Genetic Testing and Toxicity

We are all exposed to a variety of toxic compounds and chemicals on a daily basis. Whether it is from air pollution,  industrial chemicals and metals found in water and cleaning products, food toxins from pesticides, GMO’s, engineered wheat, processed foods, molds, vaccines, pharma drugs, antibiotics, etc. – the toxic burden  is enormous. This toxic exposure over time combined with our genetic makeup and physiological susceptibility and ability to eliminate and detoxify sets us up for a cascade of events that can lead to inflammation and chronic degenerative disease.

Industrial Chemicals:

Chronic and repeated exposure to up to 200,000 known toxins is a real assault on our bodies. Some of these toxins are fat soluble and get stored in the body while others are water soluble and the body can easily remove them.

Pesticides ( glyphosates)  which are very ubiquitous in our environment  and vaccines  (aluminum hydroxide ) to name a few, are powerful endocrine disrupters – no amount is safe. Mycotoxins ( molds) and metals like mercury and cadmium ( found in fish) have similar negative affects. Their toxic burden over time can outweigh our bodies ability to detoxify and bio transform them. 

The challenge is finding out if you have a genetic susceptability to these toxins. Some of us are more susceptible because we are genetically more hyper sensitive due to having more receptors or deficient in our bio transformation systems. The ability to absorb, bio transform and eliminate toxins is very individually-based.

Need to look at exposure and frequency of exposure to toxins.

  • Pre natal exposure is a factor.
  • In and outdoor pollution via inhalation.
  • Dermal exposure ( our skin is a very vulnerable barrier)
  • Vaccines and pharmaceutical drugs.
  • Carcinogens ( pesticides, chemicals, metals )
  • Food toxins ( gluten, trans fats, GMO,s)
  • Industrial chemicals ( cleaning and health care products)

Detoxification Process:

Reducing the toxic load begins with looking at our genetic profile to assess our susceptability and capability to handle the toxic burden.

Phase 1: Begins in the liver and gut mucosa. Cytochrome p450 enzymes start the process of detox to rid the body of toxins.

Phase 2: Involves glutathione conjugation and SNPs ( variations in DNA sequencing – copying errors) that reduce enzyme speed and function.

The real challenge to medicine is that multiple genes are affected by a vast array of environmental toxins ( pesticides, industrial chemicals, metals, molds, GMO’s etc) combined with individual genetic and epigenetic ( lifestyle) factors that affect susceptability and ability to handle detoxification. 

The big question: Will the toxic burden combined with oxidative stress and weak genetics outweigh the body’s ability to bio transform the toxins. Toxic burdens affect cell membranes, enzymes, glutathione production ( master antioxidant) and the nrf2 pathways ( senses and handles oxidative stress ) all contributing to the onset of chronic degenerative disease.

Individual Genetic Testing and Toxic Load

  • Comparative Toxicgenomics Database – CTD
  • Ctdbase.org – which examines the relationship between environmental chemicals and toxins and genes, proteins and diseases.
  • Obtain core data: chemical-gene interactions, chemical -disease associations, gene-disease associations and chemical-phenotype associations.
  • By integrating the above 4 data sets, CTD automatically constructs putative chemical-gene-phenotype-disease networks to illuminate molecular mechanisms underlying environmentally-influenced diseases.
  • Not a single gene is involved in toxicity issues – up to 100 genes may be involved.
  • Besides genetic testing one can do blood and urine testing.
  • Genova Diagnostic Gene test – examines SNP’s that affect phase 1 and 2 detoxification.

Reduction and Avoidance:

  • Besides knowing your genetic profile and susceptability,  its important to engage in epigenetic ( lifestyle ) interventions to reduce your toxic load.
  • Need to identify and eliminate exposure to environmental  toxins.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Use quality air filters in your home.
  • Drink clean water.
  • Increase dietary fiber ( >30g/day)
  • Pre- and Probiotic foods ( onions, garlic, sauerkraut, kimchi)
  • Cruciferous and dark leaf vegetables
  • Phyto nutrients – tumeric,  green teas, dark berries, milk thistle
  • Eggs
  • B Vitamins, folate
  • Omega 3’s ( 1-2 g /day)
  • Alpha lipoic acid

Bottom Line: Must reduce toxic load by reducing total exposure and understanding your individual genetic profile and susceptability so you can target your approach to healing.