users get a complete picture of their wellness needs based on their DNA.
  • Product Recommendations: We go beyond just providing insights. We offer specific product recommendations, skincare ingredients, or supplements tailored to an individual’s genetic profile. It makes our service actionable, allowing users to make immediate changes based on their results.
  • Data Security: At LifeDNA, we place a high emphasis on protecting user data. Our commitment to privacy ensures that users can trust the platform with their sensitive genetic information.
  • User-Friendly Reports: LifeDNA reports are easy to interpret. Our reports are designed to be accessible to the layperson without compromising on the depth and accuracy of the information.
  • Continual Updates: As genetic research evolves, so does LifeDNA’s platform. Users can expect their reports and insights to be updated with the latest scientific findings.
  • Dedicated Research and Development: At LifeDNA, we invest in research to continually refine our algorithms, ensuring that the insights provided are based on cutting-edge science.
  • Educational Resources: LifeDNA also provides ample resources for users to understand their genetic makeup better. This education-first approach demystifies the complex world of genetics, making it approachable and actionable for everyone.
  • Scientific Rigor: To create an unmatched commitment to scientific rigor, LifeDNA partners with CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited, and HIPAA-compliant laboratories.

References

  1. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms10815
  2. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0182448
  3. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-20918-w
  4. https://www.nature.com/articles/mp2012159
  5. https://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1000806
  6. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcvm.2022.1058308/full
  7. https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afy007
  8. https://doi.org/10.7717%2Fpeerj.980
  9. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/exd.13559
  10. https://doi.org/10.1002%2Fjcla.23485
  11. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/4239648
  12. https://doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddu346
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK10041/
  14. https://www.genome.gov/genetics-glossary/Telomere#
  15. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/caloric-restriction#:~:text=Caloric%20restriction%20(CR)%20is%20today,et%20al.%2C%202009).
  16. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32686219/

Customer Reviews

Christopher Devlin
Christopher Devlin
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I am so impressed with this service. I have even discussed these recommendations with my health care providers and they are all impressed too! I can’t compare it with other services as I have only tried this but I recommend. Also I think I pulled my genetics in from ancestry too which was super convenient.
Lei'a
Lei'a
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
Great source of information I was looking for a platform to make use of my existing raw data from Ancestry. I’m glad I found LifeDNA. I originally took a DNA test to learn about my roots and it’s great to know that my DNA could also play a big role in my health, diet, and even my skin. Overall, all the reports are incredible.
Shiraz Dole
Shiraz Dole
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
It is crazy how I felt that I had a strong understanding of my bodies needs, but after having my DNA analyzed by the LifeDNA team, I realized that there was so much I still did not know.
Doc Sheila Lim
Doc Sheila Lim
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I got some pretty useful insight that helped me with my diet.
Previous
Next

*Understanding your genetics can offer valuable insights into your well-being, but it is not deterministic. Your traits can be influenced by the complex interplay involving nature, lifestyle, family history, and others.

Our reports have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The contents on our website and our reports are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to diagnose any medical condition, replace the advice of a healthcare professional, or provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes or if you have any other concerns about your results. The testimonials featured may have used more than one LifeDNA or LifeDNA vendors’ product or reports.

Promethease Review: Everything You Need To Know

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Promethease Review: Everything You Need To Know

Date of Content: April 22, 2024
Written by: Avanthika Nityanand
Reviewed by: Maarit Tiirikainen, PhD

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What is Promethease?

Promethease, now owned by MyHeritage, is a genetics literature retrieval system that builds a personal report based on your DNA data, primarily focused on health-related genetic variants. 

The primary appeal of Promethease lies in its affordability and comprehensive reports, backed by SNPedia, a wiki database housing a vast amount of research findings related to single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

Promethease review

What is SNPedia?

SNPedia is an online database that contains information about single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which are variations at a single position in DNA among individuals. It serves as a wiki, allowing users to contribute and edit content under the oversight of its founders. SNPedia links genetic data to medical and physiological information to help individuals understand how genetic variations may influence their health and traits. 

The website utilizes data primarily from scientific studies and public databases, providing details on how specific SNPs might be associated with health conditions, traits, or responses to drugs. It’s a valuable resource for both researchers and individuals interested in personal genomics and precision medicine.

Uploading DNA Data

Getting started with Promethease is relatively straightforward. Once you access their website, they provide a list of terms and conditions you should accept before proceeding with the tool. 

Promethease review 1

You can directly import your DNA raw data file from another company or upload it manually after paying a fee of USD 12.

Promethease review 2

Promethease accepts raw data from several providers, including 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and MyHeritage DNA.

