As you know, we do a lot of genetic testing at Performance Medicine. We do tests for the MTHFR gene, and the ApoE gene.


And most of you have probably heard of the 23andMe test, which you can get over the counter for about $99.


I did one about ten years ago, but I lost my results!


So, a couple of months ago I repeated it.


One of the reasons I repeated this test is that I knew I had the double stranded “bad” MTHFR gene that can affect a lot of things. Things like blood clots, heart disease, and miscarriages. It’s a really important methylation gene.


It’s taken me a long time to sort out this gene and make it simple to understand.
As patients, it’s a gene that you really want to know about.


The ApoE gene is another one that you want to know about. As you may know, the ApoE gene is the Alzheimer’s gene.


If you have this gene, it doesn’t mean that you’ll get Alzheimer’s.


What it means is that if you have one copy of it, you’re twice as likely to get Alzheimer’s. If you have two copies of it you’re about 8 times more likely, maybe even 16 times more likely.


How to get the most out of your results 
When I did the 23andMe test again, I got the results. When you get the results, you’re not going to know what you’re looking at. It’s really difficult to interpret. I even had a hard time.


What does your 23andMe results mean? When you know what they mean, you can find out what you can do to prevent.


For example, there’s lots you can do to prevent Alzheimer’s, correct methylation disorders and bring your homocysteine levels down.


Homocysteine is an inflammatory amino acid that can be a risk factor just like high cholesterol. In fact, it might be more important than cholesterol.


Understanding what to do with your results is so important. It’s the reason genetics testing is so valuable.


For example, since I have the double stranded “bad” MTHFR, there are a few things I can do:

  • Take a particular form of Folate
  • B6
  • Particular form of B12 (hydroxy)


With the MTHFR I found out that I need to know a few more things. I need to know about the COMT gene and the CBS gene that are very important if you have this mutation because it affects the forms of vitamins you take.


The variation on the COMT gene has a lot to do with estrogen metabolism, which can prevent risk of cancer. Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer in particular. Sometimes I even do a DUTCH test if I’m worried about how your estrogens are being metabolized.


I have the mixed gene for COMT so instead of methyl B12, what I need is hydoxy B12. This is the form I switched to in our Vitatrim shots for all of our offices. It’s the purer form of B12 if you get it in shot form.


There are also certain things for me that would be good for the neurotransmitter part of genetics.


Through the 23andMe test you can figure out whether or not you need things like Serotonin or Dopamine boosters.


If you’re depressed or anxious, a lot of times it’s because of your genetics. It’s nice to figure some of that stuff out, because there’s things you can do!


For Serotonin and Dopamine you can consider taking:
  • L-tryptophan
  • 5-HTP
  • SAMe


On the 23andMe test there’s also gut health, cardiovascular risk factors, and brain health.


Remember, understand your predispositions to figure out what you can do to prevent these things from happening.