Methylation blog 5/5/2019
I want Keith Richards’ Genes and Liver!
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Many famous musicians have taken hoards of recreational drugs. Many from the 1960’s and 1970’s are no longer with us. Some of my favorites have already gone: David Bowie, Lou Reed, George Michael, and my most favorite Bob Marley. Then why might we ask is Keith Richards still alive? We can explain that genetically. We are all not the same, and many times things tend to work less efficiently from our fifties on up.
Keith smokes, drinks, and did many strong recreational drugs for years without getting seriously ill. Take one of his pals of the same age as Keith that he party’s with. Have him take all the substances Keith did. He would probably die in his sixties. Why is that? This is primarily because Keith was born with a different set of genes, and different imprints from his prenatal and perinatal life. When his genes were challenged to work hard by clearing toxins from his liver, lungs, and kidneys, his theoretical friend would not be able to keep up with Keith. Hypothetically, his friend had different early imprints, and different genes, with a different end game.
A bad lifestyle is worse than a bad genetic report. When you put together two guys with different genes, and expose them to the same amount of alcohol and drugs, you will get two different results of health.
A SNiP is a “problem” gene. Both of your parents can give you a copy of a SNiP: a “single Nucleotide Polymorphism,” or just one parent can give you a copy. If both give you a copy it is called a Homozygous SNiP; the likelihood of having that problematic gene be activated is 70%. If only one parent gave you a copy of a SNiP then the chances of that poor functioning gene being activated is 30%. Your environment, and how you manage your diet, feelings, your age, and stress have a high influence on activating these SNiP’s that are problematic genes. That is what epigenetics is all about.
Your genotype is your unique DNA fingerprint. It contains all the genes and SNiP’s. You got half from your mother, and half from your father. Your genotype will never change. Other than identical twins, no two people on earth have the same genotype. A person’s genetic deck of cards is what we call our genotype. Our deck of cards interacts with our environment, and we call that interaction a person's “phenotype”.
You can work to optimize your epigenetics that control your genes. Your genes alone do not cause disease and poor health. The environment is what activates them, depending on many important factors. These factors have to do with early life—what your mother’s nutrition was like, what her emotional life was like while she carried you. Was she stressed out from living in poverty, or some other trying situation? These early circumstances create epigenetic imprints that are much more potent the younger that we are.
The next level of powerful epigenetic imprinting is our birth and beyond, particularly for the first 18 months. If we are born in a supportive, attuned, nurturing environment, our SNiP’s are less likely to be problematic later in life. Our early caretakers make a huge imprint for better or for worse on our health. These early imprints can be healed with various mind body therapies such as biodynamic craniosacral therapy, somatic experiencing, Myrna Martin’s developmental psychology trainings, and many other up and coming healing modalities related to Bessel Van Der Kolk, Dan Siegel, Ruth Buczynski, and others work. When healing from early difficult imprints, patients respond better through noticing their body as well as their thoughts.
These early imprints happen before we can talk, so mind/body based therapies are the most useful to support healing of what experts call developmental trauma, occurring from conception to the first six years of life.
What I am finding in my practice is that talk therapy, biodynamic craniosacral therapy, and diet often are not enough to maintain health as people age. Some patients also need biochemical genetic-focused nutritional support. We are not only dealing with their phenotype, but also imprints from our ancestors. This is where genetic methylation/nutrition treatments can really help. I build a multivitamin based on which of your SNiP genes are activated, your environment, and how you are regulating your nervous system. With some patients, talk therapy or biodynamic craniosacral therapy sessions alone are not enough. Supporting SNiP’s that may be slow at clearing stress hormones can be a huge hill for a patient to climb with mind body practices and diet alone. When people start to understand what genetic SNiP’s they have, they have more compassion and understanding of themselves—especially when they are having difficulty staying calm when faced with stress. After we begin testing and treating them, patients may begin to understand why they have symptoms of things like low energy, can’t sleep, or cannot tolerate perfumes.
