SNPs are a hot topic these days and many people are doing genetic testing through 23&me out of a desire to be proactive and mitigate their risks. The problem is that, most people get these reports but still have no idea what their genetic mutations mean in terms of actual risk. This creates a great deal of anxiety in most people as they are left wondering what they can and should do to support their genetic mutations.
I’ve just returned from a four day conference taught by methylation expert Dr. Ben Lynch on SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms). The focus of the conference was connecting how epigenetics (cellular and physiological phenotypic trait variations that are caused by external or environmental factors that switch genes on and off and affect how cells read genes instead of being caused by changes in the DNA sequence – in other words nutrition and lifestyle choices) impact whether or not an individual actually develops a specific health issue even though they have a SNP mutation.
~ According to Dr. Ben Lynch, it’s all about looking at your current health status in terms of what he terms the cell danger response. The more we can avoid the cell danger response that triggers ROS (reactive oxygenated species) the less cell danger response will occur. Ok stay with me here…
Looking over my own 23&me data, I realized how important the nutrition and lifestyle changes I have made in my own life have been in helping me prevent many of my SNPs from manifesting into disease conditions. In fact, every single presenter at the conference stressed starting with the nutrition and lifestyle “fundamentals” before moving into more aggressive measures.
~ I’m pleased to announce that I am now offering to review this type of test for those who would like to delve deeper into their 23&me data. That’s one of a multitude of data I will review when you work with me in my Healing From Within Program.
….if you have been concerned about what your genetic SNPs mean and are looking for ways to begin supporting yourself and reducing cell danger response, the place to start is with these epigenetic “fundamentals”.
5 Tips for Thriving with SNPs
1) Reduce your toxic load. Remember, the less toxins you expose yourself to the less work your liver will have to do. Reducing your toxic load on your liver means the more energy your liver will have to actually do its second job which is digest food.
- Reduce environmental toxins by switching to green and non-toxic home cleaning and yard products. Replace big name cosmetics, and personal care products that are loaded with body harming ingredients with organic, plant based ones.
- Get tested for heavy metals (esp. mercury) and make sure of home/office water purity by installing a water filtration system. .
- Avoid phthalates, and bisphenol-A (BPA) from plastic bottles and aluminum from cans. Use glass whenever possible.
- Consider where you have lived and where you are living now. Does it smell musty in your basement? If so check for mold. Start to improve indoor air quality by opening windows and using room air filtration units. Check for radon with a plug in radon detector.
- Use safe cooking methods; stop using the microwave.  Open windows and turn on exhaust fans whenever cooking with gas ranges/ovens. Switch to ceramic nonstick pans or use stainless steel, cast iron and oven safe glass cookware. 
2) Manage your stress! Stress triggers all kinds of health problems. So it’s essential that you find and practice ways to reduce your stress.
- This means NOT taking on more than you should, and getting comfortable with saying NO.
- Take vacations.
- Unplug when you get home.
- Have a weekend. No one ever lay on their death bed and said “I wish I’d spent more time at the office”.
- Carve out time for yourself every day to just “be” and not “do”.
- End toxic relationships and put yourself first.
- There’s any number of apps and web based programs to teach you how to create more head space. 
3) Breath fully. Shallow breathing is associated with increased anxiety. Over time continued shallow breathing can lead to a buildup of carbon dioxide. Remember all cells in the body require oxygen so when you breath correctly you not only initiate the relaxation responds you also “feed” your cells.
- Learn and practice belly breathing, mindfulness, guided imagery and/or meditation every day.
- Observing nature, practicing yoga or Qi Gong all use deep breath work to quiet the mind.
- Movement is essential for helping the lymph flow. The lymph is vitally important to sweep away toxins yet it relies on movement in the body to do so.
- It really doesn’t matter what you do to stay active.
- Be mindful of your energy reserves and if you are just beginning a health recovery program, fatigued, or recovering from an illness or surgery, do NOT push yourself to work out. It’s much better to simply walk and stretch until you feel more energized.
- Exercise need not require a gym membership either. Playing a sport or gardening are also ways to stay active.
5) Adjust your diet.
- Eat more leafy greens and plant foods. Leafy greens are the highest source of natural folate and easily assimilated by the body. This is the stuff you need to make methyl tetrahydrofolate if you have the MTHFR SNP.
- Be sure to eat organic produce and pasture raised wild caught animal products and avoid factory farmed and processed foods.
- Eat healthy omega 3 & other fatty acids rich foods like wild caught fish, avocados, nuts and seeds. Use health giving oils including flax seed oil, olive oil and coconut oil and be sure to eat some healthy oils in their raw state every day.
- Eliminate inflammatory foods starting with gluten from your diet. Your specific list of inflammatory foods will vary from other peoples so you’ll need to work with a clinician to do this piece.
~ Remember to keep things in perspective; the 23&me data is another tool to help you mitigate your risks. You should work with someone who understands how to use this information in conjunction with other aspects of your current health challenges. I can provide you with a comprehensive evaluation and establish a plan that takes all of these aspects into account through my Healing from Within Program.