…it’s Genetic, but how?

“It’s genetic” is used for so many conditions from autism to autoimmune disorders. When people say it it might be technically true, but that is almost never in the way the people who say it, understand it, or intend it as.

Genetics… What does that even mean?

How does the rest of our life impact our epigenetics (aka genetic expression)?

Can our environmental influences change our genetic expression?

Can things like antibiotics, acetaminophen/paracetamol and even vaccines, alter a person’s likelihood of developing autoimmune disorders or diseases, as well as influencing whether we develop autism and Alzheimer’s?

Traditionally, genetics have been understood as a fixed thing. That you either have a gene or you don’t. That our genes give us a fatalistic predetermined destiny of anything from hair colour to the tendency to develop diseases like Alzheimer’s or disorders like Autism.

As new technology develops we are more able to understand the SNP’s (tiny gene components) that make up our DNA. Through this we’ve been able to gain more of an understanding of our genetics and come to the realisation that this traditional understanding really isn’t accurate.

Progressive research into genetics shows us that despite our genes being our genetic blueprints, pre-sets or tendencies, they aren’t impervious to external factors.

Imagine as a house has blueprints, they lay the guidance to make foundation the structural integrity; but if the environment isn’t stable or the materials used aren’t up to the task, the building will suffer. They also interact with each other, so if we have a great wall building technique, but a poor foundation, it will have an impact on the rest of the building’s health and infrastructure.

In the same way, if we have lifestyle or environmental stressors our environment isn’t as stable, and if we aren’t getting adequate nutritional support, our health will suffer. Our foundational health in gestation and the early years can have a dramatic impact on our long-term health and function. Though it’s not irreparable, it isn’t always an easy journey to recovery.

As a pre-set, we may be born with a certain hair colour, but external factors like stress and nutrition can affect our health, and our body’s ability to manage stress etc. If our genetics (such as MTHFR mutations) make us predisposed to challenges with glutathione (important antioxidant) production, then we can be more likely to grey prematurely. For others, environmental stressors like trauma and chemotherapy have been known to completely change a person’s hair colour and even texture.

The same genetic MTHFR variants are linked to increased inflammation and oxidative stress, as they can make those with the mutations struggle to get sufficient folate and B12; this increasing in inflammation can be indiscriminate and includes risk of encephalitis causing autistic spectrum symptoms. One study shows 98% of those with autism have mthfr mutations.

There are other gene SNP’s that can also have an impact on health through nutrition too. The area of nutrigenomics is an up and coming area of research learning more on an almost daily basis.

But the current increasingly accepted understanding, in the biomedical/functional medicine field (not necessarily allopathic medicine), is that those with specific mutations like mthfr – and the codependent SNP’s that affect the expression of mthfr – are more likely to have adverse reactions to vaccinations.

This risk is then compounded exponentially by the use of acetaminophen/paracetamol along side vaccinations. Vaccinations and vitamin k injections contain adjuvants that are made from toxins (Aluminium/formaldehyde etc.) purposefully to irritate the immune system.

Though I mention vaccines, because they are frequently noted as impacting health by many, then dismissed as a factor by as many others. There are lots of other external factors, like toxic mould exposure, amalgam fillings, inherited heavy metals (which are detoxified into a baby during gestation), antibiotics/antimicrobials, that can all play a detrimental role in our health, by triggering unhelpful genetic expressions, which can be passed on by both parents in conception.

Those who struggle with glutathione production, or have it further inhibited by acetaminophen/paracetamol, can’t effectively detoxify and eliminate toxins (including heavy metals) from the body. So they can accumulate in the body, including in the gut, where it can cause increased intestinal permeability, which can play a beginning role in a journey to chronic conditions because “all disease begins in the gut”- Hippocrates.

Many genes can impact neurological symptoms including, but are in no way limited to, those impacting vitamin A synthesis, vitamin B6 and those that impact histamine break down. In addition to all the ways different mthfr variations can affect the body’s methylation, which is key to reducing oxidative (toxin) stress and reducing inflammation in the whole body.

So, Autism, and other conditions, may be genetic. Very true. But they are not a fated destiny, they are not a self-fulfilling prophecy, they are not impervious to change.

If you want to read more on the subject, including some of the resources I’ve read, I have tried to include many in the “related reading” below.

If your thirst for knowledge seeks a much more comprehensive understanding please look into the resources freely provided by Dr Ben Lynch. He is one of the pioneers in the area and played a huge role in the increasing understanding of MTHFR through his website MTHFR.net, he also presented the dirty genes summit earlier this year and as president of seeking health supplements they make supplements for those with different genetic needs. He also authored the highly acclaimed dirty genes book which expands on MTHFR and 6 other genes SNP’s that can have a huge impact on our life quality, and the amazing impact lifestyle, environment and self care can have on our genetic expression. I look forward to reading it soon and sharing some of what I glean from it, having avidly listened to the dirty genes summit I’m sure the content will be really informative and educational, consistent with the rest of his work. So if you want to learn more about it I can heartily endorse his resources as extremely helpful!

Related reading 😊

What is MTHFR

https://www.livingwhole.org/what-you-need-to-know-about-mthfr/

What is glutathione:

https://wellnessmama.com/37260/glutathione-benefits/

Glutathione, Stress and grey hair:

https://www.drbenlynch.com/premature-gray-hair/

Glutathione and Acetaminophen interaction:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/19537930/

Acetaminophen, glutathione and mitochondrial dysfunction:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0006295296004145

• Acetaminophen, children and ASD

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5044872/

• Acetaminophen, pregnancy and ASD

https://academic.oup.com/aje/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/aje/kwy086/4980325?redirectedFrom=fulltext

Glutathione treatment for autism:

http://glutathionepro.com/mthfr-autism/

(This particular link does have its own affiliated link to purchase it, I have no experience with their products personally.)

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