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What I Learned From My 23andMe DNA Test

by jenny sansouci on July 6, 2015

Hey sniglets!

Right now I’m sitting at a cafe in the El Born neighborhood of Barcelona. I’ve been here for a couple of weeks now (aside from a 3-day trip to Berlin) and I can say with confidence that Barcelona is my favorite city in the world (so far). You can see my photos of this beautiful city on instagram. I’ve never actually had a city that’s claimed the exclusive title of favorite before, so this experience feels particularly sweet to me. I absolutely love the culture here, the pace of life, the food, the streets, the architecture…the general vibe of the city. I have been dancing through the streets! It’s just that kind of town. I’m here in Barcelona for another 2 days before heading out to Portland, Oregon for the World Domination Summit. But before I do, I wanted to take some time to share my DNA test results with you guys. :)

Last week (was it last week?) when I posted my blog about Activated Charcoal, I mentioned that I’d post about my 23andMe results as my next post, so here I am, taking a break from wandering around eating tapas to give you guys an overview of what you can expect when you order the 23andMe test for yourself.

By the way, you could go down a serious RABBIT HOLE researching this stuff, so just use this post as a starting point. :)

What is the 23andMe test?

23andMe is a DNA test that uses your saliva to help you learn more about your genetic makeup.

What kind of information does 23andMe provide?

23andMe provides your ancestry information and can help you connect with potential DNA relatives. 23andMe used to provide health information (i.e. what risks you have for certain diseases, what genetic mutations you have, etc), but as of December 2013, the FDA no longer allows 23andMe to provide direct health information.

December 2013 – Pending an FDA decision, 23andMe no longer offers new customers access to health reports. Customers who received their health information prior to November 22, 2013 will still be able to see their health reports, but those who purchased after that time will only receive their ancestry information as well as access to their uninterpreted raw data.

Bummer, BUT guess what? There’s a loophole here. See that little line called “uninterpreted raw data”? Yeah. There’s where the gold is. :) Once you get your raw data from 23andMe, you can run it through a few different sites — Genetic Genie will do it for free — and get allllll the data interpreted for you about what genetic mutations you have and what this means about your health. NutraHacker will provide you a free report based on your raw data that tells you what supplements might be helpful or harmful based on your mutations. Promethease ($5) can give you an overview of your *potential* disease risks. I find this fascinating!!!

What I learned from 23andMe on its own: my ancestry composition. Turns out I’m 47.1% British & Irish, 17.1% French & German, 2.8% Scandinavian (ooh), and .4% Iberian (which explains why I like the jamon iberico so much in Barcelona…hehe!!!!)

Kinda interesting. (Find out your genetic makeup here).

23andMe ancestry
What I learned from Genetic Genie (free): my detox/methylation profile & genetic mutations:

After uploading my 23andMe raw data to Genetic Genie — the most important part of this for me was checking to see if I have an MTHFR mutation. I hear about this mutation a lot at Dr. Lipman‘s office and I kept having this little inkling that I may possibly have the mutation. Intuition. Along with many other things, having an MTHFR mutation can affect the way your body eliminates toxins, and can inhibit your body’s production of serotonin, melatonin and dopamine (i.e. MOOD and SLEEP!)

In general I’ve always felt like things affect me a lot (bad quality food/toxins/etc) and have always had this feeling like I need to “do so much work” to feel good. I guess that’s why I got into health and nutrition, ya know? Because I noticed such a significant difference in how I felt with different food and lifestyle changes. And whenever I go on a strict “detox” type of program I feel a million times better than when I’m not on one, maybe because my body needs extra detoxification support vs. someone who doesn’t have the mutation and their body’s natural detoxification process is stronger. Know what I mean?

Learn more about MTHFR here from Dr. Ben Lynch (one of the leaders in MTHFR research)

Turns out I have a double (homozygous) mutation on the MTHFR A1298C gene!! This is one of the major ones, along with MTHFR C677T (which I don’t have a mutation on).

genetic genie

Info about MTHFR A1298C from Genetic Genie:

MTHFR A1298C is involved in converting 5-methylfolate (5MTHF) to tetrahydrofolate (THF). Unlike MTHFR C677T, the A1298C mutation does not lead to elevated homocysteine levels. This reaction helps generate BH4. BH4 is important for the detoxification of ammonia. The gene is compromised about 70% in MTHFR A1298C (+/+) individuals, and about 30% in people with a heterozygous (+/-) mutation. BH4 acts as a rate limiting factor for the production of neurotransmitters and catecholamines including serotonin, melatonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. A MTHFR A1298C + status may cause a decrease in any of
these neurotransmitters or catecholamines. BH4 is also a cofactor in the production of nitric oxide. A dysfunctional BH4 enzyme may lead to mental/emotional and/or physical symptoms. Mercury, lead, and aluminum may act as a drain on BH4.

MEANING: I need more support to get rid of toxins (from food, environment, etc) feel my best, keep my immune system strong, and to produce feel-good brain chemicals. I knew it!