Terms in the Report Explained

Here are some terms you might encounter in a Promethease report:

  1. SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism): An SNP represents a difference in a single DNA building block called a nucleotide. SNPs occur normally throughout a person’s DNA and are the most common genetic variation among people. They can act as biological markers, helping scientists locate genes associated with any disease.
  2. Genotype: Your genotype is the specific allelic composition at a particular SNP. It represents the precise variants of a gene you have inherited. For example, at given positions in the DNA, you might have a genotype of AA, AG, or GG.
  3. Magnitude: This is a measure of how significant or impactful a finding is within the report. It is a subjective score assigned by SNPedia contributors ranging from 0 (least significant) to 10 (most significant). Higher magnitudes typically indicate findings of greater potential interest or importance.
  4. Repute: This term refers to whether a SNP is considered “Good” or “Bad.” It indicates the overall effect of the SNP according to scientific studies, whether it is a protective effect or a risk factor for a condition.
  5. Frequency: This term refers to how common a particular allele of a SNP is in the general or specific populations. It helps to understand how rare or common a genetic variation is among different groups.
  6. RSID (Reference SNP cluster ID): This is an identifier used by researchers and databases to denote a specific SNP. It helps to track and reference specific genetic variations consistently across different studies and reports.
  7. Phenotype: The term phenotype refers to observable characteristics or traits of an individual that result from the interaction of their genotype with the environment. It can include physical traits like height, eye color, and disease susceptibility.
  8. Odds Ratio: This measure is used in statistical analysis to describe the strength of association or non-independence between two data values. In the context of genetics, it represents how much a particular SNP increases or decreases the risk of a disease.
  9. Risk Allele: This is the specific gene variant version associated with an increased risk of a particular trait or disease.
  10. Protective Allele: It is a version of a gene variant that can reduce the risk of a particular trait or disease.

These terms are used within Promethease reports to provide detailed insights into your genetic make-up, and how it might influence various health-related traits and conditions. Understanding these terms can help you better interpret the results of your genetic analysis.

Turn-Around-Time

It may take up to 24  hours for Promethease to generate the report, depending on the server load. 

Upon receiving the email that the report is ready, you can navigate the website and immerse yourself in a wealth of information. The report has numerous sections on various conditions, traits, and medications.

Each genetic variant in the report is presented with a magnitude score, indicating the importance of that particular SNP variant. 

Furthermore, it indicates whether the variant is good or bad and its frequency within the population.

The Promethease Report

One of the first impressions of the Promethease report is its sheer volume of data. It can feel overwhelming if you are new to genetics.

Promethease report is text-based with limited visuals, which can be challenging to read for the uninitiated. 

The report also uses scientific language and jargon like SNP, allele, genotype, or rsID. If unfamiliar with these terms, you might frequently need to refer to external resources to understand the report fully.

Accuracy and Interpretation

Promethease pulls data from SNPedia. However, it is crucial to remember that interpreting genetic data, especially in the context of health, is complex. 

The presence of a particular SNP allele might increase the risk of a condition, but it doesn’t guarantee you’ll get it. Many factors, including other genes and environment, come into play.

Promethease emphasizes that its report is not a diagnosis and that customers should discuss concerning findings with a healthcare professional. 

Can Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) data be Uploaded to Promethease?

Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) allows users to download their raw DNA data, which they can upload to a third-party tool like Promethease for additional analysis. 

This raw data includes results from FTDNA’s Family Finder (autosomal DNA), Y-DNA, and mtDNA tests.

However, it’s important to note that Promethease is designed to interpret autosomal data related to health and traits. 

While you can technically upload Y-DNA and mtDNA data to the site, the interpretations for these data are limited, as they are not the primary focus of the Promethease database.

It is also essential to check the terms and conditions and privacy policies of any third-party tools you consider using, as using such services can often have implications for your genetic data privacy.

For the most current and detailed instructions, please visit the respective websites of Family Tree DNA and Promethease.

Promethease Privacy Policy

Promethease claims not to share, sell, or utilize your genetic data after creating the report. 

As of December 2019, after being acquired by MyHeritage, Promethease implemented a policy of deleting all DNA data files within 30 days of upload.

Is Promethease worth it?

  1. Affordability: Promethease is more affordable than similar services, making it accessible to many users.
  2. Comprehensive Data: The platform provides detailed genetic reports based on SNPs. It offers a rich source of information for individuals interested in their genetic predispositions.
  3. Data from SNPedia: Promethease uses data from SNPedia, a respected, peer-reviewed resource, which adds credibility to their reports.
  4. Privacy Focused: Promethease deletes user data within 30 days of upload, reflecting its commitment to privacy.