I take a comprehensive approach to patient care that includes genetic nutrition testing, biodynamic craniosacral therapy, and structural work. I test what is happening now with a person’s system, and how they are processing substances that may be easy for one person to clear from their body, while difficult for another.
Here is an interesting fact: men can clear stress hormones more easily because of testosterone. Testosterone speeds up the COMT gene. This gene clears insulin, estrogen, and catecholamines: the stress hormones adrenalin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. What this means is that if a guy has healthy levels of testosterone, he may stereotypically like the rush of stress hormones. This is because he will get a rush by doing something like bungee jumping, because afterwards he is able to clear the adrenalin that created the feeling of the rush.
In women, estrogen tends to slow down the clearing of stress hormones and insulin. Estrogen slows down the COMT gene. When women get stressed, and especially if their COMT gene is a SNiP version (which means it doesn't work as well clearing things), they can tend to have trouble clearing the stress hormones, so these hormones stay in their system longer—creating a lot of anxiety. The upswing of this propensity is that these stress hormones make people much smarter and mentally sharper than average when they are cleared more slowly. Another problem is that if she has a slow COMT SNiP, it makes it harder for her to clear estrogen. This can cause a predisposition to Premenstrual Syndrome, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, ovarian cancer, and increased breast cancer risk. The good news is that there are minerals that help the COMT gene work much better!
It seems clear that Keith was born with a good enough Mom and caretaker after he was born. It is also clear that he does not have problematic SNiP’s like some of his friends who are dead now.
How can we take care of ourselves with this new information?
Changing our lifestyle is the first thing. How we process and feel emotions, what we eat, how much exercise we get, and how much stress we are exposed to. Reducing stress is not completely about avoiding it; rather it is how we function with it, and how we interface with our environment.
Safe to say, don’t try and keep up with Keith and his habits. Make your choices in your surroundings/environment based on minimizing epigenetic strains. Learn self care, eat organic, and eat lots of vegetables. Get tested with holistic methylation if you already do those things, and are still having physical and emotional health issues.
Some people that I test have very few issues, and that is because they have done a lot of healing work and make healthy choices for their lifestyle. Others patients have lots of health issues, and are making positive health choices. These are the people that I can usually help greatly with holistic methylation. Yet some people are just lucky and are carrying a liver and genes/deck of cards like Keith. Yet in the end it all slows down as we age.
What is holistic methylation?
I use energy vials that have energetic signatures of substances like roundup, lead, mercury, and things in our body such as immunoglobulins, cholesterol, estrogen, dopamine. Clinical applied kinesiology was invented by Dr Beardall's work. These vials challenge genetic pathways to see how they are handling and processing these substances.
The most important part of why holistic methylation gets such phenomenal results in some people is that it treats so many pathways that are downstream of methylation. Treating methylation alone can be dangerous, causing a person to detox too fast, have more anxiety, not be able to sleep, and in some people even become quite agitated. Wholistic methylation takes into account all the pathways related to methylation. Many of the genes tested are in the phase II / P450 system of the liver. That is what clears estrogen, stress hormones, metals, roundup, etc…that is where methylation happens. Testing finds the weak spots, and provides an antidote that is something that your body uses as a building block: a mineral or a vitamin.
I have a patient in their twenties (who said that I could share some of their case) that has a brother that had childhood cancer. This patient has non-disease, functional health issues. This patient needs methylation nutrition support more than some people. I asked where they grew up. They said it was a factory town north of Providence Rhode Island. That was a strong imprint for them. I told them it was probably not a good idea for them to be working in an environment with lots of chemical exposure—and I treated them recently after cleaning out a basement for a friend and having a bad reaction. The patient had strong environmental childhood imprints, that influence them today. Their brother’s illness may have been proof of growing up around toxicity. Her brother is healthy now...
It is best to assume that you do not have the privilege of Keith's phenotype of, and approach your lifestyle choices based on staying well. Remember... your phenotype is how a person’s genes interface with a their environment.