My other homozygous mutations (i.e. got them from both parents) in case you’re interested:

  • BHMT-08
  • CBS A360A

My heterozygous mutations (i.e. got them from 1 parent):

  • MTHFR 03 P39P
  • COMT V158M
  • COMT H62H
  • VDR Bsm
  • VDR Taq
  • MAO-A R297R
  • MTRR A66G
  • MTRR K350A
  • BHMT-02

The Genetic Genie report explains what all of these mutations mean, and Nutrahacker (below) takes it a step further by recommending specific supplements to take/avoid.

You have to get the 23andMe test first, though!

What I learned from Nutrahacker (free): what supplements I should take/avoid based on my mutations:

This is actually super helpful to me. I already knew that some of my gene mutations would affect the way my body detoxifies in general (the MTHFR mutation specifically) but this was really cool to see. For instance, it recommends I take NAC and whey protein, which both help the body produce glutathione (the master antioxidant, responsible for efficient detoxification), and of course it recommends taking methylated folate and B vitamins to support my methylation process. Yowza! Am I confusing you yet? I know, it’s a lot, but it’s kinda cool you gotta admit.

nutrahacker
What I learned from Promthease ($5):

The Promthease test does provide a TON of information about possible disease risks, but I found it the least helpful because what I really wanted to know about was my gene mutations and how I could take action immediately. Knowing that I have an increased risk of developing endometriosis, that I have a high risk for developing a peanut allergy and lactose intolerance, that I have a hypersensitivity to drugs and medications, etc is quite interesting to read — but I have a pretty strong feeling that I can lower my disease risk significantly by living clean. So I appreciated the gene mutation/supplement reports more than the disease risk reports, personally. But you may really enjoy reading through this report, it is very detailed.

OK! So what am I doing now?

I actually think this is kind of exciting, because knowing stuff about your body is powerful. :)

I consulted Dr. Frank Lipman and also my friend/hormone expert Nicole Jardim and they both told me I should DEFINITELY be taking methylated folate and B vitamins. Nicole also recommended I take Crucera SGS (a broccoli extract supplement that supports phase II of detoxification in the body). I also take Activated Charcoal with ANY meal I didn’t cook myself (i.e. restaurant meals) or when I eat or drink ANYTHING of questionable quality. I feel so good on it.

Supplements I’m taking to support my body’s detoxification and methylation process, which is hindered by the double MTHFR mutation:

I am also OIL PULLING daily with coconut oil to further rid my body of toxins (I have been for a couple of months now). It’s legit, read these Amazon reviews if you’re curious about what kind of results you can get. And my mouth feels so fresh and so clean.

Ok so this is a jumping off point. Please don’t take my blogs as medical advice, just use it as a starting point to do your own research on your own body!

Start by getting the 23andMe test!!

Anyone else have experience with this? Let me know.

Are you a MTHFR mutant too? Let’s be friends!!!!!

Questions? I’ll do my best. :)

I’m a newbie at this stuff but thought it was worth sharing.

Hasta luego…off to find some more tapas in Barcelona and take more activated charcoal. WAHOO! THE LIFE!

Love,
Jenny

P.S. Thank you big time to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition for getting me started on this whole journey of healthy living. You guys rule!

 

 




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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Autumn July 6, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Hey there!! I also have the MTHFR mutation, both of them unfortunately…I never knew why I was so ill affected by crappy food when everyone else seemed to be fine. I do take methyl folate now along with a bunch of other supplements recommended by my doc. Also dealing with some candida issues so taking nystatin. It’s definitely an uphill battle but good to have the info!

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jenny sansouci July 6, 2015 at 3:18 pm

Hey Autumn! Thanks for commenting. Are you feeling any better with the supplements? Any noticeable difference? I’m so curious to hear how other people’s experiences have been. Keep up the healing work!!

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Brittany July 6, 2015 at 3:45 pm

Hi Jenny! I recently was dx with MTHFR and my ND put me on Thorne 5MTHF. It had helped me IMMENSELY! I take it in conjunction with 5HTP and my methyl B12. I went years not knowing why I had premature ovarian failure, depression and holding on to weight. It’s a long road and a confusing one! If not for IIN, is never have known!

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Nicole J July 6, 2015 at 4:55 pm

Jenny, this is an awesome post! Thanks for sharing your experience and for the shoutout! I am gonna check out Promthease for further analysis of my mutations too :-)

xo

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Jasmine Cohen July 6, 2015 at 5:23 pm

One of your best blog posts yet!

Have you heard of the product MA+IGP? It’s a mlm supplement so it comes with automatic skepticism, but I’ve been using it since Jan 2015 and I felt a noticeable energy boost the first few months and it kept me healthy when everyone else in my office was sick – that’s when I was taking the loading dose of 3 scoops a day (I stopped drinking coffee entirely). I’ve since limited my dosage to 1.5 scoops a day because it’s an expensive product and I am back in school at the moment only working part-time. I find that limiting my dosage I don’t have as much energy and I have gone back to drinking coffee a few times a week.