Accepts Data from Multiple Providers: Promethease accepts raw DNA data from many major DNA testing companies, making it a versatile choice for analysis.

Cons of using Promethease

  1. Overwhelming Information: The bulk of information provided can be overwhelming, especially for users with little to no background in genetics.
  2. Complex Terminology: Using scientific and technical language can make the reports hard to understand for laypersons.
  3. Lack of Visuals: The reports are text-based with minimal visual aids, which may detract from user experience and comprehension.
  4. Time to Generate Reports: The report can take several hours to generate, which may be inconvenient for some users.
  5. Not a Diagnostic Tool: While it provides risk estimates based on genetic variants, Promethease is not a diagnostic tool. Some users might misunderstand the nature of the information provided, leading to unnecessary worry or inappropriate health decisions.

Alternative to Promethease: Why LifeDNA?

LifeDNA has emerged as a prominent option for analyzing raw DNA data from 23andMe and many other sources, owing to a combination of unique offerings and a commitment to personalized wellness. 

We offer a basic DNA data analysis package to kickstart your journey. Users with raw data from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, etc., can access close to 200 traits across interests such as Nutrition, Wellness, Vitamins and Supplements, Personality, Fitness, Sleep, Methylation, and Skincare.

Further, if you do not have raw DNA data, such as from 23andMe, LifeDNA provides that too. Start your personalized wellness journey with LifeDNA’s state-of-the-art DNA kits here.

Here is why many regard LifeDNA as the best option for making the most of your 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and other raw DNA data:

  • Holistic Approach to Wellness: Unlike many other platforms that focus strictly on health-related risks or ancestry, LifeDNA adopts a holistic approach. We analyze genetic data to offer personalized optimizations for nutrition (including a customized grocery list!), skin care, vitamins & supplements, wellness, personality & cognition, and fitness. This range lets users get a complete picture of their wellness needs based on their DNA.
  • Product Recommendations: We go beyond just providing insights. We offer specific product recommendations, skincare ingredients, or supplements tailored to an individual’s genetic profile. It makes our service actionable, allowing users to make immediate changes based on their results.
  • Data Security: At LifeDNA, we place a high emphasis on protecting user data. Our commitment to privacy ensures that users can trust the platform with their sensitive genetic information.
  • User-Friendly Reports: LifeDNA reports are easy to interpret. Our reports are designed to be accessible to the layperson without compromising on the depth and accuracy of the information.
  • Continual Updates: As genetic research evolves, so does LifeDNA’s platform. Users can expect their reports and insights to be updated with the latest scientific findings.
  • Dedicated Research and Development: At LifeDNA, we invest in research to continually refine our algorithms, ensuring that the insights provided are based on cutting-edge science.
  • Educational Resources: LifeDNA also provides ample resources for users to understand their genetic makeup better. This education-first approach demystifies the complex world of genetics, making it approachable and actionable for everyone.
  • Scientific Rigor: To create an unmatched commitment to scientific rigor, LifeDNA partners with CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited, and HIPAA-compliant laboratories.

References

  1. https://promethease.com/
  2. https://www.snpedia.com/

Customer Reviews

Christopher Devlin
Christopher Devlin
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I am so impressed with this service. I have even discussed these recommendations with my health care providers and they are all impressed too! I can’t compare it with other services as I have only tried this but I recommend. Also I think I pulled my genetics in from ancestry too which was super convenient.
Lei'a
Lei'a
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
Great source of information I was looking for a platform to make use of my existing raw data from Ancestry. I’m glad I found LifeDNA. I originally took a DNA test to learn about my roots and it’s great to know that my DNA could also play a big role in my health, diet, and even my skin. Overall, all the reports are incredible.
Shiraz Dole
Shiraz Dole
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
It is crazy how I felt that I had a strong understanding of my bodies needs, but after having my DNA analyzed by the LifeDNA team, I realized that there was so much I still did not know.
Doc Sheila Lim
Doc Sheila Lim
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I got some pretty useful insight that helped me with my diet.
Previous
Next

*Understanding your genetics can offer valuable insights into your well-being, but it is not deterministic. Your traits can be influenced by the complex interplay involving nature, lifestyle, family history, and others.

Our reports have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The contents on our website and our reports are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to diagnose any medical condition, replace the advice of a healthcare professional, or provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes or if you have any other concerns about your results. The testimonials featured may have used more than one LifeDNA or LifeDNA vendors’ product or reports.

The Genetics of Raw Carrots Liking

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The Genetics of Raw Carrots Liking

Date of Content: April 15, 2024
Written by: Harvey Talento
Reviewed by: Maarit Tiirikainen, PhD

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The humble carrot. A lunchbox staple, a bunny rabbit’s delight, and a surprising source of debate. People often find raw carrots irresistibly appealing, but what exactly makes them so likable?

