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How Genetic Mutations Affect Hormone Balance and Health_Final

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>> Hey there. Are you familiar with the nature versus nurture debate? The idea is that we tend to either think that nature, our genetics, dictate who we are or that nurture, our environment, shapes who we turn out to be. Most of us recognize that both of these forces are typically applied in determining who a person grows up to be. But when it comes to our health, many of us were raised to think that this is a factor of our genetics. In other words, if you come from a family with hypertension or a history of breast cancer or Alzheimer's, you too are doomed to experience that fame. We know now that this isn't necessarily true. Sure, some of us are more predisposed than others to certain conditions but studies are revealing more and more that healthy aging, longevity, and disease in humans is controlled by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. And recent findings in epigenetics suggest that we have more power than we ever thought possible. This is why health coaching is so powerful. You can help your clients take control over their health through lifestyle. Amazing. Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene expression. This means that the underlying gene sequence we're born with never changes, but the expression of those genes can and do change. It turns out that we can basically turn genes on and off according to a number of different factors. Genetic expression can change in response to age, environment, and lifestyle factors including diet, stress levels, and disease state. These changes in our genetic expression have an effect on ourselves which ultimately effects every aspect of our health. While this might sound a little overwhelming or hard to believe, it's extremely powerful information, this basically means that each of us truly hold our health in our own hands. What you eat, the hobbies you enjoy, the amount you exercise, all of this has a profound effect on your health. This is so powerful for health coaching as a profession and for our clients. A conversation about genes wouldn't be complete without discussing some common genetic mutations and the common symptoms associated with them. You'll soon learn that these genetic mutations can affect the body's ability to use certain nutrients produce and utilize neurotransmitters, and detoxify the body from toxins and excess hormones. This can complicate matters. You'll also learn that while genetics and certain gene mutations may predispose us to certain conditions and symptoms, diet and lifestyle can do a lot to dictate the expression of those genes. In other words, your genetic destiny is heavily influenced by what you eat, how well you mitigate the effects of stress, and how much you move your body. Genetic variations are more commonly referred to as mutations. You may also see them referenced as single-nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs. SNPs are the most common type of genetic variation and occur normally throughout a person's DNA. So common in fact that there are about 10 million SNPs located throughout a person's genome. Some SNPs act as simple, biological markers and have no effect on health or development. Some however, help scientists to predict an individual's response to certain drugs, caffeine, their susceptibility to environmental toxins, and their risk for developing certain diseases. In this lecture, we'll go over the five major underlying genetic mutations or SNPs associated with hormone imbalance. But before we get started, I'd like to point out that just because a client has one of these mutations, doesn't necessarily mean that he or she will experience problems or symptoms. Conversely, if a client experiences the symptoms associated with the following mutations but the mutation doesn't show up in her DNA, it doesn't mean everything's fine, it means there's something else going on. When this is the case, it's time to just cross genetic mutations off the list and keep on digging for the root cause of the hormone imbalance. The first and the most well-known genetic mutation happens in the MTHFR gene. A woman with that MTHFR defect is often severely fatigued, depressed, anxious, and may have trouble losing weight, she may have trouble getting or staying pregnant, and she is more prone to autoimmune conditions. It's possible she is suffering from Hashimoto's or another autoimmune disease. But mostly, she just can't understand why she's so tired all the time. Let's look at why this is. The MTHFR gene is responsible for producing the MTHFR enzyme. Well, at least that's easy to remember. If this gene is mutated, it produces a distorted enzyme which can inhibit methylation in body. Methylation is a complex biochemical process in which a single carbon atom and three hydrogen atoms bind to another molecule, this bundle of atoms they form is called a methyl group. Conversely, the removal of a methyl group is called demethylation. Here's a fun fact, methylation happens in the body over a billion times per second. Pretty impressive, huh? Picture methylation and demethylation like billions of tiny lights twinkling inside your body. The light switches are flipped at a rate of about a billion times per second. As these switches turn on and off, they control every response in your body from how your body makes energy from food to your stress response. Methyl groups also control the detoxification of hormones, chemicals, and heavy metals, genetic expression, DNA repair, the inflammatory response, neurotransmitter production and use, cell repair, immune response, including the production of t-cells, and fighting infection in general, and the production and recycling of glutathione, the body's master antioxidant that's needed for immune health, brain health, and cellular health in general. Important stuff. So why am I telling you all this? You