Just curious if you’ve heard of the product or used it and what your thoughts are? It’s also a glutathione precursor:

jasmine.gbgway.com/ma-igp.html

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Sally-Ann July 7, 2015 at 1:24 am

Super interesting Jenny! I love that your blog posts are so different from others I read. Im definitely getting myself tested, as my curiosity is peaked. Thank you and oh… I ordered myself some activated charcoal last week, as I travel a lot too… so, double thank you :)

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Stephanie Martel July 7, 2015 at 10:57 am

Such interesting info! It’s amazing how the body works, isn’t it?

I went to India and activated charcoal did wonders for me when I got home and realized I had some major stomach issues that would not resolve. The charcoal cleared that right up! But unfortunately, charcoal can also strip your body of vitamins and minerals if not used correctly–it should not be taken within two hours of vitamins or medications because it will keep the body from assimilating them.

And I could be wrong, but I was told it was for sporadic, occasional use, rather than long-term regular use. Just wanted to share!

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Becca Caddy July 7, 2015 at 11:51 am

Hi Jenny! So fascinating seeing someone else’s results laid out like this.

My ancestry is really similar to yours – mainly Irish and British but I also have a bit of Scandinavian and Iberian!

I’m also an MTHFR mutant! But it’s MTHFR C677T that is homozygous. Then I have all the same heterozygous ones as you. Will be really interested in reading about your journey. I’ve been to see a nutritionist to figure out the relevance of some of this and FASCINATINGLY I’m told the MTHFR mutant gene could be the reason my body hasn’t been fighting off a rather serious complication – so I feel delighted and kinda blessed to have the results.

So interested in seeing how you implement these new supplements, might go out and buy the same ones seeing as our genes are weirdly similar.

This post is old and doesn’t have my Gene Genie results in it, but scan down to see how similar our ancestry charts are: http://flowandglow.com/23andme-dna-test-review-my-adventure-into-personal-genotyping

Thanks for sharing :)

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jenny sansouci January 4, 2016 at 1:18 pm

Thanks for sharing this! I am actually considering taking a new B vitamin that’s specific for MTHFR — the reviews are really good. http://amzn.to/1UqQ9gR

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Katie July 10, 2015 at 4:40 pm

Thank you so much for this post Jenny! I have some serious intuition I am dealing with this as well – and I’ve been putting off getting a test to confirm. Was just the sign I needed.

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jenny sansouci January 4, 2016 at 1:15 pm

Good luck and I hope you learn a lot! :)

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Jen July 18, 2015 at 2:09 am

Hi Jenny,

I was recently diagnosed with MTHFR deficiency A1298C and my 5 year old’s blood work also showed this deficiency. Have you found a good multivitamin to take along with the other supplements? I was taking metagenics phytomulti but my b6 came back high. My daughters was high as well.

Thanks,
Jen

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jenny sansouci January 4, 2016 at 1:14 pm

Hi Jen, I don’t take a multivitamin but Dr. Frank Lipman has a great one. :)

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Mark Jenkins August 21, 2015 at 10:00 am

I was just listening to a Joe Rogan podcast (episode #672) with Dr. Rhonda Patrick and she was talking about this test. She’s about to add to her website a free way to input the raw data from the test to interpret the results. It’s something she believes in strongly. It was a great podcast. One of those ones you have to take notes on because it was FILLED with a ton of info. She just did her own podcast with Tim Ferriss and she’s been on Bulletproof Dave’s podcast before (I know you listen to those dudes).

I have ordered 2 kits (one for me, one for my wife) so looking forward to getting the results.

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jenny sansouci August 25, 2015 at 1:01 pm

Nice!!! Joe Rogan is cool, he’s a big float tank enthusiast so I’m into that. Please let me know if you find anything cool from your tests!! I’ll check out the podcast for sure. Thank you!

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Marie August 25, 2015 at 6:21 am

WOW, thanks for sharing!

Just got the results from my own DNA Health test, and looks like we have a whole freaking lot of the same things going on inside our genes. What’s up sister 😉 haha…

Glad to see I’m not the only one having MTHFR mutation. And gosh it does feel relieving to know this in particular. First of all it’s like a big aha-moment and so many of my past health issues (both psychical and mental) now starts to make a whole lot more sense.

And secondly I think we are giving the tools and guideline to becoming the best, most thriving version of ourselves, since we now know how to support our bodies with the right supplements, instead of trying tons of things out, which sometimes actually make things worse!

I’m thinking about taking a test called DNA Diet to figure out which type of metabolic type I am and determine which sort of exercise etc is the best for me. Have you any experience with that sort of tests?

Xo Marie

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jenny sansouci August 25, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Hey Marie! Agree, it’s really fascinating and useful to do these kind of tests. I don’t have any experience with DNA Diet, but I would be really curious to hear what you find out from it!! Report back when you do! :)

Reply

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