There’s a certain satisfaction in biting into a crisp, cold carrot. The snap, the release of sweet, earthy flavor, the refreshing juice – it’s a sensory experience. Unlike some other vegetables, raw carrots are easy to grab and munch on, making them a convenient and healthy snack.

But why do some individuals find raw carrots more, or less, enjoyable than others?

Raw carrots liking

The Nutritional Powerhouse Within

Beyond taste and texture, raw carrots offer numerous health benefits, making them a nutritional powerhouse:

It’s worth noting that while some nutrients, like vitamin A, are readily absorbed from raw carrots, others, such as lycopene, become more bioavailable when carrots are cooked with a bit of fat.

Raw vs. Cooked Carrots

Unable to decide between raw or cooked carrots? The good news is, you don’t have to choose! Both preparations offer distinct advantages:

Ultimately, the best way to enjoy carrots is whichever way suits your preferences. Experiment with different cuts and dips to find your perfect carrot combination.

How Genetics May Influence Raw Carrots Liking

In 2022, a large-scale GWAS study of food liking identified 1,401 significant food-liking associations which showed substantial agreement in the direction of effects with 11 independent cohorts.

The study used genetic correlations combined with genomic structural equation modeling to create a multi-level map of the relationships between different food preferences, highlighting three main domains that they define as “Highly palatable”; including desserts, meat, and savory foods, “Low caloric”; including vegetables, fruit, and whole grains, and “Acquired” foods including unsweetened coffee, alcohol, cheese, and strong-tasting vegetables.

LifeDNA references this study to analyze specific genes in order to provide personalized insights into raw carrots liking. Genes with genetic variants (SNPs) associated with raw carrots liking include FTO (rs9972563), SEMA6D (rs11070592), and MSRA (rs2952186).

Genetic factors have been identified as associated with different facets of food preferences, potentially influencing our fondness for food through diverse channels linked to brain development, energy use, and our perception of rewards. Investigating the influence of genetic diversity on food preferences could offer insights into the genetic and neurological underpinnings of our culinary inclinations and choices, which are crucial for devising improved dietary strategies and crafting more enticing food selections.

Non-Genetic Factors Influencing Raw Carrots Liking

When considering the enjoyment of raw carrots, numerous factors beyond genetics contribute to shaping individual preferences and experiences:

  • Taste Sensitivity: Variations in taste bud sensitivity, particularly towards bitterness, can significantly impact one’s liking for raw carrots. Individuals with a heightened perception of the bitter compounds in carrots may find them less palatable, thus affecting their overall enjoyment.
  • Learned Preferences: Early experiences and cultural influences play a pivotal role in shaping dietary preferences. Exposure to raw carrots during formative years, coupled with positive associations, can foster a preference for this crunchy vegetable. Conversely, negative encounters or lack of exposure may lead to a dislike or indifference towards them.
  • Sensory Characteristics: The sensory aspects of carrots, encompassing texture, temperature, and visual appeal, contribute substantially to their overall appeal. Younger carrots, characterized by their sweetness and crispiness, are often favored over older, woodier ones that may lack the same pleasurable qualities.
  • Flavor Pairings: Pairing flavors strategically can enhance the appeal of raw carrots. Combining them with complementary companions such as hummus, ranch dressing, or cheese can transform the eating experience, making it more enjoyable and satisfying.

Suggestions on Preparing Raw Carrots

To optimize the enjoyment of raw carrots, individuals can consider the following practical tips:

  • Freshness: Opting for young, firm carrots with vibrant orange hues ensures optimal flavor and texture. Freshness enhances taste and contributes to a crispier texture, elevating the overall eating experience.
  • Cutting Style: Experimenting with different cutting styles, from sticks to ribbons or baby carrots, can introduce variety in texture and presentation. Varying the texture adds an element of surprise and interest to each bite.
  • Dipping Sauces: Offering an array of dipping sauces such as hummus, guacamole, or yogurt-based dips can enhance the flavor profile of raw carrots, making them more enticing and enjoyable.
  • Pairing with Other Vegetables: Pairing raw carrots with an assortment of colorful vegetables such as celery, bell peppers, or cucumbers not only adds visual appeal but also introduces a variety of textures and flavors, enriching the overall snack experience.

Eating Too Many Carrots

The notion that eating l carrots can result in an orange hue to the skin is a common misconception. While carrots are indeed rich in beta-carotene, the pigment responsible for their characteristic orange color, it’s highly unlikely that moderate carrot consumption will lead to such an effect.