see, when the MTHFR gene is mutated the methylation process is altered, and this affects the body's ability to detox. Improper detoxification can lead to a higher susceptibility to heavy metal toxicity, toxicity from external sources like pesticides, environmental toxins, and pollutants, and mold toxicity, or any other bacterial or pathogen-based toxin. Inadequate detoxification can lead to more serious issues like various autoimmune conditions, hormonal imbalance, miscarriages, various cancers, heart disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, ADHD, anxiety, and autism. The MTHFR gene is also responsible for the breakdown and utilization of B-vitamins, which are crucial to hormone health, brain function, fetal development. Without the utilization of important B-vitamins, clients will likely end up with serious deficiencies. These are no joke. B12 deficiency, for example, can lead to infertility or miscarriage, depression, anxiety, and fibromyalgia. And deficiency in B9, better known as folate can lead to birth defects. This is just a short list, we'll teach you all about vitamins and deficiencies in an upcoming module, so don't worry about remembering all of these just yet. To recap, an MTHFR mutation impairs the process of methylation, which leads to an increase in susceptibility to toxic overload because the body isn't able to clear toxins properly. It also impairs the body's ability to utilize B-vitamins, both inadequate detoxification and B-vitamin deficiency can lead to a number of serious health concerns. Lab testing is done by medical professionals to test for this condition. Another common genetic mutation is called COMT, COMT mutation. The COMT gene controls the elimination of estrogen, neurotransmitters, and toxins. When the body can't clear these chemicals effectively, stress response and brain function are highly altered. A lot of that has to do with how COMT enzymes help the body metabolize and detoxify catecholamines, the body's stress hormones and neurochemicals. A person with the COMT gene mutation is often highly stressed and may suffer from mood swings as well as depression and anxiety. This person tends to be highly intelligent and often analytical but tends to melt down under very stressful situations. The COMT mutation has been associated with conditions including anorexia, ADHD, aggression, gambling, alcoholism, insomnia, autoimmune disorders, Tourette's syndrome, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and fibromyalgia. The next common gene mutation is the CBS mutation. The CBS pathway is the gateway to a number of biochemical pathways in the body including glutathione synthesis. Glutathione is the body's master antioxidant and is responsible for proper detoxification of every cell in the body. Glutathione helps protect against accelerated aging, cancer, heart disease, and dementia. A mutation in the CBS pathway can block glutathione production and elevate homocysteine among other things. As if a lack of glutathione wasn't problematic, elevated homocysteine may contribute to cancer and cardiovascular disease. Now we'll look at VDR mutations, these are variations in vitamin D receptors. Vitamin D acts like a hormone in the body and is a precursor to other hormones. So as you can imagine, the proper function of vitamin D receptors is crucial to health. Mutations in the VDR gene can result in vitamin D deficiency which is related to a number of neurological and immunological conditions, including bone disease, low dopamine, and decreased levels of cortisol, aldosterone, and testosterone, which can affect other hormone levels in the body, as well as adrenal and thyroid function. And finally, let's talk briefly about MAO-A. This gene encodes the MAO-A enzyme in the brain which breaks down the neurotransmitters, serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. People with MAO-A mutations can't break down these neurotransmitters. This can result in imbalances that lead to neuropsychiatric conditions and symptoms like obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD, mood disorders, and aggressive or violent behavior. Now let's recap, the five most common genetic mutations that affect hormone balance and health are MTHFR, COMT, CBS, VDR, and MAO-A. While these genetic mutations come with some scary side effects, the good news is that the discovery of having one of these mutations is not a life sentence to living with the associated symptoms and conditions. If we've learned anything as a community of wellness warriors and healthcare practitioners is that genetics may predispose people to certain conditions, but it's really diet, exercise, and lifestyle that dictate the expression of our genes. In this lecture, we've shared with you several genetic mutations. And these can sound pretty doom and gloom, but the most important point of this lecture is that while these conditions create challenges and complications for your clients, proper diet and lifestyle can help them overcome the odds and rediscover what it feels like to live a healthy vibrant life. The best thing you can do for your clients is to empower them to take their health into their own hands with diet and lifestyle. The more they know about and understand their underlying genetic conditions, the more power they have to make positive changes to their health. I know I've shared a lot of complex information in this lecture, some or all of this may be totally brand new to you. This is meant to be an introduction to these concepts that we will further explore throughout the course. So don't stress if this feels like too much for right now, we'll have plenty of time to dig in deeper. Thanks for watching, and I'll see you real soon.

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Duration: 14 minutes and 21 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: ninaz on Mar 23, 2018

How Genetic Mutations Affect Hormone Balance and Health_Final

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