Carotenemia, the condition in question, arises from an excessive intake of beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. However, rather than posing a significant health risk, excess beta-carotene is typically stored in fatty tissues, resulting in a subtle yellowish discoloration of the skin, particularly noticeable on the palms and soles. Fortunately, this condition is reversible and does not typically cause harm.

Note: Individuals with specific medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism or liver disorders, may need to exercise caution regarding their beta-carotene intake. Consulting a healthcare professional is advisable if there are concerns about dietary choices and their potential effects.

About the LifeDNA Nutrition Report

Discover a more vibrant you with the LifeDNA Nutrition Report, a personalized analysis of your DNA that offers tailored advice on nutrition based on your unique genetic makeup.

By understanding how your body reacts to and processes food, you can make smarter choices to reach your wellness goals and avoid potential health risks.

With practical recommendations and comprehensive insights into wellness beyond just food, the LifeDNA Nutrition report empowers you to take control of your well-being simply and effectively. Order your report today and take the first step towards a better you!

Summary

  • Raw carrots offer a wealth of wellness benefits, boasting essential nutrients like vitamin A, fiber, and antioxidants. These nutritional powerhouses support vision, digestion, and overall well-being. Whether snacking on them raw or cooked, carrots contribute to a balanced diet and promote good health.
  • The debate between raw and cooked carrots is resolved by recognizing the benefits of both preparations. While raw carrots retain maximum vitamin C and offer convenient snacking, cooked carrots develop enhanced sweetness and unlock different antioxidants like lycopene. Whether enjoying them crisp or caramelized, carrots in any form provide a tasty and nutritious addition to meals.
  • Genetic factors play a significant role in shaping individuals’ preferences for raw carrots and other foods. Through studies like the GWAS analysis, specific genes such as FTO, SEMA6D, and MSRA have been linked to varying degrees of liking for raw carrots. Understanding genetic influences on food preferences offers insights into personalized dietary choices and the biological mechanisms behind taste preferences.
  • Beyond genetics, several non-genetic factors influence one’s liking for raw carrots. These include taste sensitivity, learned preferences, sensory characteristics, and flavor pairings. Factors like early experiences, cultural influences, and texture preferences all contribute to individuals’ enjoyment of raw carrots and can guide strategies for enhancing their appeal.
  • Maximizing the enjoyment of raw carrots involves thoughtful preparation techniques. Choosing fresh, vibrant carrots, experimenting with cutting styles, offering flavorful dipping sauces, and pairing with complementary vegetables all enhance the sensory experience and increase the likelihood of enjoyment. By tailoring preparation methods to personal preferences, raw carrots can become a delicious and satisfying snack or side dish.
  • Moderate carrot consumption is unlikely to cause carotenemia. While carrots are rich in beta-carotene, excess intake typically results in harmless skin discoloration rather than any serious health concerns. 

References

  1. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/reasons-why-carrots-of-all-colors-are-healthy-for-you
  2. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170393/nutrients
  3. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-022-30187-w
  4. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/311248573_My_idol_eats_carrots_so_do_I_The_delayed_effect_of_a_classroom-based_intervention_on_4-6-year-old_children%27s_intake_of_a_familiar_vegetable
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK534878/
  6. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/can-eating-too-many-carrots-turn-your-skin-orange

Customer Reviews

Christopher Devlin
Christopher Devlin
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I am so impressed with this service. I have even discussed these recommendations with my health care providers and they are all impressed too! I can’t compare it with other services as I have only tried this but I recommend. Also I think I pulled my genetics in from ancestry too which was super convenient.
Lei'a
Lei'a
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
Great source of information I was looking for a platform to make use of my existing raw data from Ancestry. I’m glad I found LifeDNA. I originally took a DNA test to learn about my roots and it’s great to know that my DNA could also play a big role in my health, diet, and even my skin. Overall, all the reports are incredible.
Shiraz Dole
Shiraz Dole
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
It is crazy how I felt that I had a strong understanding of my bodies needs, but after having my DNA analyzed by the LifeDNA team, I realized that there was so much I still did not know.
Doc Sheila Lim
Doc Sheila Lim
LifeDNA Customer
Read More
I got some pretty useful insight that helped me with my diet.
Previous
Next

*Understanding your genetics can offer valuable insights into your well-being, but it is not deterministic. Your traits can be influenced by the complex interplay involving nature, lifestyle, family history, and others.

Our reports have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The contents on our website and our reports are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to diagnose any medical condition, replace the advice of a healthcare professional, or provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes or if you have any other concerns about your results. The testimonials featured may have used more than one LifeDNA or LifeDNA vendors’ product or reports.